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Entretien avec Ben Barnes à Berlin

Par Kaines, le lundi 18 février 2008 à 00:47:01

Interview with Ben Barnes, english version - European round table at 2008 Berlin International Film Festival about Prince Caspian

A journalist: Is your life changing with this experience?

I don't know honestly. I'm not sure I'm very well prepared for that aspect. I'm very excited about the fact the people can see the work and I can see the opportunities that give me to do more works in different kinds of parts and very through myself too. I'm just so... I'm just so excited about the different stories I'm reading. From that point of view, it's fantastic! I'm starting to be invited to lots of cool parties. (laughter) But of course, I'm still working on the side!

I'm very excited the people can be seeing the work that we have done in the past, during a couple of years.

A journalist: Do you feel pressured or intimidated to taking this role in this film... world-wide?


The same journalist : Er...

I'm kidding! (laughter) The Narnia's books are like an institution in England particularly obviously. I read the books when I was eight and I watched the TV series on the BBC at the same time. I had fun, that was completely magical with Samuel West who played Caspian. It will always stick on my memory. And then when I went to the university I studied literature, my special topic. So I went through all the J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis,... So I was very familiar with this. The opportunity was very exciting!

A journalist: Can you tell please about your family. How were your parents?

Are you interested by my parents!?

The same journalist : Yes!

What do you know about my parents?

The same journalist : I don't know. That's why I asked!

I see. Well, I grew up in South-West London in a very close family with my parents. I have got a younger brother: Jack. He is now 23. Much cooler than I am. Very lie back and easy going, and party animal. So I just try to be more like him. I take his advice. I grew up with lots of music. My dad was very interested by the Stones, the Beatles, the Eagles, and the all great bands. He takes me to the concerts. And I decided to go to university to see what I can do. Yes, no, yes... I was right: I wanted to be an actor.

The same journalist: So, your parents were not against you becoming an actor?

They said to me when I was 17 and I said I'm going to do this carrier... they said: Go to university first. And when I finished the school I didn't go to university. I said I'm going to do others jobs: music, TV,... When they stop to telling me to go to university, I decided that I wanted to go. They were perfect.

A journalist: When did you decide to become an actor?

A company came to my school when I was 15. It was an audition. But my father is a psychiatrist and my mum a secretary. Between them they have the all gamuts of emotions. I think that has something to do with an open family.

A journalist: In the movie, you're playing a boy almost 10 years old...

The only things he says in the book: he's about the same age as Peter.

The same journalist: So he's 13...

He doesn't say he's 13. The only things he says is what Peter said at one point: he sees a boy about his age. Peter is supposed to be 13, you're right. But you can write the many ages he wanted. In the first film, William played Peter, he's now 20. So he can play 13. So they had to find someone look the same sort of age like William. And I'm little bit younger than I am. I think that it was necessary to have the same age. And lots of thirty older are playing teenagers. It's particularly important in our version of the film how old he is. In the book, Caspian has a nurse, and a professor instead of when the nurse is fired. Caspian tells very intelligent questions, which are not the questions of 13 years old. We don't have the nurse in the film, so a couple of years have past... so he's maybe 17 or 18. Something likes that. I have a chance the time before to have to play a king.

A journalist: It's very good to have this age younger. You have a kind of sex appeal... Are you afraid about to be a new sex symbol in Hollywood?

Er... I don't know. If some people can see the movie for that reason... then great. I think is about to me to choose different types in the future, what kind of actor I am. I never choose Caspian for that reason.

A journalist: Aren't you afraid with this film or Stardust, before you play on stage...

Yes. When I started I was. I did a couple of tv jobs and others things. For a film, there are a lot of people around you, watching what you are doing. You have to be so much smaller. When I started shooting, I have to be on right kind of level to reel play moment. Something unbelievable. I think I'm still learning. At the moment I'm doing a film with Colin Firth (Easy Vertue), and I feel very smaller. You believe in everything he does. I'm learning all the time. I'm fascinated.

A journalist: You said you are very familiarized with Narnia and I guess you have a sort of image of the Prince Caspian in your head...

I thought that he was 13 with blond hair, (laughter) because I watched the BBC series and I read the book. So I knew he's blond. But it makes a lot of sense how he is. He's supposed to be a swarthy foreign of specific islands. That's what he says in the book. The sound is a kind of European accent, and so I think it was very useful to have Spanish, Italian and Mexican actors. It was a great challenge and it is an interesting aspect of the film. Sergio Castellitto is wonderful!

An Italian journalist: Of course. He's Italian!

Yes! (laughter)

Elbakin.net: What do you expect after this film and Stardust. The both are about fantasy. Is it a choice or... ?

Not particularly. It is just popular at the moment with a kind of revolution of the Potter, The Lords of the Rings, Eragon and all this. You can see it with friends, family, and children. The people have a real craving for. I'm shooting a romantic comedy at the moment and it couldn't be more different. But I'm having great time. I will have to do so different things in the future... That kind of fantasy films is the most fun job, because you get love, horse ridden; fight,... It's a boy's dream! You have to do it, six day a week!

A journalist: You choose to drop out of a play for the film. What your colleagues think about that?

They were wonderful. They couldn't be more open. I'm still friend with lot of them. They were very warm with me. They just understood that there was something I had to do. It was a very very difficult time for me, because it was my dream to work in a theatre. It was just tragic for me: two of my dreams came to in the same year, and I had to make a decision... not to regret to do Hollywood film for the rest of my life.

A journalist: How was the shooting with the 4 Pevensies? It was probably fun, but can you tell something specific, stories, or problems... ?

My relationship with William was very interesting. He has a lot of fun. There is on the script a sort of conflict between the two protagonists to know who the leader is. I think that the conflict is always interessant in a story, even between two characters on the same side. It's interesting. I think that we couldn't have the same relationship in real life. Unfortunately for me, William is very physical and loves to jump, run... and I don't. So we go to fight staff: he was on the running machine for like an hour and me (he's out of breath)...but then I go back to the hotel and eat pizza with Anna. I'm not the best of the both. (laughter)

A journalist: It's not very commune for actors to go to the university and finish it...

Well, I think that in England the tradition is links... we have so many greats ones. I wanted to go to university because I thought that I could. I wasn't 100 % sure that I wanted to be an actor, and I had to explore the others avenues. I did grammar and English together. It was very academic, it wasn't practical. It's was theory. But it was great because it was the criticism of a lot of books and poetry. Now I read some scripts and I have to decide which one is good. So basically I have a degree for that! (laughter)

The same journalist: Do you read bad scripts?

Yes of course. Hundreds! (laughter)

A journalist: do you remember something particular for the casting?

It was a very quick process for me. Somebody saw me in a play. I read one scene. Then I think the next day, I did a screen test with the director. For it they had a table with different swords. I just told that: I will never know how to use that! A sword is a little bit dangerous. They said me: just swing with!

Elbakin.net: Will you be on stage again or... ?

Definitely not. Not for this year because the opportunity to do others films... Theatre is a wonderful thing: to have the public reaction, the silence,... It's an electric place! So one day, soon.

A journalist: What's your favourite scene?

I haven't seen it. So I don't know!

The same journalist: So when you were shooting...

I love the scene with Sergio Castellitto (who plays the king Miraz): I had my sword on his throat and he has a kind of smile... makes me scare! This kind of moment... but I don't how it will be on the screen.

A journalist: Do you know that Sergio is although director? Would you like to work with him?

Yes, I think he's great! I love the accent too, keep talking please! (this journalist is Italian) (laughter)

A journalist: can you please talking about your first big experience, Stardust?

It was a great training round for me... to walk near Sarah Miller. I was near to have a heart attack! In the beginning in a magic market place, I just looking around... and they said to me: what you're doing now, you will do it for an half an hour. (laughter) So I did not so many work!

A journalist: You're the hero in the film?

No, I'm in the first ten minutes! I played the hero's father.

  1. Entretien avec Ben Barnes, version française
  2. Interview with Ben Barnes, english version - European round table at 2008 Berlin International Film Festival about Prince Caspian

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