FIGHTING PITT - by Elizabeth Moore
Achilles is described as being insatiable, arrogant, rebellious and hungry for
fame. Did you think: "I need to get this part"?
[Laughs] Yeah, that's me. That's what I'm about… No, I think even Achilles
would be a little pissed off by that character assassination. I know it reads
that way and it looks that way on the surface, but he's really coming at it
from the opposite end of the spectrum. It's more him fearing death, searching
for some kind of immortality and glory. And that's where we start off with the
But isn't he supposed to be a demigod?
Sure, the mythology is that he's a demigod. We don't play any of that in our
script, nor do we play the gods as character per se. We only relate to them
as humans relate to their religions.
Does Achilles buy into that demigod image of himself?
No, no, no, we make no reference to that. I mean "Achilles' heel"
is a metaphor for your personal weakness and that very weakness may actually
be your strength. In Troy… I don't want to be too silly but it's the heart.
So what do you think your Achilles' heel is?
Let's not go there. Next! [Laughs]
Do you agree that Achilles is a character driven by the basest of human emotions?
Well, fear of death, the quest for love…
Yeah. No. That's just one little aspect of him. The revenge becomes a thing
because he's so sorrowful and he's so hurt by this loss of his loved one that
he finds an enemy - the one who dealt the death blow. But that's the only revenge
part of the story. I hate vengeance stories. I think that they're very limiting.
I think our culture is too obsessed with this idea of vengeance - and it's not
the end of the story in Troy. There are great themes going on here that are
far deeper that I can touch upon. I don't want to limit Troy to a vengeance
story or just a quest for glory. I know that's what's going to be in the trailer,
but there's much more to it. It's great stuff.
Eric Bana said you're all supposed to sound British in this. Have you pulled
off the accent?
Well, we'll see, we'll see. I went for it. They did slight differences in dialect.
There are only two Americans in this: me and Garrett [Hedlund, who plays Patroclus].
I think it was hard for us to reach for the British and so they kind of tailored
some stuff around us. There was some kind of science behind it all and there
were slight variations between the Greeks.
Troy's your first full-on action movie. How hard did you find the physical
aspect of the shoot?
Well, it was certainly a lot of work, but it's always fun picking up something
new. I operate from the belief that you can learn just about anything, but it's
just a matter of how much time it's going to take you. This is one of the few
films in my experience where everyone seemed to be at the top of their game,
from the director to the actors, to the set and costumes… But our stunt
coordinator and our stunt guys really have been the bloodline on this film.
They came up with some fantastic fighting styles and really worked out some
great stuff for us. One of the things that I was really drawn to was this extreme
juxtaposition of love versus the depths of violence and aggression. So the fighting
was a big aspect, a big component of this film, and it could easily fall flat.
What I was most taken with was that, in this day and age, you keep trying to
up the ante, keep trying to raise the bar about speed and cuts and continuity
and just chop, chop, chop. This one went the other way.
How do you mean?
Well, the stunt team looked at some of these poses on the Greek urns and developed
a fighting style that I've never seen before. And by the time that Hector [Eric
Bana] and Achilles came together for the fight - the fight does not let you
down. You see the chess moves and you see the chess parries and only one death
blow gets in.
There was a rumour you got stabbed…
Yeah, I heard that. And that they CG'd my legs. I mean, do you really want
me to continue this conversation? Do you really believe that you could CG a
whole film of someone's legs? [Laughs]
Speaking of your legs, how long did it take to feel comfortable in the short-skirted
Not as long as I wish it took. We all kind of got right into it…
There was a lot of tabloid attention paid to your Achilles look - do you ever
get used to that kind of scrutiny?
Yeah, yeah, it's kind of old news, I guess. You negotiate your way through
it, but these guys - Eric, Orlando, Diane - are just getting thrown into it.
Suckers! It's that thing of getting in the ring and putting yourself in scenarios
where you don't know what's going to happen which is the most intriguing in
any arena. If you know where it's going, what's the point?
Your Ocean's Eleven and Twelve co-star George Clooney worked with Wolfgang
Peterson on A Perfect Storm. Did you talk with him before signing up for this?
Listen, I don't know if you'll find a bad word about Peterson anywhere. Clooney
is a big fan.
You did Ocean's Eleven, then this, then Ocean's Twelve. Seems like you're on
a blockbuster roll…
A blockbuster roll? I don't know. I go with whatever opens up. So, maybe it
Does you production company have anything close to going into production?
We've got Charlie And The Chocolate Factory with Tim Burton and Johnny Depp
and we've got Infernal Affairs with Martin Scorsese.
Are you planning to be in the Scorsese movie?
No, I'm not right for it. We've got a few other things going on, too. It takes
more time that I foresaw, but I like working on stories.
And you've got Troy 2, right?
[Laughs] Yeah, Troy 2, and we're very excited about it. We can rebuild it!