Ben Kingsley and Emily Mortimer have witnessed some magic. The two are among the adult stars in “Hugo,” directed by Martin Scorsese — who utilized the 3-D innovation for some magical effect — but also were transported back to 1930s Paris. The family film reveals in part the story of film trailblazer Georges Méliès, but “through the eyes of a kid,” says Mortimer in her interview with HitFix. Her perspective was that as a flower shop merchant in a Parisian train station.
“It was cool to escape to another time,” she said. “The detail everywhere was just staggering.
Kingsley, who plays “Papa Georges,” said that it was only appropriate that it was Scorsese tackled this bit of movie history, utilizing film innovation like 3-D. He used the technology “beautifully,” he said, “Georges made movies 100 years ago with every single trick at his disposal. It’s appropriate the maestro of cinema to include a maestro of cinema in his movie.”
Méliès’ legacy is reflected in its triumphs, and the director’s self-defeat, the failure in his endeavors as WWI ravaged his film collection and the industry on the whole. “Georges was defeated. Georges is a million miles away from martin scorsese,” Kingsley said.
The veteran English actor has never experienced that sort of professional despair, and “if and when I have had desparin my personal life… what has saved my life is my acting, my craft,” he said. “on those days, on most days, the worst thing i can hear is ‘That’s a wrap.'”
On the flip side of sadness is laughter, and Mortimer had some of that with co-star Sacha Baron Cohen, the train station police inspector. She described the “Borat” comedian as “sweet” and “shameless about getting laughs. I would turn my back for a second and turn around and his ass would be sticking out of my flower store with his legs waving in the air.”
Check out what Kingsley and Mortimer had to say about “Marty” in the video interview, above.