All set to erupt

Is Kit har­ing­ton ready to shoul­der the weight of a big-budget epic? abs-olutely.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES - CCORD­ING to ac­tor Kit Har­ing­ton, there isn’t much dif­fer­ence be­tween work­ing on a big-budget tele­vi­sion se­ries like and a film like

AGame Of Thrones Pom­peii.

On Pom­peii, how­ever, he had the lux­ury of time com­pared to tele­vi­sion which moves at a much faster pace, the Lon­doner notes in a tele­phone in­ter­view from Los Angeles, where he is talk­ing to the press in con­juc­tion with the film’s re­lease.

The good-look­ing Brit, who plays fan-favourite char­ac­ter Jon Snow in Game Of Thrones, is mak­ing his de­but as a lead ac­tor in a big-budget film with Pom­peii – surely you’ve no­ticed the promi­nence given to his face and very im­pres­sive abs in all the trail­ers and pub­lic­ity stills. It’s a huge leap ahead for the ac­tor, whose pre­vi­ous role in a film was as a sec­ondary char­ac­ter in Silent Hill: Rev­e­la­tion 3D.

On how it feels to shoul­der a movie, Har­ing­ton replies: “It feels great. It’s one of the rea­sons why I wanted to do the movie. It was very phys­i­cally de­mand­ing, and it was a very long shoot. I had a great time.”

The film is set in the Ro­man city of Pom­peii in AD79, just be­fore it was de­stroyed by a vol­canic erup­tion which wiped out ev­ery­thing and ev­ery­one in its path. Har­ing­ton plays Milo, a slave who be­comes a ruth­lessly ef­fec­tive glad­i­a­tor in the arena be­cause he is driven by rage and de­ter­mi­na­tion to avenge his par­ents’ mur­der.

Amidst the blood and gore, Milo falls in love with Cas­sia (Emily Brown­ing) the daugh­ter of the wealth­i­est fam­ily in Pom­peii. Their for­bid­den love is tested from the start – ow­ing to the sta­tus of her par­ents (Jared Har­ris and Car­rieAnne Moss) and the in­ter­est of a Ro­man Se­na­tor (Kiefer Suther­land) in Cas­sia – right up to the film’s fiery cen­tre­piece as Milo races against time to save her when Mount Ve­su­vius erupts, caus­ing earthquakes and send­ing a tor­rent of blaz­ing lava into the city.

Re­cent ex­ca­va­tions have found hun­dreds of bod­ies pre­served in the vol­canic ma­te­rial, with their last emo­tions vir­tu­ally in­tact on their faces. While there is no clear fig­ure on the num­ber of people killed by the erup­tion of Ve­su­vius, it is be­lieved to be in the thou­sands.

Har­ing­ton says he’s pleased with how the film de­picts events with as much ac­cu­racy as pos­si­ble and is thrilled with its end­ing.

“Yes, you know the vol­cano is go­ing to erupt. You know there are people who are go­ing to be killed. (But we don’t know) whether it’s the hero or the vil­lain who is go­ing to live ... I think the end­ing is very orig­i­nal and very in­ter­est­ing.”

To get un­der the skin of Milo, Har­ing­ton re­searched what the gla­di­a­tors dur­ing that time were like. He learned that they were fit and lean, and each fight was a bat­tle to stay alive.

To recre­ate the same type of fighter in Milo, the 27-year-old im­mersed him­self in the task and be­came very ob­ses­sive about his fit­ness reg­i­men, ac­quir­ing the tal­ents of a skilled glad­i­a­tor and sculpt­ing the per­fect physique.

“I think when you play the lead in a film, it sort of just takes over your life. This is the first time I had to do that. It was, you know, more ob­ses­sional than I thought,” says Har­ing­ton with a laugh.

“When I was film­ing, my pain thresh­old was very high. I had to do a lot of ex­er­cises and I got hurt dur­ing film­ing, had a lot of knocks and bruises. Now I am back to nor­mal; I’m a wimp again.”

A month be­fore the shoot started, Har­ing­ton went to a glad­i­a­tor boot camp where he worked with a stunt­man on his “gla­di­a­to­rial” skills, es­pe­cially fight­ing with weapons. His new skills were put to good use in the film, as di­rec­tor Paul WS An­der­son wanted his ac­tors to do the stunts them­selves.

“There were times when it got a litte hairy and dan­ger­ous, but no one got hurt badly,” shares Har­ing­ton, con­fess­ing that he en­joyed the phys­i­cal de­mands of the film.

“I got a sword to the head at one point, and I pretty much broke my fin­ger. Other than that, no ma­jor prob­lems. One of the stunt­men twisted his an­kle, but it was all good,” he says, elab­o­rat­ing on some of the on-set in­juries.

All that train­ing also helped him when he re­turned to Game Of Thrones. “The amount of sword fights I had to do in this re­ally kept me in good shape for Sea­son Four of Thrones. I am a much bet­ter sword fighter (now) than I was in Sea­son Three.”

As for what is wait­ing for Jon Snow in the new sea­son of Game Of Thrones, which is set to pre­miere in April, Har­ing­ton de­flects the query by throw­ing this morsel of in­forma- tion. “That is the ques­tion, isn’t it? It’s the big­gest sea­son he’s had. He doesn’t have to re­port to any sort of leader or com­man­der this sea­son. He is sort of his own man and he is fi­nally learn­ing how to be a leader. It’s sort of the most ex­pen­sive TV se­ries pro­duced and most prob­a­bly the most ac­tion packed.”

Get­ting back to Game Of Thrones also meant Har­ing­ton is once again shoot­ing in a colder cli­mate (to de­pict the win­try cold around The Wall) and in re­ally thick out­fits. But while work­ing on Pom­peii, Har­ing­ton had very lit­tle cloth on him – some­thing he calls lib­er­at­ing.

“For Thrones, I am al­ways cloaked up for the cold and in this one I am let­ting it all hang out, so it was en­joy­able. It was nice to go from a fan­tasy me­dieval project to some­thing ... (that) is a piece of his­tory.”

Pom­peii opens in cin­e­mas na­tion­wide to­day.

Mas­ter of his fate: Will the glad­i­a­tor Milo (Kit har­ing­ton) sur­vive the fiery fate of Pom­peii? The ac­tor feels the end­ing is ‘very orig­i­nal and very in­ter­est­ing’.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.