In Neveldine/Taylor’s Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance, Fergus Riordan plays the son of the devil (played by Ciaran Hinds). And while having the devil as a parent might be cool, when your father’s body is falling apart and he needs to take over his own flesh and blood to live, you’re always looking over your shoulder as you try and survive.
Last year while the Ghost Rider sequel was filming in Romania, I participated in a group interview with Riordan. He talked about how he got involved in the film, what it’s like to work with Nicolas Cage, the rest of the cast, and Neveldine/Taylor, and a lot more. Hit the jump to read or listen to the interview.
Before going any further, if you haven’t seen the new trailer, I’d watch that first. Here’s the synopsis:
Nicolas Cage returns as Johnny Blaze in Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance. In the successor to Ghost Rider, Johnny – still struggling with his curse as the devil’s bounty hunter – is hiding out in a remote part of Eastern Europe when he is recruited by a secret sect of the church to save a young boy (Fergus Riordan) from the devil (Ciaran Hinds). At first, Johnny is reluctant to embrace the power of the Ghost Rider, but it is the only way to protect the boy – and possibly rid himself of his curse forever. Directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor.
As usual, I’m offering you two ways to get the interview: you can either click here for the audio, or the full transcript is below. Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance opens February 17.
Fergus Riordan: Well, I think before I had done this movie I had just seen Ghost Rider and maybe one or two others. Now, that I am actually working with him, I decided I wanted to know him a bit better. So I have been watching a couple of his more recent films.
Oh, yeah? Which ones?
Riordan: I watched The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Season of the Witch. I liked both of them.
What is he like in person? He has a reputation of being a bit of an odd crazy guy.
Riordan: Yeah. He is a great guy and I like that he is not a normal guy. I don’t like the term “normal.” Normal means boring like everybody else. Nic is a really, really nice guy and good to work with. Recently, I’ve been really into mythology and stuff like that, and he’s very spiritual in a way. He’s been doing stuff like The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Season of the Witch, which are both very magical. So I really like that.
He loves mythology, comic books, and stuff like that. Do you get to talk to him about that?
Riordan: Yeah. The other day he was recommending a couple of books about mythology to me. Right now, I’m really into Greek Mythology.
Are you reading you any comics?
Riordan: Comics, I’ve never really read comics. I’ve watched most of the action movies and stuff like Spider-man and Superman. I mean, I like them. I really like magic and stuff.
You’re playing the character of Danny. In the Ghost Rider comics, an older Danny becomes a Ghost Rider. Can you talk about who your character is in this movie, what you’re doing, and do you think you are being set up to play Ghost Rider at some point?
Riordan: Well, I’m the son of that guy, unfortunately. I don’t know because if there is another Ghost Rider they can still say I’m not in it, but it’s in my contract that I can do another two Ghost Riders. I’m not sure if they are setting me up for it, but there is definitely a demonic side to me, and I have the power to give…I’m not sure I should be telling you this. [laughs]
Riordan: There are moments where I pop up and I sort of turn into the devil’s son and not Danny. I think almost every single character in this movie has two sides to them. Carrigan has Blackout [Johnny Whitworth], Nic has Blaze and Ghost Rider. The only ones that sort of stay the same all of the time are Nadya [Violante Placido] and Rourke.
What was involved with getting the part? Were there a lot of auditions and how did you hear about it?
Riordan: I got an email from an agent that I have now in America, and it said, “You can audition for Ghost Rider 2,” and I said, “Yeah, I’d love to.” It was really last minute and they just said, “Get the tape out here. Even if you have to record it on a mobile phone, just get a tape of you saying these lines back here so that we can send it. If they like it, we can do a proper one.” So I did it with my brother. He read the other lines and I read mine. Then, they called me out to Romania. I did a casting with Mark [Neveldine] and Brian [Taylor]. They tested me and ruined the movie for me. [laughs] They told me the ending because it had to do with the ending.
If they ruin the movie for you then you might as well get the part.
How much CGI is involved with the powers that you have? Are you working off of imagination with green screen or anything like that?
Riordan: When we actually do it, it’s all imagination. I think everybody who has two characters tries to get into a certain mind frame that it’s not them, it’s not the other character – it’s somebody completely different, they try not to associate with it. I think that Nic and Johnny [Whitworth] have helped a lot because when I first saw the first Ghost Rider movie and then realized that I had this one I was like, “Oh, my god. This is going to be so awesome with the fire and stuff!” Then, I realized that there wasn’t going to be a fire, and I was going to look like an idiot going, “Woo!” I think I needed to see Johnny and Nic do it before I could. They helped me a lot with it. I feel more confident now and I try to just do it.
Do you get to ride on the motorcycle?
Neveldine and Taylor are very interesting directors. Can you talk about working with them and working with Mark when he’s on rollerblades and putting the camera in weird places?
Riordan: Unfortunately, I’ve never actually worked with Mark on the rollerblades. They really take part in their work. The directors that I’ve seen so far, which have been in Spain, a couple sat back in the combo watching it while saying. “I don’t really like that,” or “I like it,” and then they tell the cameraman to do it. But Mark and Brian are really involved in their work. I think that’s good, that they really know what they want and they’re going to work until they get it. They make the movie interesting.
You mentioned that you don’t read comic books. I’m curious, is that just a personal choice? Do you have other hobbies that you like more than comic books?
Riordan: When my brother was small he used to get stuff shipped from England like “Beano” and “Dennis the Menace” and stuff. I would read them and they would be funny, but I’ve never really done any of the action ones. I prefer to watch the movies. [laughs]
Riordan: I think I actually like Ghost Rider quite a lot. Also, Iron Man. I liked that.
What is about those that you like?
Riordan: I don’t know. Ghost Rider because it’s sort of very dark and the good guy is also the bad guy, which I find more interesting because it’s always the good guy fighting the bad guy. Iron Man I find interesting because it’s not magical at all. It’s just him and he has made himself a body, and he has become a superhero. He has made himself superhero and it’s not some natural power that has come to him.
Will they let you see this when it’s finished because of the rating?
Riordan: I don’t know, but I usually don’t even watch my own films. I’ve only done three, though. I want to watch it.
You said that you got to ride on the bike with Nic. What other cool stuff have you been able to do on this one? Do you get guns or get to fight at all or anything like that?
Sounds like you have quite the tough time.
Riordan: Yeah, being the son of the devil isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Do you get to wear any make-up?
Riordan: Just a couple of cuts. Just a touch.
You’ve been filming here in Bucharest and in Turkey. Can you talk about how that experience has been like?
Riordan: I really enjoyed the time that I was in Turkey, but by the end, I really wanted to come back. Now that I’ve already been in Bucharest for what has been almost 3 months, I sort of know my way around. I miss just being able to walk around and know where things are and being able to go to the supermarket and buying biscuits. In Turkey, it was an amazing landscape and they made the hotel as nice as possible. I had a great time there. I would like to go back and I would also like to come back to Bucharest once this movie is over and just enjoy it for what it is instead of all the commotion because of the movie.
You’ve spent a lot of time in Bucharest. Do you have any favorite places?
Riordan: I would definitely go to Caru cu bere.
We went there last night for dinner.
Riordan: Yeah? It’s amazing. I love it and the donuts. Did you guys get the donuts?
Riordan: We went to the People’s Palace yesterday. It’s amazing. There are carpets that are huge and the chandeliers. Every square meter is really amazing, but we got a tour guide that kind of had to do something I think. She just rushed through it like, “I want to go grab a beer” or something. She was just like, “Yeah, this happened and then that happened” and then she would just walk off. But the People’s Palace was cool. It’s the biggest palace in the world. So it’s worth going to see. In terms of restaurants, there is this place called Osho. It’s a steakhouse and it’s really good.
I assume that you’re going to school now. What are your aspirations as far as acting?
Riordan: I’ve tried to maintain all of my options open. I really like sports, mathematics, writing, painting, and I like most forms of art. I have done three movies before this and I thought, “Well, I can still stop whenever I want.” and I can still do that. Except, now I feel like I’m getting to know it a bit, and it would be easier than going into a whole new thing. I don’t know, but I’ve been sort of inclining towards acting, but I want to still keep all of my options open. I want to keep studying and doing math, sports, and painting.
How did you get started on your first movie? What brought you into it?
Riordan: There are two stories. One is because my brother was acting in a school play for a theatrical event. They saw him and they said, “Would you like to come to this agency? You can try out for casting,” and he did and he got it. They then said, “Also, your brother can come in.” So I was in it, but I wasn’t really doing anything. Then, my mom had a friend who was going to go to an open casting in Madrid. My mom was like, “No. He doesn’t want to go and I don’t want to go. It’s going to be a hassle.” She had a son as well so in the end she was begging her to go. So my mom was like, “Fine. Okay. We will go.” Then, I got it and her son didn’t. She hasn’t talked to us since.
Riordan: No. [laughs] I did that one and then I started to go to a couple of more castings.
Is it mainly Spanish movies that you have been doing so far?
Riordan: Yeah. I did Fragile with Calista Flockhart and Richard Roxburgh. That was the first one I did when I was 7, I think. That one was international, obviously, and it was made in English. After that, I did I Want to be a Soldier, which was shot in English, but is a Spanish production. Then, I did El Sueno de Ivan, which is Spanish.
So you can go back and work pretty easily? You’re fluent in both languages?
Riordan: Yeah. Although, I’m now a bit out of practice
You live in Spain?
And you’re British?
Riordan: My parents are British.
But no British accent?
Riordan: No. No British accent.
What does your brother think now that you are in Nicolas Cage movies? He was supposed to be the star, wasn’t he?
Riordan: I don’t know. When he was younger, he was always the main character in all of the theatrical events. He was the actor. He’s done three movies now, one of them with me. Now, he just bought a filming camera and he is directing his own things and shorts. He really enjoys that. He uses a lot of get lucky so and so. I guess he is happy for me.
Was he trying to get a little role in this one?
Riordan: No. I think he is more into directing now.
What do you know about Comic-Con and are you looking forward to going?
Riordan: Well, I just heard about Comic-Con this morning.
For the first time?
Riordan: For the first time. What I heard was pretty cool. Basically, people from the movie just sit in a room with like 7,000 people just screaming at us. It sounds pretty fun. If I get the chance to go I think I would love to.
For more on Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance: