Compiled by: Jack Foley
Q: There seems to be genuine contact between you and
the children and the scene when they are chanting ‘How are
you?’ doesn’t appear scripted?
A: It wasn’t scripted at all and that’s really
to do with the way that Fernando and Cesar, his cinematographer
who also shot City Of God, work. Cesar is holding a very small
hand held camera and I am in character as we are walking into
Kibera and the children just came running up to us saying ‘How
are you? How are you?’
Their first language is Swahili so this is one of the first things
that they learn to say in English. We caught it on film and they
weren’t actors or extras, Fernando hadn’t told them
to say this. So it was really to do with the way that Fernando
and Cesar work that they managed to capture what was there.
Q: You looked blooming as a pregnant lady, how did it
feel when you looked at yourself?
A: I loved being pregnant! I find pregnant women to be
very beautiful. It’s nature isn’t it.
Q: Because you had worked
together on Sunshine did that help with your collaboration on
The Constant Gardener?
A: I had wanted to work with Ralph before that first
time. I had always wanted to work with him at the very beginning
of my career. So it was a real honour and a privilege to get to
work with him again and I hope we get another chance. He is an
incredible actor and you were the best husband. He is a complete
joy to work with and I loved every moment of it.
Luckily we also both liked to experiment. We shared that desire
to play around but it is a lot to do with the way that Fernando
and Cesar work. They allow you complete spontaneity and freedom
and don’t hem you in by saying you have got to hit that
mark. It is the actor’s job to try to stay free - even if
there are technical constraints but with Fernando he would let
you try whatever you wanted and Cesar would be there following
you with a camera. It’s tremendously freeing.
Q: How important is the political element in the film
that might make audiences think?
A: To me, first and foremost, I think the film is a very
entertaining thriller and a very original love story about two
people who are complete opposites. I think you rarely see that.
The woman is very volatile and likes to rock the boat and the
man is completely the opposite, a diplomat and more reserved.
I loved that aspect that the love story and the thriller are completely
dependent on one another. They are not separate things.
As Justin discovers the thriller aspect he also falls more deeply
in love with his wife. I hope it raises a debate about some very
pressing topics. If you open the papers then every day there are
going to be articles about Africa, about the pharmaceutical industry
and hopefully it will raise the debate.
Related stories: Read
Ralph Fiennes interview