John Noble Interview: Silencio

John Noble first came to world-wide attention as Denethor the Ruling Steward of Gondor in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  He became more familiar to American audiences as Dr. Walter Bishop on Fox’s sci-fi series Fringe. And then playing Sherlock Holmes’ father on CBS’s crime-drama Elementary. Noble's latest project is the film Silencio where he plays Grandfather James.

Screen Rant: First of all, amazing film, great job. This film kind of fits right into your filmography, being a family drama, but with mind bending science fiction.  What is it about the story that a current-times, in modern day, can relate to about this story?

John Noble: Alright, what we've witnessed is the dismantling of the family units, of the normal norms that we live by, whether they be state, or church, or family, in this day and age, they're all being challenged. And we suffer for that. And this has to do with family. What is it that drives us as parents, or grandparents, to be prepared to give everything for another human being? And we do.  Something happens to our genes when we have children, I tell you, or grandchildren. So that's that story. That's a great love story in there. And then I got to work with Melina Matthews who's just amazing. And Lorena's gentle touch in there. And so, it was a love story, really. Beautiful story. And this man had faced that challenge. How far will I go?

Screen Rant: So, interesting that you say that, mainly because I took away as a science fiction story, but at its core it is a love story. It's definitely about a family love story.  So, what got you interested into the project? Because it is a pretty complex project.

John Noble: It was sent to me as [unintelligible]. And I was interested initially, to be honest with you, because it was written and directed by Lorena. Who I didn't know personally, but I just thought this is fascinating. Shot in Mexico then. Then, I looked at the script and the role. I thought this role was actually fantastic for me. Those combination of factors, we were able to fit it in with some really crazy traveling backwards and forwards between places. I'm so thrilled I did it.

Screen Rant: Now, would you make, if you had this stone, would you, with unknowing the consequences, would you make a sacrifice in order to use the stone, or would you rather not hinder with time?

John Noble: Personal question? It's a question we don't know until such time as we’re faced. And the example I would give is, there's a woman with the pusher, and she's about to walk onto the road. I can go and save that child, probably get killed, or hurt. Do I do it or do I stand back? Do I see someone being beaten up in the street? This is important, someone being beaten up in the street by some thug. What do I do? Do I go in there and help that person or do I stay? These are the challenges we face on a daily basis. We'd like to think we'd go and help. But…

Screen Rant: It's a great morality question, which is totally for modern times. Now, you said you shot this all in Mexico.  Is this your first time doing extensive shooting in Mexico? Like this?

John Noble: I've never shot there before. I've been there a few times, for fun. And we've had some lovely time there. Nah, I’ve never filmed there before. And I would go again. We just had a splendid time and it's a gorgeous country.

Screen Rant: Rumor has that you fell in love with quesadillas. Is this true?

John Noble: I'm a quesadilla man, but it wasn't there. I don't know what it is. I just love cheese. So that's what I get when I go out somewhere.  I order quesadillas. My wife will say, ‘Don’t get quesadillas.’ It's primitive, isn't it? I’ll have a quesadilla and a coffee please. And I go to some places now, where I live, and they don't even ask me anymore. They just bring it out [laughs].

Screen Rant: That's great. So, with reading the script, sometimes science fiction is very hard to visualize. So, what was it about the script, a moment in the script that actually drew you in? You were like, ‘I have to do this project.’

John Noble: That's a very good question. Let me just think.  It would be… there was some scenes with the granddaughter.  Just heartbreaking. In the second part of this thing. Some of those with Melina.  I mean, I couldn't get through them sometimes. There's one in particular. I just, I kept choking up on it. So, so powerful.

Screen Rant: Yeah. And almost from the beginning of the movie, it starts that way. Because it drops you into this. This scenario with a family. And it's unexpected, I feel like.

John Noble: I think it's unexpected. But as a study in human nature, or as a morality tale, as you said. Absolutely right. And that's why the film is important. We need to be reminded that life is not to do with stinking politicians. And it's not to do with aggressive countries somewhere else or building walls.  Has nothing to do with that. It has to do with people loving each other and finding a way, as family.

More: Read Screen Rant's Silencio Review

Key Release Dates
  • Silencio (2018) release date: Oct 26, 2018
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