INTERVIEW – by
He cut his hair, but the muscles he build up for Troy are still there, under the white t-shirt. Maybe because of his role, this man is always shy with the press, now he seems more at ease.
I joined the project six month before the shooting, and I had a lot of time to research on my own, luckily there is a lot about Troy, but at some point I had to stop to bring out a little of myself and what I’ve learned.
Have did you modify your lifestyle?
Yes, cause the role was very demanding. I had to quit smoking, and it was good for me, and the rage I felt, it was useful for the role.
There was a lot of physical work.
It was part of the morfing of the role. I tried to do justice to Achilles, one of the most valuable warriors of all times. I told my trainer what my goals were, and he warned me it would take a lot of work and a lot of pain. I couldn’t change exercise till I felt a lot of musculair pain, that was the level of it. I was always listening to a Chris Cornell CD at full volume! But now I can understand how surprising beautiful machine my body is, and to respect it much more
How was the shooting?
In Mexico it was very hot, and we were always under the sun, but it’s more difficult when you’re involved in a project in which you’re asking yourself "What the hell I’m doing here?"
Do you think there are some political issues in Troy?
There sure are. Menelaus wants to attack Troy bacause of his offended ego, and his brother Agamemnon because of his ambition. But this is a discussion you won’t lead me into.
What did you like most about your role?
Achilles is what he is because of his past experiences, because he made a lot of very bad mistakes. But he become a hero. This is what hit me most, cause we live in a puritanical era, in which all our limits are strictly fixed. I have to admit I hate revenge stories, I really despise them. But this story goes beyond that. Achilles’ only enemy was death, now he has to cope with his friend Paris’ death, which causes him so much pain, and this pain become rage. He wants all the Troians to suffer the same pain, and this rage become cruel crazyness. The revenge always leads to relief but this is not the case, he feels only emptiness. It will be in meeting Priamus, demanding the body of his beloved son, that will teach Achilles the only thing he doesn’t know yet: the only weapon he has never used, words and words of peace. The scene between those two men, suffering from the same pain, it’s the one I loved the most.
Now do you think you’ll have time for architecture?
No, I only just switched sets to MR and Mrs Smith, and then it’ll be Ocean’s Twelve, that means basically spend a really good time with the guys between Amsterdam, Paris and Rome.
You’re 40. Do you think in the future you’ll give in to aging?
It will not be a choice. I don’t know how I’ll grow older. I’ve never cared so much about my looks, but we all use what we have, at least to get some better opportunities. That’s it for me too.
You said you were tired of seeing yourself on screen.
I was very tired. I needed some time for my own. Now things are really better, I’m just looking for the better key to make a role, maybe just a line to make a remarkable interpretation. I don’t try to understand the true meaning of the film industry, I’m not even able."