The Lord Of The Rings star also answers the same 10 questions we always ask everyone!
You’re starring in a remake of the classic slasher movie, Maniac – what can you tell us about the new version?
It’s a primarily POV film about a man who has a compulsion to stalk and murder women. You experience what this man’s world is and get a feel for his life - he discovers this young girl who it seems he has a real yearning for romantic love with that probably can’t sustain within the context of the world he set up for himself.
You mean it can’t sustain his need to scalp her?
Does filming the entire movie from your character’s point of view force the audience to empathize with him a little bit?
I think so. Alex Aja, who is an excellent French horror film director, he wrote the remake, and it was his idea to conceive of it from this perspective. It not only changed entirely the approach from the original film, but created a potentially more uncomfortable experience for people.
How was the effect achieved, practically? Did you have to wear a camera rig on your head?
There was actually only one time where we intended to have me wear the rig, but the operator was actually our DP [director of photography]. So he operated the camera the entire time and I followed behind him. It was kind of a puzzle every day and a little bit of a discovery process. We definitely encountered elements along the way that were unintentional, little reflection shots that weren’t written into the film. It was a really fun, rewarding process, actually.
You seem quite attracted to darker roles, like Kevin in Sin City. How come?
As it pertains to Kevin, I was a real fan of the series of graphic novels that Frank Miller wrote, so it was cool, the opportunity to play that character. I was intrigued about being a part of the world of Sin City. I guess I’m intrigued and attracted to darker roles because it’s not something that I often have the opportunity to do. They’re also so different from who I am as a person, and I think exploring something that is less relatable is interesting as an actor.
How different is this movie to the original Maniac?
The approach is different, the characterization is different. I don’t think there was any way to compete with what Joe Spinel had done in the original film - his performance is incredibly iconic. We’re trying to get a little bit deeper into his backstory, creating some sort of understanding as to how he could have psychologically started to break down.
Talking of psychological breakdowns, what can we expect from the next season of Wilfred?
What a beautiful segue! We established at the end of the last season this drawing that had Wilfred on it, and it was clearly a child’s drawing, the implication being that Ryan may have seen Wilfred when he was a kid. We start this season picking up where that question left off. I haven’t really sat down and looked at the entire season as a whole - we shoot madly out of order - but my impression of the season is, I certainly laughed more making this season than I’ve ever laughed making the others, so I anticipate it being funnier.
What was the last thing you had to apologize for?
Being late. I really try and make a habit of being early.
What’s your favorite curse word?
Probably fuck. I know it’s not socially acceptable as much in the United States, but I do fancy the word cunt as well. But the context for which it’s used elsewhere doesn’t quite fit as well here in the US. It’s not an easy one to weave into general conversation.
Did you pick that one up from your Australian Wilfred co-star?
What’s the worst hangover you’ve ever had?
It was in 2006, in New York. I think what exacerbated the hangover was - and I’m not one to take a pill on a plane for anxiety or anything, so I don’t know why I did this - but someone gave me a Xanax, and I took it just for shits and giggles. I think because that was still in my system, it made the hangover worse, but I also drank gin and tonics and had shots very late in the night. It was a mixture that really made things extremely painful for me the next day. It was horrendous.
What was your first car?
A BMW 3.0, 1973. I really love vintage cars and I had my mind set on a vintage BMW. I initially loved the old 2002 model, but the 3.0 was a little bit less boxy and a little sportier, and I just fell in love with it. I ended up finding one in really good condition.
Do you have a scar that tells a story?
I have a scar over my left eye from walking into a windowsill of a fire door in a hotel hallway - it busted my eye open, I ended up going to the hospital and I had nine stitches. Then I’ve got a scar on my abdomen, which didn’t heal properly, so it’s a lot gnarlier than it should be from an appendectomy.
Do you have a party trick?
No, nothing notable that I kind of think, “I’ll throw this out there and people will see this wild ability that I have.”
What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever put in your mouth?
Jesus. I don’t know, it was probably a giant deli sandwich that you literally can’t get your mouth around.
What’s the one thing to remember in a fist fight?
In the opposite direction?
Just keep moving! I boxed briefly, just to work out. But I did some sparring and the key to boxing is to not ever stop moving - you can never just stand there, if you stand there, you’re going to get your ass handed to you.
Who was the last person to see you naked?
Wow. Er…my ex-girlfriend.
Finish this sentence: If I ruled the world for a day, I would…
I’d set up worldwide soccer matches for people to get over their disputes. Like, put down your arms, settle it on the pitch.
I don’t know if the USA would enjoy how that would turn out for them.
It wouldn’t turn out very well, but wouldn’t that be fascinating? It could be a great way to experience humility.
Maniac is out June 21.