Lee Pace: I did learn about myself playing Joe MacMillian

Lee talked to HitFix his Halt and Catch Fire character Joe MacMillian and his other recent work.

HitFix: Now, I guess my first question is one of sorta logistics. Where were you able to fit all of this in with “Guardians,” with “Hobbit,” you’ve just been rather busy for the past year…

Lee Pace: Man, I can’t even tell you how. I mean it’s been this past year living out of a suitcase. We shot the pilot in April, went from Atlanta to London, did the first tests for Ronan, the kind of costume and make up and all that stuff. Went from there to New Zealand, shot my pick-ups for the “Hobbit.” Went from there back to London, did that whole crazy, f***ing movie. I mean the craziest thing I think I’ve ever been a part of was that movie. And then basically went from that right into this. Wait. No! No, no, I went from that into Stephen Frears’ movie about Lance Armstrong. Why I thought I needed another movie in there, I don’t know. And then I just finished this about a month ago so I’m like home and finally get a chance to have a life.

HitFix: How much of it is sort of a compulsion to work? How much of it is projects that you just couldn’t turn down, et cetera?

Lee Pace: One hundred percent both. I mean I’m a big believer of when jobs are coming, grind it out. Do it! Because they don’t always come for actors, you depend on getting cast. I mean, God, just this incredibly cool stuff kind of fell into my lap. This has been just an incredible experience and “Guardians of the Galaxy” was just… I mean… did you see the trailer?

HitFix: I did!

Lee Pace: It’s pretty wicked isn’t it?

HitFix: Have you gone around and sort of looked at the people who have been screen grabbing Ronan and just sort of like, “Okay here’s our first look and let’s pick it to pieces!”

Lee Pace: Oh no. I haven’t. I try not to do that because I don’t want to…

HitFix: People are intrigued because I mean it’s only like two frames and some people have taken those frames and they’re like, “Okay can you see this? Can you see that??”

Lee Pace: Yeah, yeah. I’m really excited about this character. I mean he’s nuts. I mean I’ve never played anything like it and I’ve had such a good, it’s one of those things where you don’t know how to approach something like this. This is not Joe MacMillan. You can’t think, “Well, you know, this is my relationship with my father…” It’s not that. There’s none of that, you now, kind of “This is how I would go about dealing with these problems.” It’s a complete kind of act of imagination. But in the hands of James Gunn, I’m such a fan of his movies. So it’s very much a creation of his and I found my self being like, “Alright, let’s do it. You tell me what you’re into here.

HitFix: Is that an immediate feeling that you have where you can sort of turn yourself over to a director or do you have to sort of see other things and go, “Okay, I know you know what you doing?”

Lee Pace: I mean you sit down with him for 10 minutes and you know he knows what he’s doing. I mean he’s just making the movie that he wants to see. I mean that’s a filmmaker. And it’s just a privilege to work with someone like that. You know, Peter Jackson is the same way. He’s going to make the movie that he wants to see. And to be a small part in one of those is so cool. Because they have thousands of people work on these movies, thousands and there’s so many different layers. So my performance is just a small, small part of that puzzle. Creative and fun, working on these massive movies has just been so much more fun than I’ve ever dreamed it could be.

HitFix: Well, just in terms of sort of imagination and foreigness and in terms of out there in outlandishness… You know… “Hexadecimal code” and whatever the heck these motherboard things are doing, is that a language you speak?

Lee Pace: No, but it’s hardly a language Joe speaks either. Joe doesn’t know a lot. He knows, he understands the basics of this, but he doesn’t understand the cutting edge technology that he needs Gordon to create. It’s Gordon’s business, he just needs to push Gordon to do it, to make it. What Joe has in mind is an awesome computer, the computer that no one else has the balls to build. He doesn’t even know quite what that is. He knows it needs to be cheaper, it needs to be faster and it needs to be smaller. That’s what he knows. And that’s going to be tough to do. And he knows it’s going to be tough to do and he knows it is going to be even tougher to get people to buy it.

Full interview here.

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