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Willem Dafoe and Andrew Stanton Interview

Willem Dafoe, Andrew Stanton, and Dominic West Dish on Their John Carter Journey to Mars

With the help of Wall-E director Andrew Stanton, Disney is bringing a new out-of-this-world hero to the big screen in John Carter. We sat down with the cast and director of the movie, which is based on the classic sci fi book series by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Willem Dafoe plays a creature on Mars who helps Civil War vet John Carter when he finds himself on Mars, and we got Willem to speak some Martian for us. Dominic West, who plays the villain, opened up about his days in the circus, and director Andrew Stanton told us why he wanted Taylor Kitsch for the title role. Watch our interview with the talented trio now, and don't miss our chat with Taylor Kitsch or Lynn Collins, who plays the Princess of Mars. You can catch John Carter in theaters March 9.

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Transcript

then it's just fun 'cause you get away into the crowd of stuntmen and you can hit them, but they can't hit you. It means hello, hello, stop, don't shoot!What attracted you to John Carter in the first place? I'd like playing villains that usually quite fun to play and but this guy was sort of different and that he was the bad guy, you had a lot of power, but he didn't have all the power, and he has the relationship with an sort of authority figure or greater evil. It was a pain in the ass and very frustrating and irritating and that's fun to play 'cause it's quite funnyRight.And it's something that we all relate to.Can you talk about the physical aspect and all the stunts and fighting for this movie?I did 3 or 4 weeks of fight training and working out the sword play moves and the choreography and once we got that down then it's just fun 'cause you got away into a crowd of stuntmen and you can hit them but they can't hit you.Right. And then there was a bit of white worker whose flying around unwise. And I've done a bit of that in the circus I used to be in about 10 years ago. You were in a circus?Well, it was sort of a circus. This thing called De La Guarda, which is an Argentenian show, which we did in London, which went all over the world this year.What was your role on that?Well, we had lots of different ones. But you do stuff like, it's mainly climbers that you ran around walls and you ran up that walls with girls and you fly around the air and grab people from the audience and so it was that sort of stuff.Do you think your character, you know wanted to -- he was going to marry the princess. Do you think he actually liked her or is it just --Well, what's clearly wrong with Sab Than is that he wanted to marry the girl only so that he could kill her people.Right.And you, you know, you see Lynn in the film and you think, well, when you just wanna marry her anywaySo, what attracted you to the story of John Carter? I was interested in the fact that it was gonna be a motion captured character. I like Andrew a lot. He seemed perfect for this and this is passion project for him. It's materially ready feels very close to him. So, I guess I was excited to do it on stilts with all that. Right. technical stuff. It was gonna be a new experience and then later, I really grew to know the character of Carson. It's a bit of a character. So, what was it like acting on stilts, was it hard to get past at first or You practice to get graceful and then and hopefully you've sort of forget about it. Which you don't ever totally, but it's good because it changes your body. So, you're working with a new body and how you're thinking, how you feel, all shifts. Right. What about the language? How was that? It was important to kind of help get Right. Also get into character and to find the voice for the character. Right. Could you say anything in Martian? Yes. Keyod, keyod. Saltek, salom vo paf.and what does that mean?It means, "Hello. Hello. Stop. Don't shoot. Don't shoot."Can you tell me what drew you to the story of John Carter in the first place? I put a lot of stock and stuff that if decades later I'm just thinking about it, Right.there must be something about it that really might speak to everybody. You know, there were 11 books books and so, I went to them like Harry Potter.So, can you talk about the casting? How did you come up with Taylor and how did that work?Well, the advantage is is that in the 2000's, you know, all of these technology had kinda come up and suddenly you're seeing all of these CG characters like, Gollum and Jar Jar Binks. And I'm going, "Wow, you could do John Carter. You could do Princess of Mars." You could see Tars Tarkas and stuff and I thought, who would play him? Just as a fan. I wasn't gonna make the movie but who would play him? And I saw him in the pilot of Friday Night Lights and I went, "He would be great."Really?But he's too young, but maybe, you know, ten years from now. And then when suddenly when I find myself like a year or two later in charge this. I couldn't stop thinking about him but I kept thinking he might be too young. Right. And then I realized, I'm in my 40's and I just think everybody's too young. And so I realized, he was actually at the perfect age to start this kind of journey. So, you had him in mind. Was he really excited about it from the beginning? How did you convince him? Well, the fact I was really lucked out. Wall-E was just released when I was just asking all of these people to come in and read. Right. Or they have a meeting. And they would answer my phone call and stuff because thank God Wall-E was kinda popular at that time. Right. I think that's really what got everybody in the door initially.



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