Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a 30-45 minute chat I had with some of the badasses involved with the film that swept both the Jury and Audience Awards here at the South By Southwest Film Festival 2005. I really dug HOOLIGANS (as you can read here) and was very happy to conduct the below interview.
It was a lot like I was before a senate committee... I mean, it was me sitting on one side of a long table and the 5 interviewees on the other. On the other side of the table was director Lexi Alexander and actors Elijah Wood, Charlie Hunnam, Claire Forlani and Leo Gregory.
This interview was almost a circle complete for me. Back in the summer of 1998, I conducted my very first interview specifically for Ain't It Cool News with Elijah Wood, in conjunction with THE FACULTY. Not only was it one of the first appearance of a Quint Interview on AICN, it was also the first time I ever finished an interview with "What's Your Favorite Dirty Joke?" If Wood hadn't come up with the goat fucking joke that he told me, I probably would have just thought it was a stupid question (some may wish I had thought that), but he didn't fail me. Now I have a good cache of dirty jokes. And yes, I got some filthy jokes from 4 out of 5 people I talked to (including a new one from Mr. Wood). So, enough of this bullshit! Let's get on with the interview. We tread over a few spoilers, but I think you may get a very accurate idea of what this film is by reading this interview. It was a very fun one to do and should be a fun read. It starts off a little... strangely with a little pre-interview chit-chat. Usually this stuff ends up on the cutting room floor, but sometimes it can be really funny, like the debate between who got what badge that ensued before I asked my first question. Enjoy!
LEO GREGORY: Have you seen a lot of film so far?
QUINT: Not a whole lot, but I'm definitely seeing more flicks this year than I did last year, where I ended up blowing off a whole lot of movies. This is actually getting tough because there are so many badges that they're turning away lots of badge-holders.
LEXI ALEXANDER: I heard.
ELIJAH WOOD: What!?!
LEXI ALEXANDER: Last night that happened (at the first HOOLIGANS screening).
ELIJAH WOOD: They issued too many badges?
QUINT: No... it's just something like the Alamo only holds 220(-ish) people and there just seem to be so many more badges than there are seats at a lot of these venues.
ELIJAH WOOD: Right.
QUINT: Unless it's the Paramount (which holds around 1400 people), but even the Paramount fills up with badge and pass holders, so they're turning away people there to by individual tickets. This fest is gettin' big!
ELIJAH WOOD: I've been going on and on for about an hour about how great it is and how pure it is, how locals can get into the movies!
[The whole table laughs]
QUINT: Well, it's still true. The locals buy badges...
CLAIRE FORLANI: Do they get Platinum? We didn't get Platinum...
QUINT: No, I think they just get regular badges or film passes... (laughs) The Platinum badges cost, like, eight hundred bucks.
CHARLIE HUNNAM: For God's sakes! Someone get Claire a Platinum badge! I'm so bored of this!
[Everybody erupts with laughter]
CLAIRE FORLANI: But we didn't get Platinum, Charlie!
CHARLIE HUNNAM: I know we didn't!
CLAIRE FORLANI: Elijah's the only one who got Platinum!
[There's about 15 seconds of everyone talking over each other, playfully bickering like siblings before I finally assume my place and insist on things coming to order!]
QUINT: This first one's for Lexi. Before you became a filmmaker you were a world champion kick-boxer. To me, being that dedicated and focused wouldn't leave much room for a secondary passion like filmmaking which requires so much dedication and time itself. How did you make the transition?
LEXI ALEXANDER: You know, two different times of my life. I started martial arts when I was 8 and then at the age of 14 I switched from traditional karate to kick-boxing. Then, two years later, I won my first big championship. From there I joined this German National Team and traveled around the world, so you know... By the age of 22 I had already retired, so I had the rest of my life to live... with a couple of screws in my knees. It's really kind of two parts of my life.
QUINT: What made you want to get into film?
LEXI ALEXANDER: I'm not sure that I want to say that, but here's the deal, actually. My mother was the more theatrical person, didn't like that I was doing martial arts and all this crazy stuff, so she had me act and do theater. When I was in Atlantic City fighting the world championship, I won and Chuck Norris gave me the trophy. He had also heard about me that I was an actress in Germany, I was on a soap at that time. So, what happened was he said, "You know what? You need to come to Hollywood because you will become the female Jean-Claude Van Damme," and that's how I came to Hollywood. I didn't really think... I should have thought about the fact that I hate all of his movies and on top of that I hate most of these movies. I don't ever go to see these martial arts films... Other than this great film I've seen called ONG BAK. So, there I was... Chuck Norris sent me to an acting school in Los Angeles and in one of the first classes there was an odd number in the class, so one person had to direct the scene. It just happened to be me. I was like, "Oh, fuck! This is what I'm all about!" It's all about controlling and yelling at people. (laughs) No, really, that is what happened. I was like, "Why would you ever perform?" I definitely realized I'm much more comfortable figuring out what I want to tell rather than being in front of the camera.
QUINT: This next one's for Elijah... I've noticed that after RETURN OF THE KING you've been picking your roles really carefully, playing against type (like in SIN CITY) or taking small roles in great scripts (like ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND). What was it about HOOLIGANS that made you want to take the leading role?
ELIJAH WOOD: I love the script. The script came to me... I didn't really know anything about football hooliganism. The whole thing was completely foreign to me. I think I'd heard bits and pieces here, but in terms of the grand overview it was completely foreign. So, it was a fascinating script and I love the character of Matt and his journey and the kind of arc the character took. I wanted to take on that challenge of taking the character from that place and ultimately having him ingratiated into this group of hooligans, becoming one himself and then kind of learning these lessons in the end all the while telling the story of what this thing is in England.
QUINT: (I look down at my questions and put a mark next to the question Wood had just answered) Check.
LEXI ALEXANDER: You are definitely the funniest (interviewer that day)! Finally!
ELIJAH WOOD: Perfect last interview.
QUINT: (laughs) Well, I think you know what you're in for with the last question, so you have a jump on the rest of these guys to prepare.
ELIJAH WOOD: Oh, dear.
LEXI ALEXANDER: Is it something about feet?
QUINT: ... No.
LEXI ALEXANDER: Because we heard the feet thing before.
ELIJAH WOOD: He would never...
QUINT: I'm not a foot guy, sorry. I guess the next one's for Charlie. In the film... you probably have the most dramatic fights... A lot of the film you have just a face against a face, an opposing team against an opposing team... But your character, more than any, has a real enemy, going after the guy that nearly kills your brother...
CHARLIE HUNNAM: You mean generally trying to pull that guy off?
QUINT: Also being able to enjoy the fight, but also keeping your character out of the chaos of the fight scenes.
[I know that's rambling and not a good question at all... but what I was trying to get at is his character in the movie is really the only one that has anything personal against the people he's punching. In the film, two firms go after each other for no other reason than the opposite side isn't a member of their firm. In Charlie's case, he has family that is hurt and a real reason for going against someone, so there's more drama to his fighting and I wanted to know how he made that show through while in the chaos of the fight scenes... Again, shitty question asked in a shitty way... just wanted to be clear on the intent.]
CHARLIE HUNNAM: Umm....
QUINT: (realizing how ridiculous that last string of words was) Or you could just tell me how fun it was!
CHARLIE HUNNAM: Yeah... I don't really understand the question, but I guess in general, when I originally read the script... They'd sent it to me, I didn't really know anything about it, I just read it. I didn't know, but Elijah had already been talking... I don't really like to be sent a script and told, "This is the character..." Originally, when I first read it, I thought I was going to try to pursue the Matt role because I had anticipated Lexi wanting to go with someone more physically intimidating than myself. I wasn't 100% sure I could pull that kind of character off. But what was lovely, and what was so beautiful about this situation, which has never happened before in my career, is that Lexi asked me to do this 3 or 4 months before we started shooting. Usually, I have 2 weeks and I try to cobble together some accent... But this time I was able to go. Me and Leo hit the gym religiously, I put on 25 pounds and I just made myself feel like that guy. It was definitely the most pure acting experience I've ever had. I felt like I didn't 100% nail the accent. That's always my achilles heel as an actor, you know... I struggle with accent work, and that's what I think I need to work on the most, but just in general it was so lovely to have the luxury and the support to really go and be that guy. I did it as much as I could.
LEO GREGORY: Nailed it, mate!
LEXI ALEXANDER: Yeah.
CHARLIE HUNNAM: Thank you...
LEO GREGORY: No, I'm serious. You nailed it. You're so not that guy, you're so not that guy.
LEXI ALEXANDER: You did become that guy.
ELIJAH WOOD: You were that guy, for sure.
CLAIRE FORLANI: I hated you. (laughs)
CHARLIE HUNNAM: It's a funny thing, acting. I very rarely enjoy the experience. In hindsight, looking back and us talking about it and everything, it seems great. I'm absolutely tortured when I'm working, most of the time I hate what I'm doing and am operating from such a weird vacuum of insecurity... and I won't watch anything because I know that'll just completely fuck my head up... It's a tricky thing acting, you know... And I don't quite know how we got so far away from your original question...
CLAIRE FORLANI: Do you mind if I smoke?
QUINT: Go for it, fine with me.
[This prompts almost everybody in the room that isn't me to pull out a cigarette]
CHARLIE HUNNAM: Did that kind of vaguely answer the question?
QUINT: Yeah, that was... (a shitty question and thanks for even trying to answer it)
CHARLIE HUNNAM: I think, truly to answer your question, I for the first time felt like I didn't have to go and act, I just was the guy, so there wasn't any question of breaking out of it. I was just trying to get to the truth of each individual scene, 'cause I already was that guy.
ELIJAH WOOD: That was a really good answer. It was a lot deeper than I thought it was going to be.
QUINT: (To Charlie) I think he just called you a moron!
ELIJAH WOOD: Yeah!
QUINT: "I was expecting some bullshit..."
ELIJAH WOOD: I was going to say it's a very honest answer, 'cause it's rare that we, as actors, speak about our insecurities during the process. It's ripe with insecurities...
CHARLIE HUNNAM: That permeates everything in all relationships. I know I wasn't a great person to be around while we were shooting the film, it was just the reality of it, you know, 'cause I was under an awful lot of stress and that affects people in negative ways sometimes.
QUINT: Well, you did do a fantastic job...
LEXI ALEXANDER: That's what's most important.
QUINT: ... One of the things I loved about your character was he wasn't a two-dimensional character. I mean, it'd be easy to play him as a tough guy, but every time you were in a scene with your brother you can see the slight transition from head of a firm to little brother.
CHARLIE HUNNAM: I really liked the relationship between Leo and I as well... That could go either way... When we step up head to head... Any other time it's not a question. Like, if Leo, if Bavva, is to get into a fight it's done, the other guy's done. If I'm gonna take on another guy, it's done, but when Leo and I step up to each other it's a bit like, "This can go either way."
LEO GREGORY: Definitely, definitely.
LEXI ALEXANDER: When he (Charlie) was a teacher that was good. There were so many dimensions and it does take a great actor to pull that off.
LEO GREGORY: Yeah, it would have been so easy for you to not believe Charlie's character as a teacher. The offset is, like, "I'm a teacher... what, do you think I'm fucking stupid or something? I'm smart as fuck!" You totally pulled that off, Charlie, man.
CLAIRE FORLANI: You made people think you were smart!
CHARLIE HUNNAM: Fuck!
LEXI ALEXANDER: People were expecting me to cast the thug in this role and people in LA were expecting me this way. I knew that teacher thing and being tender to his nephew and having worry about his family. To me, that's harder to pull off than playing the thug, you know? I mean, I'm not underestimating how hard it was to get to that place, but you can put on 25 pounds if you're a dedicated actor and you can step into that and I knew he had it in him, but at the same time... Yeah, I think back and think, "God, if it wouldn' t have been Charlie, if it would have been this guy and you see him with the kids it wouldn't have had that effect on you." We care about this guy, we like him.
QUINT: I agree... it's also important for Charlie and Elijah's friendship to work, as well. I said it in my review and I meant it... if their friendship didn't work, the movie would have fallen flat on its face.
LEXI ALEXANDER: Yeah, I love that you wrote "This is a buddy flick" 'cause I always wanted to make a buddy flick! (laughs)
CHARLIE HUNNAM: By the way... "Badassery..."
(He smiles and visibly gives his approval... Making reference to a word that doesn't exist that I still somehow included in my review of UNLEASHED that ran in the same story as my HOOLIGANS review)
LEXI ALEXANDER: What does "fisticuffs" mean? (Also referring to a word -real this time- I used in that report)
ELIJAH WOOD: It's like old-style...
QUINT: Old style fist fights... I learned the word from YELLOW SUBMARINE, actually... The nowhere man (Jeremy) uses that term in the movie... but that's very irrelevant.
QUINT: The next one is for Claire. I mention this in the review, but I'd like to talk about how you attacked your role, which I found to be one of the hardest in the film. You don't really get a lot of screen-time, but you have to emote so much and without saying much.
CLAIRE FORLANI: It was all in the script. I was actually really surprised when I went into this part. Usually you do have to kind of dreg stuff up and find stuff and create and put it in and kind of pull it out of nowhere. For some reason, Lexi's story just impacted me, just affected me. There were scenes that I was really scared, even with my preparation and my homework. We did the last scene...
LEXI ALEXANDER: Ugh!
CLAIRE FORLANI: Not the last scene of the movie, but the last day I was filming, we were shooting the scene in the hospital...
LEXI ALEXANDER: Where she slaps him (Charlie).
CLAIRE FORLANI: But it was 8 in the morning and I walked onset and just went, "Are you fucking kidding? It's 8 in the morning!" I kinda looked around and I was like, "Lex, this might not happen. I don't know if I can pull this off!" (laughs) We were just going and, like, cracking up! And Marc Warren, who was in the bed all hooked up and everything, he kept making me laugh. He's in his death make-up and we were just dying!
LEO GREGORY: It's such a great, powerful scene.
CLAIRE FORLANI: But it was incredible because, this happened again and again for me in the film, the second she quieted the set down, the story, for some reason, had great impact on me. Literally, the second I tuned into it, the second I tuned in I was always deeply affected. I honestly give that credit to the power of Lexi's script.
LEXI ALEXANDER: Also, when I was talking to Claire on the phone... we had had one meeting and then Claire was off doing another film somewhere and I really wanted her to do this part. So, I didn't really see you until I was already off in London doing preproduction, but we had to have, basically, one meeting over the phone talking about this character. And she goes on for 45 minutes...
CLAIRE FORLANI: I did?
LEXI ALEXANDER: ... about this backstory that she made up...
CLAIRE FORLANI: I'm sorry...
LEXI ALEXANDER: ...but, no... That was great! The thing about it is... Writing this story I had a certain backstory for her. What is her deal with her husband? What's her pact? Where does she come from? Blah-blah-blah... She said exactly what I was thinking, which was so odd, you know? She made up exactly this thing, like comparing it to him being a heroine addict. The pact is "If you ever fall off the wagon, it's over because I will not put my family through this." That's exactly what I was thinking. Also, the scene in the hospital, which I find one of the most touching scenes in this film and I constantly see people about this... But nobody knows, but me and the editor, that she did it 5 times and 5 times she did it differently because I asked her to do it differently. I remember one time I said, "Do you think you can do it one time like this?" and you were like, "I don't agree that she would do this, but let's do it." And she did it exactly that. My editor would go, "I can't believe she did it five times completely different and each one rocks! Which do we take? Which do we take?"
CLAIRE FORLANI: I couldn't believe it, either!
CLAIRE FORLANI: I walked out going, "I rock!!!" (laughs)
ELIJAH WOOD: That was a sad day for all of us. It was hard to see you go.
QUINT: Once again, your role... it wasn't really in danger of being two-dimensional, but it could have been a character that the audience would hate, that they wouldn't see why she puts herself and her child in danger at the end...
LEXI ALEXANDER: Exactly! Exactly! Not only that, but also each time you see Claire, she's crying and she's emotional. When you look at it on script, you're like, "Oh, God! Am I going to make this actress the crying queen?" Coming from a woman filmmaker, I'm going to make the one female cast member this emotional person... But she is that balance to it. She's the one that's affected. She represents our hurt!
CLAIRE FORLANI: Really? Wow!
QUINT: The next one is for Mr. Gregory. We were talking about character... your character goes through hell in this movie...
LEO GREGORY: Yeah.
QUINT:... which kinda culminates in the scene where you're getting drunk by the water. I was just wondering what you went through in preparation for the role. Did you look at it as a bad guy or...
LEO GREGORY: Honestly, still to this day... I don't know if people would agree or disagree, but still to this day I still believe Bavva was right in his actions.
CLAIRE FORLANI: (sharp gasp) You don't!
LEO GREGORY: Not, not the outcome of Marc getting stabbed in the throat and all that stuff, but in all this context... I always read it as his love for the firm and his love for the team and all that was ultimately bigger than, I guess, his love for Pete (Charlie) or even his love for himself. I mean, when he finds out what the extent of what's happened there's a lot of self-loathing there. For me, in terms of preparation, I guess it's different than some of the other cast. I knew that world, I knew football, so I didn't have spend any time in mind dealing with that. You know, that was taken care of, so I could spend all my thought process just on the character. This guy... you know, the Yank thing, but this guy, in effect, was a journalist, or did keep a journal. Even in the context of the diary, the way it's set up is "Westham V. Birmingham" It wasn't like, "Today I went to McDonalds, then watched a football game..." You know? It made it easier for me because it could have been obvious to make him the obvious Judas character. You know, he did it in totally the wrong way and everything got totally fucked up, but I believe his motives were right. It's a very closed circle, you know? As Lexi was saying, it's not something you can go, "I wanna join!" Either your brother has been in there or your dad or your family or the guys you went to school with... It's a very closely tied thing. To be foreigner, to be an American that's in the journalism world, his dad's a journalist... I still believe to let someone into that circle so easily isn't necessarily the right thing to do. I mean, yeah... there will probably be people who hate me for saying it, but I believe that his actions were wrong, but his motives were right.
LEXI ALEXANDER: I agree with that.
CLAIRE FORLANI: One of my favorite moments is when you turn into Scroller. "Make it go up!!!"
LEO GREGORY: Then again, those little things... like the Myagi thing... that's Lex. There were little certain bits that weren't in the script, but it was like... "Let's go for it."
LEXI ALEXANDER: I lived on the stuff that they improvised. I lived on it. I was just, "Please! Do more of that!" I read about Curtis Hanson directing 8 MILE. He went up to Eminem and all the cast guys and said, "Look... here's the deal. I don't know anything about this world. I'm going to try and do my best, but I'm going to rely on you to make this dialogue right and authentic." I think that's a really great thing to do. How am I going to tell these Cockney what they're supposed to say? I was relying on casting guys that would have enough brights, knowing that this film would come out and it'd be their ass, but making this film great because they want people to accept it and look at it as authentic and not laugh about it. My God... Most of the scenes that the guys hang out they've rewritten. Basically what I said was "Here's the objective of this scene, now go talk" and that's what happened, you know?
LEO GREGORY: Ah, you're doing yourself a discredit. A lot of it was in the script. You can't just say that we all sat down and fucking freestyled all of it 'cause that wasn't the case. A lot of it was in the script, but then there was the odd thing that we felt, "Yeah, we'll chuck this and chuck that..." We had total freedom to do that and it came across and it worked.
CHARLIE HUNNAM: I've only ever worked with on director that does this the way that Lexi does and it's (Anthony) Minghella (on COLD MOUNTAIN) who I think is a pretty good director. (laughs) He's made a couple pictures. Lexi has the confidence in herself and the confidence in her decision-making that once you've given the role, you trust us to do what you've hired us and are paying us to do, which is go play these guys. A lot of directors don't do that. A lot of directors are terrified of that and they just direct you and direct you and direct you... you know, coddle you... suffocate you. Lexi gives you the freedom to...
LEXI ALEXANDER: To be selfish! But, let me go back to the scene that you just pointed out. I had big fights about I was supposed to cut that scene out where he gets drunk on the bridge. Big fights about that. It was so important for me that that scene stays in because he's so tormented about what happened and I wanted to show that. It's also important to show these guys feel, you know? You saw it from some of the other characters. I mean, all of these guys had scenes set up. It didn't matter if it was Claire who had the scene with her husband, losing it, Charlie and Elijah... they all had scenes where they were freaking out. Bovver, I wanted him to come all the way around. It's so interesting to me that you just pointed out that scene, that that meant something to you because forever I would have these fights about "Please cut this scene, this slows the film down, please cut this scene!"
ELIJAH WOOD: I can't believe that...
QUINT: Well, it's jarring. I can actually understand somebody saying that because it's an uncomfortable scene, but it's so important for the character, especially where he goes at the end.
LEXI ALEXANDER: The funniest thing is the make-up girl would come up to him and she'd say, "Oh, you have slop here..." And he'd go, "Leave me alone! Slop is there for purpose!"
LEO GREGORY: I was like, "I put it there! What're you doing?"
QUINT: Does the film has distribution?
LEXI ALEXANDER: You know, it has distribution all over the world, except in the US, which is a bit unexpected for me because I thought it would have been the other way around. I thought there would be a bidding war in the US and in England we would have problems. So, in England was the bidding war and they're flipping over the film and the US, while the people who see it... like we had a couple test screenings... obviously this was our premiere and it was a great reaction last night, people are coming up to us all day long... We understand that this film appeals to the audiences and people like it... I think distributors have a tough time raising the courage to stand up for this film and embrace it for what it is. This festival will certainly help, reviews like that will certainly help, but I think it takes a gutsy distributor to come onboard and say, "You know what? Fuck it! I love this film so much, I'm gonna walk up the mountain" and I think that person, I don't just say this because it's my film, but I honestly thing whoever takes on this film will be really rewarded. We all know things like FIGHT CLUB have been the best selling DVDs ever. It's not like this has no audience, you know? To me, it never only had that 18-25 male audience, but I KNOW it has that, it has so much more. I'm putting myself in their shoes... I'm just like, "You're job is to make money. You already see that people like this film, so get over the violence issue and just fucking get it out there."
CLAIRE FORLANI: It's not glamorizing violence. It's a very honest portrayal.
LEXI ALEXANDER: I think we had a couple distributors that had moral issues. I think that goes back to the point that they don't know how to handle it, deal with it, market it, you know?
[One of the PR people in the room -Might have been a guy by the name of Erik Bright... but don't quote me on that- Bring up the language issues. Maybe the foul language by itself is what's scaring the distributors away?] LEXI ALEXANDER: Yeah, we had that actually... We had to put a trailer somewhere... I don't know where it was, but we couldn't find a scene that there was no "Fuck" or "Cunt."
LEXI ALEXANDER: So, I get it. I get their concern, I just think it takes a little bit of work and a lot of these people don't want to put in the work.
QUINT: They could also be scared of the accents. I mean, it was a huge battle to get SHAUN OF THE DEAD out in theaters here... LEXI ALEXANDER: Look at how much people love that film!
LEO GREGORY: 28 DAYS LATER...
LEXI ALEXANDER: LOCK, STOCK... SNATCH... It doesn't matter. Basically we're battling with a couple of things. We're battling with the fact that there's an accent, we're battling with the fact that it's got a lot of cursing, it's got violence, so...
CLAIRE FORLANI: Elijah, you even said "Fuck" when you went to the hospital.
ELIJAH WOOD: (Points to Lexi) She told me to! She told me to!
CLAIRE FORLANI: That fucking made me laugh!
LEXI ALEXANDER: These guys were all saying this and you'd been with them so long, I felt it was a natural thing to do, you know? Listen, I'm very proud of the fact that I didn't think of distribution during this film because that would have fucked us all up!
LEO GREGORY: Totally, that's not even saying it to be laughed at, that's totally true.
CHARLIE HUNNAM: There have been only 120 "Cunts" as opposed to 150.
LEXI ALEXANDER: (Points to Charlie) This one here threw in things... Now everybody laughs about it, but after he (Charlie) asks him (Elijah) "Why don't you teach a little bit about blah-blah-blah History?" He's like, "I'm not really good at that." "Well, they're ten, teach them anything!" He goes, "You know, I'm not going to..." He goes, "Well, fuck you then!" Where the fuck did... I mean... it was tough enough to keep him clean with the kids! But it was so funny, how could you not have that in?
ELIJAH WOOD: Did Geoff Bell add the "Shit-Cunt" line? Did he add that because that wasn't in the script, was it?
CHARLIE HUNNAM: He got that from Kevin, the driver! Don't you remember that story?
ELIJAH WOOD: Oh, the class! "I say, 'Geddown, yew shit-cunt!'"
LEXI ALEXANDER: Thank God nobody understands, but when you (Leo) come into the pub and you see them, like hanging out... Nobody picks that up, thank God!
QUINT: I think I have a headline! "THE HOOLIGANS CAST TALKS ABOUT SHIT-CUNT!"
ELIJAH WOOD: It's so funny... The sweetest guy in the world and he starts telling this story... "It was like the old town bicycle, there was this one chick that used to come by and they would all take turns on her and they would just say HORRIBLE things to her."
CHARLIE HUNNAM: There was some kind of situation... (looks at my little brother -14- who joined me at the interview and was sitting directly across from Charlie at the interview... so he got this next bit in his full vision)... Sorry about this... I know you've seen a lot of movies... But he's here (Charlie stands, one foot on his chair, the other foot on the table and then starts making humping actions to the air while slapping an imaginary ass)... He's here and there's another guy in front... and for some reason there's a towel over her head...
CLAIRE FORLANI: Oh, my God!
ELIJAH WOOD: She didn't want to be seen!
CHARLIE HUNNAM: And he's going, "Come on, you shit-cunt! Come on, you shit-cunt! Come on, you slag!" (He stops the air-ass-slapping and looks offended, sticking a finger up in the air). "I am not a slag!"
ELIJAH WOOD: "Come on, you shit-cunt! Come on, you slag!" (laughs) "I am not a slag!" Brilliant!
LEXI ALEXANDER: See what it's like! I just say, "Go over there, I'm gonna shoot you wide... You guys are having fun. Charlie talk!" That's what comes out!
ELIJAH WOOD: Fucking brilliant, dude!
QUINT: This is a perfect lead-in to my last question!
LEXI ALEXANDER: "Come on, you shit-cunt!"
QUINT: It actually started with Elijah, actually... you were the first that I asked What's your favorite dirty joke? to. I got a goat-fucking joke from you.
ELIJAH WOOD: You did get a goat-fucking joke from me...
LEXI ALEXANDER: I can tell you one... but I have to whistle during it, so hold on... So, there are two birds living on two trees. A male and a female. The male watches the female bird and he goes, "Hey, so she's good looking," and he goes: -Whistle-whistle- [As she whistles she moves her eye-brows up and down in a "Hey, baby..." way while pointing to herself and to the imaginary bird. She points back and forth, then slaps a fist into her palm to symbolize, "Hey baby... how about you and I fuck?"] And she goes -whistle-whistle [This is much simpler. The female bird is just shaking her head "No" while wagging a "Uh-uh" finger] So, he's like... "Eh, women... They say no, but I'll ask tomorrow." So the next day he goes again: whistle-whistle [Same eyebrows and palm pounding as before] And she goes: whistle-whistle [Same rejection, "No" head shake and finger wag] So, he goes on, he asks for 10 days, then he goes, "OK, fuck her, then! I'm not gonna bother with that anymore." So, all of a sudden, she starts thinking, "You know, I haven't been feeling very happy. Probably need to get laid." So she goes: whistle-whistle [Now she's doing the "Hey Baby" eyebrows and the "let's do it" palm pounding]. And he goes: whistle-whistle [This time he does the shake the head "No" and wag the finger "No," but he adds on one final hand gesture, the universal sign of jacking off].
[The table erupts with laughter]
QUINT: That'll be an interesting one to transcribe! You've given me a challenge!
LEXI ALEXANDER: I didn't think of that, but yeah! There's your challenge!!!
CLAIRE FORLANI: Why is a bus red... in England they're red... ?
CLAIRE FORLANI: Wouldn't you be if you have to come every 10 minutes?
QUINT: Who's next?
ELIJAH WOOD: Alright, I've got another one. There's a burning building. In the burning building there's a lesbian couple and a gay couple. Who gets out first? (Pause) Well, the lesbians because the gay guys are too busy packing their shit and the lesbians are outta there lickety-split!
[Biggest laughter yet]
ELIJAH WOOD: I think it's better than the goat-fucking one.
QUINT: Well, what was entertaining about the goat-fucking joke was you couldn't remember it. That's what sold the joke.
ELIJAH WOOD: That's why I had to come up with one that I remembered.
LEXI ALEXANDER: Any more? Do you have any?
LEO GREGORY: I can never remember jokes...
LEXI ALEXANDER: Charlie?
CHARLIE HUNNAM: I don't really have a joke... I mean, I have an...
CLAIRE FORLANI: No, don't tell us a story about yourself, Charlie.
CHARLIE HUNNAM: (Sarcastic) I have some interesting stories about ME! (laughs) No, I was actually gonna ask Elijah this anyway... Just hypothetically, if we were to go camping... No, I fucked it up already!
CHARLIE HUNNAM: (To Elijah) If you don't react in the way I need you to react, it falls flat on its face and I've been humiliated enough today!
ELIJAH WOOD: Wait, what? Is this a set-up joke?
CHARLIE HUNNAM: It's a set-up joke. Hypothetically, if you were camping and you wake up in the morning and your mate has fuckin' split. You kinda come together and you realize that your ass is kinda sore and there's a used condom up your ass... Would you tell anyone?
ELIJAH WOOD: ...
CHARLIE HUNNAM: No, right? How could you tell anyone? (He turns to me.) Would you tell anyone?
CHARLIE HUNNAM: Do you wanna go campin'?
[Thunderous laughter that shakes the very windows of the Stephen F. Austin Hotel meeting room]
And on that note, the interview is over. I know it's not going to win any Pulitzers, but goddamn if this isn't one of the most fun interviews I've ever done. This could even be my favorite interview to date. I hope I didn't ruin Lexi's joke with that transcription and don't worry... I'm still a little bit confused over the "shit-cunt" story, too. At that point everyone was talking over each other, so it has hard to hear the full story. You got it as best as I could pick it out from the micro-cassette tape and my own memory of the story. So, now I have to get going. It's gonna take me a long while to code this sucker and I've already been up about 6 hours transcribing it. I hope you enjoyed the interview. Many thanks to Kraken for taking those lovely pics during the interview. I have a few more interviews and big set reports to get out to you folks in the upcoming weeks. 'Til then, this is Quint bidding you all a fond farewell and adieu! -
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