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The Phantom of the Opera - Patrick Wilson Q&A



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......

Joel Schumacher: 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 of.

 

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