Jeff Bridges stars as Master Gregory, the last of a knightly order known as the Spooks who have long defended humanity against supernatural threats.
You choose your projects very carefully. What appealed to you about Seventh Son?
I was enamored with the book, ‘The Spook’s Apprentice’, that this film was based on and I was also attracted to the idea of working with director Sergei Bodrov.
What did you know of Russian director Sergei Bodrov that made you want to work with him?
Well, I had seen his movie Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan, which was great on a large scale, and also Prisoner of the Mountains which was very intimate. So, I knew that he was capable of shooting a movie that could be spectacular and also very good on a more intimate level. That’s what I thought we needed for Seventh Son.
Why does your character Master Gregory, a noble warrior of the ancient order of the Falcon Knights, take the inexperienced Tom Ward under his wing?
Gregory was the last seventh son and he needed to find another one to take his place because his lineage is dying out. So he finds this young kid who is really not up for it.
What do you believe British actor Ben Barnes brought to the role of your apprentice?
Ben brought a lot of enthusiasm and he enjoyed getting into the physicality of the job, too. He was a lot of fun to work with. We got to improvise a bit. We had a good time.
Julianne Moore plays your main antagonist in the story.
Julianne and I worked on ‘The Big Lebowski’ years ago but it almost felt like only a long weekend had gone by. Here we were again on a set, remembering the great times we had on that movie and creating some new memories on this film. We had a ball! She is such a wonderful actress and it’s wonderful to pretend with her. Even when she is playing someone who is so mean! I’ve portrayed some mean guys before, too. They are actually fun to play. One of the things I did that was a lot of fun was to write a whole scenario about their back-history. They had been lovers. This is what happens when love turns sour.
How did you prepare for a role that takes place in a fantasy world but at the same time is reminiscent of the Dark Ages?
Well, I read a lot of myth and authors like Joseph Campbell and Robert Bly. What some people did to women they thought were witches back then was so terrible. It’s no wonder the ones in our movie are pissed off!
Did you enjoy shooting the action scenes?
That was a lot of fun! Luckily we had some great stunt guys to choreograph those scenes and also avoid anyone getting hurt. The guy that doubled for me looked so much like me! I like to do as many of my stunts as I can because I get to be like a kid again. Sometimes they have to hold me back. I believe that the most the actor can be in the stunt and show his face and body, the better. Making movies is like doing a magic trick. You have to know how to work that illusion. When you work with visual effects you go back to the most primitive form of acting. It’s like when you were a kid and did it all with your mind because you didn’t have all the sets and costumes.
SEVENTH SON is at Irish cinemas from March 27th