Follow Us on Twitter

Fantastic 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer - Ioan Gruffudd interview

Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Interview by Rob Carnevale

IOAN Gruffudd talks reveals why he’s been impressed with the character development of Mr Fantastic in Fantastic 4: Rise Of The Silver Surfer and how his big dance sequence proved utterly embarrassing at times.

He also talks about being approached by fans at airports and how he likes to keep children entertained with the odd trick or two…

Q. Did you feel as though you had a better grip on Mr Fantastic this time around, especially in terms of saying some of the more scientific lines?
Ioan Gruffudd: I’m just glad that I got it out in the American accent. That was one of my greatest challenges. But I’m very proud of the fact that Mr Fantastic has evolved from the sort of nerdy, scientist guy to becoming the leader of the Fantastic 4, the father figure, the husband, the lover, the friend… I was very excited to read that in the script. In fact, I think all the characters are so well established now because we took our time to enjoy their relationships. That’s what makes a good movie. You can have all the special effects in the world but unless they’re married into a fantastic story, then there’s no point to them. I believe that unlike a lot of the other franchises out there we have a fantastic story to tell.

Q. What was more challenging – the emotional scenes or the action stuff?
Ioan Gruffudd: Well the action scenes can be incredibly repetitive and you’re using a lot of concentration and imagination because that’s all you can rely on. But the satisfaction comes from seeing it all put together on the big screen and knowing it’s all been worthwhile. It’s satisfying to know that you are marrying all that repetition, concentration and imagination with what the special effects teams are doing. It’s a real thrill.

Q. How long did it take to choreograph your dance sequence? And how good a dancer are you in reality?
Ioan Gruffudd: Ioan Gruffud on the dancefloor has two left feet, so that performance is thanks to the special effects team really. I did have a week of intensive choreography which wasn’t such a bad thing because I was surrounded by those three gorgeous actresses who played the dancers. It took about three days all in all to complete because the nature of shooting a sequence with special effects is that you do it several times with the actors there, and several times without them.

So, that was the embarrassing situation – being up on that stage on my own, performing the dance and pretending that I was spinning and enjoying myself while feeling incredibly self conscious and knowing that all the other extras and actors were sitting there watching. But again, it was all worthwhile when you see the movie.

Q. How does it feel to have your own action figure?
Ioan Gruffudd: Well, from a personal point of view I know they’ve got my doll absolutely right because when you see its profile next to mine, you can see my big nose! So I’m very pleased…

Q. But haven’t you already got a Lancelot doll from another incarnation?
Ioan Gruffudd: Oh absolutely, but not half as good as the Mr Fantastic one. [laughs]

Q. Is it true that you come across fans of this franchise in the weirdest places?
Ioan Gruffudd: Absolutely. Predominantly I get collared at baggage claim [laughs]. But there’s nothing quite like that wonderment in a kid’s eyes when they come up, so I always try and play a different trick like putting my arm up my sleeve and seeing how far it can go. Or I’ll say: “The Invisible Woman is here but she’s a little bit shy.” Or: “Johnny’s off flying around and The Thing was too heavy to get on the plane!”

Read our review of the film

Read our interview with Michael Chiklis