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Martin Henderson Discusses His Career

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Martin Henderson and Aishwarya Rai in Bride and Prejudice

Martin Henderson and Aishwarya Rai star in "Bride and Prejudice"

© Miramax Films
It sounds like you’d do this film all over again.

Absolutely. The whole time I was there it just sucked that I didn’t have enough time to see the country for what it is. It’s so vast. It’s so interesting. I mean, it’s very hard to take a bad photo in India. Just point your camera and they’ll be a cow on one end of the frame and they’ll be some person with no arms riding a bicycle at the other end. Some big barrel of fruit that you’ve never even seen the color of before.

Wow.

It’s just that kind of reaction. You’re like, “Wow.” It really is so rich and I would want to spend at least three months going around catching planes and trains and buses and taking photos and getting to know the people. Every region is different and there’s a different kind of person with a different ethnic background. The idea of what an Indian is is such an interesting debate because it is so diverse.

Do you consider yourself a risk taker when it comes to choosing your projects?

Yeah, I do. I mean, I try not to make stupid decisions, you know? (Laughing) I always feel like, for me, I’m pretty easily bored, so I like things to be different or interesting somehow. I guess that’s just my personality. That’s why I’ve always traveled. I’m curious. I want to go to new places; I want to see new things. I think I’m at my happiest when I’m learning something so the idea of something being new has always appealed to me.

This was certainly [a film] where people are like, “Wow, that’s risky and brave.” I didn’t see it as brave as much as it’s an opportunity to do something that I certainly had never come across. When you think about it, nobody in the West has really had an opportunity to do something like that. I mean, I guess it’s risky to some people. It will be interesting to see. Americans may not take to it, but I don’t know. You can’t make every decision because you’re worried about what everyone else thinks. You can always run off and do something generic and formulaic (laughing).

But what’s the fun of that?

It’s not as much. It’s not as interesting.

Does your desire to learn and discover new things make it so that when you’re considering a script, anything that’s similar to what you’ve done before gets an automatic no?

Well, it’s just that there’s got to be some element to it. Often I’ll call my agent and say, “I feel like I’ve seen this movie before.” And often then it’s a conversation of your agent saying, “Yeah, but, you’ve got to sit down with the director because his or her vision is blah, blah, blah.” And then if that is compelling, if there’s something original about that, or there’s something original about the casting, you know? There has to be something that makes it interesting to do. Otherwise it’s hard to get enthusiastic and I don’t think I’m very good unless I’m passionate about something.

You said you live in LA now. Do you prefer working in America?

I love America. I’ve got to be honest. There’s many things I miss about New Zealand that I love and that you can’t find anywhere in the world, but there’s things about America that I truly love. For now I’m really happy living and working here. I’ve got a lot of great friends and it’s exciting. I really enjoy being in LA, the epicenter of our industry. I’m constantly meeting really creative, interesting people. And there’s obviously a lot of opportunity. For now it makes sense.

And next up you’ve got “Little Fish” with Cate Blanchett?

Yes, we just finished filming that.

What’s your role?

I play her little brother. I play Ray Heart who is her suburban drug dealing amputee brother.

Suburban, drug dealing amputee brother?

(Laughing) Yes.

So, let’s see. You’re riding motorcycles in “Torque,” dancing around in a Bollywood-style musical, and next up you're playing an amputee drug dealer. You do pick things that are dramatically different.

It’s weird when everyone asks me that. I don’t think it’s conscious like, “I’ve got to find something different.”

It just comes up that way?

Yeah, I guess I’m just interested in a lot of different things.

What body part are you missing in the movie?

My left leg is missing in the film.

Continued on Page 5

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