The more interviews I do in a year, the more I hear from other reporters about stars who are supposedly difficult on-camera, tough to get anything out of. And on occasion, that’s true. I think a lot of it is where you talk, the mood they’re in, who was in the room before you, and any number of other factors.
For example, at the “Legion” junket, some jackass was walking into the rooms dressed in a cheesy angel robe with a tinsel halo on his head, screeching at the actors in a weird falsetto, absolutely poisoning the mood. I saw the same thing at the “Jennifer’s Body” press day in Toronto, where some guy threw a glass of water on himself while talking to Megan Fox, then tried to take his shirt off. These idiots don’t realize that someone else who has a job to do has to walk in there after them and try to have a real conversation, and that’s already difficult when you’ve got six minutes total.
When I was on the set of “Inkheart,” Paul Bettany sat with us during lunch, and while he was soft-spoken and somewhat quiet, I didn’t think it was a problem. It just seemed like he was busy with his own process, and we were a distraction. That’s fair when you’re on a set… different actors need different things from their environment, and journalists have to respect that when they’re the ones who are intruding on the work. But at a junket, the actor’s whole job is to speak about their work all day, and try to convey some sort of excitement, and in this environment, I thought Bettany was actually really easy to talk to, a whole different level of energy evident from the moment we sat down.
I’ll be honest… my reviews for “Legion” and “Creation” aren’t going to be the most enthusiastic you’ve ever read from me, but I like Bettany’s work in general, and I was pleased to sit down with him for this loose and relaxed, if brief, chat a couple of weekends ago:
You can see a larger version of that video here, and you can see a larger version of the following Dennis Quaid conversation at this link.
Quaid’s a guy I’ve liked for a long time, and although he’s not really getting the same sort of leading man roles he once did, I still think he’s got a shaggy charisma that just doesn’t quit. He seemed like it had been a long day by the time I sat down with him, but I still enjoyed the talk, and it’s definitely worth a look:
“Legion,” starring both Bettany and Quaid, opens this Friday in theaters, and then you can see Bettany in “Creation” in limited release next week. I’ll have reviews for both films on their respective opening days.
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