Jamie Bell talks ‘Tintin’, Spielberg & working motion capture

From the Manila Bulletin in the Philippines by KAYE VILLAGOMEZ

MANILA, Philippines — Steven Spielberg returns to grand adventure filmmaking via “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn,” a performance capture 3D movie starring Jamie Bell (“Jumper”) in the title role opposite Daniel Craig.

Actor Jamie Bell imitates a figure of Tintin, painted on a Thalys high-speed train, in Brussels October 22, 2011. Director Steven Spielberg and cast members, including Bell, attended the world premiere of his movie "The Adventures Of Tintin: The Secret of The Unicorn" in Brussels
While filming, Bell and Craig experience the pressure of creating movie magic the way Spielberg weaves it.

“Steven Spielberg has a direct line to the nostalgic part of your heart that is usually more closed off and somewhat unwilling to open the door for anyone to get in. But he’s in there. So, I’ve had that experience as an audience member with a lot of his movies,” Bell told Rob Carnevale in an interview material sent to Bulletin Entertainment.

Bell, who was cast as Tintin, after Thomas Sangster backed out from the project when shooting was delayed, said the role was like winning the lottery.

“Knowing that you’re going to work with him is the same kind of feeling. It’s like: ‘My God! I feel like Elliott [in ‘ET’]. I feel like all of these characters who just get touched by something and have this profound experience.’ So, I felt like I’d kind of won the Lottery for a second,” he said.

On set, even in motion capture shoot, Bell had a strong firsthand affair with the “chemical-reaction-like Spielberg effect,” which, “starts coming on quite strong when you first arrive.”

He added, “But does he reassure you? I don’t think so. I mean, he’s put his trust in you already. He’s said: ‘I think you’re the right guy for the job.’ So, you have his trust and it becomes about management of your own excitement, which is difficult.”

Talking to co-star Daniel Craig (who plays Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine/Red Rackham in the movie), Bell related, “I spoke to Daniel a lot about it. I said: ‘God, I feel like whoah!’ And he said: ‘Yeah, it’s the Spielberg effect. It happens.’ It literally feels like a chemical reaction. Not that it wears off… because it never wears off! But you realize that he’s a collaborator and that you can collaborate with him. So, then it becomes good.”

Bell happens to be a confessed Tintin fan who enjoyed the cartoon version of the character when he was eight years old.

“I loved it, vicariously wanted to live through it and travel the world and be heroic and courageous. I wanted that lifestyle of not necessarily danger but the travel, the adventure, the friendships… So, I would switch on Channel 4 on a Sunday and just be taken to wherever it was he went. And so I want to give back that experience because it was great to leave my bedroom in Billingham for a second and just go wherever he went. So, I want to give that back to any demographic really. The synergy in all this movie – the fact that it’s me playing Tintin, it’s Spielberg, it’s all kind of wild.”


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