James D’Arcy Interview
James D’Arcy Interview
Did you do any kind of other research on top of the script and the book, anything like that?

James D’Arcy

Not really, no I don't think I did [laughs]. No, it was all sort of there on the page, I didn't need to go and become a nuclear physicist in order to play one. I watched quite a lot of David Attenborough, which is no great hardship, but only because I liked the quality of his voice, and I thought that could be nice for Old Sixsmith. But beyond that no, it wasn't a heavily researched film.
So there's a hint of David Attenborough in Old Sixsmith?

James D’Arcy

Oh, there's more than a hint, yeah. He was very much at the forefront of my mind.
What was it like working with Ben Whishaw?

James D’Arcy

Lovely. But I didn't really work with him very much, that's the weird thing. In fact the way the story goes, we only had two scenes together. But it's interesting because I feel like that storyline seems to have chimed quite a lot with people, in terms of that love affair. But I don't think either Ben or I had really considered that might be the case when we were shooting it.
Had you met him before?

James D’Arcy

I had yes, we made a film together. We did a film called The Trench in about the mid nineties; he was about seventeen, he was still at school, he didn't know if he wanted to be an actor. He was young and uncertain about what he wanted to do with his life, so it was really lovely to be reunited with him.
And Halle Berry?

James D’Arcy

Lovely. Such a nice woman. Very sweet, and welcoming to me. I liked her hugely.
I thought she was great in that segment, the nuclear one.

James D’Arcy

Yes, she's terrific, she's really terrific. And she broke her foot about five or six days into shooting. She couldn't walk on it for three weeks, but then she was back and kind of amazing. She was running six weeks later, probably a little sooner than she would have liked, but she was doing it. She was so determined to stay with the film, she was terrified they were going to fire her… like they were going to fire her! But she felt like the train had left the station, and she wanted to remain involved. She, and Tom Hanks, and all of the big A-list film stars, everyone just showed up and chipped in, and it was a lovely experience.
Do you have a favourite scene in the film, either that you're in or not in?

James D’Arcy

I have lots of favourite scenes in the film if the truth be told. I like the sentence that the Yoona-939 character says, 'I will not be subjected to criminal abuse'. I enjoyed that. But also I love the bit where Doona Bae says, 'If I choose to imagine Heaven, it's one door closing and another door opening', and as she says it, the cut is to Adam Ewing arriving home. That really, you know, welled me up. I've seen the film three times, and every time it gets me.
Doona was great, I thought. Really brilliant.

James D’Arcy

When she arrived, she could barely speak a word of English. It's extraordinary what she did. She just willed herself to speak English.
Did they cut anything out that you were conscious of?

James D’Arcy

They topped and tailed a lot of things, that's pretty normal. They said they didn't cut out any scene in its entirety, or maybe they cut one, but very little. They did cut out a kind of Cloud Atlas-y moment when I was in the elevator with Halle. She's saying that her first job as a journalist was interviewing Alfred Hitchcock, and my character says, 'Oh, I just took my niece to see Psycho'. And I wrote to them all three or four months later saying it was a very odd Cloud Atlas moment, because I'd just been cast as Anthony Perkins in the film about the making of Psycho - I wondered why they didn't write back to that email! It was because they were thinking, 'Err...we're going to cut that out, actually...'
I really enjoyed your Anthony Perkins performance in Hitchcock. Is there any suggestion of reprising the part, maybe doing an Anthony Perkins biopic?

James D’Arcy

Thank you. No, not yet, but I'm waiting for that phone call to come in!
Fingers crossed, then. What's your next project?

James D’Arcy

I've finished a film called The Philosophers, which is going to come out hopefully this year, they're just selling it in Berlin. It is a much smaller, independent film, but has very big aspirations. It swings high for a small film. I shot a pilot called Those Who Kill for an American channel, which is a sort of, obviously, a Danish show that they've mined and translated and what have you. So we'll wait to see if we'll do more of that.
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Content updated: 16/06/2019 13:51

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