With four new films and a hit Marvel series, Dan Stevens has a massive start to 2017
2017 might very well belong to Dan Stevens. The English star first caught fans’ eyes as Downton Abbey‘s Matthew Crawley and soon won over genre fans as the lead of Adam Wingard‘s stylish thriller The Guest. In 2017, he has already played one of the title roles in the current biggest movie of the year. Walt Disney Pictures‘ Beauty and the Beast has passed $900 million at the global box office. This Friday sees the release of two more Dan Stevens films with Nacho Vigalondo‘s Colossal and Ido Fluk‘s The Ticket. Then, April 14 will bring us another Dan Stevens film with Joseph Cedar’s Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer. And that’s not even mentioning Mr. Steven’s hit FX series, Legion. From Fargo‘s Noah Hawley, the Marvel series just finished its first season.
“That’s a lot of movies,” Stevens laughed during a recent chat with CS about The Ticket. “…These things happen occasionally. I worked with Jessica Chastain about five years ago on a play. She had one of those years where something like seven different projects all came out… It’s been interesting. It’s quite a range of stuff.”
Shout! Factory is distributing The Ticket in a limited run starting this Friday. Co-starring Malin Akerman, The Ticket sees Dan Stevens as a former blind man who, after regaining his vision, becomes driven by a newly-acquired sense of superficiality. In some ways, that’s the reverse of Beauty and the Beast‘s exploration of inner beauty.
“There is a sort of dark fairy tale to it,” Stevens continues. “Something magical happens. There is a magical transformation… [But] that’s the story of most great movies. It’s a part of the artistic expression. It’s the heroes’ journey. Something happens to the hero and it changes how he sees the world and makes him appreciate the marvels.”
Both Norman and The Ticket share a producer in Oren Moverman.
“[He] was really the key to getting this thing off the ground,” says Stevens. “He was one of the first people I met in New York. He comes from a rather particular corner of the New York film industry. He’s a great, great man. He introduced me to Ido. I loved him so much. I was quite awed by him in our first meeting.”
Although The Ticket is just getting released this week, it’s a project that has been working its way to the big screen for a while, having shot in upstate New York in 2014.
“That began almost at the beginning of my New York chapter,” says Stevens. “It’s one of the first scripts I read when I got to New York. Someone said, ‘There’s there’s really interesting Israeli writer and director.’ He had done one Hebrew movie, which was a really quirky film about a guy driving across Israeli and kind of having a midlife crisis… We had these lovely long walks discussing the ideas of the film and really kind of blending in. It was about three years ago, I think, that we shot in upstate New York… There was something about the tone that was really beautiful. Ido is steeped in European cinema and his films have a very different feel… It had the right amount of weirdness that attracts me to things.”
That “right amount of weirdness” is a quality that can readily be found in Dan Stevens’ recent filmography.
“I don’t know,” he laughs. “It’s often a combination of things. It’s not always the same kind of odd. It’s not so much the genre as that it has a surprise element to it, either performing in a different kind of way of performing. I remember being excited about the pilot script for Downton Abbey, thinking, ‘this is kind of a period drama, but it actually has a very modern tone to it.’ I suppose like it when projects have that playful tone, whether it’s in the horror genre or elsewhere. Fairy tales sort of have that tone built into them.”
Chuckling at the suggestion that his entire filmography might also function as alternate Legion realities, Dan Stevens affirmed his genuine love for the trippy comic book world that Noah Hawley has brought to the small screen.
“I’m a big fan of that kind of realm,” he says. “…It’s like a playground, really. It’s not even so much television anymore. It has become a true long-form narrative. It’s sort of like Dickens. Another week brings the next chapter of this crazy tale.”
Legion‘s first season may be over, but Dan Stevens is already confirmed to return as David Haller in a second season. He’s meanwhile set to star in several additional tentative 2017 releases. Coming up, he’s starring in the sci-fi film Redivider, the romantic comedy Permission, the Thurgood Marshall biopic Marshall and, starring as Charles Dickens, the true story of the publishing of “A Christmas Carol,” The Man Who Invented Christmas.
You can check out the trailer for The Ticket in the player below and catch the film in theaters and On Demand April 7.
(Photo By Mike Marsland / WireImage)