Speaking | Josh Lucas
an emily blunt interview
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
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.
is one beau that's been made right from tip to toe - the gods are truly just.
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
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?
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?
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
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
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
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
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).
Eyeyeyeyeye. I have been on seventeen cruises and basically fell ill during the
would you say this the most physical film you've done?
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.
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
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.
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