Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Huge-headed film foe remains pure Peter
Does the real Peter Sarsgaard ever stand up as Hector Hammond, the creepy-genius nemesis of the titled "Green Lantern"?
Not really. But the highly regarded actor definitely does stand out. Sarsgaard, with some help from director Martin Campbell, explains:
"(The heavy makeup) definitely liberated me. I remember the first time I put it on, I think Blake (Lively) was there and I walked out of the trailer and immediately started doing some sort of stand-up thing. What was unique about that appliance was that, if you talked on the cell phone, it was kind of amazing looking; if you drank a cup of coffee, it was incredible.
"I didn't have to do much and so I felt after my transformation (from scientist to infected monster) that I could do anything in a scene, partly because I think Hector feels that it's his right and his time.
"He's like, just (screw) anyone that gets in his way, and he's going to have a good time, and I felt that, too."
To play the increasingly evil and big-brained Hector, Sarsgaard often was required to wear prosthetics -- which weighed up to 12 pounds -- for as many as 13 hours a day, all in the heat and humidity of a New Orleans summer set.
"In terms of the application process," he explained, "it took about four hours. Even without it, though, I thought I looked pretty alien because I had lost a lot of weight and shaved my head bald. Every morning, I would shave clean like that -- at about 3 a.m. -- and then we put alcohol on it, which is a GREAT way to wake up in the morning. Then they would apply the glue and apply (the prosthetic) piece by piece. They made it in several pieces so it would move with my face.
"People have asked, 'why didn't they just put (CGI) dots on your face?' But, there's a thing about just wearing this all that has a real weight to it, that makes you feel a certain way and everyone treat you a certain way. I mean, Martin Campbell still doesn't even know me."
"Truly," Campbell says, "the amazing thing was that I never knew Peter Sarsgaard. What I knew was Hector, because I would arrive after he put the prosthetic on and would have left at night by the time he took it off, so I never really knew him."
"Neither did I," Sarsgaard concludes with a laugh. "There was very little turn-around time, so I would go home and get to bed right away and soon started realizing that I hadn't seen my face for a really long time, which is a really wild feeling for an actor."
Read more on the film and "Gossip Girl" Blake Lively now at Sun News and Critics Choice. Then look for my review Friday on both sites.