Sherlock Holmes Interview Part 1 (Guy Ritchie, Jude Law & Robert Downey Jnr)
I’m been a big fan of Guy Ritchie (bar Revolver and Cast Away which I blame on Madonna) as I am of Robert Downey Jnr, Mark Strong and Rachel McAdams, I’m indifferent to Jude Law for no particular reason, I’m also a sucker for crime and mystery thrillers so this is right up my alley. Yet even considering all those positives when I first saw the trailer for Sherlock Holmes I wasn’t impressed at all, I thought it looked way too goofy and action packed, which for me was alien to my idea of Sherlock Holmes. Thankfully my assumptions were very wrong, the film is a brilliant, intelligent, dark and dynamic action thriller. I recently attended the UK press conference for Sherlock Holmes, check out part 1 below, part 2 will be released 26th December just in time for the films release.
This is your first real big blockbuster why did you decide to do Sherlock Holmes?
Guy Ritchie: I chose this because I needed a job (laughs). Outside of that I wanted to go from small independent films and this seemed to be the perfect segway to go from something small. But I managed to keep the English identity but at the same we had American muscle and American pockets so its kind of the perfect segway in that it is big and broad but is essentially English but with all the American muscle.
Is there any more pressure because of the American muscle and American pockets?
Guy Ritchie: You’ll have to ask me that in a few days when the film opens (laughs), but as yet it’s really the same, it’s the same process, but they may change in a few days.
Robert and Jude how do you see these characters you’ve reinvented for this movie and how do you see them different from older interpretations?
Jude Law: When I was asked to get involved Robert was already set as Sherlock and I knew Guy was directing so I could see it was a different take on the older films of Sherlock Holmes, it fascinated me and obviously they didn’t expect me to put on two stone and put my foot in waste paper buckets, they wanted me to play Watson with more of an edge, what was intriguing, because I hadn’t read the books as a boy, was to go back to the books and see how much of this new rediscovery was also in the source material, it was a happy juggle between going back to Conan Doyle and relishing in the accuracy which in the past at times may have been overlooked and also looking to the future and adding a new energy to an audience we hope will discover or rediscover Sherlock Holmes.
Robert Downey Jnr: I think a lot of the flaming hoops we had to jump through doing Sherlock was how do you take what comes from the source material, how do you amend it so it’s accessible, and how do you not white wash it and still be respectful, if there’s anything we’ve added this time around it’s that essentially as much as it’s about this far reaching case, it’s also it’s also a fight over Mary Mortsan
For the role I don’t get scared any more, I get busy, I already knew by the time Guy was directing that it was a fresh interpretation, I’ve worked with producer Joel Silver a bunch, I’ve lived with Susan Downey (his wife) a bunch and Lionel Wigram is the person who figured out how to reprise this as a film, so I knew I was in good hands, then it was a matter of just getting down to business, I had spent some time here in the UK in the late 80’s playing Chaplin, I had a great tutelage on all things British from Lord Attenborough, so I felt I kind of past go.
The relationship between both Holmes and Watson reminds us of an old married couple at times, how did you collaborate together and when was your first introduction to Sherlock Holmes?
Jude Law: My second job on TV was on the Sherlock Holmes TV series, I was a stable boy. We started work the minute we met didn’t we?
Robert Downey Jnr: Yeah, we were trying to get Jude to do the movie and your a pretty savvy guy so it wasn’t just talk talk talk, it was more like are you interested in making the best version of this, the feedback we’ve been getting is that the film is about the two of you and the third thing that that creates, it’s one thing to promise you can get there, it’s another to roll up your sleeves and do it. Guy created such a sublime atmosphere on set, we weren’t sure it would turn out as good as it did but we really gave a big effort. It’s funny about the chemistry thing because usually people say that about you with a female cast member, but they’re talking about me and Jude like we should be doing Romantic Comedies together (laughs). This film is not a comedy, it’s a love affair of sorts, it’s about what it’s about but there are elements of Holmes and Watson in all of us. I think we just knew when to ying and yang back and forward, we were just a good team.
You’ve talked about doing a fresh take on Sherlock Holmes, but you’ve also said when you go back to the book this is what Doyle intended, would you go as far to say this is the most accurate Sherlock Holmes film to what Doyle intended?
Guy Ritchie: It’s subjective, it has too come through some sort of creative conduit, I was as a director to some degree that conduit, but from a very young age I had an idea, an image of Sherlock Holmes and the partnership, so I feel as though I’m informed by and inspired by Doyle, every other production obviously had to deal with the other interpretations before it so it’s subjective.
Robert Downey Jnr: There’s an esoteric element, sometimes you just feel like your in the right groove, you feel the history and legacy of something, you feel like your getting silent approval from another space and time. At times we were so locked into it exactly as Doyle expressed it, you can’t beat the guys words, we had some of his quotes on a call sheet everyday, but we had to twist it up a little bit, I think it’s no mystery Sherlock Holmes didn’t invent the silencer, if he invented it he done a crap job because it doesn’t work, the shooting the letters VR into a wall is right out of one of the books, which I think was a celebration of the Jubilee or something like that, it spoke to how strange the guy was. We had to honour it but still be entertaining.
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