IOAN GRUFFUDD Edited by Michael J. Lee, Executive Editor for Radio Free Entertainment
July 6, 2005
In the comic-to-film action adventure Fantastic Four, a group of five individuals embark on an outer space mission into the heart of a cosmic storm. But when a miscalculation exposes them to a mysterious radiation, they begin to exhibit superhuman powers. One member of the expedition chooses to use his newfound gifts for personal gain, while the other four take the more altruistic approach.
Ioan Gruffudd plays brilliant but underfunded scientist Reed Richards, whose power allows him to stretch and twist his body into virtually any shape he can imagine. As part of the Fantastic Four, he is known as Mr. Fantastic. In this interview, Ioan talks about playing the leader of the superhero quartet.
MEDIA: Tell us a little about your character.
IOAN: Well, Reed Richards, a.k.a. Mr. Fantastic, is a brilliant, brilliant scientist. He wants to harness the power and the energy of a cosmic storm that's about to hit the earth. So he goes up to space to try and harness this energy, and for the first time in his life, he miscalculates--which he never does--and the storm hits them prematurely, and they all develop these incredible superhero powers. And his specifically is the power to stretch, or the power to become malleable and manipulate his body into any way, shape, or form.
Were you aware of the popularity of the Fantastic Four comic when you were offered the role?
To be honest with you, no, I had never read the comic book. I was not even aware of these characters. I hadn't even heard of them. So to be honest with you, I came to this movie from the basis of the script. I read the script and I loved the character and I loved the story. And subsequently, I've read the comics, and I've fallen in love with them. I've fallen in love with this world because it's such an old-fashioned world of good versus evil, and pure imagination of these extraordinary characters.
Is this a movie for everyone?
Yes. I think that was another element that attracted me to them--that they are a family of superheroes. It's not just a superhero that has anonymity. These are regular people who are thrust into these adverse conditions and we see how they deal with that. And because they are a family, we see the bickering, the fighting, the tragedy...and out of that comes a lot of comedy.
How does Fantastic Four distinguish itself from other summer blockbusters?
What will make our movie stand apart from all the others is the fact that it is lighthearted. And it's funny, and it's comedic, and it is fantastical. Excuse the pun, but it's true. I think it's a tonic to all the dark movies that are out there.
When will we see more of the Fantastic Four on the big screen?
Well, if everybody goes to see the movie...We are all signed up to do number two and number three, so if this is a success, we'll certainly be off to shoot it next year, I'm sure.