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Talking about Killing Bono interviews and The Seventh Son
I have to ask about The Seventh Son, I hear that it’s not going to stick super close to the novels.
Ben Barnes: “No, it’s not. I think because it’s not like Twilight or The Hunger Games or one of these series that people are obsessed with and want every detail to be correct or exactly as it is. I think there’s more license, because they are not as well known, to kind of make it really filmic. We have a brilliant director Sergey Bedrov who made the film Mongol. I think we just want to make it really visual. A lot of the book takes place in a hut and in a house and that’s not particularly exciting. So, I think they are making it with lot more action. My character in the novel is like 13 and obviously I’m not 13. We are just making it slightly more adult as well.”
Having already done epic fantasy in your career, what was the appeal of a project like The Seventh Son? Do you enjoy working in these entirely created worlds?
BARNES: I do enjoy that. I think escapism is very important, certainly in my life. I love nothing more than escaping into the world of a film or a novel. To be involved in creating that for other people is a privilege. But, I did say to myself, “No more swords now. I’m done with that.” The films that I’ve done without swords have obviously been seen by far fewer people. But, whenever I finish a project, I want to do the exact opposite. After I did Killing Bono, which was me lunging in leather trousers and screeching and doing dancing that will make people cry with laughter, I went on stage and played a World War I officer in a Trevor Nunn production of Birdsong. That was a very passionate and moving story. And then, I went and did a film called The Wedding, which was a ridiculous comedy with [Robert] DeNiro and Robin Williams and Susan Sarandon. That’s like Meet the Parents, but with more swearing. Whatever I’ve just finished, I want to do the opposite because you take a bit of those characters with you and you always want to balance yourself out again. But, to answer your question, which I’m not doing, Jeff Bridges was the appeal, really. Just to work with Jeff Bridges, if I’d had to dress up as his gimp and have a mask on the whole time, I would do it because he’s a genius. I’m very much looking forward to working with him. All of my scenes are with him. And Legendary Pictures is producing the film, and they have such an amazing track record. They make such cool movies there, and the artwork was just incredible. I figured, why not? If you’re going to get pigeon-holed, you might as well get pigeon-holed for big fantasy films.
You have some really fantastic projects coming up with The Seventh Son, The Wedding, and The Words. Is there anything you can say about those projects?
Ben Barnes: Yeah. I’ve already shot The Words and The Wedding. I shot The Words in Montreal, and it’s a pretty amazing city. We had great directors on that film. The cast is obviously amazing. I didn’t really get to meet the cast, because that film is sort of written in three sections. It’s a very interesting story about morality and perspective. I think it was one of those things where every actor who read it was like, ‘That’s really interesting.’ It was interesting to see Bradley Cooper and people like that do something really different and dramatic. I think he’s going to be amazing in it. The Wedding was an incredible experience. I got to work with Robert De Niro and Robin Williams, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Katherine Heigl, who I thought were all wonderful. It was a great learning experience for me, and I think it’s going to be really funny. I’m the groom, so I’m stuck with this ridiculous dysfunctional family swirling around me. I’m the exasperated guy in the middle of it all. I hope that will be very funny too, and it’s very sweet in its own way as well. It’s kind of like Meet the Parents, but with a lot of swearing.
What kind of student were you in high school?
I went to a very academically competitive high school. So I was always quite studious and quiet, just to keep up with the other geniuses who were in my school. I would just hang out in the music department and I’d play in loads of bands. In the summers, I’d do more dramatic stuff with a theater company.
I just kept to myself, really. I always looked really young for my age. And once I hit 23, 24 and 25, I was then allowed to play the cool 18-year-olds and stuff.
Ben and Nick Hamm talking about Killing Bono