What can one say about Jude Law – he’s a god. The man with one of the most beautiful faces in the world is a real eye catcher in person. Tanned, blonded, smart but casually dressed, and armed with a self-deprecating smile – the man understandably turned heads at this year’s San Diego Comic Con.
Law, who has roles in half a dozen films before the end of the year, flew in specially to help promote one of his most unusual films yet, the sci-fi adventure flick “Sky Captain & The World of Tomorrow” which utilises entirely CG backgrounds and required Law to act against blue screen stages and elements for the entire shoot.
In “Sky Captain”, Law plays the title character – an ace aviator who, along with reporter Polly Perkins (Gwyneth Paltrow) investigate the mysterious disappearances of scientists across the globe. Risking their lives as they travel to exotic places around world, the fearless duo attempt to stop Dr. Totenkopf, the evil mastermind behind a plot to destroy the earth. Aided by Franky Cook (Angelina Jolie), commander of an all-female amphibious squadron, and technical genius Dex (Ribisi), Polly and Sky Captain may be our planet’s only hope.
The film is helmed by first time director Kerry Conran, and having a debut helmer on such an expensive and complex project is admittedly a concern for any major actor: “To be honest the risk and the leap of faith has only become apparent to me since I’ve seen the film finished because when I saw the teaser and read the script it was just clear that he was a brilliant talent. One of the reasons I wanted to be a producer on it was I wanted to empower this guy to get this thing going. And it never even really felt like it was a risk because of his lack of experience in working with actors when making films, all I felt my responsibility was that we could embellish everything he gave us”.
The unique setting was a major draw for him to be involved, “I loved the idea that he was creating a retro world with his incredible references to Fritz Lang, and films like Citizen Kane, and the Third Man and that he was using incredible advance technology and that was kind of a perfect duality there, that one would complement the other”. Yet the timelessness of the story was a big bonus, “It was clear for the script that he had a real sense of thread rather than relying on effects. You know that heart of this film is a really strong very cinematic relationship that you can actually take out of this genre and put anywhere and it will still work. You can put this in any period and it would probably pull it self together somehow, and the characters are very strong”
This is the second time Law has worked with Gwyneth Paltrow (they previously teamed for “The Talented Mr. Ripley”), and the Brit was very complimentary about his blond co-star – “From the point of view of a producer it was very important that we found someone who got the references to make Polly three dimensional and as sexy and also as sassy as quickly as possible. We knew Gwyneth was absolutely spot on for that, we knew that she would look phenomenal in that period. From an actors point of view it was important I suppose?it’s always an ideal world if you’re going to try and create a relationship with history if you’re going to try kind of create boundaries in between people that you’ve got something there to begin with and we’ve worked together and we’ve also maintained a friendship”.
Law already knew Angelina Jolie before she came in for her four day shooting stint, the pair having met through mutual friends before and had talked about potentially doing some work together. He was also a fan of her outfit – “I think we were all jealous that she got the best costume to be honest. I mean Gwyneth looked pretty awesome but I particular liked the fish bowl. I was like ?Why Don’t I get a fish bowl'”.
Did they as actors get to improvise much? “Not a lot. Well this is the interesting thing, he [Conran] built into his process the opportunity for us to rearrange movements?We would be able to watch it and come up with ideas and add to it and sometimes it’s a pretty standard scene. If it was a more action sequence, I mean we were developing those action sequences all the way. I would say this is a bit empty let me do a roll or let me do this and if we have another robot there then we’ll fill that gap. So suddenly it becomes a very evolving process rather than rigid. Don’t get me wrong the blueprint was very strong”.
With a film like this, there always exists the danger of slipping into self-parody. It was a concern that Law himself wondered about at first – “It’s something we were really aware of, and we had a lot of discussions early on. I mean I kind of knew because of my enjoyment of this genre that we didn’t want to go there, Gwyneth quite brightly brought it up early on ?is this going be kind of sending it up? and there were moments in scenes that the first time we tried it out it seemed a bit too camp and we’d just bring it down. It wasn’t a tight rope but it was something that we had to be aware of and again Kerry, for all his modesty and his incredible shyness is very strong and very perceptive he knew when to bring it back and when not to”.
Did he have a favourite robot? “I’ve got a special place for the ones with the tentacles arms just because I got to know them personally. They had me dangled two days upside down”. Is he signed for a sequel? “It’s not a case of being signed because we made it. So its whether Paramount will allow us to really now. I Don’t know. As a team we’re forced together as a team to do it. It all depends I suppose on how well it does”. Judging by the reaction to the film at the convention, it should do very well indeed.