published 14 February 2013
written by RG.us
In The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, Rupert appears alongside Denmark’s Mads Mikkelsen and Germany’s Til Schweiger, so our Danish-German staff came together in Berlin for the International Premiere on 9 February 2013 as part of the Berlinale Film Festival.
The next morning, the four of us were given the amazing chance to speak to Rupert himself about his new film. Once we had introduced ourselves to each other (Majbritt: “I’m Majbritt.” Rupert: “I am Rupert.”), we sat down for the interview, but not before giving Rupert our little present.
RGus: We need to explain (the gift) to you. Kathy and me (Karo) are German, Malene and Majbritt are Danish…
Rupert: Oh okay, yeah, I’ve heard.
RGus: …and you’ve worked with Til Schweiger and Mads Mikkelsen, so we figured something German and Danish might be good, and since you’ve had a bit of a run-in with them, we have these cookies that are Danish and German and they are glued together.
Rupert: (laughs) That is so cool. Thank you so much!
RGus: A present with an explanation.
Rupert: Yeah, I love that. (laughs)
RGus: Was it the first time you saw the film yesterday?
Rupert: No, I’ve seen it once before on a small screen. But yeah, it was cool. You never really know what to expect. Especially when you just dip in for a small bit, but it really surprised me. It was really cool.
RGus: We’re seeing it again tonight. I don’t know what we really expected from it, because we hadn’t heard anything about your part, so we didn’t know what to expect. But you attended Berlinale four years ago, so what has changed since then? Not in the world.(everyone laughs)
Rupert: What has changed? Four years. It’s gone really quickly, hasn’t it? That was with Cherrybomb. Lots of things really, it’s a very new chapter in my life since finishing Harry Potter. Things have changed a lot. I’m suddenly in the real world. It’s a little bit scary, I have to say. But I’m enjoying the new challenges, and going on new adventures. It’s fun and that’s what kind of appealed to me about this. And I’ve probably said this a lot, but being on a different set, in a different country – I just really love it. And this character as well – it was just a role that I never thought I’d be involved with. I just thought: yeah, why not? It should be fun.
RGus: Yeah, and it’s also a film that is competiting for the grand prize here, that’s something special too.
Rupert: Yeah, definitely. It’s fun because it’s kind of a team thing, really – about comradery, and I’m just really pleased to be a part of it.
Rupert: There were a few challenges along the way. Getting used to Romania took a while, I mean – I loved the place, but the first few days were quite disorientating. It was crazy and very unpredictable, and just a bit wild. But I loved that about it, and it was great fun.
And my character was quite a challenge, I suppose, although he is only a tiny part of the film, the character kept changing.
Originally, in the script, I was German and I got my head around playing a German person, but in the end, there were so many accents in the film that they thought it would be too much, so they went away from that version.
I was a virgin at one point, which would have been another weird direction there. So it was a lot of work figuring out who I was.
RGus: Did you work on a German accent or was it changed before you did that?
Rupert: Yes, but the thing is, he wasn’t really German. This is complicated. Karl took on this persona of being German, because he was kind of obsessed with Boris Becker (emphasis on Becker – versus Pecker, RGus) and it was kind of a joke that I thought I was German, and I was trying to create an illusion, which was a bit weird. But yeah, it was too much, so we dropped that.
RGus: So he was supposed to be an English person pretending to be German?
Rupert: Yeah, and getting kind of sensitive about if anyone found out that he wasn’t German. It was confusing which is why it didn’t happen.
RGus: Now that you’ve mentioned Boris, what would your real life porn name be? If you could choose it yourself.
Rupert: Oh god! I don’t know. It’s not something I’ve really put much thought into. I don’t know. Actually, this hasn’t come up before, I think.
Kate/Sarah: Isn’t it something like where you take the name of your first pet and then the street where you grew up.
RGus: So what was your first pet name?
Rupert: Holly (everyone laughs). Holly North. (more laughing)
RGus: Quite a different direction.
Rupert: Yeah (laughs)
RGus: In the film, it is really important that they select a memory of their parents that is a good memory when they die. Which memory would you choose?
Rupert: God! There’s so many, like… I guess, my first holidays with my family to the Isle of Wight. It was quite good. I just don’t want to think about my parents dying.
RGus: No, no, no. The good things.
Rupert: Yeah, probably something like that. Or going to work with my dad. He had a shop, where he sold Formula 1 stuff. I used to help out and pack or put tires in boxes, which was quite fun. So yeah, something like that.
RGus: We heard from James (Buckley, RGus) from Sundance that there was a lot of improvisation in the scenes with you guys. Did you like that kind of acting or is it better when it’s scripted?
Rupert: I kind of like a script, I like to learn the words. Sometimes, especially with the nature of some of the scenes, when they were on drugs and stuff, it was all hallucigenic.
It does add something to it, when it’s a little bit unpredictable and spontaneous. It adds a nice layer to it.
Particularly in that scene, we had to adapt a lot, because Shia is quite… he is the character. I don’t feel like I really met Shia, I met Charlie Countryman. In the nicest way.
He would go on tangents and that particular scene was quite crazy, and we had to adapt to that. It felt really natural because it was kind of unpredictable and scary. So I think it works in some places.
RGus: If you could choose, what would happen to Karl? In a sequel about Karl and Luc.
Rupert: We did actually film a conclusion for Luc and Karl. It was just us being detached or whatever, because they actually glued us together. So there was a little scene about that kind of tied us up. But I quite like the way it was kind of a mystery, you don’t really know.
RGus: It leaves it open for a sequel.
Rupert: That’s true. That would be interesting. But I don’t know. I’d like to think that he survived. He realised his dream.
RGus: We know that you were in LA last week, and you also cut your hair again. So, is there anything new to report?
Rupert: Yeah, there could be, there’s a few things happening. The haircut was an emergency.
Sarah: The haircut was needed.
Rupert: (laughs) So yeah, the hair was an emergency. There’s going to be some things happening probably soon. I’m just enjoying it, carefully choosing what’s next and taking it slow.
RGus: Okay, the last thing we are going to do is – do you remember the photo interview we did in Oslo? With the questions I asked and you answered with a face.
Rupert: Right! Well yeah, I remember that.
RGus: We thought we’d do that again, because it was very very popular with the fans.
Rupert: Yeah? Cool.
Click here to continue to the photo-interview.
Thanks so much to Rupert for taking the time to talk to us!
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