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Fantastic Four - Ioan Gruffudd interview

Compiled by: Jack Foley

Q. Were you aware of the comic books as a child?
A. I never heard of The Fantastic Four, didn't know of their existence, and I certainly wasn't a comic book reader as a child, so like Jessica and Chris I'm a total newcomer to this project. Obviously, subsequently I did a lot of research and rather a nice bit of research it was too, sitting on a beach reading comics.

Q. Have you had any experiences with fans whose expectations were really high?
I certainly didn't have as much of a standing ovation as Jess did. They were in fact a little bit shocked that there was this guy speaking in a broad Welsh accent - how dare this Brit represent this American, iconic character.
Any jokes I tried to crack there was deathly silence, 10,000 people. Subsequently, I researched the character and worked on the accent, and I think I've pulled it off.

Q. Did your relationships off-camera contribute to the way in which you were perceived on camera?
The success of the film is based on the fact that you believe this is a dysfunctional family of superheroes - and I think that's a testimony to our relationships off camera.
If you've got any sort of relationships off camera, it always informs the relationships on-screen, and I think you do believe that Chris and Jessica are always bickering like brothers and sisters, while Michael and I are best mates and I feel guilty for all I've done for him...
To be honest, the process of making a movie like this can be quite tedious, because it's so technically-based. But I think we did our duty as actors to bring the characters to life and to make them three-dimensional, and then the video effects team have just gone and run with it, and married those two together to create this believable film within this genre.

Q. How did you combat wearing the spandex?
Six months down the gym! To be honest, you need a little bit of help from the sculptor who sculpted our muscle-suits that we wore underneath. Myself and Chris that is, Jessica is perfectly natural.


Q. If you had a super-power for the weekend? How would you enjoy it?
I wouldn't mind the ability to stretch. I think we could all do with a bit of help now and again, especially after ten pints of lager!

Q. Do you think that you might like to come back to Britain in a few years time and maybe return to TV or theatre?
To be honest, I'm always aware of what's happening here in the UK. I'm just physically living in LA, and I'm really enjoying living there. I certainly went out with the ambition of making movies, and they make more movies in Los Angeles.
As regards to Hornblower, I'd love to continue with that character - I think it would be interesting to play the character through every stage of his life.

Q. Do you think you'll go the way of Anthony Hopkins and get American citizenship?
Maybe for tax reasons.

Q. Was it disappointing to kiss the Invisible Woman?
Well Jessica kindly allowed me to feel what it was actually like, before I started kissing the air, miming it.
Jessica: Well that was because you were groping me low.
Ioan: You'd given me the green light, you know. Those moments in the film, we'd do it once, naturally, and then Jessica would step away and then I would physically resort to mime.
(Physical demonstrates kissing the Invisible Woman to much laughter]

Q. How tempted were you, as a Welshman, to play your character with a Welsh accent?
I had to fight to get this part. I auditioned and pursued this part. And part of that was convincing the casting director and the director that I could do the American accent. There was no doubt in my mind that it wasn't going to be American.

Q. How did you enjoy the glimpse into the future with your grey sideboards?
That was a tedious process as well. We went from the full shock of white hair as in the comic, and it looked ridiculous; like a racoon! So we make it subtler, and made it look a bit more distinguished. George Clooney was the original idea.

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