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Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - Jude Law interview

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Interview by Rob Carnevale

JUDE Law discusses the ‘bro-mance’ element of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows as well as why the characters of Holmes and Watson continue to remain fresh and ripe for revisiting by numerous filmmakers and artists. He was speaking at the London press conference for the film.

Q. What did you particularly relish about developing the Holmes/Watson ‘bro-mance’?
Jude Law: I think that no matter how happy and harmonious and creative the first film was as a group, 20 or 30% of a film is always taken up at the beginning getting to know each other, and that you end on a high, knowing how each other works. It never felt like we dropped the ball from the first – we never assumed there would be a second – but a lot of energy was carried into the second. A lot of enthusiasm for relationships that worked, that we wanted to flesh out more. I was excited about mining more of the same.

Q. How do you manage to take your characters further without falling into the pitfall of doing the same thing again?
Jude Law: These characters have survived the test of time, and have been explored by so many actors, because they’re incredibly rich. First of all we have a tome of work we can lean back on, and investigate how to keep these characters rich and alive. We’re also in a creative environment where we’re allowed to play and to keep stretching and trying new ideas within the relationship. Also, the truth is, the reason they’ve been so popular for so long is that they’re symbolic in a way of characters we all know and have in us. There’s the side that’s down to earth, then there’s the imaginative, creative, eccentric and anarchic side. Looked at in a simple way, that’s what Watson and Holmes are symbolic of.

Q. What’s in you that’s expressed in these characters?
Jude Law: I suppose that some days I wake up I have to wake up and be responsible, reliable and down to earth, and some days I don’t. I think this job in particular allows us all to be Holmesian – to think out of the box. Real life demands we’re like Dr Watson.

Q. This sequel is very physical – was that exhausting for you?
Jude Law: I think it’s true to say the physical aspect of this film was another important element we wanted to push further. We pushed the dialogue, we pushed the banter, the relationship, and we did noticeably stop and say, let’s elevate the physicality. Going back to our original idea, it was to take these guys out of Baker Street. You don’t just hear them talking about their adventures – you see them living them. That bar was pretty high. We’d go into stuff 90% knowing what was happening, and then another idea would come up that would increase it by 20%.

Q. How much comes from you working on the character and how is taken from the books?
Jude Law: You can compare Holmes and Watson to great Shakespearean characters, in a way. They’ve been played by hundreds of actors over the years, and each one is a different interpretation – the source material can take that form of interpretation. This is ours.

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Read our interview with Guy Ritchie