Q: I believe you were speaking to Ridley Scott years before ‘Prometheus' actually started filming, how did you get involved?
A: To get the call from Ridley Scott…I think we met first in 2008, Ridley invited me to his office, he'd seen 'Hunger' – one of the wonderful things about Ridley is that he sees everything. He still has that passion for film out there, like 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' with Noomi Rapace, I remember he was telling me about that at the time. You get the offer and you think, "Oh my God, this is amazing, I've got to go home and really start working and prepare." I really believe in preparing, preparing, preparing, preparing, so that when I come on set I can allow things to happen, but have an idea of where I'm going with it.
Q: How was it to work on set with him, that whole process on a film of this size?
A: It was a lot of fun, I was pretty nervous, on the first day I didn't know what to expect. Then it just became like play really (laughs). Even though we were both very serious about the work, it was a joy. No idea was stupid until we tried it and put it on the floor. If it worked it worked, if it didn't it didn't. But what's really impressive about Ridley Scott and watching him work, you've got 350 people on set, and each department has got to come and bring their top game to set. Seeing someone have involvement and instilling passion in each of those departments is pretty amazing to witness, and to have the precision in each department, and to have the imagination, enthusiasm, energy... that's what sort of makes him the master, you know? You have to be a ringmaster, especially with something of this size, this magnitude.
Q: Being a ringmaster, then capturing moments...
A: Exactly. We try and capture moments in cinema, you don't know how they come, there really isn't much of a formula to it. It's just those moments in films that make films, you know? I think a lot of directors don't even see it brewing in the atmosphere, it's happening in the atmosphere but a lot of directors don't even see it. Ridley is very in tune with it, it's like, "We've gotta go know." He sees something happening within the actors, that something special is about to happen. You need to be pretty in tune, then at the same time looking at the camera department, looking at the art department, hair and make-up, wardrobe, each department, having an eye on everything. That's pretty extraordinary.
Q: Preparing to play David, I believe you didn't revisit the "Alien" films, you took your influences from a variety of sources?
A: Right. I didn't watch all the "Alien" films before this, I'd seen them all before, but for some reason I decided not revisit them before filming. We had some other ideas...I did watch Ridley Scott's 'Blade Runner' funnily enough. There was something in the replicants that I thought was interesting, especially Sean Young's character. But in terms of the inspirations for the character of David, me and Ridley were discussing things, he wanted me to watch 'Lawrence of Arabia,' a film called 'The Servant' with Dirk Bogarde, and then I watched 'The Man Who Fell to Earth' with David Bowie. I read certain things, watched certain things... when you're reading the script, certain images or people come to mind. That's how I approached it from there. To bring something totally different, I didn't want to be influenced by what those guys had done in the earlier, sort of "Alien" films, you know?
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