An Interview with the Cast of Aquaman!by Opinion Express December 15, 2018 0 comments
Aquaman will be a success not just because of a strong storyline but also the effort and passion that went into the shooting of the much-awaited film.
Can you tell us James, what was the most important part for you to get right in creating this world and telling this story visually?
James Wan: Probably one of the biggest visuals I wanted to get right was the costume of Aquaman. That was definitely something we worked hard and long on. I really wanted to capture the vibrancy of Atlantis and all the underwater kingdoms and do justice to the comic book while obviously, filtering it through my own sensibility.
Mera is fierce. She goes toe-to-toe with the bad guy. What are you most proud of in terms of this character — the way she was written and the way you portrayed her?
Amber Heard: Well, I feel really lucky to have worked with people who wanted to maintain the integrity and strength of the original character. Mera never was anything other than a bad-ass super hero. She is no damsel in distress. Mera is a kick-ass woman and doesn’t need any help from anyone. It was amazing to get to play a character like her.
Orm is the villain of the film but he also has a point about humankind destroying the oceans. What was it like playing the many sides of this complex character?
Patrick Wilson: Well, his fight is perfectly understandable. There’s a long history of Aquaman protecting oceans, fighting whaling, saving fishermen, all throughout comic history. I like that they left the pollution up to Orm because it enables you to have a really violent response. And I think there’s something cathartic for an audience watching that. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t think we were destroying the oceans; of course we are. And, of course, it’s something we all need to take heed of — not that, that’s the main theme of the story, but certainly that’s Orm’s track when he sets out to combine his armies and take on the surface. Everybody says, ‘Yeah, I get it. So, it’s a fun way in, because then you’ve got conflict. You sort of wonder, so he’s the little brother of an older brother he never had?’ He knows deep down he is the firstborn, so there are all those very Shakespearean complex emotions that he’s dealing with. But you start him from a very organic place, then you can go as big as you want, which we do.
James, what was your biggest challenge, and why Jason?
James Wan: Ultimately, it is just bringing his personality to this character — not bringing him to Aquaman, but bringing Aquaman to him. And what I love most about it is I get to be the one to showcase the other side of Jason Momoa that not many people have seen, which is the funny side of him. And after this movie comes out, people are going to see what a great potential romantic lead he is as well.
Jason Momoa: I just want to speak English. I don’t want to fight anymore.
James Wan: But that’s what I love about Jason — he comes in and just makes a statement with this character, and that’s what this first movie really needs.
When you first learned that you were going to play Aquaman, how did it make you feel to know you’d be taking on one of the most iconic heroes known in comic books?
Jason Momoa: When Zack (Snyder, the director) first told me I’d be the cast… I wish I had a picture of my face because, I am the last person he should be hiring. I thought I’d be playing a villain. It was an honour. Zack’s perspective is so radical, and what it offered to the team in Justice League was something we hadn’t seen. And it’s not until the end of this movie that we get to him being a king.
With so many water effects in this movie, what were some of the challenges you ran into?
James Wan: You hear it all the time from filmmakers that making movies with water is not the most pleasant thing. It’s uncomfortable and slows down the speed of the film. The irony is all the sequences that are actually fully submerged in this underwater world — that was actually shot dry for wet. And that’s literally what it sounds like, in these rigs that simulate swimming, floating, and how your body moves underwater. But we did play with a lot of water as well. I don’t think you can make an Aquaman movie and actually not have anyone get wet. And, again, the irony is that when we’re actually above the water — when we’re dry — that’s when I have to drench the actors nonstop. When they’re actually out of water, that’s when they’re dripping wet. But when you’re underwater, people actually look dry, so that’s why we shot it without water.
The biggest water set that we had in this film was the submarine sequence at the beginning. We built the submarine over a water tank and would just submerge it again and again. As we’d play out the scene, we would submerge it, and then bring it back out of the water tank, blow dry it down, and then do take two, and then take three. It was quite a laborious process. And, a bit of a pain.
Jason, this movie is going to mean something to Aquamanfans, but do you think it has something specific to say for people who are half-Asian or hald-native Hawaiian?
Jason Momoa: Coming from the Polynesian islands, there are so many water gods that we have and so much folklore and mythology about how the islands came about — from Kanaloa to Tomaloa and Maui. It’s the Poseidon story and I get to play that. To be the first mixed-raced Super Hero in 2018 is a huge honour. And also just to play it so close to who I am, with all of Arthur’s imperfections. I don’t have to be Superman — I’m not. But I got to play it as someone who really is split between those two worlds, and I’m excited for the world to see it.
What is the one thing you really hope people will take away from this film?
James Wan: For the fans out there who have stood by Aquaman all these years while people made fun of him, his comic book and all the characters in his world — I want them to see that this is finally the opportunity to get revenge. This movie is made with a lot of passion. I want people to know that I respected the source material in making this film. And then, on the other side, I want to introduce all these characters to a whole new generation of kids that didn’t grow up with Aquaman, and so I want the two separate worlds to come together.
Writer and Courtesy: The Pioneer