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2001 - From One Extreme To Another.

Author: Staff Writer.
Publication: RGO.


Actor Rupert Graves holding an exclusive telephone interview with the website from a noisy and busy Camden.

With heaps of enthusiasm and his usual down to earth manner, Rupert Graves shows just why he's in such high demand.

Rupert, as usual you seem to be on a never ending run of work, and more work. Two films, a big television series, and a mini production, all of which sound interesting, and a tad different from other roles you've done in the past - Room To Rent for example....

Rupert Graves: Yeah, I haven't seen it yet....and I've kinda forgotten...it's about an Egyptian Guy, who's writing quite a steady......he's trying to be a screenwriter, and there you have the title....he's not making much money and he's sort of hopping about from one bedsit you know, room to another, and it's a kind of picaresque, if I can use that word - I would use it if I knew what it meant!

Go on then (laughing).

Rupert Graves: Yeah, I thinks it's - a kind of adventure, something like Tom Jones, like someone discovering London, with a kind of you know....alien sensibility....

It actually struck me, came across as a bit fanciful in places.

Rupert Graves: It is yeah, it's kind of autobiographical - I knew the director - Khalid El-Haggar, from working with him in Egypt in a thing called Fortunes Of War, quite a few years ago.

Yeah...

Rupert Graves: He was the assistant director on that, and he showed me around Egypt..and he came to London...and it was pretty much his story, and obviously some of it has been exaggerated, though not an awful lot and not by much...um..I've heard it's not a very good film.

Well, I've actually seen it, and to be honest it's not a bad film...I don't know..you seem to be waiting for something all the time.....

Rupert Graves:Yeah, yeah....and the end, the end is mad isn't it ?

Yeah, there you are waiting for something to happen...then you see the end and you think...ummm...I think it's one of those films that leads you to expect more, but seems not to deliver it fully you know.....but saying that it is watchable, there are a few good laughs in it, and a few twee moments - the blind lady...

Rupert Graves: Yeah, I forgot all about that bit...

Just reminded you then....

Rupert Graves: Yeah, I wasn't involved in any of that bit.....

Well yes, your role is that of Mark, the gay photographer.

Rupert Graves: Yeah - camp!

You actually have the funniest bit in the film to my mind, which is hilarious, a laugh out loud scene, where your character comes back from a night out, and you find Ali wearing your s and m gear on, and he's stuck, handcuffs are locked etc. Your face and his face....really funny....

Rupert Graves: Right, a big grin on that....

Quite a difference from the other film you've recently completed - Extreme Ops?

Rupert Graves: Yeah, I've just...they done a few showings....it's a goofy silly film, I mean a big dumb-ass film.....

Yes ?

Rupert Graves: But it's kind of......hopefully, hopefully, it will work...I dunno, I mean it's kind of......what's it about...it's about people making... - You know those adverts you have of people skiing down, where you pass a car then the car goes through a waterfall...and you jump off the waterfall....

A bit like the Black Magic Adverts ?

Rupert Graves: Yeah, exactly.....it's kinda like a group of Americans and English people and German people who get together to make one of these adverts.....and they get involved with some Yugoslavians hiding in the mountains...and they have to use there extreme skiing skills to get away....

That's where the title comes in then ?

Rupert Graves: Yeah, Extreme Ops.

And your role is ?

Rupert Graves: I kind of play...again I've a quite camp part actually!

Get away with you.....

Rupert Graves: He's not gay - but he's like a spoilt American producer, he doesn't actually do any extreme skiing, he just sort of stays in the background and gets colds, he's quite a comedy turn really.

Would you class it as a type of comedy then ?

Rupert Graves: It's a kinda adventure film really....

I've yet to see any of it....

Rupert Graves: I know they are doing preview audiences at the moment..and apparently...well I've been doing some ADR on it (additional dialogue recording)...

Right.

Rupert Graves: And they said that they've done some in The States, test screenings, and they've gone really well....

That's good then ?

Rupert Graves: I mean it's dumb, it's stupid...it should be a good heart film really..

Right.

Rupert Graves: It was fun to make...I went over to Vancouver to do it, and The Alps....

Yes, you were travelling quite a bit on this one.

Rupert Graves: Yeah.

Now then, the big thing you are doing at the moment is obviously The Forsyte Saga for Granada Media ?

Rupert Graves: Yeah, it's from a novel by John Galsworthy - that they are re-doing again....it's a great big saga, one of those things...and what you hope with these things is that it becomes really fascinating when you get to know the character...you need at least two episodes to get into it I think, you hope that people will stick with it for at least two episodes....then it becomes like a monumental 19th century soap opera, it's a real old saga, and it covers the family, from say the 1870's to maybe 1910's....

And you play the role of Young Jolyon...

Rupert Graves: Yeah.

Do you find it difficult to do roles that have been done before, and do you worry about it a bit , with comparisons and such like ?

Rupert Graves: Well, obviously when you say it, people assume that you are making a remake of the TV series, but you're not....like there are many versions of Dickens novels that have been made into films...so it's such a shame...I think the difficult thing is for the producers, who tend to worry about audience numbers, is that it was such a big hit in the 1960's.

Yes, I see..

Rupert Graves: Because it was challenging, because it has sex scenes, because it has a rape scene, stuff that had never been shown then...and now it's all over the place, you have films like Intimacy, you know..I mean like oral sex on scene, which is dumb.

Exactly.

Rupert Graves: I mean, we are going to suffer on the shock front, definitely, well we won't suffer, but we won't have that kind of prurient interest.

You mentioned there the audience numbers, which crossed my mind as well, simply because with ITV doing it, they are going to be more interested in ratings as against say The BBC for example.

Rupert Graves: Yeah, you might be right there, but there's not being much of that really - we've got a good director for the um..first three episodes, Chris, who is just doing what he wants, he's very good at the politics....and also I think that they are confident that it's going to do alright....the only thing I'm kind of worried about is that people are heartily sickened of period...you know costume dramas on TV again.

Yeah.

Rupert Graves: However, it is very well written, the books are fantastic, and hopefully the scripts are good - the directors are good, the actors are good - so hopefully it will all come together and make something really good.

It's all sounding as though it should really work well then...

Rupert Graves: Yeah, you have to get over the audience numbers thing, and hopefully the audience can get over their antipathy towards..you know...period dramas being on TV again - it is great, it's really good.

You sound as though,well very enthusiastic..you are really enjoying doing this.

Rupert Graves: I am, though I've not been too busy with it at times, I'm not in the first three episodes too much, I'm in the last episodes a lot more, so it's been quite good for me, having a job and only having to work something like two days a week.

That's alright then, it's alright for some!

Rupert Graves: (Laughing) Yeah!

So a little spare time then to fit in this short film you have just finished doing - "Snake" ?

Rupert Graves: Yeah, I just did that, yeah...it was written and directed by a friend of mine, Andy Serkis...

Right, you worked with Andy in Hurlyburly...

Rupert Graves: Yeah, he's doing a big part in the new Lord Of The Rings...and he wants to get into directing and the thing you need is a calling card, and the calling card is normally a short film....

Okay, and your role is that of a doctor, that right ?

Rupert Graves: I play a doctor yeah, and the story is roughly about....well you know these stories you hear of people getting drugged, they are taken into hotel rooms, are drugged..then wake up with scars on their bodies, and they find that one of their organs have been removed ?

Oh right, charming stuff....

Rupert Graves: (Laughs aloud).

And you're the guy, the doctor doing this yeah ?

Rupert Graves: I am yeah...

Right, An evil character....

Rupert Graves: Well, it's a little more complicated than that, but if I tell you what it is it'll give the story away, and he's going to try and get the release as a warm up film for a major you know.

Got you...finishing off Rupert, any future work planned ?

Rupert Graves: Well, there a few things, which I can't really talk about yet - one which I haven't been offered yet, which I would love to do, and there's a play I've been offered, which I might want to do, depending on who else is going to be in it, and em..there's another film which I might want to do (laughing)....

As usual then, you sound full of busy, plenty of work on the go then, which is always very good news for an actor ?

Rupert Graves: Yeah, I mean Forsyte is the longest filming I've done, I mean it's six months long..we started in June and it's not finished until December you know.

Well, keep it going, and good luck.

Rupert Graves: Thanks.

Bye then, talk soon.

Rupert Graves: Great, bye.

©2001 Rupert Graves Online.


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