Relativity Media recently offered audiences their first glimpse at “Immortals,” a stylish, mythological adventure directed by filmmaker Tarsem (“The Fall,” “The Cell”). Before Tarsem and producer Mark Canton (“300”) screened a few minutes of footage from the coming movie, Speakeasy sat down with two of the film’s stars, Henry Cavill (who’s set to play Superman in Zack Snyder’s franchise reboot “Man of Steel”) and actor Luke Evans, for a conversation about the challenges of bringing new life to old myths.
How tough is it to connect with the grandiosity of stories about the gods, and make sure everything also feels immediate and relatable to contemporary audiences?
Luke Evans: I think as an actor you have to be able to relate to the role before you take the job, whether it be a god or whatever. You have to see something in your character that you can relate to. And I’m sure Henry did the same thing, but I look at the role Henry played, and I can relate to what he goes through; he has a struggle on his hands – he lost his mother, he finds his feet, he falls in love, all of these things, they’re human feelings. So I can relate to that, and what I had to do with Zeus is make people understand that this god wasn’t just a [guy throwing] lightning bolts, he had feelings and he cared about these people on earth, and that was my responsibility, to prove that in what I did on screen.
Is that the difference between the successful adaptations and the ones that are less so?
Henry Cavill: I think there’s a lot of things which factor into the success of things, and I don’t think it’s just down to the storyline – it can be many things. But we’ll have to wait and see what this is when it comes out, you know?
Tarsem is known as a visual stylist, but is it up to him to make sure that those visual match up with something substantive, or is there anything you can do as actors that ensures that there is a sense of meaning?
Cavill: Yeah, but to say that the visual, yes, it’s stunning and it’s beautiful, that’s important, but it’s merely the canvas upon which the story is being played out. So of course – the journey that we’re all going through as characters is paramount, but it just happens to be done in a spectacular setting.
Evans: the backdrop of these sets that we worked on, they were humongous, humongous sets that once you were on them, no matter how ridiculous you felt walking from the trailer to the set, you got on that set and you were totally there – you didn’t need to think about anything else.
Is there a particular scene or sequence that you guys are eager to see fully rendered after doing it on set?
Cavill: I’m just looking forward to seeing the finished product.
Evans: There was a lot of hard work put into every single moment of this film, so we are very proud of ourselves for getting through it. Because it was epic.
Cavill: We survived.
“The Immortals” is being released in theaters nationwide on November 11, 2011.