Stanley Tucci & Colin Firth On Working Together in 'Supernova' | The Awardist | Entertainment Weekly

Stanley Tucci & Colin Firth On Working Together in 'Supernova' | The Awardist | Entertainment Weekly

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00:00
you know they want they want it to be okay and then you see then the the person who's taking care of them is ends up having the reaction that you think the person who has dementia would have welcome to ews the awardest i'm david canfield entertainment weekly's movies editor and i'm joined today by stanley tucci and colin firth stars of the film supernova in which uh the pair play a long time couple forced really to accept
00:32
that their journey uh together is coming to an end as stanley's character um struggles with early onset dementia and i wanted to start with you stanley i i know you got the script for this film first and you sent it straight to colin is that correct yes i did i did um why colin well i heard he was i heard he was a pretty good actor so i thought i know um well no i have you know we we have worked together twice
01:04
uh many years ago but uh uh you know we've always wanted to work together i i've always wanted to work with him and it just seemed like the right fit of actor and script and i i really felt like colin would get the tone of everything right so colin how do you say no to stanley tucci i guess you don't well you don't really um that's and here we are i am no i i tried to think of every possible reason why i should um
01:34
reject it um but uh funnily enough it's you know it's not the first time i've been sent something you know through a side door so to speak it was something very very particular because i i didn't know who the director was uh on first reading i didn't know what i'd be reading uh the only association i had with it was stanley so it had that association on every page for me this this was
02:06
something that was wrapped up in stanley and how i you know see stanley and and a two-decade-long friendship that we've had and i couldn't separate it from that so it was um it was very much a notional experience of something with uh this very good friend of mine whose work i admire enormously it's good to get back on the road again don't you think but how about just exploring the outer regions of fifth
02:40
[Music] [Applause] a gear yeah it's quite a production dick pope uh your cinematographer does gives it this beautiful beaut the scenery is beautiful but it also has this intimacy that is more difficult to capture than it looks colin you mentioned of course uh your your friendship with stanley um i'm curious though i imagine that it informed the dynamic between your characters but on a deeper level you're playing a couple that has really
03:13
spent this lifetime together and and you see that in every you know look you share in every every silence as you say what was it like finding that between you this this profound um profound love really you know colin and i've been friends for a very long time and and the thing is we've both been through when you're our age you've been through a lot of loss pain struggle and that when you share that
03:47
with a friend over many years you become incredibly close and so our love for each other our respect for each other and those that closeness that intimacy informed was all sort of already there a lot of it was already there when you have a really good friend it is like it's like uh it is like a
04:19
a lover it is like a a marriage in a way you know every you know a lot about each other things that other people don't know things that even spouses don't know and that makes you incredibly close and and what that does is it takes harry's beautiful poetic script and the silences and uh that colin spoke of excuse me and the and the sort of negative
04:49
space of harry's script and it makes us able to fill it very easily it makes us be able to joke around with each other very easily in a way a lot of our job was already done for us simply by being as close as we are as we are the thing is harry's script just allowed us to articulate it that was that i mean that was it was a gift colin did you find that as well um you know finding that natural way in
05:20
yes i mean i think stanley has articulated probably everything that i would have said um i i it's um you know there's no question it's a very we we're we're engaged in a very strange profession it's it's a very peculiar thing to be asked to do not just the business of pretending to be somebody else and assuming other people's experiences but the fact that um it you have to find ways in which it intersects with your own experiences
05:52
and you can start off thinking that you're a million miles from the character you take on and as you explore you you realize there's more commonality than you thought and um you still have to do the job whether you have 20 years of friendship or not um you know we're expected to do the job and if stanley and i had never met my hope is that we would have found the same nuances and all this those those details and arrived at the depth or the semblance of
06:22
that um just the same because we're sort of paid to do well maybe maybe sam will do it i'd love that you do it for me now as most of you will know i am slowly losing my ability to remember and i definitely wouldn't be here if it weren't for this man next to me i think one of the deceptive things is it's not the the heart-wrenching stuff that's the biggest challenge technically it's the light stuff uh that that's often where i find
06:52
the film's authenticity questionable is when people are just day-to-day moments and they make each other laugh and there's a little banter that stuff is often forced because it's really hard were the aspects of having worked with colin in this capacity really i think it's safe to say for the first time um aspect of his process or or his interplay with you that surprised you as an actor no no i wasn't surprised no i wasn't surprised i i just um no it's always interesting to watch
07:23
it's always interesting to watch actors whether you know them you don't know them i mean when they watch them sort of behind the scenes or whatever but um no i think i wasn't surprised i was once again impressed by his diligence uh and his technique uh but also his spontaneity and his uh uh that just i mean that's it's
07:54
a pretty profound talent and i'm not saying that just because he's because i'm here because you're here or wherever you are but yeah no it's it's it's it's a joy to watch and i remember when we did conspiracy which was a hbo thing we did that that was when we first met 20 years ago um just about 20 years ago i was so impressed with with him and the way he handled his speeches and um
08:26
and just with all of it and i st and to this day i mean you know making this little movie i watched it again it was really pretty cool to see it it's nice to see it it's exciting colin for you obviously the dynamic between these two characters is that stanley's is more accepting perhaps of of the fate of this relationship whereas here's more just trying to hold on how did you find that dynamic from your perspective working with stanley you know on the craft side of it and finding that that
08:57
tension between you i know no longer know how to identify what was inevitably the script and what we found along the way um it's i suppose that's complicated by the fact that stan and i started out thinking we were playing each other's roles so that switch happened fairly early on you know when i've been some reason for it maybe it was already woven into the script that that is how these characters
09:27
uh deal with the the pain and and each other i think it could have worked differently um i think tuscan could have been played uh with less control and if whoever was playing tusca had made different choices maybe sam would have been played with a little more you know i i don't know um yeah i see i see what you're saying yeah yeah you know the way it came out feels inevitable you know harry sent me
10:00
a bunch of research that he had done and i looked at documentaries of people with dementia which was very hard to i have no history of it in my family i have i don't know anyone who's had it i don't it was very very difficult to do the research it was painful to see you know people suffering but then also their family suffering and
10:30
and it's harder you know i think particularly when people are you know in their i mean some of these documentaries people in their early 50s late 40s yeah i mean and they just so to me it was really just about looking at that behavior and making sure that that i created it as truthfully as possible because the one thing that i thought was so interesting was that if you have dementia and this particular kind
11:05
of dementia in the in the st at the stage that my character was when you see people with it they do what the actor should do which is play against it and laugh about it even and then suddenly there'll be a moment where they fall apart but for the most part if you say can you do this with this you know if they're filming the stuff i saw was them
11:34
like talking to doctors and i say can you write the letter the number four and yeah sure and they can't and the first their first reaction is to laugh afterwards so that to me was really significant that informed very much i'd like maybe to pride myself on the
12:05
fact that i play against things a lot but that pushed me even more in that direction you know they want they want it to be okay and then you see then the the person who's taking care of them is ends up having the reaction that you think the person who has dementia would have and that is the thing that makes it so complicated and so painful you see that a lot
12:36
that's very well but i i think what stanley's talking about speaks to a very useful principle in acting which is you know the best acting and i think stanley's portrayal of tasker is a master class in this is as i think stanley alluded to you the actor should do what the person would do yeah you know the the the thing that you're struggling with whether it's an illness or uh uh or the thing you know
13:07
you're you're usually trying to feel good not bad you know i think quite a lot of bad acting and where it becomes a kind of strange exhibitionistic mess is when you see somebody trying to be sad um you see somebody trying to be sick most people aren't doing that you know most people aren't trying to be angry or trying to be um whatever it is is usually an obstacle and we were taught at drama school don't play the obstacle that's you know the obstacle is an
13:39
obstacle the thing you're playing is the overcoming of that obstacle it's like when you see an actor you know playing drunk they're trying to be drunk but but a drunk person always tries not to be drunk they don't try to be drunk they are drunk but they try not to be drunk or you watch actors like you said try to cry but actually we all try not to cry we all don't want
14:11
to cry it hurts too much so we try not to do it so just try not to do it and that's it yeah that'll be five dollars for that acting class [Laughter] i'm taking it i'm putting in my market right now i think you might be over charging the other element of this film uh that resonated for me in this particular moment was um you know you're in this van traveling together and you're in a lot of confined spaces and
14:44
it's a lot of intense time spent together and with nobody else aside from um one you know larger part of the movie um which obviously resonates uh given the current state of things yes it was sort of prescient i suppose yeah in indeed um was that re watching the film you know you made it before watching the film now um and the way it portrays relationships in a way that i'm sure will hit hard for many i was that an interesting experience for you
15:14
colin at all that there does seem to be i think there's an intensification of you know to their response because of the year that we've been having us still having yeah um i think that will probably play out differently uh with different people but i think issues of isolation issues of the importance of connectivity of reaching people that are important to you being away from the
15:46
world in some way these are all things which i think the film contains which clearly uh and loss and grief and fear of that um so i i think people are uh very very alert to those things and also i think you know there's a lot of people are thinking about their values i wanted to end by putting you both on the spot a little bit uh you've known each other for a long time um i'm sure you're fans of each other's work
16:16
uh do you have a favorite performance of each other's stanley i'm going to start with you no that's very hard because he's awfully good consistently uh i've heard that yeah i know i know i'm very glad you asked this because i still am i remain unconvinced that he's [Laughter] um i well besides mamma mia [Laughter]
16:54
uh i i think uh it's for it honestly that's a it is a very hard question you did put me on the spot it is very hard um i think that i still and maybe this is just when i because i first met you and everything like that but you've done so many brilliant performances but i still go back to conspiracy because it was so complex what you had to get across and the way you did it the way you achieved it was i i i
17:25
i don't even know how you how you did it uh for me that's still i still think about it extraordinary okay colin it's to you um well it's it's just as hard i mean also because stanley is so extremely inconspicuously versatile um that it's like comparing apples and oranges you know um because there are some performances i'll admire for their subtlety
17:58
and others i'll admire for their extreme lack thereof um i don't know well i mean sitting opposite because we had a lot of time to scrutinize each other in conspiracy because we were sitting across a table from each other for weeks you know stanley was playing a very very dark character with incredible subtlety and containment you cannot believe the actor who is capable of the performance he gave in things like hunger games is the guy who sits there so quietly and doesn't seem to want to draw
18:33
attention to himself so stanley i think it's awards worthy for stan lee to even play a guy who doesn't want to draw attention to himself no i mean it's so he has he has arranged not just in terms of different characters but actually in terms of style of acting as well uh i will go to conspiracy as well i it might is it cheating to say that his performance in supernova is my favorite i don't think that's cheating at all i think it is i think i think stan has has um i think he's surpassed himself here
19:06
which is quite a bar to surpass i think his performance in lovely bones was extraordinary in big night um you know i even when the movie is unworthy of him i think you know he's always and that's that's enough of that because i'm getting uncomfortable now i can't think of a better more lovely note to end on that was so sweet both of you and i think that is love as we spoke about um stanley tucci colin firth thank you
19:45
so much the film is supernova it is one of the best of the i guess not technically year award cycle year and two months whenever it is um yes thank you again this has been the artist i'm david canfield thank you so much

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