Another Lee interview with the New York Post

Mar 8 • by Gel • 1 Comment »Interviews

Here’s another recent interview Lee did, this time with the New York Post!

Lee Pace’s small and big screen work has been populated by projects that vary in plot, tone and aesthetic but could all be described as having an indie sensibility. Except for “Marmaduke” … but like everyone else (Lee included) I’m going to forget that even exists. Yes, from “Pushing Daisies” to “The Fall,” everything Lee attaches his name to manages to land a few inches off center, yet leaves you with the distinct impression that was its intended target all along

“Ceremony” is the latest notch in Lee’s indie belt which sees him play Whit, a slightly pompous documentary filmmaker whose wedding to Zoe (Uma Thurman) hits a speedbump when her wise-cracking, oddly-talking, crazy in love ex-boyfriend Sam (Michael Angarano, in a star-making performance) shows up uninvited.

But what makes Whit greater than your average groom is just how wholly he welcomes Sam, leading to a series of ingenious situations that make “Ceremony” one of the most surprisingly charming films of the year. I recently sat down with Lee to talk about making this movie, life after “Pushing Daisies” and why a vampiric role in “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” doesn’t actually diverge from his indie sensibility.

PopWrap: What was it about the script that made you think “I gotta play this guy?”
Lee Pace: Well it was just that – I wanted to play this guy. There’s a lot on the page and I know guys like Wit, so I thought there was a lot of personal stuff I could bring to him. And by personal stuff, I mean, people I know that I can make fun of [laughs].

PW: Friends or enemies?
Lee: People that I think are awesome. I think Whit is a pretty awesome guy, like a really cool guy.

PW: I’m glad to hear you say that because after my friends and I saw the movie we kept having the “is he a douche or not” conversation.
Lee: I think there’s a way to play him that could have been straight up douchey but he’s not. I saw him as the kind of guy who sailed around the world at 13 and has just been doing incredible things since then. He found an incredible woman to share his life with and he’s dated a lot of girls, a lot of pretty incredible girls, and he sees Zoe for what she is and thinks she’s worth fighting for.

PW: And yet you never really get the sense that Whit is threatened by Sam’s arrival.
Lee: From the minute Whit sees Sam on the beach he’s like, “he actually showed up to my wedding, this is great” [laughs]. There’s never a beat in his head of “oh no, the wedding is ruined.” He sees those moments as making life more fun. He just sees Sam as a kid who is in over his head, and has affection for it. I don’t think he’s ever truly threatened by it.

PW: Whit is a nature documentarian and at one point he screens a rough cut of his latest African Adventure — how did you guys go about creating that?
Lee: We didn’t know when we’d have time to shoot that because we were filming in the Fall and days got dark really quickly. We had about three days where we hoped me and the DP could step off and shoot that because he’d done a lot of National Geographic stuff. He found this patch of reeds in low tide that we could “hunt for a tiger” in. So we dressed up some extras in that crazy African garb and just improvised.

PW: What was better — filming that or performing Whit’s signature dance?
Lee: Oh man, I was terrified about [the dancing]. For an entire week I wouldn’t stop asking questions – how are you shooting it? what music will it be? What am I supposed to do? This is where Max [Winkler, writer/director] can be a bit of a sadist because he’s very open and part of that is letting the actors deliver a performance. He doesn’t get in your business, so it’s up to you to come up with the character. But I am too tall. Tall people don’t dance. It’s just not right. Luckily they shot it from very far away and across the room because if it was up close, it would have been funny for all the wrong reasons.

PW: You are quite tall (6′ 3″) so I wonder how often you get recognized — especially with the fervent fanbase “Pushing Daisies” developed.
Lee: You know, whenever I get recognized, it’s from “The Fall.” I don’t really look like Ned. I usually have a beard and don’t carry pies around [laughs]. They just lit us in a way that made us glow on “Pushing Daisies,” which we don’t naturally do, so I never really get recognized from that. But I’m so proud of “The Fall” that I’m incredibly excited when people recognize me from that. I just want to tell stories from shooting it because I loved making that movie so much.

PW: “The Fall” is a visual feast and most of your films have been indies, so a lot of people were surprised by you taking on a role in the upcoming “Twilight” two-part finale. What made you sign on?
Lee: Bill Condon. He’s great and just killing it with this movie. It’s gonna be the cool “Twilight.” He’s adding a level of style that is just awesome. I’ll be honest, I went in to this a little like “you know what you’re getting into, just do what you can.” But it’s been awesome fun.

PW: So you like playing a vampire then?
Lee: Yea, it’s really fun. It’s easy and fun to bring that side out of you. Both parts are fascinating. After reading them, I understand the huge sensation around them. And can I tell you something, Kristen Stewart just looks like a proper movie star. Not like a teen sensation. She walks on set and its pure movie star-ness. And you don’t see that very often.


One Response to “Another Lee interview with the New York Post”

  1. Lovely man. I’m really curious about ‘Ceremony’, and Lee as a vampire will be the first Twilight movie that I will actually watch, lol.
    (I would totally recognize him from Pushing Daisies though!!)

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