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  • - Well, there is a pressure,

  • but you dissolve the pressure by working hard.

  • If you feel the pressure and you buckle

  • or you feel the pressure and you don't put in the time

  • or the prep, you're gonna choke.

  • You use the pressure or you use the fear

  • or challenge to just put in the time,

  • and it's up to you to fly with it or try to.

  • [soft dramatic instrumental music]

  • So The Ragged Child, it was the televised version

  • of a play that I had appeared in

  • with the National Youth Music Theater,

  • which was a young people's theater company.

  • It pulled together from auditions all around Great Britain,

  • kids from all types of backgrounds.

  • It was an interesting experience.

  • I guess it was one of the first times I'd

  • ever done this, the stop start process of filming.

  • It was very much an ensemble piece,

  • so each of us shared the weight of the responsibility

  • of the piece, although the lead

  • was played by Johnny Lee Miller,

  • who obviously has gone on for a wonderful career.

  • So I view my time in the NYMT as a big part

  • of my training, actually.

  • Your training never stops, but that was a real part

  • of stepping up and taking responsibility as an actor.

  • Jerome Morrow, that's a nice name.

  • - It's my name.

  • - I can't be you without it.

  • - What makes you think you can be me at all?

  • So I'd done a couple of other films,

  • but Gattaca felt like a huge, huge break.

  • First of all, to work with Ethan and Uma,

  • Alan Arkin, Ernest Borgnine, Gore Vidal,

  • this extraordinary group of highly regarded

  • and talented individuals.

  • I guess I was spoiled looking back

  • because also to work on something

  • that I just so believed in, unique, resonant,

  • timely, political, had great style.

  • But my memories of it were wow, yeah,

  • moving to LA for the first time.

  • I was staying in one of these little self-contained suites,

  • just up off Sunset, renting a [laughs] Ford Mustang,

  • driving around, hanging out a lot with Ethan.

  • Ethan and I got on very, very well, I remember.

  • We filmed some of it in Marin County.

  • We did that drive up the highway together,

  • which took us a weekend.

  • It really felt like the first time I'd come

  • to Hollywood and I was making a movie,

  • and it was a true moment of destiny

  • and dreams.

  • It's great that that film that early on in my career

  • was a film that also stood the test of time.

  • I've made about, God knows, 30, 40 films since then.

  • That's still a film people talk about,

  • which is really, it really meant something.

  • There are a couple of others I did around that time,

  • which people [laughing] don't talk about so much,

  • which is no bad thing. [laughs]

  • Oh, I can just imagine, if only Dickie would settle down.

  • Doesn't every parent deserve a grandchild?

  • Oh, God.

  • Never, never.

  • Swear on your ring, Marge.

  • I'm never going back.

  • The Talented Mr. Ripley.

  • I was making a film in London produced by Carolyn Choa.

  • I was aware that Carolyn was married to Anthony Minghella.

  • Anthony, by all accounts, was watching the rushes

  • of this film come in decided to offer me Dickie Greenleaf.

  • In my insane arrogance as a 20 something year old,

  • hostile to the idea that I would be cast

  • as this pretty boy, turned it down. [laughs]

  • I was thinking at the time that

  • what I should really be doing

  • is just playing character roles and hunchback,

  • just trying to find real weird, twisted characters.

  • I luckily came to my senses and realized

  • that he was putting together this extraordinary group

  • of young actors and that he himself,

  • obviously, having just won 50 Oscars or whatever it was

  • for The English Patient, was probably gonna be good,

  • safe hands to put myself in.

  • And my experience of that particular film

  • was absolutely golden, but it was also somewhat misleading

  • in that I was sent, first of all,

  • down to Ischia to get a suntan,

  • learn to sail, and practice my saxophone.

  • I've never since been given that [laughs] kind

  • of carte blanche or invitation on any other job, sadly.

  • I was overwhelmed with nerves because suddenly,

  • you have Gwyneth and Cate and Philip and Matt turning up

  • alongside all these other great actors.

  • I used the bravado and the confidence

  • and the swagger of Dickie as a way

  • of pulling my way through that,

  • and I think I pretended I was Dickie,

  • basically, for the whole time, which worked.

  • It was very well received.

  • It was the first time I got a nomination by the Academy,

  • and so in many ways, it was a huge turning point in my life.

  • It still sits in my heart as one

  • of the most wonderful memories, mm.

  • [light jaunty instrumental music]

  • Many a Mecha has gone to the end of the world,

  • never to come back.

  • That is why they call the end of the world Manhattan.

  • - And that's why we must go there.

  • - My memories of AI, wow, there are so many.

  • So I went from the sun-kissed coast of Italy

  • to East Germany, where I was filming Enemy at the Gates.

  • I get this phone call from Steven Spielberg,

  • which is the phone call most actors

  • spend a lifetime waiting for,

  • and he was developing AI alongside Stanley Kubrick,

  • who sadly passed away early, early on in the development

  • of this particular version of the film.

  • I would finish working Berlin, fly to Paris,

  • get on the Concord, fly to New York,

  • and land before I'd left, get met on the runway

  • at JFK with a helicopter, and flown to Steven's house.

  • This is [laughs] to rehearse.

  • If that doesn't make your head spin, nothing will.

  • That kind of treatment is, well, for me, otherworldly.

  • It was a really interesting experience in the hands

  • of this extraordinarily powerful director.

  • He was incredibly collaborative,

  • and we came up with this idea of the dancing

  • and the music and the guy with a walking jukebox

  • so he could paly old classics and dance to them

  • and seduce whoever he had to seduce.

  • He was open to so many ideas, and, in a way,

  • the challenge was just be as imaginative

  • and as creative as you can, and I'll see if we can do it.

  • And most of the time, he was like yeah, we can do that.

  • The makeup was an extraordinary journey.

  • Initially, they wanted to make a fake me,

  • so they took a mold of my face

  • and stuck the mask of me on my face.

  • First of all, it made my head way too big,

  • and secondly, it meant that you

  • couldn't actually register anything I was doing.

  • So we ended up just built these tiny,

  • little pieces that just made every line

  • on my face perfectly symmetrical and straight.

  • And then I also remember, because, unfortunately,

  • it all grew back tenfold, they shaved almost

  • [laughs] all my hair off.

  • Everything was shaved every morning, and they sprayed me

  • like a doll every morning and polished me.

  • Sitting in a chair for four hours and being transformed

  • does help because you go in as one thing,

  • and you come out really looking and feeling as another.

  • I had a rigorous routine that I went through everyday

  • with the choreographer.

  • That discipline was also very important

  • to setting this physical

  • neutral zone for Gigolo Joe to operate out of,

  • and getting the walk right.

  • 'Cause he was a robot, we wanted certain things

  • and certain moves to be repetitive.

  • And if you watch the way he walks, people walk like.

  • He actually walked with a rhythm.

  • He did this thing where he turns his head every other move.

  • And so getting into that and locking that

  • was an important ground zero to start at everyday.

  • Finding the character is finding the right look,

  • the clothes, the makeup, the hair, all of that,

  • and then you end up with what just feels right.

  • [subdued atmospheric music]

  • - And what do you do?

  • - I work wood.

  • [hammer banging in distance] [men chattering]

  • Cut.

  • Mostly work wood.

  • Well, Cold Mountain.

  • So I'd start this extraordinary relationship

  • with Anthony Minghella,

  • and I remember him saying come on the odyssey with me.

  • This is gonna be this huge physical journey, and it was.

  • We battled the seasons and the elements every single day.

  • It was deeply emotional, too,

  • because a lot of my character's journey was physical.

  • I remember also, I had this big relationship

  • with animals and that Anthony wanted all the animals

  • to be real, so I was always fishing

  • and learning to cut cows open

  • and pull chickens' heads off and all of that stuff.

  • It was very hands on.

  • If you're up a mountain in six foot of snow,

  • you're up there with a crew.

  • If you're in a bog or if you're in a swamp

  • with gators six feet away, they're in there with you.

  • So it's a very bonding experience

  • to go from baking heat to sub-zero temperatures

  • and everything in between.

  • It's all about the people around you.

  • If you're with a really wonderful group of people

  • and the part requires it and they're there with you,

  • then absolutely, you do it again.

  • Please tell me the truth.

  • - Why?

  • - Because I'm addicted to it, because,

  • without it, we're animals.

  • - I'd seen Closer on stage in London and in New York.

  • Again, Mike Nichols, a director just of legend.

  • A dream team.

  • How lucky am I?

  • Suddenly, I'm in the room

  • with these other three wonderful, wonderful actors.

  • I remember the rehearsal process was really interesting.

  • We rehearsed it in New York.

  • We read through the script, but,

  • most of the time, we really just listened

  • to Mike recounting stories of his love life.

  • I remember halfway through saying to each other like,

  • maybe we're not gonna input anything.

  • And what I realized he was doing

  • was he was laying his life bare in order to feel safe.

  • It was like he was in confession.

  • And so suddenly, anything we discussed,

  • anything we shared, because the piece is about meeting

  • and breaking up with the loves of your life,

  • so it's always dealing with the most raw, the most intimate,

  • the most revealing and vulnerable moments.

  • And in a way, he was going through this process

  • of confession and allowing

  • the conversation to always be safe, which worked.

  • We shot it in and around London,

  • which was a real treat because I was at home.

  • So much of London now I drive past

  • and I think, oh yeah, I filmed there or oh gosh.

  • And so suddenly, these little landmarks

  • in my hometown are also touchstones of memories.

  • But sadly, there's this one strip,

  • the scene at the very beginning

  • when I spy Natalie Portman coming through the crowd,

  • Spitalfields Market, has been completely demolished.

  • The shops have all gone, and it struck me the other day

  • how sad that was 'cause I have such vivid memories

  • of shooting that scene.

  • The play, those who know the play,

  • will know that the ending in the play is very different,

  • or at least it goes a little further,

  • and we filmed that ending.

  • Although it's quite an eccentric ending.

  • My character Dan calls the other two together

  • and has this breakdown where he describes

  • that Alice, Natalie's character, has died.

  • And he goes through this whole confessional

  • where he discovers that she's stolen her name

  • from the memorial of this young woman back

  • in the Victorian age.