Movie Interview by Neils Hesse
Q&A session at the London press conference with Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Sean Bean, director/producer Jon Turteltaub and producer Jerry Bruckheimer
Jerry seeing as this movie has done so well in The States would you want to turn it into a franchise?
JERRY BRUCKHEIMER: I would love to do it if Disney does.
So you don't have a script yet for a possible sequel?
JERRY BRUCKHEIMER: No but I would be happy to hear any ideas.
Jon was it helpful that you knew Nicolas so well from high school?
JON TURTELTAUB: It was less intimidating.
NICOLAS CAGE: He didn't want to cast me because he was scared that I'd make fun of him.
JON TURTELTAUB: He was always more popular.
NICOLAS CAGE: No I wasn't everybody wanted to talk to Jon because he was so smart.
So Jon how did you manage to pull off this success of a movie?
JON TURTELTAUB: It's all about listening to people, watching other movies and in my case I listened to Jerry a lot and then I just let the actors create the characters.
Sean, why did you want to do this part?
SEAN BEAN: I really enjoyed reading the script and I felt that my character had humanity and charm. He is not that different from Nic's character in fact the scene where he is forced to kill you can see in his eyes that he doesn't want to but the situation falls out of his control. Also the prospect of working with Jon, Jerry and Nicolas appealed to me.
Diane, were you prepared?
DIANE KRUGER: I thought that I was fit but it proved to be very challenging and I am now very respectful of stuntmen and what they do.
Nicolas apparently you liked the idea doing the robbery in a tuxedo?
NICOLAS CAGE: When I read the script there was something else that I was reading and my character in the other one was wearing a jumpsuit so I thought the tux would look better. I like old films like TO CATCH A THIEF there was a very restrained approach to the way those guys did their robberies. The fact that my character was trepidacious about the whole affair appealed to me.
Nic, the film has turned out to be a big hit and like the equally successful novel The Davinci Code involves a puzzle. Why do you think it has struck a chord with the public?
NICOLAS CAGE: Well the film has actually been in development for over 7 years and at this moment in time people just seem to be interested in mysteries.
Jerry, did you research all the little details for the heist scene?
We hired a guy who works for the government, his job requires him to break into their facilities to test and improve their security systems. He is an ex-navy seal so he designed the whole robbery. The actual system in place now for the Declaration of Independence has all been changed for obvious security reasons.
Nic, to what extent do you share your character's ability to solve problems?
NICOLAS CAGE: I am not good at problem solving but I can turn a positive into a negative and I see myself as a student of acting. If I stay interested then the audience stays hooked although I definitely feel more seasoned these days.
Nic what was it like working with Diane and Sean?
NICOLAS CAGE: They are all good. Sean Bean kicked my ass at billiards and his character gets along with mine in the film in a kinda bittersweet friendship. Diane's character shares a mutual fascination in history with my character and she is a lot of fun to work with. She's nutty and charismatic and we'd all go out and sing karaoke together and hopefully all that chemistry translated to screen.
Diane, apparently at your screen test with Mr Cage, he was intimidated by you?
DIANE KRUGER: Well I was very star struck so I avoided eye contact so maybe he took that wrongly.
NICOLAS CAGE: Jon put all that intimidation stuff in the production notes just to get at me. Me and Diane got along very well, we riffed together and when I noticed her doing Peter O'Toole impressions between takes I thought finally someone with my wacky sense of humour. All I said to Jon was that she was challenging.
Nic, you seem to move seamlessly from big budget action films to low budget stuff, which do you like more?
NICOLAS CAGE: I like both, Charles Bronson, James Dean, I don't wanna be put in a box so I'd like to be able to go from an adventure film to something else and Jerry has a unique vision because he is an avid movie fan so I feel that I'm allowed to explore more.
Nic, which experience in your action movie roles have you enjoyed the most?
NICOLAS CAGE: I had a lovely time with Sean Connery and on this one I got to work with Jon Voight and Harvey Keitel and they were all good - I don't like to compare movies.
Diane, was this shoot good for you - a quick six months?
DIANE KRUGER: It was great. Jon is such a funny guy and my character is really good, a strong and confidant woman.
Jerry and Jon, how was the casting for the supporting parent roles done considering you have heavyweights like Christopher Plummer?
JERRY BRUCKHEIMER: Christopher Plummer is at the top of his game and we just felt that he would be perfect for the role and he was.
JON TURTELTAUB: For me it just feels right to cast a big star to be a relative to another big star so we cast Christopher Plummer and Jon Voight as respectively the grandfather and father to Nic's character.
Nic, do you think that it will stimulate Americans' sense of history?
NICOLAS CAGE: Well it is a world treasure and people seem to have picked up on that fact so I'd like to think that people around the world are interested in that. It is also good because it is based in our time not past or future but now.
JON TURTELTAUB: It takes place in our times so maybe it appeals to people more.
Nic you've got a few national treasures on your hands, could you tell us more about those?
NICOLAS CAGE: Well the big ring has a reddish gem called a carnelian and it's great for your sex drive, also it's not that expensive so I recommend that you give it a shot.
Diane, how do you feel about the past incredible 18 months that you've had?
DIANE KRUGER: It all happened very naturally. Someone saw my pictures and I got a job offer and it just went from there. Well it's actually been closer to three years. I feel very blessed and I aim to be recognised as a good actor and I admire Nic's choices in movies and I hope to get the chance to do the same.
Nic, any progress with GHOST RIDER and THE WICKER MAN?
NICOLAS CAGE: I recently had a very successful conversation with Neil LaBute and I now think that THE WICKER MAN may happen very quickly. GHOST RIDER has been going for 4 years not for years, but 365 x 4 and we are still talking about it. The GHOST RIDER character will have the most impressive look for a super hero and his character will be very interesting.
Sean, what are the plus and negative sides to working away from home?
SEAN BEAN: Well the negative side is that I miss my family, friends and home in general but at the same time the plus side is I enjoy the work I do and whereas when I first went out to LA it was kinda like cap in hand but now I like it and it is all very nice for me.