Alfred Molina (Whom the publicist called Fred) was a delight to speak to about The Da Vinci Code, a proper English chap. I did get Molina to say “knickers” so I hope our American readers will be excited into a frenzy by that. Look at it as an Easter Egg near the middle of the interview. I fired off a few questions on Silk (with Kiera Knightley) as well.
I also want to mention that I’m not making anything of the fact that they haven’t screened the movie for Alfred because I really want this one to be good as I enjoyed the book. I won’t say anything judgmental on that one; I’ll just sit over here and whistle quietly.
Read on Christian soldiers!
What was the filming like around France? Similar to Chocolat?
Well I didn’t shoot in France, all my scenes were done in London, but it was a very nice experience. All my scenes were with Paul Bettany. All my scenes are kind of contained inside this hermetically contained world.
I’m sure you’re getting a lot of questions about the Opus Dei connection, what are your feelings on the role and the movie?
I don’t really have any feelings about it, really. My overwhelming feeling is that I’m playing a fictitious character. So my only responsibility is to use my imagination.
So there was no research on your part?
No, there was no need to. Research is a movable beast, if you’re playing real people you have a responsibility to do your homework because your job is to present them as accurately as possible. I don’t really understand what the fuss is about because the book is a work of fiction and the movie is the same. The fact that a lot of people are getting their knickers in a twist, using words like controversy, it creates a totally bogus hype. The whole religious controversy didn’t have any legs, so know the story is about Tom Hank‘s hair.
So you took Akiva’s words and used them and that was the end of the story for you?
Yeah, my job is to play the role and make the character as believable as possible. Everyone involved has taken the right road which is to stay completely involved instead of trying to defend the film, the film will stand up on its own merits. It does seem odd to me that just because they are coming out and saying “Don’t see this movie,” whenever the church has said “Don’t go,” then sales double. As soon as someone says “I really don’t think you should see this film,” the next line is “Two, please.”
Have you seen the film?
I haven’t seen anything, all I have seen is black and white prints of my scenes.
Are you filming Silk now?
Yeah, I’ve just wrapped, I wrapped last night. It’s with Keira and Michael Pitt.
Can you say anything about that one?
It was a great chance to work with a great director and a great script, when those kinds of chances come up you kind of move furniture around to get them.
Thanks Alfred, and good luck with Da Vinci Code!
Thanks very much indeed!