Thursday, July 9, 2015

'Anthropoid' Press Conference at Karlovy Vary Film Festival

Full Press Conference

Transcript of Jamie's answers

What attracted you to Anthropoid? 

I think when I first read the script, the fact that I didn’t know about the story – something like that, which had such a massive knock-on effect on an entire nation – I found it kind of mad to have not known about that. The heroism involved, the sacrifice involved...they felt – particularly Jan – like someone you could relate to. Guys who were fighting for something that they truly believed in, but who were normal guys. 

What do you like about the part? 

You always need a drive in everything you do and a reason to tell the story. As an actor, you’ve got to have something that drives you every day on the set. Could there be any stronger drive needed than the opportunity to assassinate someone so horrific. There’s nobody in the world now who can’t see that Heydrich was evil... So to have that, to bring that to work every day, I’m so excited about the idea of having that as my drive.... 

How will you be preparing for the role? 

People have different ways and means of researching characters and getting into the mindset of whoever they’re going to play. Sometimes you do things that you feel are right to embody a character, and sometimes you push limits. The way I prepared to play someone like Spector in The Fall – you take yourself to dark places. You find out a lot about yourself that maybe you don’t always want to find out and it’s quite an interesting process. For this particular project, I don’t think I have to go to those similar kinds of places. I think there are things about Jan that will make sense to me more personally rather than having to really dig too far. He’s a man with a mission to carry out and it’s a mission for the right reasons. It’s not someone like Spector who is murdering people just for no good reason... This is murder in a sense, but it’s for a greater good.

And what’s your view of Jan Kubiš? 

I feel that Jan’s the closest character to myself that I’ve played. And so that means that there’s parts of the research that I’ve done for other characters that don’t need to be done. They don’t make sense just as long as you have a very strong idea of why they are doing what they are doing and the situation at the time. I think that is enough. 

You’ll be playing a Czech national hero. Will you be trying to “humanize” the man behind the myth?

I think you said it there [it’s about] trying to make him someone people can relate to...These were just normal guys who were fighting for something they fiercely believed in. A lot of that work, thankfully, is done for me on the page. All the human flaws and all the things that make him a tangible person, the everyman you can relate to are on the page, which is great. They’re heroes in the sense of what they did, but very much on the page you see that they are flawed, and have very human aspects to them that would hinder trying to carry out an exercise like this. 

Some people say that the Heydrich assassination was pointless. And that it only resulted in horrible reprisals like the Lidice massacre. What’s your take on this? 

I guess it’s not really my place to say. People are going to look at it from both sides. Ultimately, I think it sent a very strong message to show that the Czech people were up for a fight and weren’t willing to be treated in that way. For me, I see it as a very heroic act. I think if I was in that position myself, I probably would have done the same thing. I have a strong understanding of why people see it the other way, based on events afterwards, but for me personally, I think they ultimately had to do what they had to do.


Press Conference




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