How difficult is it to act when theres nothing there? When every scene is basically you and a blue screen?
JUDE LAW: I got involved in this when I was shown a 7 minute trailer of sorts that Kerry had made. And from that minute really, I didnt ever feel like I was in a kind of blue void, in an indescribable kind of environment. It always felt, and the more I kind of look back on it now, it always felt like I really sort of knew exactly what was going on around me.
The visuals that were fed to me constantly by Kerry and by Kevin [Conran, production designer] and the animatics that we were able to watch and refer to throughout the filming of it, which was almost a kind of partially finished version of what was going to happen, meant that I, to be honest, always felt like I was in that world. I was in the world that Kerry described to me from the get go. And whats been wonderful is seeing that come to fruition. And its only now that I see it absolutely finished, that I realize how little was there at the beginning. The only other thing really to say is that perhaps the one thing about there being nothing there meant that subconsciously it was strangely very freeing, I felt. It almost felt like make-believe playing, rather than limiting because I couldnt see something specific.
GIOVANNI RIBISI: Yeah, I think that on the stage, actors do theaters on bare stages all the time. It was sort of something that you could if it wasnt there tangibly you could just use your imagination. It was hard sometimes, concentration for me just personally, to sort of latch onto things. But thats just part of the film. You just go into it accepting that.
JON AVNET: What Kerry did, before the actors came to the film, was he shot the entire movie with stand-ins. And what he created was the whole movie in these animatics, which had enough information in them that you could actually look at them. Theyre basically cartoons. So when Judes talking about looking at the animatics, there was the world on a video monitor in a fairly high realized fashion so they each knew where they were. At least you werent walking over rocks that were going to be there.
They still had the issue of the performance that youre talking about. In order to do that, you had the normal dynamics. And one of the things that Kerry and I had talked about in terms of choosing actors starting with Jude and Bai Ling and Giovanni and Angelina [Jolie] was, if possible, to have actors who had quite a lot of theatrical experience so they were used to working on a stage, as opposed to coming up entirely through television or some medium where youve got the water glass or youve got the bottle there. That was part of the factor that went in there. So when they were there, theyd look at it and then theyd discuss with Kerry what had to be done.
How do you think comic book fans will react to this film?
JUDE LAW: Goodness me. I hope they enjoy it. I hope they will come time and time again, bring their friends and their mothers and their fathers. Ive been a great fan of comic books and the high art, in my opinion, of science fiction since I was a little boy. Im very proud to be a part of this, which I consider a kind of ground-breaking piece of work that respects the history of this genre. And tips its hat to the history of the genre.
What films provided inspiration for Sky Captain?
KERRY CONRAN: I grew up on movies of the 30s and 40s, and so its no small surprise that this film has that kind of look. One of the films that has been very influential has been The Third Man. I dont know if I gave that to Jude or not. We looked at several films, I think.
JUDE LAW: Yeah. The Third Man, you did give that to me.