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ben_kingsley_berlin

News.de editor Susett Queisert met Sir Ben during his press tour in Berlin. She talked to him about his tattoo, preparing for his role, and the movie’s rating. I translated the most noteworthy bits for you.

On how he ended up wearing the tatoo:

When I met Gavin Hood three months before we started shooting, he showed me the most beautiful graphic designs of landscapes and Earth on his laptop. He also showed me the costumes … but he never mentioned the tattoo. I met him in New Orleans the day before shooting and he was nervous, wondering if I would even wear the tattoo. But he is a nice and generous person who knows his trade. And he knows how to equip his actors. He asked me if I wanted to spend time with a Maori expert to talk about the tatoo, and I said: “Gavin, wait! If it helps to tell the story, then let a make-up artist put it on my face.”

On the younger actors’ reaction to him:

When I came on set for my first scene I was standing on higher ground and the younger actors were talking to each other in a relaxed manner. When I said my first line they started to behave oddly. They turned around, took a step, sat down in front of the machines and started to operate them without looking around. … When Mazer says something we do it. When he gives an order we jump. It was astounding.

Asked if the movie’s rating/appropriateness for children didn’t weaken its impact, he answered:

I think the film is very unsentimental. It doesn’t contain any cruelty or violence. Gavin told me about the stunt coordinator. In the movie, there was a fight scene between Ender and Bonzo in the showers and the stunt coordinator was talking about all the things he was planning to do in that scene. But Gavin said: “Wait, I want to finish this shot in two takes.” He wanted to make the scene as short as possible in order to put Ender’s shock [about what he'd done] also on the faces of the audience. If the fight had been 15 minutes the audience wouldn’t have felt this moment of “What did I just do?” that Ender felt.

Bonzo

Source: News.de

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  • Theodore Bailey

    Bad bad bad bad BAD. Bonzo was the constant nagging background antagonist against Ender through the majority of the book. And the ‘punishment for male on male attraction’ theme runs incredibly strong with their character conflicts. The scene itself does not need to be long. But definitely not incredibly short either. It’s a representation of Ender’s TRUE final test as well as a heavy symbolic scene as well. If they cut the scene short it’s not going to magnify feelings of anything except for disappointment that they neglected such an important event. The fight with Bonzo is more than just two naked boys fighting in a shower. And it’s sad that they don’t see that.

    • Wendy Clare

      Love your analysis; you’re spot on about the significance of this event. I’m reluctant to jump to any conclusions until AFTER I’ve seen the film, though…the interviews with Garrett Warren (the stunt coordinator) haven’t indicated /anything/ about all his ideas being “cut short”; if anything he’s enormously proud and enthusiastic about how the shower fight turned out. Kingsley most likely wasn’t there at the filming of that scene, and may have misinterpreted what Gavin said.

      I’m thinking, too, that it won’t take a huge amount of screen time to portray what is in the book (as far as the actual fight is concerned). Ender sizes up his situation very quickly, takes quick decisive action and the combat really *is* over in a matter of seconds. I expect the full scene, however, from Bonzo & his gang isolating Ender, to the final result will be long enough to get the point across. We’ll see soon enough!

    • http://twitter.com/EnderNet EnderWiggin.net

      I don’t think we can read too much into this, after all, Sir Ben wasn’t there. And while I agree with what you’re saying, I don’t think making the scene short can necessarily take anything away from it. I’ve never imagined the shower scene taking more than 5 minutes anyway and on screen I think that would be too long.

      • Theodore Bailey

        As I said before, I wouldn’t want the fight scene to be too long myself. After all the story was never about THE ACTION anyway. We’ll see how it turns out though. I just don’t want the moments spent to be spent badly. This scene should be very….emotion driven more than action driven. There’s so much more to the scene than could ever really be portrayed in a movie form anyway. But they’ll do their best.

    • Guest

      As I said before, I wouldn’t want the fight scene to be too long myself. After all the story was never about THE ACTION anyway. We’ll see how it turns out though. I just don’t want the moments spent to be spent badly. This scene should be very….emotion driven more than action driven.

  • Bruna Figueiroa

    Even in the book the fight itself, the action, wasn’t too long. Ender attempts to hurt bonzo two or three time before rhe final blow. It may see long because in the book we have ender’s thoughts’ ender plans

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