Saturday, July 4, 2009

More Interview Snippets From the Jules Verne Festival

This seems to be Mary, Jamie, and James answering the same questions.

Transcript (James only):

I didn't want to be the character. I wanted to be Jamie's character, but he'd already been cast as Apollo. I wanted to be Apollo. I was like hey, I wanna be the good guy, I don't want to be this douchebag. And they were like.. everybody [in America?] was like, but you'll be perfect!I'm like what do you mean, you don't even know me, what do you mean I'd be perfect for this guy?
Can you imagine James as Apollo? Honestly, I don't think he would have been suitable. No offense to Jamie, but there's something very... conventional about Apollo and his father-son relationship issues and his looks and everything. I think James is unconventional and has something different about him, and he suits the anti-hero role much better.

I'd done Bridget Jones' Diary. Funnily enough, just this morning when getting on the Eurostar someone came up, "Are you on.. you're on something, I've seen you. " I said, "Battlestar Galactica." She went, "Battle-what?"(befuzzled look) And I went, "Um, maybe you saw me in Bridget Jones." (acts excited) "Oh my god, yes! Bridget!" I was like, "Yeah, well, that's it."
I get that reaction from my friends too. BSG? "No, I don't watch that kind of stuff." Bridget Jones? "Oh, THAT guy!" It's a shame, because while BJD is a decent enough comedy and James did a good job on the role, Tom is not much of a character in the film. I'm frankly surprised people remember him by it - speaks volumes of how well he played the part.

So I'd done BJD. I don't know, a lot of people thought I was gay, cause I played the gay friend. I would get a lot of offers for... not a lot of others, that's not true, a few coming through: "Hey, you could be the gay friend in this show." And then I read this script, and it was like, he's in bed with this woman, he's kissing this one.. I was like.. I'll do it, I'll do this one right now.
*Tries to imagine James playing "the gay friend" on various shows.* OK, that was not a pleasant mental image. Sadly, the token gay friend roles mostly suck, and if he had done even one more, I suspect the British audience would have forever stamped him as the funny gay sidekick. I'm glad he had the sense to keep out of that.

It's a wonderful part to play. As an actor, you want to have on some level as many different... *I* wanted to have as many different... colors as I could have in this thing. And I also was... I'm interested in acting, not interested in being a hero or being a good guy, but I get to America sometimes, I know these people who are like.. I think they think acting is all about being... (poses with a stern look) No, that's.. So I don't mind going to those places where I think you as an audience... you're revolted by this man.
I wonder if this is one of the key differences between American and British films and TV. American films will have heroes and British films will have anti-heroes. Even within the same genre, you can see a difference. Take something like Sex and the City versus the aforementioned Bridget Jones' Diary. Somehow, British TV is full of loser protagonists. I should look deeper into this sometime.

I'm actually really impressed by some American shows recently though, because there's been a break from that routine. The Sopranos is a good example: a show with nothing but selfish, petty, greedy, lying, cheating characters. You despise them and yet you feel for them and even root for them when things go wrong. Because we're all pretty rotten inside on some level. You can relate to people whose bad sides are out in the open. And when people like that do something good, it has more of an effect on you as a viewer than when the heroes do it. You expect Apollo to help people and be courageous, but when Baltar does that, it really makes you think and question who he is as a character. Which is, I guess, what James was saying in some of the stuff in my previous post.

More Jules Verne transcripts coming soon!

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