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COMIC-CON INTERVIEW:
FREIDA PINTO and STEPHEN DORFF on 'IMMORTALS'

Contributed by Courtney Quinn, Entertainment Reporter for RadioFree.com
July 23, 2011

Set against the backdrop of ancient Greek mythology, Immortals tells the tale of a young man named Theseus (Henry Cavill) who, fueled by the desire to avenge his slain mother, rises up against the evil King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) to thwart his power-hungry plans of overthrowing the gods themselves. Directed by visionary filmmaker Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall), this action adventure epic also stars Freida Pinto, Luke Evans, Kellan Lutz, Isabel Lucas, and Stephen Dorff.

In this interview from Comic-Con, actors Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire) and Stephen Dorff (Blade) talk about their experiences of working on Immortals and promoting the film at San Diego's annual pop culture convention.




MEDIA: Freida, it's been great to see the world discover you these last few years. How have things been since Slumdog Millionaire?

FREIDA: I think what is amazing about the way my career has been shaped is that there's an immense amount of growth. There's almost no time to think sometimes, but for me, when people keep asking me, "Was it amazing working with all these handsome men?" I'm saying like, "Yeah! And they're super talented!" I mean, just sharing the screen space with Stephen Dorff, or having Mickey Rourke in your film...You know, it's just amazing to have that experience. So I think it's just a really fast growth, which I wouldn't have had if I was just staying in Bombay doing nothing.

STEPHEN: What's awesome about Freida is that she's so sweet and generous, and also, she's so willing to learn and get better each time. A lot of people aren't--they would be too nervous to do that. You know, Tarsem would use me sometimes to deliver my lines a little differently to Freida to maybe get a different reaction out of her just to mix it up, so he'd have more to play with in the editing room. And it's fun to do that kind of stuff, especially when they're so open to doing that. [to Freida] And you're pretty darn talented, too, missy.

FREIDA: Thank you! [laughs]

Was doing a big action movie like this always a part of your career aspirations?

FREIDA: Like Stephen said today so perfectly on the panel, it gets boring if you just stick to one kind of genre, one kind of filmmaking. You want to be challenged, and that's the whole fun joy of being an actor--to do everything that's different as well, to be able to entertain people from kids to the teenagers.



Stephen, how would you describe your character Stavros?

STEPHEN: My character, I would say, is probably the most grounded of all of them, just because I don't have the problems that are going on within some of the characters--like Freida's character's an oracle, she's sensing all these things, she's much more connected to the gods and to Theseus' issue about avenging his mother's passing. Stavros is somebody they need. He's much more of a lone wolf, a thief, kind of a rogue soldier that ultimately would rather team up with the gorgeous girl and the boys than die on his own, you know? So I think it was that simple of a choice for him. [laughs] And I think from the minute she walks into the slave train sequence where we're all kind of shackled up, Stavros takes an immediate interest in wanting to be part of that crew. And I had so much fun because a lot of my lines and a lot of my sense of humor in the film is with Freida's character. He's obviously more interested in talking to her than the guys. So yeah, it really popped off the page, and I think I had a lot of trust--you know, it's all about trust when you work with any director.

You did some extraordinary work in Sofia Coppola's Somewhere...

STEPHEN: Thank you.

What kind of projects have been coming your way since then?

STEPHEN: I think it started for me when I did Public Enemies. You know, I was dealing with some stuff in my family--I lost my mom, and some heavier stuff went down, and I was kind of thinking about stopping acting for a while. And out of nowhere, it was almost like my mom was sending a message like, "No, you're not." And she started just giving me all these beautiful gifts again, from Sofia, to Michael Mann, to the films that I'm making now, to two films in Comic-Con. I'm hitting all these genres, and my first comedy's coming out September 9th for [Adam] Sandler. And it's like, "What the hell, I'm in a comedy now?" [laughs] So I'm kind of just enjoying doing all different kinds of things. I'm making a cool movie right now--I never really touched into this genre [before]. It's much more of, like, a David Lynch film. It's with Michelle Monaghan and Ray Winstone, and Willem Dafoe, it looks like, now is in it. And it's kind of a Twin Peaks/Wild at Heart kind of movie, and really different for me, and Michelle, too. So that's exciting. I'm in the middle of that right now, so it's a little weird to be in Comic-Con. [laughs]

Is this your first time here?

STEPHEN: Yeah. I was supposed to come for Blade, and then I was shooting something at that time...But I was invited a couple times, and the scheduling never worked out.



Freida, is this your first Comic-Con, too?

FREIDA: Oh yeah, this is my first time.

How did your Immortals presentation for the fans go?

STEPHEN: It seemed to go pretty good. I mean, the visuals...I hadn't seen some of that stuff.

FREIDA: I think it's the excitement, right? I mean, it's just about being there and having these people like or dislike the film at the very onset...In a way, I have to say, it's instant gratification when people cheer for you. And that's amazing.

Have you gotten to see a lot of the geek culture during your stay here?

FREIDA: Just driving around in a car, and just seeing it with Stephen.

STEPHEN: I saw a Princess Leia last night look like she had been eaten by piranhas, which was kind of weird, at the Camp Playboy party for the Born to Be a Star movie. They had a zip-line, too. And these people were like dressed on this zip-line going down this thing into these inflatable targets. [laughs] It was pretty mental.

So how was the experience of working with Tarsem on this film?

STEPHEN: He was the perfect director for this kind of movie making because he's a real captain. You want somebody with an energy. You don't want a director that doesn't know how to shoot a scene or how he wants to shoot the 3D. This is a guy that has figured it all out...He knew what he wanted, which is the best thing you can ask for in a director. I get nervous when my director's not sure of what he wants, and then we lose communication, he doesn't know which lens he wants to shoot. You know, that doesn't exist with Tarsem--he knows exactly what he wants. He just needs to get his vision on the screen. And that's what you need, especially on a huge show like this. It's simpler to make mistakes on a smaller film, when you have less people and less cameras. But when you have like six cameras going sometimes, and you have stunt teams flying through the air, and you've got Freida Pinto's veil flying off in the wind...You know, he had a lot of things to think about, but he seemed to be able to multitask, which is what a director should be able to do.

Your co-star Henry Cavill is poised for a big breakout between this movie and Man of Steel. What was your impression of him?

FREIDA: What I think is amazing about Henry is the level of dedication and commitment that he had towards this film in terms of just being there first thing in the morning, [and then being] the last one to leave the set, and just bringing it in day after day and delivering what he had to. And I think his relationship with Tarsem was amazing as well. They constantly had things that they could discuss going back and forth, and he was very welcoming of any change that Tarsem wanted to bring to the film. So I guess if I could just pinpoint two things, it would be commitment and dedication. It's amazing to see that.

Thanks for your time.

STEPHEN: Thanks, guys.

FREIDA: Thank you.


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