From supermarket shopping to big time movies, and from bare footed publicity photographs to charity work, actor Rupert Graves shows he still has the decent touch.
Rupert Graves: Hi.
Hi, How you doing ?
Rupert Graves: I’m fine, how are you ?
A bit weary, just back from a mad day at ASDA.
Rupert Graves: ASDA ?
Rupert, you must have heard of ASDA ?
Rupert Graves: I’ve heard of it, I’ve heard of it…..
It’s a bit like Tesco, but a bit cheaper.
Rupert Graves: Not as good as Iceland though.
You’re joking, it’s expensive there.
Rupert Graves: Really ?
I prefer ASDA because I like walking around the supermarket smacking the back of my arse!
Rupert Graves: Ha ha !
(For overseas readers: The above supermarket chain run a highly successful television advertisement, where the ending always portrays a customer patting their behind, to “pocket the difference”.)
So Rupert, how are things ?
Rupert Graves: I’m hot !
I know what you mean, it’s the same here, far too warm, it’s shocking - can you remember I had the builders in ?
Rupert Graves: Yeah.
Well, they still have jobs to do, and this is like fourteen weeks on.
Rupert Graves: Oh God!
Yeah, and I’m just sick of complaining, it’s a waste of time.
Rupert Graves: Our builders just ran off!
Did they ?
Rupert Graves: Yeah, they just ran off, and left it half finished, and a year on we still haven’t got our floor done. We have half done, and it’s not finished..
That’s awful, I can’t imagine anything more annoying!
Rupert Graves: I know.
Oh, before we chat about your work Rupert, I think I need to apologise (laughing).
Rupert Graves: Er, why ?
You remember we spoke about the batch of photographs I had, take when you were a lot younger, and I said you looked naff ?
Rupert Graves: Oh yeah (laughing).
Well, that may have come out wrong, I didn’t mean naff in bad way.
Rupert Graves: That’s fine, it’s ok!
No really, I sort of meant it in a nice way, well, I think you know what I mean ?
Rupert Graves: Which one was it, the one with my Dad ?
Well, there’s quite a few really. What I’m going to do is sort them out this end, then I’ll pop them onto a disc for you, then you can have them printed at a chemists.
Rupert Graves: Oh great - thanks!
Yeah, the one with your Dad is really quite sweet, a nice photograph.
Rupert Graves: Right, yeah.
Some of the others …. can you remember, there used to be a time, or it still happens, when celebrities pose for photographs for magazines etc, they always seemed to get them took and they always had bare feet ?
Rupert Graves: Yeah, and they look bloody awful!
So your busy as usual, just finished “Rag Tale”.
Your role in that is Eddy.
Rupert Graves: That’s right.
And what’s he all about ?
Rupert Graves: Eddy, he’s an editor of a tabloid.
As in “The Sun”, or “The Mirror” ?
Rupert Graves: Well, it’s not necessarily like one of those, it’s an invented one, called “The Rag”, which is kind of a cross between “The Sun”, “The Express”, “The Mirror”, a mixture of them all if you like. Yeah a mixture of them all, and he believes, well ….. he’s kind of anti monarchy and pro Europe, and he has his little campaigns, and in the story he’s having an affair with his bosses wife.
Played by ?
Rupert Graves: Jennifer Jason Leigh.
That’s right, Jennifer - tell you what, I wish I could get a job like that!
Rupert Graves: (Laughing) It’s not all bad this acting lark.
Rupert Graves: But I didn’t get a kiss or anything, which was great shame, though the wife is desperately pleased.
Hold on a second, I’ve actually seen a picture of you kissing her!
Rupert Graves: Sorry ?
You must have kissed her at least once, because I have a photograph, a still of it.
Rupert Graves: Oh yeah, you know I did, in the lift!
(Laughing) Nothing escapes me!
Rupert Graves: That’s true (Laughing).
So how does your character fit in, is he a bad guy, a sleazy guy ?
Rupert Graves: Well no, is a bad guy …. I guess he is what he is, he basically immoral, he has no recognisable moral centre.
That would have been helpful with your last play then, “Dumb Show” ?
Rupert Graves: Exactly, yeah.
Bit of a tie in there then.
Rupert Graves: Definitely a tie in, yeah.
And in “Rag Tale”, this was the film when you were given a basic script, and then just carry on and do ?
Rupert Graves: Yeah, it was.
Is that the first time you’ve done that ?
Rupert Graves: Yes, and it at times it was difficult because we shot it out of sequence. So we had a bit of a guideline of the story, but we didn’t quite know what information needed to be said here and there, so in the last week, it was kind of catch up, plot wise, trying to make it all come together.
Rupert Graves: It was very interesting, and it was filmed on digital, which means you can have very long takes.
Rupert Graves: So sometimes it was dire, and other times it was great.
Ok Rupert, with the same director, Mary McGuckian - are you actually doing “Funny Farm” ?
Rupert Graves: Yeah, definitely.
And what’s you role in that please Rupert ?
Rupert Graves: I’m not really sure because it’s the same kind of deal you know ?
Well, I know there’s a lot of the same actors in yeah ?
Rupert Graves: Yeah, and it’s improvised, but we’ve not really done the cover couch. I think, I think he’s an ex porn producer.
(Laughing) True to life then ?
Rupert Graves: (Laughing) Yeah, I brought my own experience to the part.
(Laughing) I’m only kidding.
Rupert Graves: (Laughing) I know, I know. He’s um, an alcoholic, and a drug addict, who’s drying out.
Right, and this is with the same production team right ?
Rupert Graves: Yeah, that’s right.
And when do you start filming ?
Rupert Graves: I think it’s sometime in September.
Going back to “Rag Tale” - I think it’s going to be shown at the film festival, I forget it’s name for the moment.
Rupert Graves: It’ “The Locarno”.
That’s the one thanks, and I think I’m right in that it’s also going to be on at “The Edinburgh”.
Rupert Graves: Yes, I’m not sure of the dates though.
Sandwiched in-between you’ve also just finished something a little different really - “V For Vendetta” ?
Rupert Graves: Yeah, that's the one.
From memory, I think this is the first time you’ve played a policeman ?
Rupert Graves: Yeah, he’s a kind of a cop.
Right, and that was filmed a lot different from “Rag Tale” - directed by James McTeigue ?
Rupert Graves: It was very, very different, it was the direct opposite from “Rag Tale”.
James McTeigue, “The Matrix” guy ?
Rupert Graves: Yeah, and The Wachowski Brothers, who wrote “The Matrix” were doing second unit on this one.
Are you expecting big things from Vendetta ?
Rupert Graves: I don’t know, you know - I’ve never been on a film that was so big, and done in so many different parts, so it’s difficult to get a sense of the whole thing.
Well, the publicity for it is immense already, a big Warner Brothers production, and of course, after the success of “The Matrix”, I would think that it’s going to publicised big time.
Rupert Graves: Right.
And what sort of setting does the film have Rupert - time wise ?
Rupert Graves: It’s set in the future, probably about fifteen years from now, perhaps twenty.
And with it being different, did you get a sense of it being different when filming ?
Rupert Graves: Yeah, and I’ve never done a film that sort of size before - you had a second unit, you had The Wachowski Brothers doing a bit, then you had James doing a bit, and someone doing another bit, like three sets all in one go.
Rupert Graves: Yeah, it was great, and Berlin was fantastic.
And a shoot in London ?
Rupert Graves: Yeah, two weeks in London, and three months in Berlin.
Any plans for theatre work in the near future Rupert ?
Rupert Graves: Not at the moment no, I haven’t.
You normally like to do one a year, or one very two years if possible ?
Rupert Graves: Yeah, I normally like to one a least a year, when was the last time I did one, I finished one at the beginning of the year didn’t I ?
Rupert Graves: No, I haven’t got any plans at the moment, no.
So after “Funny Farm”, you’re having a bit of a rest, being a Dad to two now ?
Rupert Graves: (Laughing) Yeah right, exactly, bloody rest, talk about rest!
Being a parent has got to be one of the most life changing things.
Rupert Graves: Yeah, it like when you were young, and you were told not to do this, or that - now you know why.
Yeah, a bit of a worrying time. Of course I don’t have any kiddies yet, because, um, oh that’s it, I’m younger than you! (Laughing).
Rupert Graves: (Laughing) Hmmm, exactly.
Exactly, though I do have a little niece, who is two, and a little nephew who is one, and you know, when you get the baby sitting jobs ?
Rupert Graves: Yeah.
You just fret all the time!
Rupert Graves: I know, it’s tiring!
If I do it for anything like a couple of hours, I’m thinking “get me out of here”.
Rupert Graves: It does make you knackered.
I know, it’s not just the physical stuff though, it’s the mental gear, very stressful., but it must feel good to be a Dad yeah ?
Rupert Graves: It’s wonderful, it’s great.
Looking forward to the football season then ?
Rupert Graves: Yeah right!
I‘m not at all, I reckon we are going to struggle to score goals without Bellamy and Robert providing the width.
Rupert Graves: I think so too.
You‘ll have to get up here for the match, not sure when the day is though.
Rupert Graves: I‘d love to in principal, it‘s just getting the dates sorted.
We‘ll have a look nearer the date then .
Rupert Graves: Sounds good.
Rupert Graves: Oh, there is one thing you can mention on the site ?
What’s that ?
Rupert Graves: I’ve become patron of a charity.
Rupert Graves: Yeah, it’s called Springboard.
Right, the kids one, I’ve heard about that., shall I put a logo and info or similar on the site then ?
Rupert Graves: That would be brilliant, that would be great. Yeah, it’s basically there to help parents with kids who have learning difficulties, they might be deaf, or they might be autistic, any kind of difficulties at all. It’s kind of pre school. They have experts to help them, with a support network.
Right, and was there any particular reason you became involved ?
Rupert Graves: Well, they approached me, and it’s based in Weston-Super-Mare.
Right, a kind of home thing then ?
Rupert Graves: Yeah.
It sounds pretty good, very worthwhile.
Rupert Graves: It is, it is.
Alright then Rupert, lovely talking again.
Rupert Graves: You too.
Good luck with the new football season.
Rupert Graves: Nice, You as well!
©2005 Rupert Graves Online.