Posts tagged: interview
Scans of Caitlin Moran’s article about Benedict Cumberbatch in The Times magazine.
Open in new link for high res
Dean O’Gorman, James Nesbitt & Aidan Turner interview for “The Hobbit: an unexpected Journey”
Unlike the rest of these battle-hardened dwarves, Fili and Kili, who are Thorin’s nephews, they’re too young to have lived through the great dwarf battles and don’t quite know what they’re in for on this quest. They’re a bit more excitable than the rest of the dwarves….
Dean O’Gorman: Yeah. They’re the exuberant ones. Fili sees the quest as his birthright, an important part of his life’s journey. And it sounds like a boy’s dream adventure. He starts out with this very youthful enthusiasm, but as the story progresses, the seriousness becomes apparent. And my character Fili, as Kili’s older brother I look out for him, as he’s younger and takes more risks. The relationship triangle between Fili and Kili and Thorin, that offers a lot of content, the journey that Thorin goes on – Fili and Kili relate.
Fili and Kili get a rude awakening when they arrive at Bag End and see the company they’ll be travelling with, on this great quest for their people?
Aidan Turner: Yeah. They thought they were going to step into a dream team here, and suddenly, they look across the table and see this rogue’s gallery (laughs). There’s a guy with an axe stuck in his head, some heavy drinkers, some pensioners, a thief who’d rob from his own mother, and a Hobbit (laughs). But Fili and Kili find it fun and very easy to take the mick out of Bilbo, even in this room of complete misfits!
To a certain degree it’s their untold destiny to travel to the Lonely Mountain and to reclaim their lost treasure and their lost gold, and possibly their homestead. I guess, a lot of it is for pride, I think – and also the fact that material goods are something that the dwarves are almost semi-obsessed with (laughs). But it’s just something they need to do, and a lot of these songs and accounts of their people, their ancestors, they’ve been brought up with all of these stories of battles lost and won. And now, I guess it’s this portentous thing, where it’s in the air that they need to do this, they need to get it back.
And Bofur, he’s more endearing and likeable than most of his counterparts?
James Nesbitt: Yeah. He has maybe a softer side than a lot of the other dwarves, and he’s prepared to show that. In the first film he befriends the Hobbit, Bilbo, he looks out for him a bit and he looks after him. He cares about him. I think Bofur’s a mixture of the rough, the honest, but also the caring. Bofur’s overall motive is much simpler than the rest of the dwarves. I don’t think he’s necessarily interested in the noble pursuit of reclaiming their lost land. I think he and his kin just fancy a bit of fun, a bit of a scrap. He’s an optimistic dwarf. He has a pretty good take on life.
There’s some great banter and camaraderie between this company of dwarves and Bilbo in the film, did that transfer from the set?
Dean O’Gorman: Oh yeah. We became more like…. rather than just friends or working partners, we became almost like a weird kind of family, we were sidekicks to each other, to a degree (laughs). We were brothers in a way, we would bicker sometimes, we would have a bit of a joke about, we would hassle somebody, get up to mischief. But it was always done with a certain amount of affection because we were all going through this shared journey together.
And the dwarves, they have an interesting relationship with Gandalf in ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.’ Even though they greatly respect him, they’re not quite sure what to make of him?
Aidan Turner: There’s a lot of mysticism around Gandalf, and they don’t know a lot about him. He is revered and he is magical. He’s this gigantic sorcerer, and he’s sort of scary to them. But he’s there to guide them. It’s funny because I guess to a certain degree they kind of fear him a little bit, he is to them the all-knowing, all-enduring Wizard. He’s a funny one. I guess they know he’s on their side, so they can respect him and appreciate him for that, but I don’t know if they can ever really figure out what he’s about – I don’t think anyone ever figures out what Gandalf is about, he’s a funny one, isn’t he (laughs)? He’s showing up at funny times, disappears at stranger times (laughs).
Bringing this enduring story to the big screen, a book countless people hold dear to their heart, how was it on set witnessing Peter Jackson and the team adapting it for the big screen?
James Nesbitt: It’s amazing. There is good and there is great evil in this story, and that’s a timeless notion. And that, joining with Peter Jackson’s inventiveness, his mind which can see what a child thinks, he just knows how to make that come alive for film. With the technical side of things, I think people are going to see things they’ve never seen before in this film. I think you’re going to believe in the characters, I think you’re going to feel for them, I think you’re going to go with them on every step of the journey – particularly with Bilbo. And to get there you’ll go through heartache, horror, wonder and majesty. I think whatever age you are, walk in and try to remember the sense of awe you had as a child at things. I think, hopefully, with what Peter Jackson and the team has done you will feel that awe firmly in place. His vision was amazing.
Mail on Sunday - Event: Interview with Benedict Cumberbatch
Star Trek - Benedict Cumberbatch
Lucy Liu Rolls with the Punches // Idris Elba interviews Lucy Liu!!
Idris Elba: So, I don’t know him personally, but I first saw Jonny Lee Miller in Trainspotting, and he was and is a phenomenal actor.
Lucy Liu: I love working with Jonny. He’s incredibly talented and very professional. He comes in every day—no matter how long the day before has been— and he’s prepared. If we start another episode with all new dialogue, all new characters, a whole new director, a whole new set, he still has it, and he never keeps anyone waiting. I know that sounds basic, but on a 15 to 20 hour day, if you’re working in television and somebody doesn’t know his lines, you could be there until the next day.
These two, seriously, too flawless to handle..
Benedict Cumberbatch in the latest Shortlist magazine. This is the kind of interview everybody should read. Go on!
To the visible dismay of a nearby hotel employee, Benedict Cumberbatch has climbed on to the sofa while ShortList helplessly looks on. It’s not an elaborate Tom Cruise impression. Instead, he’s waging war on a bluebottle that had been buzzing by his ear, and now, with the third precise swing of a cushion, he’s whacked it against the window and sent it tumbling to the floor.
“Sorry about that,” he says, settling into his chair with a satisfied grin. “It had to be done. But that was pretty brutal. As you can see, Mr Miyagi was my trainer on Star Trek .” It won’t please animal welfare groups, but the Sherlock star’s insect-slaying sets the scene for a fiery 45 minutes in his company. As he machine-guns opinions on everything from copycat Holmes drama Elementary and sex scenes to camera phone-wielding fans and cracking Hollywood, it’s clear he’s more determined than ever. So spare a thought for that fly. It never stood a chance…
You’re starring in sweeping new BBC drama Parade’s End. We couldn’t help but notice you’re playing another tortured, hyper-intelligent aristocrat…
[Laughs] Ah, but it’s a fat one this time. That’s the difference. Seriously though, despite people’s opinions, I haven’t played that many aristocrats and landed gentry. Admittedly I do talk fast because I’m a public schoolboy, but I haven’t even done many period dramas. I’ve oscillated between the First World War and the Georgian period. That’s my niche.
What was it that lured you to the role?
Tom [Stoppard] came and had tea with me at the National Theatre, which is always quite seductive. As soon as he asked me if I wanted a biscuit with my tea, I knew what was going on. Rebecca [Hall], who’s a really good friend, sort of talked me around too. But really it’s the book [by Ford Madox Ford]. It’s the first modernist novel and it takes in consumerism, the First World War and the death throes of the upper classes through the prism of this love triangle. It’s incredible.
Did your friendship with Rebecca Hall make the first episode’s sex scene easier?
No, I mean we laughed our arses off – there was a lot of wasted film that day. But [it’s good to] giggle at the silliness rather than get uptight. I’m really good friends with her other half as well, which must have been odd. “How was your day, darling?” “Well, I was just riding Benedict in a train carriage…” [laughs].
Was it a fun shoot generally, then?
We had some fun times when we were filming in Belgium. I was desperately trying to put on weight, so there was a lot of [eating] rubbish food and drinking alcohol without worrying about it. With Sherlock, it’s lots of seeds, juices, swimming and running, but on this I was doing lots of beer, wine, chips and the most f*cking amazing proper steaks and goulashes. I still didn’t put on enough, though. But for Star Trek, I went up about three suit sizes.
Would you ever like to really bulk up for a role like your Tinker Tailor… co-star Tom Hardy did for Warrior?
I actually used Tom’s trainer Patrick [‘P-Nut’ Monroe] for Star Trek. But I’ve always been a bit po-faced about [the idea] that all you need to do to be put in the hallowed halls of method acting with Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro is put on sh*tloads of weight. Come on! I think Tom would discredit it too. The effort involved deserves some credit, but it doesn’t make a performance.
Have you noticed a leap in your fame recently? Do you get noticed more?
A little bit yeah, you just instantly lose that ability to be private in public. If I’m wearing a shirt and a suit I look very Sherlock and highly recognisable, but I try not to consciously downgrade my look. Having said that, as much as I try to resist them, hoodies and baseball caps work a treat. But the only cap I’ve got that fits my weird head has War Horse on it [laughs].
Not the best disguise…
No, it’d look like self-promotion. I think David Tennant has a hat with bits of hair stuck on it. That’s ridiculous, but it does show how odd it can be. People think we just walk from chauffeur driven cars to red carpets and basically have people wiping our arses for us, but sometimes you need to do normal things. So it’s a bit weird when people see you in the frozen pea section and start flipping out.
Do you find all the attention difficult, then?
Yeah, sometimes you want to go, “I actually do mind having a photo taken because it’s one o’clock in the morning and I’m off my face.” Nine times out of 10, I’m absolutely fine with it. But sometimes it’s just really bad timing. Plus, what the f*ck is this need for proof we all have? Why do people need me to ruin the front page of a book with my terrible signature so that they can prove that they’ve met me? Will no one believe them otherwise? It’s f*cking weird, and you don’t question it until it happens to you.
Going back to Star Trek 2, there’s been lots of speculation about your character…
Yep, it’s yet another thing I can’t talk about [laughs]. I’ll tell you this, it’s iconic and it’s exciting. I’m bored of denying that it’s Khan now, because people keep saying it.
Was it fun playing a villain?
Really, really good fun. It’s a great part and it’s really well written. I enjoyed the fights and the stunts, there’s lots of that and it really is proper action movie territory. I went off and did The Hobbit [doing motion-capture and voice work as dragon Smaug and the Necromancer] at the beginning of the job, so I literally came on set, established the look, did a day of filming and then f*cked off to New Zealand for two weeks before coming back. But it’s the stuff of dreams. I know it’s such a well-trodden, clichéd path, ‘Brit actor plays baddie in Hollywood’, but I channelled all of that and just really enjoyed it.
Are you surprised by the stir Sherlock’s ‘death’ caused at the end of the last series?
The level of obsession with it was nuts. When I read that in the script I got the biggest kick of my life. I remember ringing Martin and going, “Oh my f*cking God. Have you read this?”
Will we find out how Holmes did it?
Of course you’ll find out. But not now….
Can we run some theories by you?
You can, but it will be such a waste of your breath.
Right, so was it all to do with Sherlock’s homeless network?
Yes, all the homeless people in London caught me [laughs]. They formed a human mattress and it was lovely. It was like getting the bumps on your birthday, I didn’t feel a thing. Seriously though, I did that jump. I was on a wire and went off the edge of the building. I was jumping off about three metres into a bunch of cardboard boxes with only a railing separating me from the real drop. We did it about two or three times in the rain with people filming opposite, and it was f*cking amazing. I’ve skydived three times and it was nearly as thrilling. I even did a sky dive while I was in New Zealand, which I shouldn’t be telling anyone, but there you go.
Did [Sherlock and The Hobbit] co-star Martin Freeman join you?
Oh God no. Little Martin? Can you imagine that? He wouldn’t be allowed anyway, he’s got to be the grumpy Hobbit. He’d be down on the ground looking all cool and mod-like with his shades, listening to some ska going, “Yeah that looked like fun, you tw*t.” Whereas I’m there jumping around like Tigger.
Another Sherlock moment that came under, erm, intense scrutiny was Lara Pulver’s nude scene…
Yeah, she’s having a whole second wind to her career because of it. Which [I think] is really sh*t because she’s a great actress. But her story keeps changing… I mean, she did have things covering her. I read an article that went, “…and Benedict Cumberbatch was lucky enough to see everything.” I can tell you now, I would remember if that were the case. I’m a professional, goddammit.
Have there been any discussions about the next series of Sherlock?
Yeah, we’ve had a couple of meetings but I don’t think we’re filming until January. I need to have some more talks with [creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss] and tease them about the fact that I do have a career outside of Sherlock now, so they’d better f*cking write something.
What do you make of the new US modern Sherlock Holmes adaptation, Elementary?
Jonny [Lee Miller] asked me if I was all right with him doing it. I said, “What are the similarities?” And he went, “Well it’s modern…” I went, “Oh.” Then he said, “Lucy Liu’s going to play Joan Watson…” And I went, “Oh.” I got hold of the pilot script just to check it out. I don’t know, we’ll see. I think there’s room for us both to coexist. I don’t feel threatened by it and I wish him the best, which is as diplomatic as I can be.
It’s a strange position to be in…
It’s very odd. I did say, “Well, I’d prefer you didn’t do it but you’ve got a kid to feed, a nice house in LA and a wife to keep in good clothes.” When you get used to a certain standard of living and they waft a pay cheque at you, what are you going to do? I think Jonny was like, “Mate, I’ve got the f*cking mountain to climb here [to reach the acclaim of Sherlock], you’ve got nothing to fear.” I wish him the best of luck, but I’m a bit cynical about why they’ve chosen to do it and why they cast him.
Away from that, you’re off to film Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender’s follow-up to Shame, Twelve Years A Slave. Excited?
It’s a bit frightening because I’m one of about 10 principal cast members. Plus I’m joining Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender. I don’t mean to sound arrogant, but I feel absolutely right about being in that company. It’s just they’re more experienced, and, obviously, Michael’s very used to working with Steve. It’s a good nervous, and I’m excited about having scenes with Michael.
Right, we’ve saved the big question for last: have you seen the website Otters Who Look Like Benedict Cumberbatch?
Yes! They’re great, but I have to say the people that did it could have matched up the pictures better. Put the effort in guys. There was a fierce blog comment about me once, saying I was “a wooden actor”. Those otter photos prove that, while I may be many things, I’m not wooden. You can’t level that at me.
Parade’s End continues at 9pm on BBC Two, 31 August
The secrets of Star Trek Into Darkness are so secret that the stars of the movie - including Alice Eve as Dr. Carol Marcus and Benedict Cumberbatch as villain John Harrison - are like spoiler ninjas, dodging and ducking as they evade journalists’ tricksy questions.
So when the lastest issue of Empire, more chock-full of Star Trek Into Darkness details than J.J. Abrams’ safe, offered an opportunity to speak to Eve and Cumberbatch about the film, a different tack was taken. Here, then, are a couple of new photos from the magazine, as well as some select stills from the trailers, that the two actors discussed and commented on. Look forward to Zoolander references, tales of Chris Pine’s sloppy table manners and the word ‘Sherlockies’…
Leaping Through Glass…
Benedict Cumberbatch: He does look a lot like me, but that’s definitely not me. This is my stunt double, bursting through a glass door. I did do this, but I did it through previously shattered glass, some of it sugar glass…
These are the other entrance doors to the CAA [The Creative Artists Agency] – sometimes called ‘the Death Star’ – this big building in Hollywood that houses one of the most powerful agencies in the business.
It’s a fantastic shot, and a wonderful day. I actually ran up these stairs so many times though that at one point – and it might still be in the film – my legs gave away and I just went down on my knees and slid. Before I’d even got up, I’d sort of started running, scrambling a bit like an insect. So J.J. was like, ‘Did you plan that?’ ‘No, no, no, it’s just that my legs gave up on me and I thought I better keep on fucking motoring to get up…’ So he goes, ‘That’s great, we’re going to keep it in the film!’
On Chris Pine….
Cumberbatch: Ah, Chris. He’s got something on his face, the dirty boy. Seriously though, Kirk really goes through it by the end of the film…
Alice Eve: Actually, when you spilt food on your costume on set, that was called ‘doing a Chris Pine’ because he did it that much.
Cumberbatch: He did keep doing a Pine… He’d just take a drink in his hand and forget to put his mouth to it. The boy – sorry, the man – was so tired carrying that film, I’ve got to say. He’s brilliant in it, I’m really excited to see his performance.
Eve: A lot of us in the film, especially Spock and Bones, serve as Kirk’s alter egos of logic and morality, but I do think in this film, after winning the captaincy in the previous movie, we see him earn it… spiritually, really, and sort of philosophically. Other ways than the practical earning of it.
Cumberbatch: It’s like he’s the son in the first and the father in the second, almost, don’t you think? Not as an actual father, though, that’s not a storyline at all, but I mean that he’s become a father to his crew.
With your character locked up in this way, do you feel that people will naturally draw comparisons to The Avengers, or The Dark Knight, or Skyfall?
Cumberbatch: Yep, all three of those films, and I’m quite worried about it – though they are great films, with great villains – but so what if they do? Not all of those bad guys had Enterprise costumes on, and that’s what matters. But it’s very exciting, that scene, that was a great sequence to film.
Do you feel a lot of pressure, joining this world of Star Trek, with all its legions of fans already on board?
Eve: I see fan bases as a gift, really. A wonderful thing to be able to engage with, because as actors you want to show your work… Hopefully they like it, of course, but you definitely can’t please everyone all of the time.
Cumberbatch: That way madness lies… I think that’s the thing, isn’t it? If you have an over preoccupation with perception and trying to please people’s expectations, then you can go mad. We’ve got J.J. Abrams, and he’s already beautifully cracked that nut in the first film, and I think it pleased a lot of the varying camps: people who were coming to the franchise for the first time, the J.J. Abrams fans and the Star Trek fans, so that was a big comfort to me.
It’s always a compact between me and the writers and the directors – the people who are hiring me to do the job – and if I’m making them happy, I can trust that it’ll make fans happy as well… You know, ‘Sherlockies’ – as they’re probably known now, after Trekkies – have a long history. Jeremy Brett and Basil Rathbone are huge icons, playing a character that’s been taken on by different people over 70 times – you know, it’s the most played fictional character of all time – so having done two series of that and being reasonably confident we’re doing all right with it, and I’m doing all right with him, I’m not… overly confident about this, but I’m just saying it’s something you don’t let preoccupy yourself.
Basically, what she said, but in a 1000 words.
On Simon Pegg’s Scotty…
Eve: This Scottish guy!
Cumberbatch: Scotty! Where the fuck did he come from? I love him. He is brilliant.
Eve: A legend, I’d say. I did a film with him called Big Nothing before Star Trek Into Darkness, at a time when he wasn’t on such a healthy regime, and he used to do this joke before a take. What he’d do is wait for the camera guys to get ready, then stuff a whole Mars bar into this mouth, eat the whole Mars bar, swallow it, and then hear ‘Action!’ and be ready to go. And you can never get through a scene with a man who’s just inhaled a Mars bar three seconds before the camera’s started rolling, it’s just… amazing. He’s so much fun.
Cumberbatch: The thing is, he is really professional, but he’s utterly brilliant fun to work with at the same time. Marvelous to watch and work with. And Scotty coming back here for the second movie… he’s got a great role in this film.
Never jealous that he gets a lot of the comic moments?
Eve: Not when someone does it that well… You’ve got to be glad you’ve got them on board, really.
Cumberbatch: It works the other way, you know, he could be like, ‘Great, I’m just the funny guy…’ but he’s so good at it and so generous that I don’t think it matters. Speaking for myself, I had more than enough to have fun with and concentrate on, and John Harrison does have some moments of humour… There’s a scene that we showed in LA where you can see a little sprinkling of that.
Does Zachary Quinto keep any Spock tendencies off camera?
Eve: He does a little bit. I mean, poor Zach has to go in at 3am to get his ears and stuff put on, so it’s pretty heavy for him, but the thing about Quinto as a person is that he’s got a real wisdom to him that is just inherent in who he is, and so that totally lends itself to playing Spock. I think it definitely becomes a little bit more of a character trait when he’s actually in character, and also the fact that he has to walk around the set with that haircut, those eyebrows… that just pushes you in a direction where you’re retreating away from the way you’d normally behave.
Alice, what was your audition process like, compared to Benedict’s?
Eve: Mine was actually completely different to Benedict’s – mine happened over a longer period of time, much earlier on in the process. (Turning to Benedict) You were finding out at the end of December 2011, for me it was at the end of September, October I think it was…
All very civilised, really. I met J.J. a couple of times, read for him, met with him, spoke with him, and then he called me up! I was driving when he called and I got shaky, I thought I was going to crash, so had to pull over into this little car park. He kept saying all these things to me in his rather charming way and I didn’t really know what he was getting at, and this went on for, like, 10 minutes before I said, “J.J. I’m so sorry, I just have to clarify, are you offering me the job? Because before I say that I’d lay my life on the line, I will eat real live frogs for you, Sir J.J. Of Abrams, I need to know if I’d be doing it for the benefit of the job…” He goes, “Yep, I’m giving you the job. I think that’s what happening, yes.” So I said, “That’s wonderful, thank you, I’d love to do it!”
On Zoe Saldana…
Cumberbatch: Zoe’s so fucking kick arse. She’s got so much confidence, so much life and soul – I don’t think it’s too much of a secret to say that Spock and I exchange blows at one point, and she appears in that scene briefly. That was the first time I’d done anything with her in person, actually. She’s just delightful, she puts everyone at ease, jokes around, gave us all new energy… she’s a force of nature, a beautiful person, really lovely.
Was there any opportunity for you to work with everyone else in the cast at one point or another?
Cumberbatch: I had nothing with Anton [Yelchin], I think, but we all crossed over in some way… there was a great family atmosphere on set.
What did you make of the memes that sprang up from the photos Simon Pegg and Zachary Quinto posted from your night in a bar in San Francisco?
Cumberbatch: Ha, that was a brilliant night. One of the best things that came out of that was a fan recasting all the guys as characters from Zoolander, one of my favourite films, bobbing our heads in the jeep, having their juice just before they spray each other with petrol and set each other alight…
Simon and Zach and Chris are pulling faces, then I’m in the background, popping up from behind Zach, this interloper having a fantastic time with these three guys from the first film, but in a good way. It was joyous, honestly. That really reminds me of what a good time we had around the film, despite how much work we had to do and the occasionally absurd hours, but never ever has anyone been happier to do all of that because we know the results are going to be fun for everyone…
For more on Star Trek Into Darkness interviews pick up the new issue of Empire magazine.
Interview by Ali Plumb
So that IS his stunt double crashing thru the glass AND OMG HE SAW THAT GIF:
“Basically, what she said, but in a 1000 words.” hahaha #Wafflebatch