Stanley Tucci interview: Jack The Giant Slayer and 3D

Ahead of the film's release, Michael met with Jack The Giant Slayer villain and acting great, Stanley Tucci...

When Stanley Tucci walks into the room, the entire group of international press falls silent. We’ve just spent the morning in a coach, driving us up to Elstree to visit the set of Jack The Giant Slayer, and we’ve barely had time to gather our bearings before we’re sitting face-to-face with the star of The Lovely Bones, Captain America and Road To Perdition. The actor-writer-director-producer whose performance in Easy A sits near the top of any list of Best Fictional Dads.

In Jack The Giant Slayer, Tucci plays ‘the real baddie’, the sleazy Lord Roderick who, with his greasy black mane, grey-flecked beard and catlike English accent bears more than a little resemblance to Alan Rickman’s Sheriff of Nottingham from Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.

While we’re still fiddling with our recorders and clearing our throats, he plonks himself down in an empty chair.

‘So, whaddaya want to know?’

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We ask away.

We’re used to the story being very much a campy fairytale. Is this version meant to be darker?

A little darker, there’s a huge battle at the end with giants coming down and storming the castle, and it’s a little gruesome, with people getting their heads bitten off and things like that – but somehow it’ll still be PG. I also think the way it’s shot is quite beautiful, it’s quite hyper-real, particularly with the 3D. 

How are you finding that process?

It’s horrible! It’s really not pleasant. It takes a really long time, and anybody who tells you different, who says ‘aw, this is great’ – don’t believe them. It takes a long time to shoot a movie anyway, but this just makes it a lot harder.

How does it make it harder?

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I still don’t understand it. The cameras make it cumbersome. There are some technical issues with them, because I think they’re very new. They’re kind of ungainly, and then the 3D itself makes it difficult for them to frame as easily as they might normally. I know that fight sequences are difficult to shoot, because of the way the perspective is in 3D. Usually you know where you put your camera – for a punch, for a stab – and everybody says it’s been harder in that regard. 

How do you find it as a cinemagoer?

I don’t need it – I’m okay! It’s not my thing. But, anyway, I think it will look beautiful. It will look beautiful!

Do you think 3D’s a phase, or will it have a lasting impact?

I don’t know. I hope it does decline, honestly. I think for certain things 3D’s really fun, you know. It’s really cool. But it makes you nauseous, and to me it’s a gimmick. And I don’t put a lot of stock in gimmicks. But I guess somebody thought one of those phones [motioning to coffee table full of iPhones] was a gimmick a long time ago. So I don’t know the answer!

Stanley Tucci, thank you very much.

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Jack The Giant Slayer is released on 22nd March in the UK. You can read our interview with director Bryan Singer here.

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