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Josh Lucas @ Poseidon PremeireBluntly Speaking | Josh Lucas
an emily blunt interview





Bluntly speaking? Those Lucas eyes. They are like rare sapphires that have been unearthed from beneath a Pharaoh's crypt. They are like lasers of rare blue silk, that penetrate from a planet yet unknown. They are like boulders of twinkling turquoise found on an old western trail tinkling in the high noon sun, calling to, and bewitching you.

Yes, those eyes are glorious enough alone, but there's more feast to behold here than is fair for one simple lass. For these jewels of the soul are attached to a humanitarian and mansteak extraordinaire so beguiling that one would gladly pony up to at some swanky bar and flirt with, not drunk with liquid libations, but with their with their noble luscious lusty lure, and boldly request a kiss from their possessor These magical irises belong to Mr. Josh Lucas.

This is one beau that's been made right from tip to toe - the gods are truly just.

Josh's new film finds him wet and worried aboard Poseidon. The old law of physics is our premise here: big ship + big wave = big disaster. If you're in the original 70's film "The Poseidon Adventure's" fan club (like me), you'll want to know this is not a "remake" after all but a re-visioning. For example there's no Ms. Winters stand-in, everyone here is svelte and of the 2006 movie-going image; skinny chicks with twelve year-old bodies. But among the mini-waisted thespians you may feast upon a super driven manly man hell bent on survival - one Dylan Johns, a kind of Double Down Dangermouse, played by Josh Lucas. Basically the only thing the film shares with its predecessor is a name and the event trigger - the rest is all new terror…

Josh was there, beaming and beautiful, to talk about his latest role - while I tried desperately not to get lost in those gorgeous baby blues…I mentioned they were cool as a Fiji beach horizon right?

EMILY: Okay. You know I have to ask. Was there any intention to copy or use anything from the original 1970's movie or this novel on which it was based?

JOSH:: The first conversation I had with Wolfgang ( Director Peterson) was, 'I don't want to remake the original, and I don't really want to make the book either. I want to do what is basically a trilogy, which is Das Boot, The Perfect Storm and then this one, and deal with moving from a big glorified party setting, into basically a claustrophobic hell, and an ascent out of that hell. But not from a spiritual sense, like the book, just sort of pure, survival, that's it'.

EMILY: What a great observation! Right, Wolfie is the master of water films! The film seems like it's a bit cut-to-the chase. I was just starting to get where the folks were coming from, when all hell broke loose… Did you work on trying to extend your character at all?

JOSH: I'll be honest with you, I worked on trying to cut it, because, first of all, we were making this movie during a time of consistent horrific disasters, the world was obviously seeing trauma at a very high level, and I felt like there was no way people are going to deal with this.

EMILY: How about you. Did you think twice about doing this? Some of those scenes were so claustrophobic and you must have been wet for how many months? (Said absolutely without a hint of double-entandre - I am so proud…)

JOSH: I was wet for five months to the point that actually it's crazy. I'm soaking wet in every single scene. It was one of the things I had a battle with. I would sit in this little silly hot tub, or even a kid's pool sometimes, just sit there and wait until they start to roll the camera and then get out because he's dripping wet from that moment on. But your skin gets so soft that you can cut it with your fingernail. It's gross; it's absolutely amazing what happens to your body when you're in water for that period of time.

EMILY: (silly little hot tub - lucky little lathering pit! - she said wiping the sweat from her brow…). Was hard, after the multiple disasters the world recently faced to do a natural disaster film?

JOSH: [nods a mighty yes] I heard an amazing story from Katrina from a police detective who was talking to one of the people he worked with who was stuck in an attic, and the guy ended up drowning. And he was basically on the microphone with him as he drowned. What came out of that for me was you can't have bogus dialogue. They're not going get to know each other in this situation, and if you go back and look at the original that is kind of the strength of the original honestly is the playful, in a sense, cheesiness of the situation. Richard (Dreyfuss), Kurt (Russell), me and Wolfgang all had constant conversations saying that 'this doesn't work, the dialogue here, because people would not talk during this situation'.

EMILY: Yes, I see what you are saying. It's not quite a romance novel situation. (Did I just say that…) when folks are just trying to stay alive.

JOSH: Right. The sets and the kind of filmmaking that Wolfgang was doing was so violently heightened that you come into a room and there are dead bodies all around the room, and you're not going to have a conversation about where are you from, what's your sexuality (he laughs) like whatever, those strange moments that we were cutting out of the movie as we were going, which I felt actually sort of honored the truth of the situation more than it would have otherwise.

EMILY: The buzz is you got beaten up more than anyone during filmmaking. Can you tell me a bit about that?

JOSH: Yeah. Wolfgang the whole time is having a ball. He's like, "This is so fun, I'm having so much fun," and the rest of us were in hell. I was hospitalized - twice - on this movie for two major different injuries. You can't see underwater dealing with that level of debris. All the oxygen in the water is being created by the different water canons so there's bubbles all the time and it takes your ability to see and cuts it down from five feet to two feet, so you're literally swimming by Braille at times, you're swimming by strobe-lights, because you're just heading for something. When people are swimming close together, they bang off each other and smash into each other. So Kurt at one point swung his metal flashlight back and tore open my eye. And you see it on camera. They cut at the point where the blood explodes and starts pouring down my head. So they shut down production for that day and I had stitches. But, I really like physical filmmaking honesty, I think there's a real sense of physical truth in this movie I think, and it's because he built those sets and put us in the situation, and you see it, there's nothing fake in this movie, we're there. Obviously the boat is not real, but all those environments are real, all that fire, all that water, everything we're going through. The second time I fell crawling up the wall and snapped the muscle in my thumb and had to have surgery, so you have scars on both sides. Look, I never compare what I do; we do, to a real job. But truthfully, this was as close to going to work on an oilrig as you can get. We were hurt, everyone was sick the whole time.

EMILY: Did you go along with some of the other cast members? They apparently cruised the beautiful QE2 as research for the film?

JOSH: No, Richard did. I said, 'What? What's wrong with you?' I wouldn't go on a cruise. To be in a contained space with a lot of people… no. I heard a story the other day just from someone who'd been on the QE2. They're on the bridge and someone said, 'Do you see that bend down there?' There was actually a bend in the QE2, and I guess they had been hit by a rogue wave at night, 110-foot rogue wave! Basically they drove [the ship] correctly, but it actually bent the boat, and three passengers complained about something during the night, but they rode over it. That to me is like - (shakes his head).

EMILY: Eyeyeyeyeye. I have been on seventeen cruises and basically fell ill during the film myself…would you say this the most physical film you've done?

JOSH: This was the most difficult, physical water work I've done, and I am a certified diver who's done some of that stuff - but there's no comparison though when you're dealing with what the reality of this filming situation. I had a pool and I would spend time practicing holding my breath, really training yourself to be able to do some of those shots. You see someone swim for a truly long period of time without edits, so that was a big piece of it, but we all did water training, we all did safety training, you really had to be able to deal with it.

EMILY: What's the difference between doing an action film and being on stage? What are the different acting muscles that you use? (Damn me and my subconscious desires…)

JOSH: (eyebrow raised) You're not really acting much in this movie. You're reacting; the thing that I really tried to settle into and connect to was who is this guy inside? What can you show through subtle little moments, of this man's independent roguish danger, or mystery in the beginning? All that has to be totally internal because it's not dialogue, and that becomes a really interesting challenge inside of a reactionary environment. At one point Kurt was like 'F**k, my hair's on fire!' It was that sort of thing all the time.

EMILY: What's next for you?

JOSH: The other thing I'm most proud of is I'm involved with Ken Burns' "The War," which is his next documentary; an absolute masterpiece. I'm one of the characters in it who reads the stories, reads the experience.

Emily: Yes, Ken Burns is a national treasure…


Poseidon is a big splashy summer action film, and this Hotty McHottalastair is at the helm, fighting his way through one dilemma after another en route to freedom. It's a great film to see if you're booked on a land vacation this year - those of you cruising? Not such a great idea….








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