One of the best films I saw at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was writer-director Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal‘s first feature, The Words. The film stars Bradley Cooper as a writer who, after discovering an extraordinary lost manuscript, passes the work off as his own and receives overwhelming critical acclaim. Jeremy Irons plays the man who originally wrote the manuscript, and the film weaves multiple narratives to tell the story. The Words also stars Zoe Saldana, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde, Ben Barnes, and JK Simmons. CBS Films bought the film after its first screening and they plan to release it later this year. It’s definitely a film you should be excited to see.
Shortly after watching the movie, I got to sit down with Ben Barnes for an exclusive interview. We talked about what it means to be at Sundance, how he got involved in The Words and who he plays, karaoke, video games, and and he tells a funny story about how Colin Firth kept him laughing on the set of Dorian Gray. In addition, Barnes talked about his other upcoming projects like The Wedding (which stars Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams), The Seventh Son with Jeff Bridges (which he starts to film next month and says it’ll be PG-13), and reveals that Overdrive with Karl Ubran has fallen apart. Hit the jump for more.
As usual, I’ve time indexed the interview so you can watch the parts that interest you. Look for Matt’s review of The Words very soon (I know he also thought it was great).
- :18 Talks about the Sundance experience. This is his first time at the festival and he’s wanted to go for years.
- 2:12 Gives a quick synopsis of the film and talks about what attracted him to the project. Says his agent initially told him to pass because the role didn’t have a lot of lines.
- 5:17 Talks about how many takes he prefers to do. Discusses how actors don’t generally get to choose how many takes they want.
- 6:40 Reveals the most amount of takes he’s ever had to do. The project was Dorian Gray with Colin Firth and he couldn’t keep a straight face during one particular scene.
- 8:06 What’s his go-to karaoke song? Says depending on how drunk he is, he’s either trying to be Jay-Z or Whitney Houston.
- 8:57 What’s the last video game he played? He learned American football by playing Madden on PS3.
- 9:41 Talks about The Wedding. Reveals that he plays the adopted Columbian son of Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton who’s preparing to marry Amanda Seyfried’s character. His Columbian mother, whom he neglected to tell that De Niro and Keaton got divorced, decides to come to the wedding. He asks De Niro’s new wife, played by Susan Sarandon, to leave for the duration of the wedding and Robin Williams plays the priest who’s marrying Barnes and Seyfried.
- 11:10 Talks about having to up his game when working with a cast as talented as The Wedding. Says he tries to do the opposite and become extremely relaxed.
- 12:30 Discusses The Seventh Son with Jeff Bridges. Says he starts filming next month. The film is loosely based on a series of books called The Spook’s Series. Bridges plays a grizzled and grumpy witch hunter who needs a new apprentice, which is Barnes. Says the movie will be PG-13.
- 14:45 Says the shoot for The Seventh Son will last three months and they’re filming in Vancouver and China. Says Overdrive with Karl Ubran fell apart.
- 15:23 Talks about how lucky he is to work with so many incredible actors.