ComingSoon.net has posted a dual interview with Aidan Turner and Sam Elliot about The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot. You can read the full interviews here: Sam Elliott & Aidan Turner on The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot
Below is Aidan’s portion:
ComingSoon.net: Have you seen the movie yet completed?
Aidan Turner: I have, yeah. We went to a screening. We saw Bob and some of the team came over to, I think Horror Con in London, a couple of months ago. I loved it. It was actually in the summer because I was doing a play. So it was around August time, I saw the film. And yeah, yeah, I loved it. I was really pleasantly surprised and it’s strange. Sometimes you do a project and you don’t know how it’s going to look and how it’s going to feel to you when you see it, because it’s been so long since you were over there shooting it. But it’s everything I hoped it would be, you know? It’s everything I wanted it to be. And I think that was the same for everyone who worked on the film, which is a lot for a movie that just didn’t really cost that much money. I mean, I think the budget was under a million dollars, which is kind of unheard of, to even have a screening for a movie like this, and with the caliber of actors who are involved in it. And the way the movie has traveled so well and been reviewed so well all around, it’s a remarkable achievement for Bob and the team that were involved in it. So yeah, we’re incredibly proud of this film and to be in Hollywood now to celebrate it is fantastic.
CS: That’s amazing. I actually didn’t know it cost that little because it has a really big scope. I guess Douglass Trumbull and the team did a lot of little touches to create a vaster look to the film than it had. Were you privy to some of that special effects trickery on the set? Were you on a bare field and they’re like, “Yeah, there’s going to be a bridge there and there’s going to be a Nazi encampment there”?
Turner: Right. There is some of that sure. Or you know, what are you shooting, this is where the bullet’s going to come out and this is what it’s going to look like. There’s all these kind of things. There was some of it with my character because most of what I did was sort of set around the 50’s,so there was less CGI. Saying that there could’ve been more CGI, I mean, I just didn’t notice actually having seen the film. But I know they did quite a lot of post-production. I think it was at Skywalker Ranch for quite a few months after the film had wrapped. So I wasn’t necessarily privy to a lot of that, you know, which was quite cool. It felt like we were very much doing something that felt real to us at the time. Yeah, there was little involvement, I suppose, now that I think back of CGI, where different things had to come into play. But all around, it felt very real. Sometimes you go work in a film where you’re looking at a tennis ball for somebody’s face for six or seven months. You’re surrounded by green screen and that becomes your world. You adapt and you get on with it, but you can’t forget every day that you’re in a film, where something like this, you can really immerse yourselves in it. It was a small crew and we shot a lot on locations where it wasn’t film sets or studios. They were real places. So with a small crew it almost felt slightly voyeuristic, like they were looking into our world. So that made it more real and made it feel more indie and just allowed us as actors, as performers, to immerse ourselves in it in an easier way. That’s the advantage, I suppose, about having somebody that has tons and tons of money behind it, you know, because all these trucks start pulling up and all these different crews and everything just grows and gets much bigger. And we didn’t have any of that, so it just felt very much like a little family for about a 10-week shoot, if I’m not mistaken. It was an incredible experience.
CS: And obviously, Sam Elliott, he has one of the most distinctive looks and voices of any actor alive. It seemed like you weren’t trying to do a Sam Elliott impression, but you guys do have a certain similarity in your features. To what extent did you look at Sam Elliott films? Did you talk to Sam? Did you look at Sam’s dailies, any of that stuff?
Turner: I don’t think I’ve seen any dailies. It was something that Bob had presented to me. It was a possibility. I don’t think any of us need reminding what Sam Elliott sounds like. We all just have to close our eyes for one minute, and all of us in the room can think of his voice straight away. So that was never the issue. When you asked the question, too, was it an impersonation? What I sort of discovered is I had to steer clear of that. We can all sit around in a bar and have a drink and do different impersonations of different actors or different historic people or famous people, and that’s one thing. But if you’re trying to embody a character, and share a character, which is what me and Sam were doing, you fall into tricky ground, where it starts to sound like an impersonation as opposed to you’re playing this character. So it’s a delicate balance between you want to lower the vocal tones, you want to get the accent right, you want to get the rhythm of the tone of Sam’s vocal qualities, and you want to stay in that world. But you also want it to sound organic and you don’t want it to sound like you’re just portraying somebody, you know? It can be quite difficult. If you’re playing somebody famous that we know of, you want to get those tones correct. But then you have free range to do what you want with that character. I’m sort of following Sam, so I just wanted to make sure that my character was believable and it wasn’t just an impersonation. So I wanted to make it real, but I also wanted it to seem like there was somewhere to grow with the character. I play a much younger version of Sam’s character by over 30 years, so I felt like there was room to grow there with the vocal quality and the sounds of where I would’ve taken him.
But above everything, I wanted it to seem like a real character, as something I was giving to the character as opposed to just, “Here’s an actor who studied his voice and he’s trying really hard to make it sound like Sam.” Because Sam, let’s be honest, has one of the most famous voices in Hollywood and has been for a very long time, you know? It’s hard to get that vocal quality. To try to make that character seem real you have to find all those moments yourself, too. You need to connect with those moments as an actor and as that character. And if you’re just a slave to somebody else’s sound, it could be quite difficult. So it was just finding a balance, you know? It’s a bit of everything that’s involved in it, and then just speaking to Sam. Just talking to Sam on set. We crossed over only by a day, so we had very little time to really swap notes and stuff. But I got to talk to Sam a lot, and he really reassured me. I think what he said was, “Don’t worry about the resonance.” That was his first line, when he met me. He said, “Don’t worry about the resonance.” I said, “Oh god, give me some of that, though. I won’t worry about it, but I want it.” But yeah, it was an incredible experience, and just to be reassured by Sam and by Bob and by everyone on the first day that what we’re going for is first and foremost his character as opposed to an impersonation was helpful.