Compiled by: Jack Foley
Q. How demanding upon you, physically, was the fight sequence,
and did you actually get injured?
Josh Lucas: I think the incredible beauty of working with
Ang is that the level of specificity is tremendous, and I was
fascinated by that as well. I knew that Ang, if there was any
way possible, was going to use me, or any of the actors, in any
way. I think thats something that Crouching Tiger gave him
as well, he learned a tremendous amount about the ballet of the
The beauty of the job often comes from the stuff that you learn
before you come on to the set, which is where you go and play
with the wire, and experiment with different ways of orienting
the CGI with Angs direction, which was so incredibly specific
about what it was going to be, to the point of literally feeling
the breath of his nostrils on your hair, and the movement of it.
Then it was about using that wire work and the different stunts
that were going down to throw your body and manipulate your body
in a way that didnt look like wires, and didnt look
like you were doing it to yourself, so that later on the CGI was
the one actually doing the movement.
We spent a lot of time, it was incredibly specific work, that
was recorded on video, and showed to Ang over and over and over,
as he coiled it down into something that he felt fed the scene.
So yeah, we got beat up, and thats all there is to it. But
its something that I love to do, but it can be hard. It
was particularly hard on Eric, because he doesnt get any
retaliation, because the retaliation then comes from a green image
that isnt there - I was sort of doing it to myself. It was
tremendously physical, but tremendously playful within that, and
I was constantly getting bashed around and I definitely, at one
point, assumed that I had broke my leg, when I hit the couch in
a certain way and there was this crack, and everyone went silent
for a second, and my whole body went entirely numb, but luckily
nothing happened. On a daily basis, however, I think I play really
hard and I think thats something that Ang wanted as well,
and theres moments in making it look as physically violent
as we attempted to make it look.
Q. You were saying there was a long time between principal
photography and the completion of the film. What was your reaction
to the big fight scene you were talking about and to the fully
rendered version of The Hulk?
A. For me, the character I have the most compassion for in
this movie is The Hulk. Which I was astonished by, because as
an actor, you definitely have this sort of competitive sense,
you know, in the fact that you're playing with a CGI element.
I think actors have really negative takes on working with CGI;
I think it's really detrimental to go into the process thinking
'I hate this, I have to look at a green X and react to it'.
There's an incredibly specific technical need that go into it,
that are very difficult as an actor, but I think that if anything,
and I keep comparing it to this, if you are a three-year-old boy
lying in your bedroom at night, you believe in your heart that
there is a monster under your bed, and that was something that
we talked about - creating that same sort of belief.
When I saw it, I was honestly completely stunned by the level
of everything that Ang talked to me about. Seeing the blood in
his eyes, seeing the texture of his fingernails...
I mean, is the medium, is CGI perfect? No. Maybe a thousand years
from now, it will be. But that's the ballet of the way he is moving
again. He has got this extraordinary sense of so many details
that are going on which, again, is completely what Ang did in
terms of building the movement. I mean, if you talk to the CGI
guys about what they went through with Ang, pushing them the way
that I think he did to come up with the skin moving, when Nolte's
hand touches it. This is so awesomely, tremendously evolved from
anything that's been done before.
So, for me, when I became completely overwhelmed by how beautiful
and sad I thought the character was, was when he was falling from
the airplane, and there was something about the flutter in his
eyes, and the pain, that I realised he was the character I actually
cared about the most in this whole movie, which is exactly what
you were looking for. He isn't a hero, and he isn't an anti-hero,
he's simply a monster; he's a bear in the wilderness trying to
survive from poachers.
Q. What was it like working opposite Eric Bana? And what is
your view on Mr Nolte as well?
A. Nick Nolte was amazing to me, because there is something
so brilliant and child-like about him at the same time. The passion
that he came to this project with... you know, that's my goal
with every project, is to come with a similar level of passion
the way Nolte did.
From early on, one of the things I knew about Ang Lee was he gives
you a tremendous amount of research to work with, but he didn't
here, because he didn't want that level of research here. He took
us to Caltec, and to watch Nolte go through the scientific lab
and look at everything, and touch everything, and be fascinated
by everything, literally like a three-year-old boy, and that's
how, every single day, he came to work with that same level of
brilliant and yet childlike love for what he was doing. And I
think that's my sense of what Nolte brings to everything.
Eric probably had a very difficult time with me, because my performance
and job in this movie, basically, is to come and harass him. And
be violent with him, and push him around, to constantly try and
ask him to burst out of whatever it is he was doing. But then
he can't actually burst out of it, they then take him away, so
I think it was probably very hard for him and I know he's mentioned
that quite a bit.
We didn't have a relationship that was animosity onset, or anything,
it was just purely two actors who would meet and begin this sort
of beating in a sense, whether they were psychological, or physical.
I think he probably wanted to kill me at the end of each day.
Q. Have you a fiery temper? Do you do anything extreme when
A. I don't have a terribly fiery temper. I have a bad breaking
point, I'd say, which is quite, quite later, so because of that
I'll stay a little bit agitated, or seething, until there's a
moment when I'm completely out of control... and that happens
very, very, very rarely, and only seems to happen with regard
There's something about... my thing is that any time I'm falsely
accused, or seeing someone else falsely accused, I don't know
Q. So what have you done that's out of control?
A. I think the thing about the Hulk, particularly, and the
comic books and why they relate so much to a certain kind of 15-year-old
boy or girl whose got hormones in their body that they don't necessarily
understand and, for the first time, there are emotions streaming
through them, I think The Hulk is a representation of that, in
it's original stage. I know, from myself, that's the first time
I ever completely lost control at that age, when I got insanely
angry for, I've no idea why, with my parents, and went down and
literally shattered the entire nine bones in my hand, smashing
something, and then had to walk back up and say, 'I need to go
to the hospital now'.
The thing about the genesis of the mythology of these characters,
and I think why Hulk is completely different from the rest of
them, is because he's so internal and it's so possible to understand
him. It's not someone who can crawl up walls. It's someone who
actually literally physically transforms, and I think we all feel
that way, particularly as a teenager.
Q. With this and A Beautiful Mind, do you kind of secretly
hanker to win Jennifer Connelly's heart?
A. I think all of us with the exact same idea. None of us
were making a Hollywood movie, none of us were making a big Summer
action movie, we were making an Ang Lee movie. Actually, it became
strangely difficult because one of the studios said we don't know
about putting the two actors together again. You know, it's sort
of strange that way, sometimes, where they think it can be limiting,
or bad luck, or whatever, but for all of us, it was genuinely
about working with Ang and seeing how he was going to take this
genre, that is so completely different from the movies that he
makes, and mesh the two. The awesome, awesome experience. I'm
a complete film geek, I want to go to work 20 hours a day, and
you've got Ang and Frederick Elms, working that way as well. That
can be very hard on actors and crews if they don't have that level
of complete passion for the project, but pretty much everyone,
because of the genesis of his ideas on a daily basis, the unique
way that the movie was being put together, I mean if you watch
this movie, particularly on second or third viewings, you start
to see the background morphing into each other. Stuff that's rather
evident on the first take, sure, but then as you start to really
sit back and watch it again, it's happening so much more, with
so much more incredible detail than you can imagine. What that
took for them to have in their minds, on a daily basis, was very
difficult to transfer those ideas to the crew, to the film-makers,
because it was so complex, because it was so going to happen later.
So for Jennifer and Eric who were there for the whole run of the
shoot, it was extremely exhausting.