The last time I spoke to Michael Sheen he honestly didn’t look quite himself. His skin was patsy white, he had long black hair and was wearing contact lenses that made him look, well, inhuman. It wasn’t surprising, however, because at the time we were both on the Vancouver set for “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” and Sheen was in the middle of only his second day of shooting. The “Frost/Nixon” star has the pivotal role of Aro, leader of the Volturi, in the “Twilight” sequel, but when we spoke earlier this week the subject matter was of a much more serious nature than the undead. For a Brit like Sheen, football (OK, soccer to us Yankees) reigns above all and his latest film demonstrates why.
Before “New Moon” arrives in November, Sheen is the centerpiece of the excellent football drama “The Damned United” opening in Oct. The true story finds Sheen playing legendary British football manager Brian Clough who had phenomenal success until he took over his archrival’s team Leeds United in 1974. His 44 day long stint is the stuff of legend and the events in the film would be hard to believe if they weren’t so true.
For American audiences, Sheen’s entertaining Clough seems like a combination of three well known basketball coaches: Pat Riley’s slickness mixed with Bob Knight’s arrogance and Don Nelson’s blunt sense of humor. I spoke to Sheen about his own football prowess (which he’s obviously proud of and shows off in the movie), his favorite team Liverpool and portraying a legend like Clough on the big screen.
And, of course, we also discussed “New Moon.” More specifically, the action packed finale I didn’t expect after my set visit and his thoughts on working with director Chris Weitz.
You can watch the entire interview embedded in the page or view a larger version here.
To check out my on set “New Moon” interview with Sheen, click here.
“The Damn United” opens in limited release on Oct. 9 and is a must for any true sports fan (or anyone who has dreams of coaching).
“The Twilight Saga: New Moon” opens on Nov. 20 and you can find showtimes and buy tickets here.