INTERVIEW WITH TOM HIDDLESTON

When you mention movie monsters to a cinephile, then chances are their thoughts will either go to Godzilla or to the greatest movie monster of all time – the legendary King Kong. As a character, the menacing great-ape with a knack for smashing up aircraft has appeared on television and movies 69 times. The most notable appearances of course have been in Cooper and Schoedsack’s 1933 classic King Kong and of course Peter Jackson’s epic retelling from 2005.

Now Kong returns to the big screen in Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ Kong: Skull Island a film that consists of an amazing cast including Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman, John C. Reilly and the man that all Marvel fans know as Loki – Tom Hiddleston.

For Hiddleston this is a chance to turn around the way that cinema lovers view him. Here he is no longer the gangly, awkward, evil… adopted bad guy and instead he is the hero that is trying to do good in this world.

When asked to describe his character Hiddleston says, “Conrad is a British SAS tracker. He is someone who is trained in military reconnaissance and recovery. He is a kind of lone warrior… a survivor and his special skill is rescuing lost soldiers. Because of his affinity with the natural world, he knows how to read the terrain and understand the jungle. He is a professional tracker, and he means… no man left behind.”
As mentioned earlier Kong has become one of cinema’s most recognisable characters, so much so that it almost now a privilege for an actor to be asked to star in a King Kong movie and that is a fact that hasn’t been lost on Hiddleston. “Kong is an icon of motion pictures,” says Hiddleston with a sense of pride in his voice. “He’s an icon of the cinema. He’s been present in people’s imaginations since 1933…. and he’s certainly been in the minds of audiences and people that love movies. I think Kong represents so many things. He is the mystery of the unknown and he’s a terrifying force of nature. He was also a sentient being with an intelligence that we don’t understand and I think that we are captivated by that. We are captivated by Kong’s power and majesty.”

Of course one of the criticism of Kong movies of the years has been that most filmmakers that tackle bringing him back to the big screen just don’t seem to know how to be creative enough with a new story. That certainly isn’t the case with Kong: Skull Island though and from the posters currently hanging in cinemas it is not hard to see that Jordan Vogt-Roberts has really used the visual aspects of past war greats such as Apocalypse Now to bring a new feeling to the Kong movie.

“Kong is being re-conceived as a myth come to life, an idea in the mind of man,” says Hiddleston as he reflects on the story at hand with Kong: Skull Island. “It’s something that really couldn’t exist, it’s an answer to a theoretical equation and he is truly monstrous in size and scale and scope. He is ninety feet tall so therefore taller than people have been used to and his power is unknown. I think the journey of Kong in Skull Island is that he goes from being a figure of terror – an Alpha predator who seems to be a destructive threat but he becomes an emblem of the natural order.”

So visually spectacular is Kong: Skull Island that it didn’t take very long for the studio behind it to decide that it should get an IMAX release. Hiddleston is quick to agree that the visuals for Kong: Skull Island are amazing. “This film will be an immersive spectacle,” says Hiddleston proudly. “I think that it will breathtakingly beautiful. There will be the most thrilling action. It will feel really rugged and raw and exciting.”
Hiddleston has every reason to be proud of Kong: Skull Island as it is the kind of film that works on all levels. There is amazing action, an original story and it looks brilliant.

Kong: Skull Island is in cinemas now

 

Written by Dave Griffiths

 

Dead Letter Circus

Ten years ago, a little known band from Brisbane released a debut EP in to the Australian mainstream with no concept of just how far time and touring would take them. Their creative style was spontaneous, improvised, with guitar textures that interlaced with subtle synth undertones – and it was a smash. Dead Letter Circus were the new face of prog-rock.

Fast forward to the now and Dead Letter Circus are fresh off their anniversary tour, having taken to stages around the country with a reimagining of the first EP. ‘The Endless Mile Tour’ was a celebration of not only Dead Letter Circus’ achievements, but the music and the fans that have been with them. Frontman Kim Benzie speaks of the experience with a profound sense of satisfaction and joy. “It was a really interesting experiment for us because we did the tour without the CD coming out – we kind of did it for our own entertainment, really.”

“Normally at every Dead Letter show we’ll have everybody singing along to every song but on this tour, we didn’t have the flashing lights, we could see the crowd, they could see us and no one knew any of the songs bar a couple we had previously released. It was really awesome, it was unlike any other tour we’ve done before.”

Dead Letter Circus embarked on The Endless Mile Tour without the support of a new album release. The reimagined album at the time, was yet to drop, but the reception Benzie says they received for what they had done with fan favourites was phenomenal. “It was interesting to see people take it in and the songs have just taken on a life of their own – they as much belong to the guy listening as they do to us so just to see them go through the motions of ‘Oh wow, it’s that song!’” When you put the band’s eponymous album on a more sombre pedestal, it’s still as good as it ever was. “It was a pretty much a one-off” says Benzie, “We’re not sure if we’ll ever do this tour again so it was an interesting to perform songs for the first and only time.”
Not only was the calibre of the performance different as well as the vibe of the crowd, but Benzie experienced live performance in a whole new way too – though not one he had purposely intended. “[I had a] really interesting experience where I had to have a root canal on the day of the first show,” begins Benzie’s gnarly story. “I could barely open my mouth, [it was] the most pain I’ve been in in my life and I said ‘I have to go to the dentist or I’m not going to be able to do the show.’ They squeezed me in for an emergency root canal and the aftermath of that is pretty severe.

“I had to spend the first week in this crazy Nurofen/Codeine haze. Like, I don’t really remember the first couple of shows, I was in this really weird state. But for me, it added to the mood of what was going on because it was such a different vibe at the show as well – my personal state was quite altered. Thank God it wasn’t a heavy tour!”

“It came to a really beautiful end when we came to Melbourne the next week,” Benzie continues. “Through the week I kept thinking ‘I can’t believe this is happening to me’ and when we rolled in to Melbourne it was the first day I felt better and decided not to have any painkillers. Ian Kenny, my mate from Birds Of Tokyo and Karnivool, was coming to the show and we’d been playing John Farnham’s ‘You’re The Voice’ on the tour – we tried it out in Newcastle on the third date and it tore the roof off! Ian was coming on and we were like, “Hey mate, you wanna jump and do this track with us?” It was impromptu and we swapped lines, doing opposite voices and it was one of the most epic experiences I’ve had on stage.

“We have a lot of singalongs – one of the most awesome parts of being in this band is when you hold the mic out and people scream the words back… But there was something about this song with Ian. It may have been the loudest singalong I’ve ever heard.”

Medicinal drugs (though acquiring them can be nasty) can sometimes result in euphoric experiences. Dead Letter Circus it seems had the time of their lives on this particular tour and it’s sweet to hear they feel they got everything they hoped they would – and then some. “It was kind of like watching the movie ‘The Hangover’,” Benzie laughs. “I feel like there were definitely points of that week where I’d been looking forward to it so much I couldn’t believe it was accompanied by this intense bad feeling and then it just peaked at a point where I was like, far out, life really is about that pendulum swing and I really got to experience that week.”

With such a positive reception for the stripped back tour it’s surprising to hear that the band have no intention of doing something quite like this again. “Definitely not. I feel like we need to flex our muscle now. That was a really beautiful, unique experience for us but I’m just really excited to going back to thumping DLC.”

“I’d say for now I’m satisfied with the ambient side of DLC – it was always supposed to be a one-off. The Endless Mile for me is a gift to the people who have had this music in their years, the ten years they’ve been with us and come to all the shows, these songs have been a part of the soundtrack to their life. It’s almost like a time capsule in a way – ten years for anyone, you grow a lot and you change a lot in that time and how we approached the songs. Every song for us is our attempt to answer a question.”

And the questions keep rolling – with an as yet to be named album currently in the works, Dead Letter Circus keep on writing and will keep on being heavy. “I think if anything, we’re gonna be pushed in a direction to be more heavy and upbeat in this new album,” says Benzie. “The goal is to have two albums out this year and so far everything is going well for that – we’ve cancelled all social life for the next few months to make it happen. We are full on in to the next process now while The Endless Mile goes off to packaging.” And with that, Dead Letter Circus will wrap up a remarkable celebration of ten years on the scene – here’s to the next ten years, boys.

 

Written by Anna Rose

DEADLIGHTS

Tynan Reibelt has a sensational voice. The enigmatic frontman for metal heads Deadlights has a syrup-rich voice that’s slides across a wide range, impressive to hear and perfectly complimenting the angry vocals provided by bandmate Dylan Davidson. It’s songs like ‘Order Without Order’ that are evident of the band’s potential as a whole, with Reibelt manipulating melodic changes through pensive verses with ease. That pensiveness in the song is entirely intentional. “I guess it’s just about the state of the world,” says Reibelt, “It’s my escape and my solitude.”

“I’m a bit disenchanted, I guess. We’re such a reckless society, we’re so angry, so demanding, we lost patience a long time ago and I lost my patience with people too. This song in particular resonates with me because I’m looking for answers in all the chaos, just like everyone else.”

All Deadlights’ songs have incredibly catchy hooks – their debut album Mesma is full of post-hardcore tracks with an anathematic edge, difficult not to become ingrained in your psyche before the song is even over, and for all that it seems intentionally simply crafted for the purpose of being memorable, the Brisbane four piece have been hard at work to prove they aren’t just another post-hardcore Aussie group. Reibelt is of the opinion that the music was made to be enjoyed first and foremost. “I guess we don’t have any misconceptions about being the greatest band ever but we definitely want to be remembered,” he says.

“It’s a plus for me if someone can come up to me and say they love a particular song or it resonates with them in a certain way – but really, we just do what we love because we love doing it.”

For all that Mesma is heavy, full of angsty lyrics and captivating riffs, Deadlights as a whole are drawing from a rather eclectic source of influences. Citing the likes of Bob Dylan, Rage Against The Machine and Tool as their inspiration, it’s incredibly intriguing to try and pick apart the new album for hints of those music legends. “I guess it’s more what each member of the band is listening to, who likes what and what influences they can bring to the table,” Reibelt explains. “It’s not like we’re setting out to sound like any of those bands, we just love that we can be so diverse.

“It’s not so much a collective influence as, this is a group of people who have come together, loving different kinds of music and found a way to put it together to create something fresh.”

And fresh indeed is Deadlights’ sound – the aforementioned melodic runs in the opener of Mesma sees Reibelt surreptitiously merge from the major to minor keys with a certain captivating slyness. But when he’s writing his vocal melodies, he’s not actively thinking of what he’s doing – or so he says. “I guess I’m really going with what feels right,” says Reibelt. “It’s about what the guitars are doing, sure, but it’s also the lyrics – it’s what I’m feeling that needs to be projected and understood with what I’m singing and saying.”

Indeed, the new album required a producer who would understand the empathetic and personal nature of Deadlights’ music. Bringing on board legendary producer Andy Marsh to finely tune Deadlights’ vision was, in Reibelt’s words, both an education and – though not necessarily one they’ll consider repeating in future. “Andy is great at what he does and never did he say to us, ‘this isn’t good’ – he brought things to the project that meant we could create the best version of what we had envisioned.

“I mean, he certainly knows his stuff but we needed someone who was invested in the project and not looking at it as a money maker, someone who believed in the sound. Andy didn’t always push for the goal so we had to guide him to our way of thinking – but all in all, we’re really happy with the result and experience we have in working with Andy!”

It was a fruitful collaboration in the end – the reception to Mesma has completely blown up, launching Deadlights in to a spotlight they hadn’t conceived of, with several reactions on an impossibly personal level from fans to track ‘Misconceptions’ in particular. “It’s just blown up over night!” Reibelt gushes. “Anyone who has heard the album has had nothing but good things to say about it all and it’s been pretty surreal, mind-blowing I guess.

“But look, we’re just a bunch of guys who are out to do what we love best. We may have a growing following, be playing all these shows but all we want is to love what we create and if people like it with us, then that’s awesome.”

 

Written by Anna Rose

 

INTERVIEW WITH Director Eric England

Director Eric England is not somebody that needs an introduction to most Australian cinema fans. His horror flick Madison County became a favourite for many horror film fans while his last film Contracted did amazingly well on the film festival circuit here Down Under as well.

Now England returns with his brand new film – Get The Girl – a film that isn’t the typical style of horror that we have come to know and expect from England. Instead this is a film that mashes genres together in such a way that while it borders on horror it also has a strong crime feel to the film with a little bit of comedy thrown is as well. With the film about to be released on DVD and VOD here in Australia Heavy caught up with England to talk about his experiences on the film.

England says the film arrived on his lap through the screenwriter Graham Denham. “He had this brilliant idea for a movie,” says England with the excitement showing in his voice. “It was about this guy who stages a fake kidnapping in a bid to win the affection of this girl who has his interest. To me it was kind of originally conceived as a straight-forward horror movie and everytime Graham and I would sit down to talk about it I would say ‘to me this seems like a really absurd comedy’ and I felt that I wanted to see a movie about the kind of people that buy into this and the person that sets this up and it kind of just spawned from that. And I’ve always been a massive fan of films like Fargo and Very Bad Things – movies that take almost slap-stick comedy crimes and watch them go horribly, horribly wrong so I thought this would be a great opportunity to not only dip my toes into that kind of genre but to do the same with a few other genres as well.”

One of the surprising things England found while putting together the movie was that it wasn’t hard to stray from his normal type of horror and put comedy into the mix as well. “I tend to be a bit of all over the place kind of person with my interests,” he says. “So I can switch back and forth from different genres of music, or I can start my day with a horror movie and then end it with a romantic comedy, so my interests are all over the spectrum so as far as my storytelling it felt really natural. Horror and comedy are actually pretty similar because they both rely on timing. If you can set up a scare and a pay off then you can do pretty much the same thing with a joke. It was fun allowing the actors to bring their own kind of comedy to the role.”

Unlike when Australian filmmakers decide to mix genres together England said investors behind the film were not scared off at all. “We were very lucky that because we coming off Contracted the producers really trusted me to be able to do something different. They were actually excited to work with me and while some people were a little sad that I wasn’t doing a straight-forward horror they weren’t. Coming off Contracted I was determined to take the opportunity to do something different and spreading my wings a little bit. I think anyone who has taken any notice of my career were like ‘what??? What is this?’ I think the fact that Get The Girl was coming from the guy that made Contracted made it even weirder for them. So for some people they had their heads tilted with confusion but once people saw the movie they could see that it didn’t completely abandon the genre root, there is obviously a fair bit of genre in there, but there is a lot of comedy in there as well. So there was so excitement but also apprehension.”

England admits one of the most important things that needed to be done in order for Get The Girl to work was to make sure that the character of main character of Clarence worked. “It was really hard to balance sympathy and drive for Clarence,” he says. “I wanted to inject some of my own passion into him and I tend to be a very OCD kind of personality so I really wanted to invest into the idea of somebody that is a romantic – a true romantic – and they believe in love at first site, which in this day and age is also kind of creepy and weird to some people, especially when you consider the new generation seem very adverse to commitment and while some of it was very romantic so of it was also very creepy and so I wanted to ride that line.

Rather than use that to make a statement or to have a commentary in there I wanted to really just have the events play out very true to the character and what those scenarios would lead to and then let the events play out based on what these characters would actually do and just see where that would lead me. So it was kind of a fun and therapeutic exercise in finding out what people’s motivations are and what really leads to some of these more bizarre news stories that you hear about in real life – I just wanted to trace that back in movie form.”

When asked about whether or not Clarence’s really personal opening monologue has a little bit of himself in it England says it does. “I think it does,” he says. “Just to the degree that in the first draft of the screenplay he was a bit of a hero and I really wanted him to be more of a under-dog. That was again interesting because in today’s social climate… especially here in America… it would work better from someone being an under-dog and kind of rising to the top and being a saviour of sorts. But again I viewed it through the eyes of romance and love and I was watching things like The Great Gatsby and these things that are love stories that are based on a lie. I thought that added a lot more conflict but then when you start adding social commentary it starts to skew it a bit. So that certainly came through in the first draft and was part of the attraction to the story for me but as it evolved it became more and more about Clarence the person so I started to use my imagination and let it run wild.”

With so much of the film hinging on Clarence England admits that it was a really tough role to cast as well. “It was really tough,” he says. “There were a few other actors that we were interested in that just didn’t work out and Justin Dobies that ended up playing the role was kind of a breath of fresh air because he embodied this charismatic and handsome young man but also had this vulnerability to him and had this quirky sensibility and natural humour, so it was a very unique mixture and I think Justin does a great job blending those together to become a mix of Ryan Reynolds and John Krasinski almost. I think that introduced a very likable charm to both him and the role. It was tough at first but once we found him it was a real godsend.”

He also admits that the chemistry between his romantic leads – Justin Dobies and Elizabeth Whitson didn’t come naturally. “It had to force it,” he says laughing. “Elizabeth was coming off this really bad break-up and she was totally against romance. I wanted to put them in as many scenarios as I could that would allow them to bond so we went out as a cast and we hung out and we did table reads and rehearsals, so we did everything we could to try and make this film feel like a personal experience. We ended up feeling like a family while we were making it so that was really nice and that translated to screen really well. It was interesting because while I wish we could have done more with it I think the kind of thrown-into-the-pool-at-the-deep-end scenario that the film is really lends itself to that kind of environment and while Justin and Elizabeth didn’t have a lot of time to get to know each other that kind of worked for the movie as well – she didn’t know him and she had to learn to trust him over the course of the events so art really mirrored real life.”

Get The Girl is out now on DVD and VOD through Bounty Films.

Written by David Griffiths

“[I’m] just hanging out waiting for my new record to come out.” Mastodon drummer and vocalist Brann Dailor has had some time on his hands lately. In the three years since the release of their album Once More ‘Round The Sun, Mastodon have not exactly been idle – Dailor for instance, has food on the brain. “I’m smoking a chicken right now – a five hour ordeal, I’ve got to check on it.”

Still waiting for their eighth studio album Emperor Of Sand to drop, Dailor has a little time to kick back and reflect with HEAVY. “It’s always a fun time,” he says, “It’s always really exciting, we’ve been so close to it for the past year and gone through all the stages of writing and recording it, worked really hard on it, you know? Hopefully someone actually likes it – we like it!”

Indeed, it is important to like your own work, because otherwise, what wold be the point? Dailor’s answer to the stating of the obvious is perhaps the best response ever “I would have to quit.” 


Ye Gods, can you imagine such a thing?! What on earth wold the drummer for one of the greatest bands to ever emerge in hard rock do with his newfound time? “You know when you stay in a fairly decent hotel and you go down for breakfast, you know, and you’re like ‘Oh I’ll see what’s happening down there’, maybe some scrambled eggs, you know, whatever they’ve got kicking around in those silver bins, all those breakfast foods.

“And then in some places you see a guy in a chef’s hat and he’s got a couple of little pans there and you’re like oh… My God. Omelette station, let’s DO this!’ I would like to be the omelette guy. Everyone loves the omelette guy, I think that would be a cool job. I make omelettes at home all the time, I have a proper omelette pan and I’ve been practicing making omelettes – I’m telling you, I’d be good at it!

Fans will be relieved to hear that for the time being, Mastodon are still happy to be on the customer side of the breakfast buffet, still creating new music, and with Emperor Of Sand, awesomeness has returned. The conceptual storyline is intricate, involved and such a well thought out plot that the simple process Dailor describes toward its compilation is surprising and of course, witty.

“You know it’s like 7th grade creative writing class stuff – when it comes down to it, it’s a very simple outline and I try to fill in the blanks and try to make that work in the context of the album, make that all work with what everybody else wants to do as well, then have it work in tandem with the people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and what that feels like.”

Writing new material is no different from the creative process of any other band – but for Mastodon, the new album carries more deep and serious meaning, ones that resonates closely with many members of the group. Quickly, the excitable go-lucky musician from the start of the conversation has turned in to a more serious and contemplative person. Evidently the darker side to the new material is difficult for Dailor to discuss.

“[The album is] a whole other form of art, another cool link that I think our fans will appreciate – we’ve taken the time to create something a little more immersive, that they can really sink their teeth in to and get the whole cinematic vibe from. The first song we put together was ‘Sultan’s Curse’ and it really triggered in my mind of vast desert wasteland and that was the springboard for the whole thing…

“That was in the very beginning stages of the record and you know, my mom had been very sick for a very long time and Troy’s wife had just been diagnosed. Bill’s mom hadn’t even been diagnosed yet, that happened a couple of weeks later. This all developed and really didn’t come in to focus until we went in to record – it’s really all kind of travelling along at the same time, it’s a miracle it lines up and we’re actually able to get everyone in to the studio to record because everyone’s so busy, you’ve got people that are really sick, people in your family – you’re trying to take care of them but at the same time you wanna make music because, you know…” Dailor pauses for a moment.

“We’re four healthy people at the moment, thank the universe… So yeah… Yeah. I just clue off of imagery, I write it down and get it all organised as I possibly can and submit it to the guys. I’m like ‘hey man, I don’t know how personal you want to get – I mean, I know what Troy’s gonna wanna write about, it would be impossible for him not to want to write about his… I couldn’t imagine sitting here knowing my wife had cancer, it would torment my mind. I knew that everything that came out of his pen was going to be about that situation. You know it’s all sorts of inspiration that people pull out of everyday life for songwriting but we didn’t need to go further than what was staring us in the face.

Indeed, as far as looking for influences to write new material, nothing comes close to being as a heavy a topic as that of cancer. It’s a heavy subject and it’s commendable that Mastodon were able to find an escae in the additional imagery to the music.

“I think when we’re writing it, it is somewhat of an escape and… First of all, it’s our job and it’s awesome, it’s wonderful to have this place to put stuff like that because everyone goes through cancer – and it’s frustrating to watch someone to go through that. Any artist is going to submerge themselves in their art and all that stuff will find its way there.

“It helps on the surface, it helps down below too, but it doesn’t really make it any easier. Bill’s mom passed away probably midway through the writing the album from brain cancer and so… But the day his mom died, we went to his house, went in to his basement and wrote the back half of ‘Roots Remain’.

“It’s in there, it’s wide open and totally bare naked – it’s probably the most vulnerable our band has ever been. I think we’ll get an emotional payback with a connection with the people, and that’s all you can really hope for with your art, is that it makes a connection with someone else, that it’s evocative in some way, that it’s helpful in some way for someone else.”

“I guess I just feel like I want to help anybody if I’m on the planet, and I don’t really have many tools to do that – one of the only tools I have is playing music. I know that muss has helped me through just about every single tough situation. It’s our contribution to the humans.”

As the new album so cleverly ties in with Mastodon’s 17 year discography, forming one epic saga, in many ways their music forms a documentation of life’s journeys. “For me, it’s almost my story of adolescence in to adulthood and I think the guys would agree to that – follow suit.

“We’ve written a lot of music, over 90 songs and we’ve tried to change it up with everything we’ve put out there and I’m proud of it all – we’ve made good use of that 17 years.”

Still writing, still surprising at every turn, Mastodon, though they may not know how they create such magic, won’t be running dry of ideas any time soon. “I just know that we do try to look for new versions of ourselves in everything and try on different hats. We look in the mirror quite often to see if we’re being real, and if the hairs stand up on the back of our neck – we know that if it happens one time, it’s worth pursuing.”

“We’re just gonna follow wherever it takes us, we have that desire to want to do something different – couple more albums then maybe that’s when I retire. I don’t know when we’re supposed to bow out, but when that happens, maybe that’s when I’ll be making omelettes in hotels.”

Written by Anna Rose

Interview with Dane DeHaan

Young an upcoming actor Dane DeHaan has shown throughout his career that he is always up for a challenge. He’s taken on tough, demanding and often dark roles in films such as Lawless, Kill Your Darlings and Devil’s Knot. He played Spider-Man’s nemesis The Green Goblin in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and even took on a pretty much experimental role in Metallica Through The Never.
That vast acting array was the perfect background for DeHaan as he approached yet another challenging role – the role of a young executive named Lockhart investigating the hidden agenda behind a strange ‘wellness’ retreat in the new thriller A Cure For Wellness.
“A Cure For Wellness is about this guy named Lockhart. He’s an up-and-comer on Wall Street who gets sent to this health spa to look for his CEO who hasn’t come back. It’s a simple task go and get the guy and bring him back before the company goes under, but he gets stuck there like everybody else. At this spa nobody seems to ever leave and a lot of crazy stuff seems to happen. As an audience you pretty much follow my character on a journey as he tries to put together the pieces of this puzzle. He’s got to get this guy back to his office but it’s really this old, ancient problem that becomes pretty horrifying. I think it is the opportunity to watch a movie that is compelling but also terrifying. It’ll be fun to watch but it will also leave an impression on you… there are just certain scenes that will really shock you. It’s almost a dare… I dare you to watch it.”

One of key stories in A Cure For Wellness is Lockhart meeting the mysterious Hannah played by Mia Goth. “Lockhart first meets Hannah at the castle… the spa,” explains DeHaan. “At first he doesn’t understand what he is seeing… it is almost like a vision. And she is playing this song that seems really familiar to Lockhart and then he finally finds her and she is feeding ham sandwiches to something in the water and I think he is not only bewildered by her but mystified by her because she is this strange creature. She’s also a lot younger than everybody else at the spa which really confuses him because she just didn’t seem to fit into the puzzle at all.”

For many film buffs A Cure For Wellness is the first time they will have had a chance to see the acting work of young actress Mia Goth and DeHaan says that she is perfectly cast to play Hannah. “In a lot of ways Mia is not unlike Hannah,” he says. “Mia has a lot of intrigue but also a sense of innocence around her as well. Mia is also this really committed actor and while it isn’t her first movie it is very early on in her career so she is really hungry and really committed and is all about things being as real as possible and her intentions are all in the right place… she’s really pure. Yeah it has been really fun getting the chance to work with her. Then there’s Jason (Isaacs) who is the opposite of Mia. He’s the old pro. He’s all about things being as real as possible and exploring moments. Jason is all about hitting his mark and saying his line – he has his thing and he is amazing at that thing. He has this theory where he doesn’t like memorising in lines before he gets to set he likes to memorise them when he gets there and he feels like that gives him a more organic experience. He’s a lot different to Mia and that is one of the things that I did in the movie I got to work with a lot of different kinds of actors every day.”

The film also gave DeHaan the opportunity to work with one of Hollywood’s most interesting and diverse directors, Gore Verbinski, and DeHaan says it was something that he relished. “I really liked working with Gore,” DeHaan says. “I think that somebody have a photographic memory but I believe that Gore has a cinematic memory. He shows up and he knows exactly what he is doing, he knows what shots he is doing and where he is going to use those shots in the movie. He also has this amazing way that really feeds your performance and it gives you a sense of the genre and just the energy with which it is going to be shown and also portrayed to the audience. And he is so on top of every aspect of the film – the props, the acting – it’s like he has the entire movie in his mind and he knows exactly what he wants and then it becomes my job to bring what he wants to life.”

DeHaan says one of the most challenging part of the film was when he had to film the tough scenes with Lockhart in the isolation tank. “They were really intense scenes,” he says. “It was also an intense experience because there were some takes where we would just do a series of it and I would just be under water for like 25-30 minutes. It wouldn’t have been that bad if I could have had goggles on so I could see but I couldn’t see anything. The lighting is pretty dark and moody and there is a camera coming at my face which really was just like this dark, blurry thing coming at my face and then I’m in a leg cast and have wires that are literally holding me in the tank horizontally. So even to get out, if it were possible, would be pretty much impossible so throughout that whole process I just had to keep playing mind games with myself.”

A Cure For Wellness can be pre-ordered on DVD and Blu-Ray right now.

 

Written by Dave Griffiths

 

DOCtor LIVINGSTONE

When a band describes their sound as a ‘twisted brothel’ you just know that they are going to have a lot of people curious about the sound that they conjure up. The thing is it is probably a pretty accurate description of the sound that French black metal outfit Doctor Livingstone have managed to create on their brand new album – Triumphus Haeretici.

Anything hard – hardcore, black metal and death metal and Doctor Livingstone have melded into their latest album to deliver an album that critics are labelling one of the greatest ‘black metal album of 2017’ something that a quick discussion with two of the bands members Rel and Reverend Prick reveals is a bit of a surprise for the band themselves.

The band are really pioneers of the French black metal scene and Rel explains there has been a couple of decades of hard work for these guys and it is finally paying off. “Doctor Livingstone started in 1996 or 1997,” he recalls. “In the beginning we were more punk rock or hardcore music but things got darker and in 2014 when Six and Reverend Prick joined the band, they were from the black metal scene, and then things got mixed up automatically and that is why our music sounds the way it does today. We didn’t do it intentionally, it just happened… accidentally really. Because of the influences of Reverend Prick and Six, there was never a moment where we said to ourselves ‘hey let’s do this style of music. It just happened like that – I had the hardcore background and they had their background and that is why it sounds like this today. When I was younger I listened to everything – hardcore, punk, thrash metal, black metal, electronic music and even pop music. I started playing music when I was 11 and I fell in love with Guns ‘N’ Roses.

When I ask about the French metal and hardcore scene and briefly mention German and Scandinavia Rel laughs, “You listen to German and Scandinavian music? I pity you… nah I’m just kidding.”

Reverend Prick intercedes with, “French black metal is the best black metal in the world!” before Rel goes on to explain that he doesn’t actually listen to a lot of French black metal. “I did ten years ago but today I don’t so I can’t tell you a lot of what is going on aside from the fact that there is a lot mixing going on, there a lot more bands that now mix-up hardcore and black metal, but not in the same way that we do. That doesn’t mean we are better or anything or even the original but yeah there is a lot of mixing-up going on.”

Reverend Prick again interrupts with, “France has the best black metal scene in the world because Doctor Livingstone is part of it!!!”

Rel says despite what the critics are saying they really didn’t do anything different when they were putting this album together. “We did what we always do,” he says. “I wrote the songs before we went into the studio and then I showed them to my bandmates. Then we start working on things, transforming things by changing the pace or tempos or rhythms. Then there a lot of things we do in the studio, in the moment, like adding the percussions and adding the atmosphere. Then with the lyrics we just add the vocal lines as we are recording – nothing is done beforehand. I write everything but then the other guys are like – let’s change this or change that and it’s when we all start working together that things start getting interesting. That is probably the one thing we did do differently this time because with all the previous albums I just did everything myself and that wasn’t really interesting but this time but this time there was teamwork and that is why I think the album sounds the way it does today.”
He goes onto say that the album was very much inspired by some very modern topics. “We take a look at human condition, we like to talk about ourselves but not in an egocentric way, but we like to talk about the theatre of life and the comedy without giving out any lessons. We just like to talk about how we see things and we like to do it with irony.”

As we start talking about the band touring in Europe during November Reverend Prick again chimes in saying. “We want to come to Australia please tell us if there is a tour manager that would like us… if you are a tour manager and you are reading this please contact us.”

“For now we have a few shows in France coming up,” says Rel getting things back on track but laughing at the same time. “Next year we are aiming to do a European tour… we’re not too sure yet. One of things we love about touring is partying, forget about playing on tour we prefer all the things outside of that – the sleeping, the eating, the partying, the drugs.”

“AUDIENCES SHOULD BE SCARED BECAUSE WE SPREAD THE WORD OF THE LORD OF THE UNDERGROUND,” bellows Reverend Prick.

“No… no, that is just a bad joke,” laughs Rel. “I hope…anyway.”

So if you are a tour manager willing to take on Doctor Livingstone don’t forget to contact the band but for their fans in Australia right now they will just have to sit back and enjoy Triumphus Haeretici which is out now.

 

Written by Dave Griffiths

COUGH

These days six years seems like an eternity between albums, but as Parker Chandler, vocalist and bass player for Richmond, Virginia’s doom metal merchants Cough explains, when you are inside that bubble and staying active it’s not just time away on hiatus like the rest of the world sometimes sees it.

“I started playing in Windhand as well during that time,” he said of the break between Ritual Abuse in 2010 and Still They Pray last year. “Our guitar player had a kid too so there was different life events that came between but we still practiced pretty consistently. We did two years of touring pretty solidly for Ritual Abuse, then we did the split album with Windhand. In the time between Ritual Abuse and Still They Pray we also did two tours of Europe and also fit Australia in there so we stayed pretty busy during that time. We didn’t exactly do nothing (laughs).”

Since breaking into the scene with their debut E.P The Kingdom in 2006, Cough have painstakingly built their reputation amongst the elite of the doom genre, with Electric Wizard, Candlemass and Cathedral all playing large parts in the evolution of Cough’s music.
Mixing a blend of hefty doom and bloody rock, Cough’s music is a psychedelic mix of black metal, sludge and blues that feels as though you are being crushed from within by an unseen force that throws your soul into a concrete blender and spits it out through a raging furnace.
This pain and torment was used to great effect on their third album, Still They Pray, with Chandler admitting the music and lyrics are highly personal to the band.

“Yeah, it’s pretty autobiographical,” he said.”It’s all taken from real life events. We hide them more with metaphors on some tracks and less on others.”

One positive aspect of taking such a long time between albums is the extra time it gives you to work on your music, and Chandler says this played an important part in the finished product.
“I think we had more time to fine tune the songs,” he added. “Some of the ideas had been kicking around since probably 2012 so we had time to play around with them in that time. I think they went through a lot of changes over that extended period of time. We would leave them and go back to them so it was all over the place but it also gave us time to get them right which was important to us.”

Doom metal is not regarded as one of the more popular genres, but it is certainly a sub genre that has a loyal following. When pressed as to why Cough have had such success within a specialized genre, he laughs and says that it is probably more to do with their attitude and free spirit.
“I think we are just easy going guys,” he smiled. “We’re definitely not competitive. We don’t really think in terms of that. For the most part what we do is not a way to get by or anything like that. We played a handful of festivals this year, just with friends and stuff like that. You meet new people and they become your friends but it’s not like its cut throat in the doom market. You just have to have fun with what you do.”
Cough’s brand of doom metal is also a little left of centre, with the aforementioned subtle, yet effective blending of black metal, sludge and blues, with Chandler saying that the roots of blues are prevelant in most music today.
“If you think about it in regards to the blues it is the real origin of metal if you go back far enough,” he said. “Over the years it developed slightly more of a chaos edge to it and it has grown from there. Over the years we have messed around with a lot of different sorts of sounds, colder sounds with progression and stuff like that.”
This month, Cough will be bringing label mates and long time collaborators Windhand with them to Australia for a handful of shows, with Chandler speaking highly of their touring partners.
“I’m in both bands so I have to say that (laughs). We’ve been friends… we met up with Windhand shortly after we started, before I was even in the band in 2009 so we’ve always gotten along pretty well. It’s exciting to be travelling with a band like that who we have a good history with.”
This won’t be Cough’s first time in our country either, with previous trips affirming their Australian fans interest.
“I dunno,” Chandler laughed when asked why they go well in a country where doom isn’t in the more popular end of the music market. “I feel like it’s… its pretty good down there for what it is. I mean, you don’t get a lot of acts down there to begin with, especially in a genre as small as ours. I feel like maybe you have a more dedicated fan base or maybe just a live music fan base in general. We definitely appreciate the support we get.”

Written by Kris Peters

For one band this year the march to performing at CherryRock017 will be a well-worn journey. Since forming in 2014 Melbourne’s very own Child have brought their unique mix of blues and hard rock to the festival twice… yes that’s right these CherryRock veterans are about to go into the trenches for the third time.

As has become the custom for bands that are selected to perform at the unique festival Matthias from Child says the band were told they were on the bill by Cherry Bar owner and CherryRock organiser James Young. “Yeah our good friend James Young let us know,” says Matthias with a laugh. “And we are really excited because we are looking forward to getting back up on the stage at the end of AC/DC Lane because it is always a good view from up there. This normally all starts with James asking you to play at Cherry or James coming up to you somewhere. Our first meeting with James was at a show with My Left Boot in 2013, that show raised his awareness of us and we’ve known him quite well ever since. There is always a certain buzz at Cherry and obviously there are a lot of venues, and you can have good ones and bad ones, but at Cherry it always seems to provide that vibe and of course CherryRock is just a massive, massive version of that. It’s such a tight community that get around to it – the underground rock ‘n’ roll scene and it is just amplified when you have 800 people there as opposed to some 200-300 people. For rock bands you can’t really go past it, basically it’s the home you can’t deny it.”

Matthias also doesn’t have to think very hard when I ask him what some of his highlights have been at CherryRock over the years. “Definitely playing with Red Fang is right up there,” he says. “That was quite a moment and we didn’t play at CherryRock last year but we were on tour with Kadavar who headlined CherryRock last year and just being there to witness them play after being there with the shows throughout the tour you could really see a massive lift in their performance as well, just because of the vibe so that was pretty memorable as well. It is a day where many beers are consumed and maybe a few memories are hazy but there is never anything that you walk away from where you are thinking ‘oh that wasn’t right’ or ‘that wasn’t fun’, it’s always for a lot of people in Melbourne as good as Christmas. For this year’s festival I’m really excited to see Nashville Pussy, mainly because Bonnie the bass-player spent a fair bit of time on our tour bus over in Europe last time we were there and we’ve never had the chance to see her play before. I’ve also only ever seen a few songs of Shihad when they opened for Sabbath so I want to see them do a full set as well. It’s hard to pick just a couple of bands that you want to see because CherryRock is a whole experience – you get there when it starts, you map out your day between the two stages and then it is just a massive ingestion of music.”

So many people have talked about Child’s unique blend of blues and hard rock over the years but Matthias says it was not something that they set out to ‘create’. “Obviously everybody is a mirror of your influences, really,” he explains. “This was the band that was started so then there was a platform for actual honesty not just ‘oh yeah that sounds great we’re going to be like this’ or ‘we’re going to sound like this and try to get to this place.’ There was never anything like that it was really just a reflection of how our gut sounds, there is no hindrance on the music for any ulterior motives apart from art itself. It’s hard to explain why we sound the way we do or anything apart from we’re clearly a fan of the blues and being a fan of heavy music but it is what it is and it all comes from honesty at the end of the day. I picked up the guitar pretty late actually, it would have been about Year Eleven I think and the lead up to that was quite a lot of metal and that’s what you do at that age, I was listening to Megadeth, Anthrax, Slayer, Overkill and so on and I was also a huge fan of Nirvana as well when I was younger so that was the natural progression. But then I started to realise that there was more to music than just playing past and I started to get into some of the more unusual bands. Then when I started to mature I discovered the blues and I was captured straight away… I was like ‘yep that’s me, every time I listen to a band this is what I’ve been searching for.’ The one hundred per cent it was Red House by Jimi Hendrix. And then there was Voodoo Child the thirteen minute live version with Steve Winwood and Jack Cassidy. The day I discovered Hendrix that was the most profound moment of my life.”

CherryRock017 will be held at the Cherry Bar in Melbourne on the 7th May. Bands that have been announced so far include Shihad, Dwarves, Nashville Pussy, Bala, Bottlecap, Totally Unicorn, Child, Mooner, Amyl & The Sniffers, Zombitches, Stiff Richards, Kelompok Penerbang Rocket… and there are still more to be announced.

Child also have their album Blueside out now as well.

Written by David Griffiths

Amyl And The Sniffers

With the announcements coming out about CherryRock017 we already know that this year’s festival will feature international acts such as Shihad and Nashville Pussy but often the announcements about the local bands get pushed to the side… but not here at Heavy!!!

One of the local bands fronting up to CherryRock017 will be St Kilda four-piece rock outfit Amyl And The Sniffers who have made a name for themselves over the past eighteen months with the release of two well-received EPS, Giddy Up and Big Attraction, while they have had successful shows playing at festivals such as Chopped and Sounds Of The Suburbs as well as opening for the legendary Cherie Currie at her Cherry Bar gig in Melbourne.

Heavy caught up with Amy from the band who simply couldn’t hide her excitement at Amyl And The Sniffers being selected to play at this year’s CherryRock and she says there was no second thoughts about it. “We just simply got a text message from James Young [the owner of Cherry Bar, the Godfather of live music in Melbourne and the man who gets to personally hand select every band that plays at CherryRock] and he asked if we wanted to do it and we were just like ‘yep lock it in… LET’S DO THIS!’” she says laughing out loud. “Pretty straight forward but we are very excited. Me and James have been good friends since the band first started. One of first gigs was at Yah Yah’s, which he also owns and he must have come along and watched us some time. I met him once, I saw him there and he was dressed in a cowboy suit and I was like ‘wow love the suit’ and we pretty much just became mates from there. He’s a nice bloke.”

When we delve into the history of the band Amy said the band simply just started because the band lived together. “We just came from uni and work together one night and we just set up to record. We wrote and recorded some music and the next day we were a band. Everything was all pretty make shift but we’ve had a fun time. We were really inspired by 1970s Australian pub rock and stuff like that – a bit of the Melbourne garage sound going around at the moment as well a bit of punk, a bit sexy but a lot of good times. Living with my bandmates is pretty good – I don’t really have any complaints from the band side of things but I do wish they would put the dishes away. I do love them all to bits though.”
So does living together make it a lot easy to record and to jam? “Yes and no really,” says Amy. “We have a new bass guitarist now, our original bassist left, but back then all our rehearsal and recording stuff was set up in his bedroom so we could just all jump in there and practice but in another way we were in his personal space… his bed was right there. I’d literally be sitting on his bed while we were recording. So it was easy to book things and chat about things though. Recently though we’ve been going to Bakehouse Studios… we’ve done that twice now… and it is actually so much better. There’s a proper PA there and it’s huge and nice. I prefer a studio definitely.”

 

Amy admits that the new Big Attraction EP does see the band try to change their sound up a little bit as well. “We’ve been playing these songs pretty much since we started being a band,” she explains. “We thought it was time to put them out there so the wider audience could give them a bit of a listen, but this time we’re trying to sound less garage and rockier. Declan wrote a lot of the songs this time, so it’s more hookey with some sharpie shit. We sounded really garage because it was cheap, which I guess we still are cheap, but it was done in four hours, and we wrote it on the spot it was made the shift. So now we want it to sound heavy, tough and mean but less like it took four hours.”

For many Melbourians there first introduction to Amyl And The Sniffers was at the Cherie Currie gig, and Amy says the night was a night of mixed nerves for herself. “It was very exciting because she is a huge inspiration for me… I think she is an absolute legend,” says Amy. “It was probably one of our only shows where I have been properly nervous before, but it was a good night. I was backstage afterwards, and I went to put on some Motorhead on the juke-box, and she told me to turn it down. I didn’t get to talk to her much, but it sure was an honour getting to play with her. I try not to think about it [the nerves] much, and I just tried to think it doesn’t matter what she thinks because she is just another person. With the nerves, though I just try to channel into energy and then turn it into fun… try not to let inhibitions get the best of you!”

Amy says there are a few bands on the CherryRock bill that she is looking forward to checking out as well. “I’ve heard that Nashville Pussy are supposed to be pretty good,” she says. “But I also want to see – Stiff Richards are cool I’ve seen them before at Cherry, and they blew me away.”

CherryRock017 will be held at the Cherry Bar in Melbourne on the 7th May. Bands that have been announced so far include Shihad, Dwarves, Nashville Pussy, Bala, Bottlecap, Totally Unicorn, Child, Mooner, Amyl & The Sniffers, Zombitches, Stiff Richards, Kelompok Penerbang Rocket and there are still more to be announced.

 

Written by Dave Griffiths

 

INTERVIEW WITH GARY OLDMAN & ASA BUTTERFIELD

This year is shaping up as a brilliant year for people that love space-orientated films. Of course we have the big blockbuster Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 heading into cinemas very soon but this has so far been a year when there have been plenty of films out there for those that like their space movies to be a little more serious.

We’ve already seen Life – a film which saw Jake Gyllenhall and Ryan Reynolds battling a space creature on the International Space Station in a film that was a seriously good suspense thriller and of course there was Passengers – a film which tested the audience’s moral stance as Chris Pratt decided to ‘wake’ Jennifer Laurence despite the fact it would ruin her life. Another film that crept into Australian cinemas with very little fanfare was director Peter Chelsom’s (Serendipity, Hector And The Search For Happiness) new film – A Space Between Us, a film that sees a human born on Mars travelling to Earth for the first time.

The star of the film is Asa Butterfield, an actor who is not a stranger to science fiction after his wonderful portrayal in Ender’s Game. As an actor Butterfield has also shown that he can handle seriously dramatic roles – something that he proved with brilliant performances in the Holocaust drama The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas and Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece Hugo. In The Space Between Us Butterfield has to mix his sci-fi knowledge with his dramatic acting experience and he does it wonderfully well.

In fact it was because the role was so challenging that he accepted the opportunity to play it in the first place. “Firstly I think Gardiner is an interesting character,” says Butterfield. “Whenever I read I script I always look out for originality and characters which will challenge me and will give me the option to do something completely different and this was exactly that, because he is so unexperienced in the real world and I thought it would be interesting to try and convey that kind of feeling. Gardiner has lived his whole life on this space station on Mars. Ever since he was born really so he has had a pretty limited experience of the outside world. Pretty much all he knows is what happens on Mars and the few snippets of information that he gathers through different things to find out about Earth, which is something that he loves and craves. His whole life revolves around this idea of one day getting to Earth.”

With such a dramatic move from Mars to Earth Butterfield says some of the challenges facing Gardiner are things you normally wouldn’t think of. “The first thing to affect him is the change in gravity,” he explains. “That causes difficulties for him with walking and running… just about doing anything really. But he eventually gets to used to that but then his whole experience with social interaction is so limited that he has no idea what to do in certain situations. He doesn’t know how to read social cues and doesn’t understand sarcasm, there are a lot of different things that actually come across as pretty funny in the film and they were really fun to play with. There is also a sense of belonging which I think we can all connect with as well – belonging somewhere and feeling like you are worth something. Gardiner doesn’t really feel that at the start of the film because nobody knows that he exists. In his own words – ‘how can he be indispensable if nobody knows that he is alive? And so his whole motive of finding somewhere where he belongs and feels safe is something that I think everybody needs and that everyone strives for.”

Butterfield says one of the other things he loved about working on The Space Between Us was that he got to work with Hollywood star-on-the-rise Britt Robertson and screen legend Gary Oldman. “Britt has been so much fun to work with,” he says. “I mean this whole story revolves around Gardiner and Tulsa’s relationship so Britt and I had a lot of fun. The way their relationship evolves throughout the film is kind of interesting because they balance each other out. Tulsa is this maniac kind of energy and Gardiner is much calmer. Gary was brilliant to work with – he is a really nice guy and he is a phenomenal actor as well so getting to work with him for a few weeks was a lot of fun. I think I’ve learnt a lot as well, I mean he is cool and he is really, really funny and he makes the whole mood on set feel really, really light and not too serious.”
Oldman, like Butterfield, says that what made him want to work on the film was the script. “Firstly it was a very good script,” he says thinking hard. “It was unusual and it had this great charm to it. It’s a family movie and I thought it was a great character and a great script and it was a chance for me to finally get to work with Peter Chesolm whom I have known for over twenty-five years.”

He says the challenge of playing such an intriguing character, like Nathaniel, also drew him to the film. “This man that has such as a single obsession and passion,” he says with passion himself. “He has this drive which I guess you could say is kind of loosely based on this kind of Richard Branson like businessman/scientist/entrepreneur. He fulfils this passion and this ambition only to then be thwarted and then presented with an even greater challenge which is the young boy – Gardiner. When we first see Nathaniel we wanted to see the youthfulness, the drive and the energy of someone that can run Genesis – that can literally come up with these ideas and then make the material up. So he wanted to see that drive and that passion and that enthusiasm. And then we have that bit where I step back from the company and years later you see that not only being outside, not only taking a backseat but also becoming more and more reclusive but he also has the strain of keeping that secret of Gardiner. It’s taken its toll on me and it is only when they start discussing about bringing him back that it reignites the fight in Nathaniel. When you see those interviews with Richard Branson you really do think that everything is possible… you can see it in their DNA – they are driven and they are unstoppable.”

If you missed The Space Between Us in the cinemas don’t worry you can pre-order it on DVD/Blu-Ray right now.

Written by David Griffiths

 

Interview with EMMA WATSON

Bringing a much loved animated film to life is no easy process. People are always going to be critical on whether or not the movie looks or feels the same way that the original did. That kind of criticism and speculation was always going to be ten-fold for Disney with Beauty And The Beast. The 1991 Disney animated version of the classic tale has become a much loved family film for nearly two generations now. When Disney announced that director Bill Condon would be bringing the story life in a real life fantasy film the big question seemed to be not whether or not it would work but who would play the character of Belle… after all she is one of Disney’s most important Princesses.

When that answered was delivered in a statement declaring that Emma Watson would play the lead role it actually seemed to quell some of the online banter. After all Watson herself is loved by families right around the world thanks to endearing role of Hermoine Grainger in the Harry Potter series of films. Still for Watson this was an epic role to take on… and that was something that certainly wasn’t lost on her.

“Beauty & The Beast when you think about it is really like four movies in one,” explain Watson. “It’s an action movie, we’re making a live action film, there’s a huge amount of stunts – there’s wolf fighting and horse-riding and you know guns and sword fights and all of that going on. It’s also a comedy – the comic timing of characters like Cogsworth and Lumiere and Mrs. Potts, it’s just hysterical in my opinion. Then on the other hand it is a romance, it’s a romantic drama… and then it’s a musical… and then there’s music just really added onto the top with dance and theatre really. So you need somebody at the helm of a movie like this that can really do all of those things and it takes someone quite special I think to get that all working really well and I think Bill has done a really good job with that.”

Of course having the characters from the animation, especially Belle, being just carbon copies in teh new film would have made the film quite boring for audiences so what differences did Watson see in her character from the animation to this film. “We wanted to make sure that we… we know that she loves reading, we know that she loves travel… but we also wanted to give her this element of being quite industrious and quite practical and very inventive,” she says proudly. “So in the animation Maurice is the inventor but in this film it is actually Belle that is really forging forward and innovating and coming up with new ways of doing things which I thought was interesting and was an idea that I loved. Belle also does some teaching in this film, not only does she love reading for herself but she actually loves sharing her love for books and she loves sharing the things that she finds special and interesting. And I loved that too… that she wants to share. And she also has a new song… it’s only a small, baby song. It’s a reprise so it’s only really a verse and a little bit of a chorus but it’s very beautiful and we expand a little bit on her past and we see really what is the story of Belle’s life before she goes to the castle and meets Beast which I think is a really lovely extra detail which we didn’t get from the original.”

Aside from a brief moment in Harry Potter Emma Watson isn’t known for her dancing and singing so was that something new that she had to approach to do Beauty And The Beast? “So I started rehearing the film in January and we started filming in March-April kind of times. I had a few months learning things, especially the waltz which for me I realised… I said this to Anthony when we were filming… that dance is the story of them falling in love and so it had to have so much communicated through it, not just as a dance but how two people interact and how that perception of each other changes and it is all wrapped up in this two or three minute moment and we wanted to communicate so much so I realised that I couldn’t just be a dancer and just know the dance steps perfectly, actually what was going to make the dance special was if I did what I’m good at… hopefully… acting. That was what was really going to bring it to life and tell the story. So it was a really special experience for me. I love to dance, I have always loved to dance, so getting to learn this specially choreographed dance between Beast and Belle was definitely a highlight. I think I was so focussed on doing what I had to do to support him (her co-star Dan Stevens) during that dance it really helped me because I couldn’t focus on how nervous I was. Both of us were just trying to work out the logistics of how do you do a three minute… you know… strictly come-dancingesque waltz routine with a Beast. I mean he is three heads taller than me.

“It was really challenging and I think we were so focussed on the challenge at hand it really did help carry us through. It was a very bonding experience. I actually think that I’m going to suggest that on all of my movies my romantic co-star has to learn to do a dance with me because there is just no better way to bond with someone.”
Of course you can’t talk about Belle and Beauty And The Beast without mentioning her dress. From the animated movie we have seen countless women over the years try to replicate Belle’s look and her famous yellow dress so what do audiences have in store for them with this rendition of the movie.

“In the end what we decided was the most important thing for this dress to do was that it had to dance beautifully,” says Watson. “We wanted the dress to feel like it could float. Like it could fly. Like it was the third, like almost the third person in that dance. And we started with a much heavier and more intricate, probable more historically accurate dress but we realised that it wasn’t telling the story that we wanted it to tell so we went with something much lighter made of chiffon and it does… it’s just perfect for that moment. We were really pleased with it in the end.”

 

Written by Dave Griffiths