Out of the Spotlight and Into the Darkness
Fame doesn’t sit comfortably with British actor David Thewlis.
But he’s prepared for kids to recognise him after appearing in the latest Harry Potter film which opened nationally last Thursday.
“I have never courted fame at all. In Britain somehow I have gotten away with it for a long time,” Thewlis, who plays the ‘Defense Against the Dark Arts’ teacher Professor Lupin in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”, said.
Thewlis has starred in a number of big budget films but has deliberately stayed out of the limelight.
“Being famous normally means people recognise you and how do you respond to that?” Thewlis, who was in Sydney for the film’s Sydney premiere, said.
“It just means that people in the street are strangers but you are not a stranger to them and that has always made me feel a little vulnerable.”
He’s expecting that may change with the popularity of Harry Potter but said he was yet to experience it “He is not precocious and it has not gone to his head, nor is he shy and retiring. He is actually quite cocky, deservedly because he is a little comic. I liked him from the very first moment I met him.” “At least with Harry Potter, it will be mainly kids because I adore kids and I actually prefer the company of kids most of the time. “In fact, if I wasn’t an actor I would be a teacher, I think.”
“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” features an all-star cast, reuniting Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint – Harry, Hermione and Ron – in their third film adventure.
Returning to ‘Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’, they are forced to face their darkest fears, including a dangerous escaped prisoner, werewolves, and the equally foreboding Dementors.
“The kids are getting more professional,” he said of the teenage trio, who had not acted before the first Harry Potter film. Thewlis worked most closely with Radcliffe on the film. “It was very refreshing actually working with someone who is very charismatic, bright and funny,” he said of the teenage actor.
The film also stars Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane, Emma Thompson, Gary Oldman, Michael Gambon and Maggie Smith.
The third instalment was directed by Mexican Alfonso Cuaron and is said to be far darker than the previous two films which were directed by Chris Colombus. Thewlis said the latest film had stayed faithful to JK Rowling’s books which “were getting darker as they go on”.
Thewlis added that he was likely to play Professor Lupin in the fifth movie which will begin shooting next year. His character is not in the fourth film which is currently being shot in England.
“There are seven books and I presume I will do it,” he said. “They (the producers) seem quite happy with me and I would love to come back.”
He is yet to finish reading the fifth book – “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” – and hopes to take advantage of his time in Australia to get a few more chapters under his belt.
“I am reading it now and it is probably what I will do tonight in my room,” he said.
The 41-year-old has been acting for many years, winning the prestigious ‘Best Male Actor’ gong for the Mike Leigh directed “Naked” at the ‘Cannes Film Festival’ in 1993.
He has since gone on to star in films including “The Big Lebowski” and “Seven Years In Tibet” with Brad Pitt.
Asked how he had chosen his roles, Thewlis said it was not always a matter of choice.
“Sometimes there might be a dry period where not a lot is coming through and every story is different,” he said. “Some you regret and some things I really loved but (they) didn’t make it big.”
Thewlis has just completed filming “Kingdom of Heaven” which was directed by Ridley Scott, co-starring Orlando Bloom, Liam Neeson and Jeremy Irons.
His next project will be “The New World”, which is the latest Terrence Malick production starring Colin Farrell and Christopher Plummer. It is a scripted drama about explorer John Smith and the clash between native Americans and the British in the 17th century.
“Obviously the more successful you get the more you can pick and choose,” he said. “Now I’m in a period where I can pick and choose more and I hope that continues.”
· Published | 2004
· Journalist | Unknown
· Source | © Eleven Magazine
· Credit | Submitted by Amanda