Director Tarsem Singh's visual extravaganza Immortals opens in theaters this weekend. The film does a bit of Greek mythology remixing by combining the classic mythological tales of Theseus and King Hyperion. In Immortals, Theseus (Henry Cavill), a humble stonemason, must rise up as a warrior for the Gods against the vicious King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke), after the king brutally slaughtered Theseus' mother and countless Hellenic's in his campaign to end the reign of the Olympians.
The film also presupposes that if one were an all-powerful immortal God, one would naturally choose to remain young and good-looking throughout the course of existence. As such, Singh has made some unusual casting choices in this film, including the decision to have the Luke Evans play the king of the Gods himself, Zeus.
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Evans and Cavill at a small round table discussion, to talk about working with Tarsem Singh and Mickey Rourke, the "gold costume" and the discipline it takes to portray epically-scaled men of war.
Screen Rant: What's it like to play a mythological God and legendary Hero?
Luke Evans: It was very fun, wasn’t it? We enjoyed it. Hard, hard work but I think the final product speaks for itself. I’m very proud of it.
Do you feel badass while you’re doing it?
Were there any injuries?
Did all that discipline inform your performances?
Luke Evans: Yeah, I’d say. I trained for seven weeks and I had to do it in fast-paced training. I didn’t have long and it makes you stand differently. You look yourself in the mirror and you look different. I saw my body change in seven weeks. It does definitely do something to inform your character in a sort of subliminal way. It definitely had an effect for me.
Henry Cavill: Yeah, it’s like wearing a permanent costume. No really, before work when you look in the mirror, or even before looking in the mirror, you do feel different. A part of the character is more expressive in you, and so when you’re in that kind of shape, I essentially was wearing my costume because I barely had a costume. Yeah, it certainly does help.
Is part of the mythology that it looks effortless when Theseus picks up and kicks ass, when it really takes weeks and months and hours before the scene?
When you first read the script, what jumped out at you?
Henry Cavill: Tarsem. When I first read the script myself, I read it, [but] wasn’t that convinced, initially. The casting director said, 'I’ve spoken to Tarsem, you’ve got to go meet this guy.' And I did, and after I walked out of that room, I said, 'I want to do this movie. I really, really want it.'
Luke Evans: He’s a good salesman. A fantastic salesman.
How did he sell the movie? What happened in that meeting?
Henry Cavill: He had his visuals all set. He had his passion.
Luke Evans: And a checkbook.
How did the script change when you were on the set?
Henry Cavill: There were a lot of changes. It was an organic process. That in itself is the nature of these things. When you’re dealing with creative minds, it should be organic and it should have the opportunity to evolve as necessary.
Luke Evans: He was very open to the dialogue. There was always a constant dialogue between the actor and the director. He was open to that. He wanted us to feel natural in what we were delivering off the page and if it didn’t sound right, or if there were certain words we wanted to change, he was actually happy for us to do that.
Well all this talk about physical prep that pays off - is acting the same way? What sort of prep have you done that we see on the screen? What has been your prep in developing your acting style?
Mickey Rourke has had such a storied history with Hollywood and a long career - what did you learn from working with him?
Henry Cavill: Working with any actor that has that kind of experience is good because you can learn as much as you possibly can from him. I learned that there's a certain gravitas you can have by doing the smallest things and things you do in your everyday life you often don't do when you're acting because you're concentrating so hard on doing something that you're actually not doing the natural things. Mickey is pretty good at that.
Are you going to be Theseus and Zeus for Halloween?
Luke Evans: If I ever see that gold costume again, it'll be too soon.
Immortals opens in theaters (3D and 2D) this Friday, November 11th.
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