September 21, 2009

Michael Sheen image - slice.jpg

A few hours ago I spoke with Michael Sheen regarding his new movie “The Damned United”. While I’ll have much more on his new film soon, I was able to ask Michael about some of his other projects like “The Twilight Saga: New Moon”, “Tron Legacy”, “Alice in Wonderland” and the “Underworld” franchise. So if you’d like to hear what Michael had to say about those projects, hit the jump.

The first thing Michael told me was he’s heard the rumors about a 4th “Underworld”, but no one has contacted him yet.

We then spoke about the next “Twilight” movie, “New Moon” and he revealed the main reason he took the role of Aro is because of his daughter. He also talked about working on Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” and explained his love of the book and how the movie is going to be different.

Finally, when I did the TV portion of the junket, I asked Michael about his work on “Tron Legacy”. He told me about his love of the first film and how the sequel was practical sets and not green screen.  Here’s what he said. The rest of the quotes are below.

Look for the full interview very soon.

You were in a very successful franchise, “Underworld,” and so I was wondering if they’ve talked to you about doing a 4th film?

Michael Sheen as Aro, leader of the Volturi, in The Twilight Saga New Moon.jpgMichael Sheen: Nobody has spoken to me about it. I heard a rumor…I heard someone saying there might be a 4th film but nobody has actually contacted me about it.

So going into “Twilight: New Moon”, were you nervous about taking this role because you had already come from a franchise like that, or were you more excited for the role? What was your thought process and what was it like making the film with all the hubbub around it?

Michael Sheen: I was mainly excited about it because I knew I would make my daughter very happy. Up front, that was the main reason. And then I read the books and I really enjoyed the books. I didn’t think I was going to, but I really did enjoy them. Then I was concerned that the fans of “Twilight” would be like, “But he’s played a werewolf; we can’t have him as a vampire,” and all that. But it hasn’t been like that. And because it was a very different character and I could sort of lose myself in it, hopefully people won’t have a problem with me having been in this other werewolf/vampire franchise. So when I went to do it, I just loved the character. I relished the opportunity to be there and be part of it. Now I’m just very pleased to have a whole new generation of people I can scare.

You mentioned your daughter. You’re quoted in the NY Post as saying she was a little annoyed when you took the part.

Michael Sheen: Right, well, I think she felt a whole combination of emotions. I think she was a bit overwhelmed by the fact that I was going to be in it. I think she was really excited, but, at the same time, I remember what this was like when I was ten, eleven. If there was something I was really into, the last thing I wanted was for my mom and dad to be into it as well. That’s just annoying. So she was very excited and she cried when I first told her about it. I think it was just her fantasy/imaginative world suddenly colliding with her reality. She didn’t know how she felt about it. She punched me I remember and kicked me. I think that was her sort of frustration with me. In fact it was her mother who said, “Is it because that’s your thing and now daddy’s getting in on it?” And she said, “Yes.” So it was her (as usual) very perceptive mother who got that. But then, very quickly, she made peace with that and then she was just very excited about going to the premiere.

How do you find your inner white rabbit?

michael_sheen_image.jpgMichael Sheen: Everyone has an inner white fluffy animal. It’s such an iconic character that I didn’t feel like I should break the mold too much. I sort of just went with it. It’s a great character and a great story. “Alice in Wonderland” and “Peter Pan”were the first stories growing up that had a huge impact on me and have stayed with me ever since. So to be part of Tim Burton’s version is just a dream come true.

Since those lines are so classic, did you approach it like you would a “Hamlet”?

Michael Sheen: As a sort of cultural iconography, you know you are sort of treading that path. But Tim’s version of the story is not the original version. It’s everything you’d want in an “Alice in Wonderland” but it’s slightly off kilter as Tim Burton is one to do. It’s not like I was doing the same thing as has been done before.

One final note. The quotes above were part of a roundtable interview. The TV interview is exclusive to Collider.

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