Here is part 2 (It’s the final part. Originally we thought we’d do it in three, but we decided not to “milk it”. Here’s part 1 in case you missed it.) of our interview with Chris Heyerdahl who plays Marcus in New Moon.
There is a transcript below in case you have trouble hearing the audio. It was uncharacteristically damp and chilly weather in Miami and Chris was fighting a cold (note the down vest and the cup of tea) when we filmed this at the Creation Entertainment convention in Miami.
We want to thank Chris for being so gracious, especially under the circumstances, for taking the time to talk with us. Special thanks to Creation Entertainment for their assistance. Next week we will have a feature with Chaske Spencer.
L: Can you tell us a little bit about your own research investigation into the character and what you talked about with Stephenie – how she responded to you take on Marcus?
C: I read everything I could about what she had already said, everything that I could find quotes, because I had no idea she was going to be on set.
L: Oh really? You didn’t know?
C: When I was doing my research? I had no idea. It was when I arrived on set.
L: So that was like a little gift.
C: Yeah! HUGE gift!
L: Best resource possible.
C: Huge gift because you never know. You have to make assumptions. And sometimes – here’s the thing, when you read a book again, why does everyone have a different idea in their head? Because they’re reading it from a different perspective. So of course, my perspective could be just as warped as everyone else’s because it’s everything I’ve lived with and all my history is coming with that. So it was great to check in and say, “This is what I’m going to do. This is what I read. Is that what you wrote?” And some of the things she… “Well I… I didn’t…yeah! Absolutely!” It was one of those wonderful things to have her go, “I…yes! Yes that’s exactly… yes, he would have done that!” So it was really fun to play with her in that way, and so together we discovered things that she may or may not have already really thought about.
L: Like the falling out of bed, tossing on your slippers and your robe…
C: Well the desire to be there. I mean, Chelsea has – she’s able to change his alliance. His allegiance to the Volturi is going to stay strong even though he wanted to leave all those thousand odd years ago. Now his allegiance with the Volturi is very strong. Does he always believe the decisions his fellows are making – the rest of the triumvirate – does he believe in the choices they’re making? Not always. But he believes in the Volturi and that, I think, is the fun thing for me to play with Marcus is to not always agree.
L: The duality.
C: Yeah. Not always agree with how things are being run but to choose his battles. When is he going to speak up? When is it necessary to speak up and say, “Guys, you’re going too far. You’re wrong.” That’s the fun of when he speaks in New Moon and perhaps when he speaks in Breaking Dawn those will be the reasons why. He’s always just sanding off the hard edges of his eager compatriots that are sometimes…
The cool thing that kind of backfires for Aro, which I think is really cool is that I would say – and again, this is just my interpretation. I’m sure Michael would disagree with me. I think that Aro sometimes – and Ciaus as well – they sometimes go from a purely personal perspective. And what backfires with Aro in forcing Marcus to stay is that Chelsea is not able to make someone – give someone an allegiance to another person. She can’t make anyone love anybody. She can’t make anyone respect anybody. But she can make an allegiance to a cause – to a group. So she gives him much more – she has this incredibly strong allegiance to the ideals of the Volturi – to what the Volturi stand for – the reason the Volturi have been respectable for so many years. And Aro and Ciaus sometimes bring that to question because they don’t want – like a president or a king or a dictator years in and they’re starting to lose power. They become a bit desperate. And their ideals come into question. I’m reading a Cormac McCarthy book right now, “The Road.” I haven’t seen the film. It always comes into question, how will you survive? What will you do to survive? Will you become one of the bad guys? Will you do morally questionable things or morally degrading things? And this is, I think, what Marcus represents in that little group. He represents the guy who keeps them on the right road.
L: We’ve heard a lot of the cast members say that they don’t actually think the Volturi are the “bad guys,” they’re just doing what vampires do naturally, so it’s interesting to hear you question it from Marcus’ point of view.
C: I don’t think the Volturi – because the Volturi is a clan, right? The Volturi are a ruling clan. So from Marcus’ point of view – no. The Volturi are not bad. Someone has to rule.
L: Someone has to set the rules.
C: Absolutely. Otherwise it would be a free for all.
L: Somebody’s gotta be the police.
C: Absolutely. But it’s a huge responsibility because they’re also the judges. They are the Supreme Court. And the Supreme Court – I mean, what an awful thing if the Supreme Court is corrupt. Leaves you speechless. What’s the point? So they are the Supreme Court. At least the triumvirate is the Supreme Court. People like Charlie’s character and Daniel and Dakota and Cameron, they are there. They are the police. So it’s necessary that the Supreme Court be just. And sometimes, like I said before, the Supreme Court is…
L: A little twisted.
C: Yeah, they have their own political agenda. And by far, Marcus is – that’s not what he’s interested in. He’s interested in the group as a whole. Keeping the eye on the prize and focusing on the just.
L: That is fantastic. Did you talk to Michael Sheen and Jamie Campbell Bower about those things before hand or is this just the world according to Christopher Heyerdahl?
C: Yeah. It’s interesting because how things come about, these are the things that are not necessary to talk about because you discover it as you go. These are things – again I didn’t think about all of this stuff before hand. I did all the research I could, and then how each thing is going to play out – it happens as soon as you walk in. For me, you do all your research –
L: As you get immersed in it.
C: Ultimately, you’re not a one man show. You’re not what the game is. The game is – like I have an idea about talking to you. We met backstage. We get a first impression. And now how is this interview going to go? What are we going to talk about to relate to each other. You can’t plan for that. It’s just whatever happens between us now. The same thing happens when you’re acting with someone. So you have all these ideas. How are they going to play the role? Who is Ciaus going to be? Who is Aro going to be? You won’t know until you meet Aro and Ciaus. It’s not Michael and Jamie, although they’re going to being themselves to it. You have to wait and see what they’re going to do on the day. How are they going to react? How are they going to react to what you do or what you don’t do? And so that’s the fun. That’s the danger. You never know what somebody’s going to do. And so these things were discovered while we were playing. We got to play together for two weeks. These thing were all discovered while on the go. And…
L: That’s the fun of it.
C: That’s the huge fun.
L: In a lot of your work, you wear lots of prosthetics and heavy make up.
L: How did – I’m thinking of SG… from Stargate: Atlantis Todd.
C: Todd. He loves his make up! Lots of make up on! NO! NO really! Four hours love!
L: I even saw some footage of another convention somebody talking about you walking around eating lunch with the Todd make up on and how funny that was. So how does –
C: Just try to eat with that make up on! It’s very delicate. You wouldn’t think that Todd would be so delicate but trying to get it past all the bits and pieces.
L: So how did the makeup experience for Twilight, like with the red contacts and the wig.
C: It was easy.
L: That was easy?
C: That was easy.
L: Cause so many people have complained about the contacts or…
C: I think people will complain about anything, but again it’s your perspective. For someone who has lived through four hours of prosthetics, I can’t complain because other people had to sit through eight hours of prosthetics. I’ve met a couple of people who have done huge, huge prosthetics, and so four hours to them is a joke. Yeah, so to put on a few sparkles and red contacts – it was like a Friday night, luv!
L: Is there anything else that you want to say to the Twilight fandom before we wrap up?
C: You’re all mad!