Compiled by: Lizzie Guilfoyle
Q. A lot of people know you in this country for your
very fine performance of Travis in The
Alamo, but not so many people will know that you began your
work in musical theatre. So, what was the tougher thing for you
to do here - bare-back horse riding, swashbuckling or hitting
the high notes?
A. Bare-back riding. Truthfully, that was the fun part
about movies - being able to train for things you always wanted
to do. And while I've ridden in The Alamo,
and I had done riding before, the difference between riding English
or western or riding bare-back, is like saying, why ride a bicycle
unless people ride a Harley?
It was just a whole different experience. But it was kind of like
what Joel had done with the script and with the characters - made
them much more active which, just physically, was something I
really wanted to try to do.
And it wasn't about ego or arrogance, saying, look here, I can
do all my own stunts. But I just thought musicals are playing
every emotion to the hilt and the drama's really dramatic and
the humour should be the funniest thing they've ever seen.
So, I felt with the stunts and things like that, if you could
follow the same guy jumping on a horse, or at any point you could
go closer or whatever, it just made it it a much more visceral
experience as an audience member. So that was kind of.... we had
great people out there, training and learning to ride and doing
a lot of sword fighting and trying to do everything we could to
make it that kind of experience when you saw the movie......
I think there was some testosterone involved. At the end of the
day, he ran through the back of that theatre and he jumped on
the horse bare-back.
He did all that riding, sword fighting. He jumped out of the balcony
from the second storey when it was on fire and he did the underwater
stuff. And he's - Andrew Lloyd Webber calls him 'the annoyingly
perfect in all categories'. The fact of it... 'cos he is.
Q. Can you tell us when you first saw the stage version
and if in an ideal world you could play any other musical role
in any other musical, what would it be?
A: I saw the show years ago. I've seen it three or four
times from, like, '89 to '92, so I just saw it kind of as Phantom,
never really very much about the role of Raoul. I watched it as
a kid just watching a musical, not as an actor looking at a role.
If I wanted to do something, probably Carousel. I like the way
Nick Highnet, the way he did the show, in '94. It seemed revolutionary
when it really was just a script. It was such a dark musical area.
I like the way the film is done, but musicals then didn't really
get to the guts of it. It would be a fun one to get to the guts