Archive for the ‘Press Interview’ Category
Michael Sheen is interviewed by BBC News Wales about the work of Keep Wales Tidy. Michael is the ambassador of this anti-litter group.
Hollywood actor Michael Sheen says he gets “very upset” by people throwing litter and it leads to communities having a low sense of self-esteem.
The Queen and Frost/Nixon star, from Port Talbot, is an ambassador for the anti-litter group Keep Wales Tidy (KWT).
Sheen has urged people to take more responsibility for their communities.
At the end of KWT’s 40th anniversary year it said cigarette ends still made up the largest proportion of litter.
Sheen, who lives in Los Angeles, said he was approached by KWT last year when he performed his biblical play, The Passion, in Port Talbot.
“I thought they were doing great work, and I’ve seen the effects of it on my own town in Port Talbot with the Blue Flag that had been awarded – which is one of three coastal awards that Keep Wales Tidy administer,” he said.
The actor said he had seen how much the beach meant to people in Port Talbot and it had become a special place that local people took responsibility for.
However, Sheen said parts of some communities had become “wasteland areas”, and KWT was spearheading projects to transform them into green community areas.
When it comes to the type of litter discarded, it appears some things never change.
Cigarette ends continue to pose problems for KWT’s army of volunteers as they did back in 1972, and discarded butts make up the largest proportion of litter.
Nearly 90% of the Welsh streets inspected over the past 12 months had “visible evidence of smoking related litter”.
In a bid to tackle the problem, KWT launched its biggest ever campaign against smoking related litter earlier this year.
The stub it, bin it and help keep Wales tidy campaign saw the group distribute free portable ashtrays across Wales.
Sheen said he would like to see people, including himself, have more awareness about what “we are doing to our environment, what we’re doing to ourselves”.
“I smoked for 26 years, I gave up about four years ago, and now I regret everyday that I smoked,” Sheen added.
“I hope that people can take more responsibility for what they are putting inside themselves and what they’re putting around them in their community and it’s going to help all of us.”
He said he got “very upset” when he saw people throwing litter.
“It’s fairly straightforward to pick it up and put it away,” Sheen added.
“What’s most upsetting is seeing people’s disregard for their own community, for their own environment, the place that they live in after all.
“I think the less respect you have around you the less respect you have for yourself as well as other people.
“It saddens me to see that going on because I know that leads to individuals and communities having a very low self-esteem.”
Scans of the interview Michael Sheen gave to the Sunday Times Culture Magazine a couple of weeks ago have been added to the Gallery.
In the interview he talks mostly about his work with the NTW in reviving Port Talbot’s tradition of the Passion play, that will be played throughout the town over the Easter weekend.
Many thanks to Andy for the scans
INDYCHANNEL have published an interview with Michael Sheen about his role in the forthcoming Tron Legacy which you can read below, or online HERE.
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Michael Sheen admits that he felt as if he were carrying the weight of the cyber world on his shoulders when he signed on to star in “Tron: Legacy.” But the acclaimed actor, who counts the original “Tron” one of the films that greatly influenced his life, also says he also wouldn’t have had it any other way.
“My brief was to bring a whole new energy to the film — to be larger than life and to be a showman. It’s always thrilling to attempt that sort of thing, and slightly daunting to deliver the goods,” Sheen cheerfully said in a recent @ The Movies interview. “But once I started getting into the character — who I think is a cross between a 1970s rock star and an emcee from ‘Cabaret’ — it all started to come into focus more for me. ”
In ‘Tron: Legacy’ opening in theaters and on IMAX screens Friday, Sheen plays Castor, the shady owner of the End of the Line club, a famous watering hole atop the tallest tower overlooking the Grid in the Tron world. He may or may not be of help to Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund), who has been transported from the real world into the Grid in an attempt to free his father, Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), who has been held captive there for 20 years.
Sheen said he loves the complexity of Castor — a sophisticated computer program who also functions as a raucous comedian and entertainer at the club.
“Castor runs the nightclub, performs in it and has Daft Punk as his house band,” Sheen said. “But he also has a smokescreen personality. He shape-shifts and plays with identities and personas and reinvents himself.”
There’s no mistaking that Castor looks like David Bowie in the guise of his ’70s rock hero Ziggy Stardust. But there’s much more to the character than his looks.
“Castor is like a walking jukebox of pop culture that can roll out all kinds of references — a little bit of ‘Casablanca,’ a little bit of Mae West and a little bit of Frank N. Furter from ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show,’” Sheen said. “So when I put all those things together, I started to think of Bowie and him creating Ziggy, Aladdin Sane and the Thin White Duke, and all those sorts of personas and pop cultural references he’s played with. It helped me see who character was and knew it might make good reference points for the audience.”
While his Castor’s look and feel is rooted in the ’70s, Sheen credits his overall performance to the 1982 event known as “Tron,” which he first saw in the U.K. as a 12-year-old.
“My uncle took me and I didn’t know anything about it. It was just something to do on a Saturday on a rainy afternoon in South Wales,” Sheen recalled. “Then I came out an hour and a half later and my whole world had changed. If someone had been able to come up to me then — a time traveler — and said, ‘In 27 years, you’ll be in the next version of this film,’ it would have been incredible. It was a huge influence on me.”
Sheen, who’s made his mark with such films as “Underworld,” “The Queen” and “Frost/Nixon,” said the original “Tron” not only made him a lifelong fan of the science fiction genre, it became “a touchstone about the power of cinema” overall.
“When the lights go down in a movie theater, it just totally transports you — and when you walk back out into the real world, it’s got a different kind of light to it because of what you’ve just seen,” Sheen added. “I’ve never forgotten that.’Tron’ was my first real experience of being changed like that. So to be able to be in this ‘Tron’ film is — like that Woody Allen film ‘The Purple Rose of Cairo’ where you sort of go into the screen for part of the movie you are watching — is amazing.”
Because of his dedication to “Tron” Sheen said that he didn’t find it unusual being asked to play a computer program in “Tron: Legacy.
” Sure, Castor is a character, essentially, but a character that is a program — a type of role that doesn’t come along every day for an actor.
“When I think about how I felt after seeing the original film when I was 12, I found it very unsettling,” Sheen mused. “It may even have been the first film that I saw at that age, where I actively enjoyed feeling unsettled and disturbed. There was kind of a darkness to ‘Tron’ that was different from the ‘Star Wars’ films, except maybe ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ had a bit more of than the others.”
Sheen said that he found Jeff Bridges’ and Bruce Boxleitner’s characters (Flynn and Tron) to be “a bit unsettling” when they were in the “Tron” world, so he hopes audiences view him in the same vein.”The original ‘Tron’ world had this sepia Fritz Lang ‘Metropolis’ feel to it and I really liked that. So, for me to have the opportunity to play the character in this film is really unsettling and disturbing,” Sheen said.
“It went right to the heart of how I felt about the original ‘Tron’ film.”
ROTTEN TOMATOES have published an article where Michael Sheen names his five favourite films and why. You can read the article below or online HERE.
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“When I start to see a path to explore for a character then I really go for it,” says Michael Sheen, who describes his villain in this week’s TRON: Legacy as equal parts Mae West and Ziggy Stardust. “That’s part of what I really enjoy.” For the film’s key digital villain, Castor, the British actor dug deep into the back catalog of the Thin White Duke himself, David Bowie. “I did spend a lot of time watching Bowie,” Sheen continues. “The idea behind this guy is that he’s able to change and assimilate things; he’s very chameleon-like, and that’s what made me think of Bowie.”
For Sheen, a fan of the original TRON since seeing it in theaters in 1982, there’s a certain amusement in the fact that Disney’s massive sci-fi project revolves around the very mellow Jeff Bridges. “There’s a sort of spiritual white Russian inside him all the time,” Sheen laughs. “In the middle of all this technology, you know, this huge, amazing world that’s been created — and there’s a lot of pressure, a lot of anticipation, a big budget, a lot riding on it and all that — at the center of it all is The Dude. It’s this guy going “Hey maaaaan.”
Here then, are Michael Sheen’s Five Favorite Films.
A Matter of Life and Death (1946, 94% Tomatometer)
It has a strange beauty about it. It has a deceptively simple story. It has all the classic trademarks of someone who introduces you to a special, magical world, and yet you are able to then see your own world completely differently. There’s always something slightly uncanny about what Powell and Pressburger did — if you think about The Red Shoes or The Tales of Hoffman, and things later like Peeping Tom, films like that. They’re just extraordinary.
Apocalypse Now(1979, 98% Tomatometer)
It’s a film I’ve watched so many times, and every time I watch it I find something new in it. Again, it’s got kind of a strange beauty about it: it’s disturbing and kind of magical, and mythical and mysterious, and just shot amazingly. And there’s kind of a madness in it, which I really like as well. The original version, because that’s the one I know the best.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind(1977, 95% Tomatometer)
It’s a film like the other two, in a way, which has grown as I’ve grown; it’s changed with me. You think of films as being finished, completed things that never change, but actually they do change — because we change. And so a film like Close Encounters, when I first watched it — when I was much younger — it scared me to death, and now it’s a film that I find intensely moving. It’s an almost spiritual film. Spielberg is just, I think, a genius in being able to tell a very simple story and get to something so complex and profound. I think he does in E.T. as well, to a certain extent, but this one I find one of the most moving films I’ve ever seen.
12 Monkeys(1995, 86% Tomatometer)
For some reason I always find time travel intensely moving and it speaks to me in some weird way. Of all of Terry’s films I find that one the most moving. I love it. It’s a great story.
The Last Temptation of Christ(1988, 83% Tomatometer)
laughs] I’m going to say The Last Temptation of Christ, where he plays Pilate. All the Romans are English, and all the Jews are American. [laughs] I think it’s just a perfect piece of filmmaking. It’s brave and it’s imaginative and it’s about the most kind of profound things, and yet it’s very human. And the music — Peter Gabriel’s soundtrack is incredible. Again, every time I watch it… it’s the same with a lot of Scorsese’s films — as soon as you turn the channel and come across one, no matter how many times you’ve seen it, you sort of can’t stop watching it, because he’s a master story teller. That’s my five for today.
There is an interview on JoBlo.com where Michael Sheen talks about Tron Legacy. You can read it below or online HERE.
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Michael Sheen doesn’t have a whole lot of screentime in TRON: LEGACY (at least not compared to Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde) but he makes the most of his time. He’s arguably having the most fun on screen and his character is a thrill to watch as you try to figure out his motivations: is he here to help or harm our heroes?
We got a chance to talk to Mr. Sheen about joining the film, developing the look for his character and working alongside a young Jeff Bridges. Check it out below!
At what point exactly, and what did they say or do, to bring you on to the project?
They didn’t really have to say much, to be honest, because as soon as I heard the word “TRON” I was like, “Yep! I’ll do it.” And I hadn’t even read the script. My agents kept saying, “No, don’t say that. You gotta pretend that they have to win you over. So I went into Disney and Joe did a kind of presentation of everything; took me through the story and showed me the artwork, and the concept – visual concepts – and all that kind of stuff, then showed me a picture of the character and we talked about what he was sort thinking of and I got even more interested. I loved the sound of the character. He wanted him to be a real showman, a completely different kind of energy to the film at that point… so I loved all that so I just kept saying to my agent, “When can I say yes? Say yes!” And so it didn’t take that much really.
It sounds like they brought you on pretty early on in the designing process.
Yeah, it was pretty early. I mean the script wasn’t even finished at that point so I was very, very pleasantly surprised when I did get to read the final script and just thought it was fantastic. Because I knew that the whole look of it was going to be great and I knew that Jeff would be amazing and, you know, all that kind of stuff. But to read the script and actually read it from page one through to the end, in one go, and be totally gripped and really excited with no effect, no technology, none of the stuff that is the big hoopla about the film – just to be absolutely moved and excited and exhilarated by the story itself, that was kind of unexpected but really great.
Which came first, the Ziggy Stardust attitude in your character or the Ziggy Stardust look?
No, the look – originally the look, in terms of making the costume, that was already underway – well, not underway – before I came on, but they kind of knew how they wanted to make the character look in terms of the costume and the costume is not Ziggy Stardust at all. It’s more like a circus showman, like a circus ringmaster, is the actual look of it. But so then it was when I started talking to them and I started thinking about the character and then and I wanted to – I was thinking about if it was a program, what sort of program would this character be: [one] that assimilates, that survives by changing and adapting and that kind of stuff and that’s what made me think of Bowie and then I thought, Well, maybe there’s a way of kind of doing a more futuristic – even though Ziggy originally looks sort of futuristic but – going down that road.
So then I was talking to the make-up and the hair people and we started developing this whole thing and I started watching more stuff and it just seemed to make more and more sense for the character – all the things; I love the ambiguity of Bowie’s Ziggy period. And that was very much apart of the character and that you never quite know where you are with him. Is he someone who’s going to be your greatest friend or he’s going to betray you? Or, what’s he going to do? So I loved all that. And I loved that kind of, almost alien-like gender confusion.
And you’re wearing heels.
And I’m wearing very big heels. I have no eyebrows. And yeah, I sashayed my way around.
Did you get any advice from Olivia Wilde (Quorra) or Beau Garrett (Jem) on how to do that?
Strangely no, I didn’t need any advice. They were looking at me. I was – They were learning tips from me on how to bevel and how to sashay in six-inch heels. I taught them a thing or two.
Hey, if you can own it, right?
From what I’ve seen, you guys did a lot of blue screen work, especially with Jeff Bridges’ CLU character that required shooting with both Jeff and a stand-in. Did it ever interfere with you as an actor? Did you have to adopt a different mindset?
I suppose there’s one way of working on a film, as an actor, where if you’re not careful everything interferes with what you’re doing as an actor. In fact, the logical extension of that is you kind of go, “Can you get that camera out of the way, please? Because it’s interfering with what I’m doing as an actor.” So you can either resist everything technical or you can embrace everything technical. And if you embrace it, it’s a lot easier of a job. If you don’t embrace it, you can end up shouting at soundguys because they’re in your eyeline. So you gotta be careful about things like that, I think. And I think when you’re working on green screen stuff and – you know, the more technological advance something is the more it can just do your head in if you’re not careful. Or, the way I sort of see it is it’s more like acting in your bedroom when you’re a kid. Then you don’t have anything, there’s nothing there. It’s just you and your imagination and you pick up a stick and it’s a sword or you pick up a cardboard box, put it on your head and it’s a crown or a helmet.
And it’s sort of like that working with green screen stuff, I think; that you just have to go with your imagination and any of the technical stuff, sort of look for how it can help you. So we’re doing a scene with Jeff where – Jeff playing his younger self – you get to do the scene with Jeff and you rehearse it a few times, you get a sense of what’s going on, and then Jeff goes away and then someone else comes along and then you do it again with this other person and you get – and you have the opportunity to discover new things about the scene because someone else is there. And then when Jeff comes back and you do it with Jeff again or whatever, you know, you build it up and so it becomes more multi-layered, potentially. So I kind of like that aspect. I didn’t have to do too much green screen stuff – blue screen stuff, because the night club set was a permanent set, it was a huge set with hundreds of people and so it was more like doing a conventional film. So I wanted more green screen stuff, I wanted to do more of that stuff.
So obviously as TRON film, you’re in love with the original. Is there anything that makes a reappearance that you’re just so psyched to see again or work with?
Well, Jeff Bridges probably more than anything else; that is what I was most excited about. But each time we see more footage – ’cause I’m an audience member as much as anyone else. I’m watching the footage as everyone else is – and each time you see a new element that was kind of based on something from the first film but is being taken a little bit further or taken in a different direction, it’s just really exciting. So, you know, watching – there’s that sequence where you see, I think it’s CLU, diving through the air and then suddenly he’s in something that flies and it’s kind of based on one of those things from the first film but it’s been taken in a different direction. I just go crazy watching it. It’s great.