March 26, 2012
Source: Jim Sturgess Online
While there’s other news today about a Wachowski project, we’re still waiting to see something for Cloud Atlas. That adaptation, from the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer, is finished shooting and heading for a release late this year. We’ve heard a few crazy details about the project, mainly that it spans six different storylines and time periods, including the past and future, and features a cast that rotates between various roles in each of the different segments. One of those cast members is Jim Sturgess, who gave an interview recently and mentioned some rather juicy details about how much of a “cinematic event” this movie will be.
The cast for Cloud Atlas, based on David Mitchell’s novel, features Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, Ben Whishaw and Jim Broadbent, among many others. We’ve heard from Hugh Grant about how he plays “incredibly evil” characters, but now we get to hear from Jim Sturgess. He spoke last year before filming about being “excited to see if we can pull it off,” now we get to hear a hint about if they really did. He recently spoke with Jim Sturgess Online (via RopeofSilicon) in an interview and chatted a lot, without revealing much, about how potentially groundbreaking Cloud Atlas may be. He starts:
“Making Cloud Atlas was an amazing experience. I loved every minute of it. It was so ambitious and exciting. Everyone involved all knew that we were working towards something that has not really been done before on this kind of a scale. Whether it succeeds or not it will definitely be a cinematic event. It was like rep theatre on a massive scale. So really it was almost going back to basics in a way. Using make up and and big spoonful of your imagination to make it work. I love that the audience almost have to participate and lend the film there own imagination for a couple of hours. It’s much more rewarding that way, and much more like watching an old play or pantomime in that respect!”
“I have so much faith in both the Wachowski’s and Tom Tykwer. They are such forward thinking and visionary artists and so incredible and inspiring to be around. They have really managed to visually enhance the ideas that lie within the book and make it more than just a straight adaptation.”
He goes on to say that “most of the main actors play or ‘appear’ in each story in some way or another”, but you sometimes won’t even know who they are, which sounds cool. But most of the main leads do indeed appear in all six story segments. “I can tell you that I managed to appear in all six of the stories which I was really pleased about! I’m not going to tell you how I ‘appear‘ or who I play as I really believe that it would ruin part of the fun of watching the film. You have to really look out for it. I understand that people want to find out whose playing who, and I’m sure a lot will be revealed in the trailer but I honestly believe if you want to get the most out of watching the film the less you know the more fun it will be!” That’s always the best way to enjoy a movie, but it sounds particularly pertinent with Cloud Atlas and its characters/stories.
Since they don’t do any press and rarely make public appearances, we don’t get to hear much about the inner-workings of the Wachowskis, or how this idea was even envisioned between Andy, Lana and Tom Tykwer. But, thanks to the Sturgess interview, we can get a small bit of insight. Stating about Cloud Atlas:
“I remember Andy, Lana and Tom welcoming us all and giving us a kind of guided tour of what we were hoping to achieve. It was one of those special moments where you listen to what you are about to experience and then take a look around the room at who you’re about experience it with and it felt very special and exciting.”
“Everyone was a long for the ride and there wasn’t an ego or a bad apple amongst us. It almost felt as though it was everyone’s first film again as it was like nothing anyone had experienced before. Also, for the more well known actors, it was a risk and a new challenge, so there was a real freshness about it.”
“I loved Andy, Lana and Tom. They all brought something different. All such unique and brilliant personalities. They did almost everything they could together as one unit. Whether it was rehearsals or make up tests it was always all three of them, and then obviously when it came to shooting, the two teams had to split for logistical reasons… But I’m sure if they thought they could afford it they would have done everything together. Lana talked a lot about how filmmaking really is the only sociable and collaborative art form. You absolutely need lots of people to make a film. Lots of people all discussing, collaborating and working towards the same goal. I love all that. All from different artistic backgrounds. For them to collaborate with another director was a unique extension of that idea.”
You can read more from Jim Sturgess on Cloud Atlas as well as Upside Down and much more in the Jim Sturgess Online interview. He talks about how they filmed on so many different kinds of sets and worlds: “I remember shooting a scene in the future and then having to go and shoot another scene way back in the past… it is the closest I will ever get to actual time travel!” He even says they shot “on a ship that sailed through the ocean”, saying with that kind of experience “there really isn’t much to tell you that you aren’t living in the 19th Century!” And that’s only one of the six storylines this film will span. I cannot wait to see a trailer for this, and I hope it’s not too much longer of a wait – this sounds more incredible the more we hear.