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Hey, Boys and Girls, We've had the great good fortune to have the stars of The Other Boleyn Girl, Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson and Eric Bana round the Temple for Ben and Jerry's and macadamias. Click here to read Our review of the film, and read on to find out the dangers of a tight corset, working with a "strapping" Henry VIII, and breaking news about a co-star's pregnancy.

Dig it!

 

Scarlett Johansson & Natalie Portman

 

Q: Can you talk about the costumes? The heavy gowns and jewels must’ve been difficult to work in all day long yet you both had to not only act but you had scenes on horseback

Scarlett Johansson: Of course, as an actor anything that you have to help you get into character is helpful and the costumes were certainly a major part of that, even just the kind of space of the costume. As modern women, we’re used to being able to move freely, not think about what we’re wearing. Just act very comfortably and by physically comfortable. These costumes, y’know, it not only is uncomfortable to wear yourself, but if affects how people move around you, the costume’s so huge. And it affects kind of your intimacy and all these things. You feel kind of very statuesque and kind of vulnerable in this costumes, which was a constant reminder of the restrictions that were placed on women of this time and certainly it affects the way you walk in all those things.

Natalie Portman: For Anne, the costumes were so bold and sort of daring and it definitely matched who she was as a woman, too. So that was definitely helpful. As for eating, I remember Scarlett warning me, she was like, “Oh I had a big lunch... big mistake!” Because you take the costume off at lunch for a break and you forget, then you put it back on …

SJ: Then you pour yourself back in…

NP: It’s like a battle

SJ: Yeah. {laughs} It's much more uncomfortable after lunch. Its gotta go somewhere and it’s not going in the middle. Terrible.

NP: It’s rough. The riding was actually great. It looks so elegant, cos you have to stand up really straight in the boning. And that posture actually really helps on the horse.

 

Q: And were you both riding sidesaddle?

SJ: I was riding astride, because my riding was faster.  A lot of the riding I had to do was rushing back from Rochford back to the castle. I was wearing this huge coat across the horse and it was so big, that I could ride sidesaddle, but when I was riding, you couldn’t see any difference at all, so they were saying for safety it’s just better if you ride astride.

NP: That’s something I didn’t realise that I learned on the movie, was that the sidesaddle came after – like usually women were riding astride and the sidesaddle was a new thing.

 

Q: Was it uncomfortable or dangerous?

NP: No…

SJ:  I don’t think so, it’s quite comfortable.

NP: I think its way more comfortable than riding astride, cos you’re sitting on the fat part of your butt instead of, like, the bony part. It’s true.

 

Q: Are you interested in playing any other historical characters? 

NP: {To Scarlett}You’re about to.

SJ: Yeah, I’m starting production for Mary, Queen of Scots, which is kind of interesting, because it’s sometime later but the same bloodline, of course. So I guess I’d be playing a distant cousin of myself. That’s what I’m looking forward to. Natalie, what about you?

NP: Historical figures? I dunno, it’s exciting because there were periods of time a long time ago where there were more women leaders then there are currently. I dunno, nothing in particular.

 

Q: Do you think that society has changed all that much in terms of families using marriage for empire building?

NP: Yeah, I think it definitely exists and I think that’s why it’s a story that is still resonant now, because you know those people and you know the people who think of marriage as “empire-building” or whatever. And I think that definitely still exists today

SJ: Yeah, I guess so I mean it’s the same as these debutante balls and things like this. I mean it’s completely foreign from any lifestyle I grew up in, but I hear rumours of it…

NP: And the fact that marriage is a legal contract at all is like … And that the word “husband” means “to tame” – animal husbandry… It's ingrained in the language the ownership and all that of marriage.

 

Q: Was there any choice in which of you would play which Boleyn sister? Do you think younger audiences will know who Anne Boleyn is?

NP: Well, I think a lot of people watch The Tudors. (laughs)

SJ: I remember passing very briefly through this period of time in my own world history class. I remember having World History 1, World History 2 and you were learning all this in less than a period of 2 years and that’s before you hit US history. So, I think that unless you’re studying or majoring in European history or particularly interested in these monarchies, it’s not something that as Americans is much that people know. I remember learning, ‘divorced-beheaded-died-divorced-beheaded-survived.’ That’s what I learned about Henry VIII; it was never really fully explained. We knew the rough edges of the history. So it’s interesting, hopefully the fact that Natalie and I are both involved with the project will maybe entice younger generations. Maybe it will kind of spark their interest in the subject, because it is a fascinating time in history and they say history repeats itself.

A major part of why I joined the project was because Natalie was involved and she was set to play Anne and I was a huge fan of Natalie’s for a long time and always loved her choices and performances. I was just excited. I’ve never had the opportunity to work on such an even playing field with a peer. It was a great opportunity for both of us, I think.

NP: Yeah, I read the script and loved it and came on as Anne. And I was just like, “I will only do it if Scarlett does it.” Cos I just watched her for so long since we were kids, and she’s so true always and so good. And it was like Scarlett was saying you just never get to work with someone your own age who’s someone you admire and it was such a great, great chance.

 

Q: Were you aware of the story of Mary Boleyn?

NP: I wasn’t aware of this story before I read the script. That’s exciting to be able to introduce a story from the beginning. And then England, where I think a lot of people know about Anne Boleyn. I think it’s pretty sort of pop culture knowledge. I think it’s exciting to sort of turn it on its head because the whole story of Mary is something extremely…very untold story. And also people know this story - the book was really, really popular here; I mean every woman I know was like, ‘When’s that movie coming out? When’s that movie coming out?’ So, I think that primed people for the movie.

 

Q: And do you both like The Tudors television show?

NP: The show? I’ve never seen it, actually

SJ: I’ve never seen it, either, actually

NP: We just both got the DVD! (laughs)

SJ: Yeah we both got the whole show; someone at Showtime was like, “As a present.” I was like “Woo!”

I don’t really watch that much TV, other than, like, CNN breaking news. I try to watch BBC America especially now, anyway. It’s very rare that I’m watching any kind of show. I never get a chance to. I dunno. I like to watch those strange medical mystery programs.

 

Q: Can you tell us about Ana Torrent who plays Katherine of Aragon?

SJ: What a lovely woman!

NP: Amazing…

SJ: A very, very sweet woman and a wonderful actor…

NP: {To Scarlett} She’s having a baby, isn’t she?

SJ: Really?

NP: I saw her at ADR and she was pregnant. I hope I didn’t just break that news…

(both laugh)

NP: Oh well, sorry, Ana! She’ll go into hiding for a while.

SJ: She’s an incredibly strong actor. I was interested to see who was going to take on this role. It’s a little cameo, but what a delivery. What a sweet and kind of soft-spoken woman, and then to see her have this incredible presence and intimidating. And of course we’re all about the same height and we’re all wearing these crazy costumes. But she just felt like, kind of …

NP: Regal.

SJ: Very, yeah, regal and had this huge kind of stature. She brought so much integrity to that part and I think it is a part the audience is very sympathetic toward, because she isn’t just hardened. You see the emotion and the pleading and the mind behind it and I think that it’s certainly devastating when she’s carried away, it’s a devastating moment in the film, I think.

NJ: Yeah, she has a great dignity and strength. I think it was so crucial that every woman in this movie has their own real strength and character. And it was essential that even people in the small roles that everyone really have this presence, because when we’re all sort of rivals there’s no rivalry there if each person isn’t their own competitor, if they don’t show a good fight. I mean, Kristen {Scott-Thomas}, too, I think every woman is so fantastic and has such complexity and like, vulnerable and strong. I mean I think it’s really important to make it feel real.

 

Q: Was there ever a consideration for the two of you to trade roles, because either one could have played the other’s role?  Can you tell us about how each of you interacted with each other and with Eric Bana as your characters have very different interactions with his character?

NP: I was excited to play Anne; it felt like it was something I hadn’t tried before. Obviously, we’re both the right age for either one of the parts. We’ll take it as a compliment to each of us that we could conceivably do each one. And yeah, it’s possible, but this was how we decided to choose the roles. And in terms of working with each other; Scarlett was a total dream partner to work with. I felt like we were on the same team, and yet just the fact that she was always so present, so focused and so real – I could believe everything and stay in the scene and feel supported. It was really, really one of my best, if not my best, acting experience opposite someone my age, it was so exciting to see someone I admired up close.

SJ: It was a real learning experience, because the sets were so drafty, and we were in these costumes which immediately separate. People don’t wanna kind of touch you or get too close. I mean, you’re all in this garb and it separates you from the guy eating the salami sandwich reloading the camera. It was so important for us to maintain the connection, even in between shooting that we were kind with one another cos we were kind of in it together and that kind of shooting experience could feel so isolating and it was. And we were shooting on digital film, it was a new process, and these big sets, these old castles and everybody was running around doing their thing.

It was really interesting; it was really an incredible learning experience. It was hard work but it paid off like huge in the end, because Natalie, being able to watch her performance change and manipulate and watch her make the discoveries in the scene. Y'know, and learning things about the scene or the relationship, ‘Oh yes, that’s interesting, when she does that it affects me this way,” Maybe even more than any other experience I’ve had working before, because it was in some way like one half of a whole character.

We never really had any scenes with Eric together, because of that I never knew what you’re relationship was with Eric. I was only able out of circumstance to define my own relationship with Eric because I had idea what was going on with Natalie? Did you feel the same way?

NP: Yeah, I mean we obviously knew from the script that it was he’s gentle and like, sexy with you and he was like, rough and challenging with me. (laughs) I mean I also didn’t know. I remember hearing people talk. “Wow, the sex scene was really hot,” y’know the crew members talking about whatever afterwards. And I was like, “Okay,”

But Eric played super... just like fun and funny…

SJ:  He’s such a kind of goof, you know he’s a comedian, of course, and he’s really involved with his family. His family was there the whole time. He's just talking about regular things.

NP: He’s like a bloke, this like, Australian bloke. {Does Eric Bana imitation} “My cars, my bike, and my kids…”

SJ: And then all of a sudden he’d become this, sort of …

NP: The King.

SJ: Regal… what was the word you used earlier?

NP: Strapping. He’s strapping.

 

MG: Since you both are known for playing strong. independent characters is becoming more involved  or perhaps producing films that promote strong viewpoints of women something you both want to do in the future?

NP: I wanna do things that are like real people, and I think that women can be weak or vulnerable or strong and they can be not very smart or brilliant. I don’t that think there’s one kind of woman out there, and it’s important to portray a wide variety. But I do … I have recently been getting frustrated with … {To Scarlett} I mean, I don’t know if you have this experience because I mean we probably read a lot of the same, like, variety of what’s out there, but… I mean the number of roles that are for like, strippers or prostitute, or the opposite, ‘she’s the moral center of the film’ like, ‘she’s the pure one’ ‘she’s the one that makes the man realise who he should be’ that sort of dichotomy, what exists so strongly, it’s like the Virgin/Whore thing in evidence at the greatest extent. And so, that’s really been bothering me, so, to find a character a character who’s like, complicated like the women in this film, is very, very exciting. And also, I love comedies, so much, and any time I read a comedy it’s like the girl’s in fashion, she’s like really into clothes, or like she just wants to get married. Those are not values that I care to jump the bandwagon on. So, I would love to do a comedy I would love to do a romantic comedy, but like, you don’t find something where the woman has a real job. There’s not…

SJ: (laughs) An administrative position.

NP: (laughs) Exactly, she’s a lab technician... I mean very exciting and something you wanna watch on film.. I mean joining the {in singsong voice} “all girls care about is fashion and boys,’ that’s not something that… So, yeah, it is frustrating but I also don’t wanna, like, bitch about it because I think you just find the things that are good, and I’ve been in a lucky enough position to see a lot of them.

 

MG: Has it occurred to you both to create your own production companies to foster the films you’d like to see made?

NP: We both have our own production companies

SJ: I echo very much what Natalie, how she feels about that. I feel like it’s the same way. I never think about finding a particularly strong... I think that I’ve found strength in every character that I’ve played y'know, even if it is a vulnerable person or someone who is easily manipulated. There are strengths to every personality. I wasn’t particularly looking for a “girl power” kind of a role; I think that maintaining integrity in a character is a positive thing for women to see. I think it’s inspiring for women of all ages. And I don’t think that necessarily has to do with a “girl power” type of film, or something like that.

NP: Well, cos that rings as false. That’s just as false as the woman as victim, or the woman as whore, or whatever stereotypes. Strong woman is as much of a fantasy as anything else.

SJ: Fer sure

NP: Complication is like, most, treating it as like humans and the variety that exists within humanity is a key.

 

Q: Do you think having a less attractive Henry would have affected your performances?

SJ: During the shooting, just coincidentally there was at the Portrait Gallery there was a Holbein exhibit, which at the first couple of weeks I had a couple of days off, so I went to go see. To say that he was unattractive, I mean, yes, certainly after …

NP: It’s not hard to be less attractive than Eric, that’s not difficult stuff.

SJ: (laughs) We’ve established this, everybody agrees on that. I think that he in his prime was at the time, a very attractive man. Certainly, he was very noble, he had strong features, he was healthy and tall, and athletic and well-fed and all these things. And I think it was during the separation and the forming of the Church of England and after Anne was beheaded, I think he really at this point, had started to decline. I think he started to develop all sorts of illness and gout and terrible things. But I don’t think he was considered to be unattractive, certainly from what I've read he was one of the more dashing royalty, certainly. I think the rest of the continent thought so, as well, so I don’t think it’s so unbelievable.

I’d say one of the very positive things about Eric playing the character, is that he is an actor today that happens to be extremely masculine. Which …

NP: It’s rare… (laughs)

SJ: That’s true, it’s rare. (laughs). But it’s true he is a very masculine presence, and I think in that regard it was a very fitting cast. I think he looked the part and he certainly had the force behind it to use to kind of intimidate and he felt very powerful.

 

Q: Can you tell us about future projects?

SJ: I’m working on the Mary, Queen of Scots project, that’s my next major something to accomplish. What are you working on?

NJ: I just finished Brothers, Jim Sheridan’s movie and I am doing press now. (laughs)

 

 

Eric Bana

 

MG: There’ve been so many different interpretations of Henry VIII in film, did you research any of those and what did you key into about him that helped with your sensitive portrayal of him?

Eric Bana: I lived as Henry VIII for three straight months prior to starting this film. I informed all of my family and friends that I was Henry VIII, and to act accordingly. Honestly, I read the script and I felt really passionately for this man that was at the center of the story. The fact that he was the king and that he was Henry VIII was almost secondary to me, I just really was drawn to the drama and shenanigans surrounding this fellow. And when I met with Justin the director, I said, “Look, I’m not someone who ever envisaged myself playing a king, or Henry VIII or anything like that”, but Henry, the guy, the man in this script, I said I think I can get to the core of him and I wanna play him just as a man, that’s all I know. So I just used that. I didn’t get too bogged down in history; I didn’t get too bogged down in any of that stuff, because I felt like at the core of it, it was kind of irrelevant. And the one thing I definitely didn’t do was watch a single film. I had a lot of people say “Oh, you’ve gotta check out so and so.” I went, absolutely not, and to this day, I still haven’t. I will eventually, but now I find that stuff way too dangerous and too much of an influence. So, I didn’t look at anything, to be honest. I didn’t read a lot of stuff, personally, cos I think it’s more interesting as a person, not just as an actor to, y’know then when you go and do the film it’s a whole lot more interesting the day to day stuff.  Yeah, I loved it.

 

Q: Do you think there’s a trend these days with your portrayal and Jonathan Rhys Meyers as modern day rock stars? He’s virile and sexy and he’s kind of lost his portliness?

EB: (laughs) You can’t do both? A lot of people forget that the younger Henry was a very athletic, very agile young man prior to the classic Holbein image that we have of him. I haven’t seen The Tudors, so I don’t know what kind of Henry Jonathan has done. I’ve seen promos and it’s probably a little more rock and roll than ours. I didn’t really have any particular style in mind, like I said, for me I was just playing him as the man that I read. I didn’t even feel like I was putting a modern take or any particular take, I guess I was putting my take on it.

 

Q: Henry is someone who had a hard time avoiding temptation, Natalie and Scarlett just told us how you had your family on set with you. How difficult is it for you as a popular leading man to have temptation everywhere?

EB: It’s a bitch! I gotta tell ya… No, serious, that was a joke – he says tongue-in-cheek. “It’s was a bitch” he says tongue-in-cheek. No, y’know, I think it’s the same for me as it is for anyone else. We all come across beautiful people, interesting people in our lives and I’m no different. So it’s the same for me as anyone else.

 

Q: Did you act differently with Natalie and Scarlett?

EB: That’s a tricky one. They’re both similar in the sense that they’re very professional, very well prepared, heaps of energy, very clear about what they wanna do, have very strong opinions in terms of their characters, but at the same time they’re really easygoing, which is a really good mix. Cos I think generally a lot of times, sometimes those sort of attitudes come with a kind of, not close-mindedness, but an inability to live and breathe in the moment, and they don’t suffer from that at all. They’re very free and very, very open to what you're doing. The one thing I loved personally was they were always, always responding to whatever it was you were doing. And you can sometimes perform with people who are incredible, but you can see that they are functioning kind of on their own? These girls aren’t like that, definitely whatever they had in their head will be turned by what you do if it’s appropriate. They’re just great; they’ve got heaps of energy, they’ve a great sense of humour, they were a great audience for me, I had a great time with them. And they’re just really smart, really smart girls that came really prepared, and rehearsal process was great with them and they worked really hard and I think it shows. They’ve done amazing performances.

 

Q: You started out as a comedian yet many of your previous roles are…

EB: My funniest.

 

Q: Exactly. Does the standup background every come out on the set or are you interested in playing a comedic role now?

EB: Film crews are really a good audience especially after the first week when people realise they’re not getting fired. Honestly, I get it out of my system there. I’ve always the company of crews and cast member and somehow I get it out of my system there and at home with my friends. And, sort of to a degree, by the time I finished comedy I was really burnt out of it, I’d sort of had enough. And I don’t really have a strong desire to prove myself in that area, or to go back to it in any great way. Honestly, I feel like a kid in a candy store with the stuff that I’ve been offered since then and I’m nowhere near burnt out of that stuff, yet. I guess as an actor, I’ve been attracted to the sort of films that I wanna go and see, and that tends to usually be drama-related. So as long as they give me these opportunities, I’m afraid I’ll be disappointing my comedy fans who are wanting to see something lighter, cos I think it’s just too good to be true.

 

Q: Any particular cut-ups on the set?

EB: Well, I’m gonna say that Natalie and I cost the production quite a bit of money one day, cos we cracked up for an hour and twenty. I don’t know what that works out to, but that’s expensive, anyways. That’s expensive in television, about an hour and fifteen. And there’s nothing worse than when that happens. The worst part of that is that people think all you need is to get some fresh air, “Perhaps you two would like to step out and get some fresh air?” Well, the fact that you’re stopping the production and allowing us to get some fresh air, now that is hilarious on its own. So now we’re completely gone and it’s because, as you see in the film, Justin likes to use a lot of really experimental camera angles and sometimes put the camera where you can’t see it. And Natalie and I were doing a scene, and I said, “They’re taking the piss,” And she said “What do you mean?” And I said, “There is no camera in the studio. I defy you to find the cameraman” And we looked around and we could not see where the camera was, and then way, way at the end of the corridor, through a curtain there’s someone going {waves}, with cans on. And that was it, we were done. So then of course every take that we would do, we just felt like we were in the middle of a scene from Days of Our Lives that we were doing just for ourselves.

She’s naughty, actually. She cracked up more than me and whenever the camera was on her and I was doing nothing, she would blame me. {In girly voice} “His lip moved! His lip quivered, you bastard!” I wasn’t doing anything. But they were a lot of fun.

 

Q: Are you concerned about this film finding an audience?

EB: No, in actual fact. I guess I’m somewhat nave; I read something like this, and I’ve read the book and I go, ‘Who would not wanna see this? Who would not wanna see this film’ And I saw the film with my wife and we were both like, ‘Wow!’ It’s so up the alley of so many people I know; it’s their kind of movie. So, and maybe I’m nave, but I can’t imagine this wouldn’t be everyone’s film. And I feel like that all the time, obviously, the films I do, not every time but generally I feel like, “Yeah, why wouldn’t you?” I think every generation deserves their chance to tell their version of this story. This story’s been told before and it will be told again. But I think through each generation’s eyes, it’s a bit different and I think it was exciting being a part of Justin’s vision. He’s a young director who I think’s got a lot to come and this was a really unique take. I think it was stylistically very interesting, but at the same time in total respect of the environment that it was shooting in and of the story. But, you know with a certain modern-ness to it.

 

Q: You have to play a character who is totally head over heels for these women. As an actor, what do you use to convey that kind of emotion?

EB: In any film I do, in any character, in any scene, I’m a firm believer – I just surrender myself to the moment. It’s all just about what’s happening there and then. I tend not to use a whole lot of imagination in those times. I really enjoy pretending that I am that person for real, and I don’t, me, the person doesn’t exist on any other level at all. So I just always identified with Henry and I always felt for him. I think we’ve all behaved like idiots in love, in passion. It was a very easy go-to place for me to justify so much of Henry’s behaviour. Anytime I had dialog that I thought was gonna be tricky to deliver, or situation that might sound a little melodramatic, or a little crazy. It was like, ‘Well, no!’ In the throes of passion and all that kinda stuff, we’ve all made complete dicks of ourselves and keeping that in mind I think it leaves you very free-spirited. And then, y’know, you’ve got Scarlett and Natalie to work with – it’s easy.

 

Q: Can you talk about hanging on to your uber-masculinity when you’re wearing puffy shirts and poncey outfits

EB: Poncey outfits? Well, y'know it’s hard not feel pretty important when you walk the set every two days with a different costume, and you walk on the set and no matter how used to seeing costumes these people are, the British crew, they would stop what they were doing, whether it was myself or Natalie or Scar, they would stop what they were doing and just go, “Wow!” And the costume did have that effect; the work of Sandy Powell is so amazing. None of this us are off the rack in sizes, everything we wore every single garment is made for us specifically. And you put that stuff on and you walk into the room… I jokingly said to Justin and the crew, “Don’t fill me up with this king stuff. Don’t call me the king; don’t refer to me as the king. It’s either Eric or Henry” And so, of course, {In loud Town Crier voice} “The King! Here comes the King! Look out, the King!” I thought perhaps I shouldn’t have said that, I should have issued a memo saying, ‘Everyone is to refer to me as the King.’ Then I wouldn’t have to have worried about it. But I’m happy for you to go to costume store and wear it to a party and tell me you don’t feel pretty good in it.

 

Q: Did you get to keep any of it?

EB: No, not one of them as yet, but I need to get to work on that. They were incredible and they weighed a ton. There was no lightweight version of anything, I mean really amazing.

 

Q: The popular image of Henry is an heir-crazy man desperate to maintain his throne. Is there anything you discovered in your research that people may not have known?

EB: I think the one thing that people can quite easily forget – I mean, I know he has this reputation for being this crazy man in pursuit of a male heir. But if people just stop and think for a second what that must’ve been like for him, that there was a very legitimate threat to the security of his empire for him not to have provided a male heir, and none of us know what that sort of pressure would be like. I guess it’s funny when you get into these characters you start to see them from a different angle, and like I said before I was very able to justify a lot of his behaviour. I think it’s one of the luxuries of being an actor is it’s the only time in your life you get to suspend moral judgment. All of you can say what you like about Henry, and judge whomever you like. But for me, for three or four months, I get to have no judgment upon him. Yeah, I found that interesting I would almost some days feel like, ‘Of course he should do this’ and ‘Of course he should do that’ In some ways it is surprising how much you’re able to justify things. You do get to look at history from a different angle, I guess.

 

Q: On another project, you’ve called your upcoming role as Nero in the Star Trek film a “cameo,” is it really just a bit part? Is he the main villain?

EB: I guess he kinda is, but in the context of the roles that I usually do, the weight is firmly on other areas. It’s not one of those roles where I’m carrying the movie, is what I’m saying. I feel I’m very much in supporting role. I’m not one of the main guys. So I guess “cameo” is just an off-handed way of saying, I don’t feel I am, as in this film or in some other films where you’re clearly carrying a lot of the film. It’s a luxury to not be in that position and it’s nice to be offered a part like that.

 

Q: Why did you want to do that role?

EB: I couldn’t resist. I read it and I know J.J. {Abrams} pretty well and there was just no way. It was just too much fun.

 

Q: So you’re not a Trekkie?

EB: I liked the show. I liked the original. As a kid, I loved it. I haven’t seen a lot of the movies since, but I was a fan of the original series. But if I was crazy about the original series it wouldn’t have been enough to make me sign on to a film I didn’t wanna do. I mean, literally I just read the script and I just went, ‘That is an awesome script’ And it’s J.J. and this would be a good time to play a character like that. It was a very easy decision. Cameo also takes a lot of pressure off yourself, so I just keep telling myself it’s a cameo.

 

Q: Are you worried that this film might be a hard sell to audiences who may dismiss it as a chick flick? If you had to sell this as a publicist how would you promote this film?

EB: Quite honestly, like I said before I can’t imagine a person that this film wouldn’t appeal to. I don’t think you have to be into period films, I don’t think it’s a chick flick; I mean, I think it will obviously has immense appeal for women and I can see why. But I think historically it’s very interesting, I think kind of dramatic level it’s extremely interesting. I think it’s extremely well written and very delicately put together and I think this is the type of film that has the potential to be very messy, but Peter Morgan’s writing is so succinct and so very carefully laid out, it’s very, I think it’s quite simple to follow. There’s a lot of information to follow, but its all there. Ultimately, I found it very intriguing, and I think there are three or four or five characters in the film where you could have the film just about them, and I think that’s not very usual. I think usually if you’re lucky, you have a film that the film is enough sustain one character, maybe two. But I think in this film there’s three or four characters there that could very easily hold the film up on their own, and I think that’s unusual, and especially with these three characters. And I think it’s the best performances, the girls have delivered. I really believe that I think they’ve done incredible work in the film. I just think it’s a lot of fun. I’d implore people to go and see it, particularly women. I think it raises a lot of really interesting issues internationally and unintentionally, and I think that a lot of those issues are timeless.

 

Q: This film and your upcoming film, The Time Traveler’s Wife, are both based on popular books. Did that have any hand in your decision to take on these projects?

EB: No, I simply take it as a sign of collective good taste. I think there’s always a reason with literature why the cream rises to the top. Y’know the thing about books is that they’re not weighed down I don’t think, by the same publicity that films are. And I don’t know about you, but where I live in Melbourne I walk around the corner to a very small bookstore and it has the staff’s picks at the very beginning. And the woman behind the counter, Mary and Sharon will tell my wife and I what she’s read and what she loves. Word of mouth holds so much sway in literature, and so I usually think that if I’m signing on to something that’s been a beloved book and a book that I’ve read and I’ve enjoyed that it’s a sign of collective good taste more so than anything. And I know that I’m saying that in a very nave fashion. I know that you walk into a Borders and you can get bombarded by the power of the publicity machine, but I think generally with literature quite often the cream rises to the top.

 

MG: Have you seen a finished version of The Time Travelers Wife, yet?

EB: No, we just finished it before Christmas, so it was an amazing experience. Robert Schwentke, I think will do an amazing job putting it together. Rachel McAdams, is about as good as it gets for me in terms of working with someone and she was incredible. I think we’re really interesting together. I think it’ll be an interesting film, I hope it’ll be special.

 

MG: Are you doing anything else besides your “cameo”?

EB: No, my cameo and then I’ll go back home. I’m reading at the moment. I haven't fell in love with anything as yet.

 

MG: No muscle car racing?

EB: Oh, yeah, lotsa racing, but you don’t wanna hear about that, that’s a whole other three hours.

 

Q: Is Star Trek finished?

EB: No they started shooting quite a while ago, I got the plum gig on that film, I’ve gotta say. I haven't even started yet. So I just go in at the very end and do my cameo.

 

Q: You take your children with you on location shoots, what sort of things you do together to you occupy their time?

EB: It sounds a lot more noble than what it is, the reason that my kids come to the set is so that I can actually see them. Because when you’re making a film, even thought they travel with me, I’m very much a ghost presence. So, when you’re shooting a film you really don’t get to be dad and you really don’t get to be a husband, you don’t really exist at all. The reason by family travel with me is so that I can physically get to see them, but you don’t really get to play that traditional role for that period of your life, it’s sort of suspended. But I think it’s extremely important for them to visit the set, because I have a theory that I really want my kids to … the only correlation that they make between dad being in films and reality is just a lot of people doing a lot of hard work. And I think that’s a really healthy thing for them, and that’s why I drag them around. Because with everything else that people are impinged by in terms of media and magazines and so forth, for them, they’ve met a lot of people that I’ve worked with and all they see is another person that just worked really hard on the set with a lot of people that work long hours. They don’t see anything glamourous about it; they just see a bunch of talented people. So, that’s the other main reason it’s important that they do that.

 

Q: Have they had any reaction to you as Henry?

EB: They got very disturbed because they met Scarlett and Natalie on the second day of shooting, and I think my son was quite besotted with Anne. And was most upset when he found out that dad was partly responsible for her being killed. So he kept asking how Queen Anne was?

 

Q: How old are they?

EB: Eight and five.

 

~ Mighty Ganesha

Feb 11th, 2008

 

 

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