Did he mind the actors
improvising around his script?
"There were a couple of things I did but the language was pretty contained and it
wasn't really open to improvisation. It was more that there was a trust there: he trusted
us and trusted himself, so he wasn't trying to prove any point about being a
Do you think his experiences in
Hollywood have made him a better director?
"I think his experience of having material of his wrestled away from him made him
decide he never wanted anyone else to direct his material again. I think making a decision
like that makes you understand what you're doing and why you're doing it."
Did you train hard for the film?
"I did lots. I did some riding with lances and I trained for about two months. It was
worth it because we looked very comfortable on the horses, which we were. But a lot of
what I did wasn't used because they weren't going to let us put ourselves in danger."
What was the armour like?
"Horrible! Until you see a bit of the footage and you think hey, I look kind of cool.
After a while we were all posing like twats. But it was very heavy and uncomfortable,
especially when it was hot. They had to pour water down the cracks it would get so hot. If
I touched myself by accident I would burn my hand. It was really horrible. During the
Crusades, 30 per cent of the deaths were from heat exhaustion."
Did you do much research into the era?
"Yes I did, just a little, just so you know where you stand politically. I don't mean
as an actor but with the character. It's good to have a little background
What was it like working with Heath
Lodger? He's really hot right now.
"He's coping with it very well. I've seen him quite recently and he's doing very
well. But he should probably take a little time off. A lot of people have been making
demands on him and he's still young. He's a really nice, thoughtful, kind, good
There's been a lot of fuss over the
bogus quotes used to publicise the movie in the States. Do you have any comment on that?
"I only recently find out about it and I think it's amazing. What's funny is someone
getting caught doing it, because I'm sure they've been doing it for years."
The film is full of anachronistic
details. Were you worried that people might not get the joke?
"Well, I think if I can get it then other people will, and the people who don't get
it are not my kind of people. If you want comedy for stupid people there's plenty of that
around. Often you do something and you find out it's been rearranged because certain
people didn't understand it or appreciate it. My argument would be that they were never
going to. Dark City was cut up and simplified because a load of people in the test
screening didn't understand a word of it. So they recut it to make it simpler and what
happened was that a larger proportion still didn't understand it, and the people who
understood it before liked it less."
Could you tell us a little bit about
your role in Luther?
"It's Luther by John Osborne who wrote Look Back In Anger. It's difficult to describe
in terms of plot. It's just an extremely well-written, extraordinary play that's going to
be on in October at the National Theatre."