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Eragon - Ed Speleers interview

Ed Speleers

Interview by Rob Carnevale

ED Speleers talks about tackling the role of Eragon, making the same sort of impact as Leonardo DiCaprio and which of his co-stars proved the biggest mentors.

Q. How easily did you relate to the character given that of all the members of the cast you’re the closest in age to the author?
A. Well, that’s why I loved the books so much and loved making the movie so much, because I was at that age. I was going through the coming of age process and going on that arc – going from young boy sort of entering young manhood. I’m sure I was a pain at times because I was going through that transition.

Q. What was your reaction to the dragon when you first saw it?
A. The thing is when I was imagining the dragon on set, I was imagining a combination of my mother and my best friend. So I was quite glad when I actually saw the dragon not to see my mum standing there.

But it’s amazing to see what the special effects guys had come up with because for so long I had to put up with this bloody tennis ball, which was hard work. But she [the dragon] is a CGI masterpiece.

We were saying earlier about how she’s different to anything else because she has emotions. That’s what sets this one apart from any other fantasy movie because of the fact that this character, Saphira, has something to give. She isn’t just a ferocious beast. She’s filled with emotion and she is a mother.

Q. Did you have a mentor on set and what was the best advice they gave you?
A. I was quite lucky because the cast list itself is just a bunch of mentors. Each day I was working with somebody who had such a great track record. I don’t want to blow his trumpet too much but Jeremy [Irons] was fantastic. He was there for me the whole way through. I don’t know if it was because he was missing his sons and I was missing my dad, so we had that kind of father-son connection, I don’t know. It could have been method acting but I think it was genuine. But the whole cast were and it was a really special bond.

Q. John Malkovich has compared the impact you’re going to have upon certain young females as being similar to that which Leonardo DiCaprio had after Man In The Iron Mask. How do you deal with compliments like that?
A. It’s probably not for the same reasons that I want to have that sort of impact on young girls, especially if you’re talking in terms of an appearance. The impact I want to have – and not just on young girls – is that I can perform my craft and that I can push my craft forward in some way.

Q. We’ve all been influenced by a movie at an impressionable age. What did you see that perhaps made you want to follow the profession you’re now in?
A. Papillon or True Romance, probably.

Read our review of Eragon