Compiled by: Jack Foley
Q. How historically accurate is the movie?
A. The movie is an epic drama with unusually strong reference
to history. Broadly, Alexander goes and does the things that are
shown, and meets the things that are shown. But of course this
is a movie with a limited time. It's all very well for you critics
to say 'why didn't you put in this, why didn't you put in the
other'? There were some really fifth-rate reviews in America and
you would have thought they wanted a film that was seven hours
We know the problems. But Oliver has spun a drama, to take a very
grand example, the way that Shakespeare would have spun a drama
around Henry VIII. But there is a terrific amount of historical
One of the lines in the film that I've heard people laugh at most
is probably one of the few things we know attributed to Alexander.
When he read a letter from what we now know to have been Angelina
Jolie, he said 'she asks a high price, a high rent for nine months
in the womb'. I heard an audience laugh in America and that is
the one line that we know in ancient sources is attributed to
So the answer is broadly historical and there's a strong interpretation
of Alexander. Historians all over the world, critics think they
know what Alexander was like; I've studied him for 35 years and
I tell you they don't, cos we don't. So he is a perfect figure
on whom to spin a powerful drama and that's what this film has
You can't say it's right historically, because we don't know.
It's a perfect subject. It's very powerful.
Q. Why did you choose to
focus more on Alexander in battle than some of the personal conflicts?
Angelina Jolie: That's not true!
Stone: It's interesting that you should raise
that question because it points to some of the difficulties in
receiving the movie - the opposite has also been put out.
Many reviews mentioned they wished there had been more battles
and there was too much talk and too much mother-son, father-son
psycho-drama. So, you know, that's a choice. And I think the movie
is structured along with two pillars, like an arch. The first
one is Gaugamela and the last one is this composite battle, in
India, of two major events.
Beyond that, I would have liked to have done the Battle of Colonia,
but that would have been the fourth hour of the movie. And I think
perhaps it should have been a two-part movie.
Val Kilmer: I disagree.
Angelina Jolie: So do I. For me, for a film that
was about someone who is such a soldier and such a fighter, we
were all so deeply aware of our characters, so many heavy dramatic
scenes, so much deep relationship work, and more so than in most
films, but there were also very grand fight scenes and they were
very well done. But that's very much who he was.
Kilmer: I would bet between Gladiator, Troy,
Colin Farrell: Thunderbirds!
Kilmer: Thunderbirds, Team America and certainly
The Incredibles, even though we're almost three hours, I would
bet the actual number of the actual minutes of the fighting was
less than any of those.
Professor Robin Lane Fox: This is a film about
Alexander, and Alexander unquestionably is the greatest general
and the bravest front-line general in world history. You have
to emphasis that and show it. And that is what heroism means in
the Greek world.
This is the difficulty people have had, they don't understand.
We haven't made some crazy film here about armchair suburbia in
Morningtide, this is a pre-Christian Greek world, whose depiction
of a different morality is very, very strong.