EW has posted an interview on my favorite member of the Volturi cast, Michael Sheen. Michael discusses his roles in The Underworld series, New Moon, The Damned United, Alice in Wonderland, and Frost/Nixon.
Here’s a sneak peek:
It seems like there’s these two very divergent strands in your career right now: playing these true-life figures, and playing decidedly unrealistic characters: vampires, werewolves, and now, the White Rabbit in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. How is your preparation different for the more fantastical roles?
It’s all in order to achieve the same things: an imaginative connection and an emotional connection. In the case of playing the real-life people, it means watching as much footage as I can, reading about them as much as I can, maybe meeting people who knew them. I’m ultimately just looking for the bits in me that correspond to them.
Every time you play a more fantastical character that’s been done many times, like a vampire, you’re kind of riffing on what’s already gone before. You’re partly using what the audience already know and expect in order to slightly subvert their expectations, to play with that. Which is sort of what Peter Morgan does in the films that we’ve done about the real people.
When I was doing Aro in New Moon, [I thought about] certain characters that scared me as a child, like the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or the Blue Meanie in Yellow Submarine. It was their voice, and it was a certain softness that you could tell could turn nasty at any time. I think it’s a fantasy parent figure in a way. A parent can seem very kind and gentle, but as any child knows, as soon as that parent gets stressed, they can suddenly turn and get a bit angry. And that, writ large, can be very, very scary.
Are you excited to return to planet Twilight for Breaking Dawn?
I am! The whole Twilight juggernaut has been focusing on Eclipse for awhile, which I’m not in. They haven’t turned their attention to Breaking Dawn yet. But I’m looking forward to donning the red contacts again.