Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Robert Downy, Jr. Interview (Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows)

The game is on for Robert Downey Jr.
By Raymond de Asis Lo, L.A. Correspondent (The Philippine Star) Updated January 06, 2012 12:00 AM Comments (0) View comments

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Robert is back as the world’s most famous detective Sherlock Holmes in A Game of Shadows
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MANILA, Philippines- There is a small, cozy coffee shop in a little corner along Melrose Ave. near San Vicente in West Hollywood called Urth Caffe that’s a favorite among Hollywood celebrities who seek those few minutes of anonymity while doing some of the most basic errands ordinary folks do  like getting in line for a cup of their favorite coffee.

A couple of months back, while this writer was at this coffeeshop, a Hollywood power couple quietly sauntered into the shop and unassumingly took their spot in the usual long queue to order what I assume was coffee for him and hot chocolate for her and pretty much enjoyed being in a crowd where everyone was polite enough to just give them a quick recognizing look and leave them to their privacy. Unfortunately for them, we were there.

One of my friends recognized Robert Downey Jr. even if he was clad in full winter garb and a bonnet and immediately alerted us. I had to take a second look to confirm. Yes, it was Robert with his pregnant wife, producer Susan Downey.

Thrilled as were, we pretended that we were cool about this celebrity sighting  but I had to alert my Facebook friends about it, though  and kept our distance. I have met and interviewed Robert before but when you’re someone who adores the movies and movie stars like me, nothing beats the exhilaration of unexpectedly bumping into a superstar in person.

And lo and behold, a week after that fun “fan” day, I received an invitation to the press junket for Warner Bros.’ SherlockHolmes: A Game of Shadows. I was doing an interview with Robert! I didn’t have to think twice before accepting the invite, previous commitments be damned.

You just don’t say no to Robert Downey Jr.
With Jude Law, who reprises his role as Sherlock’s trusted friend Dr. Watson

The Hollywood superstar belongs to that rarefied group of actors whose name alone can command instant adulation. He is A-list in the truest sense of the word. His last four movies made nearly $1.5B in worldwide box-office! And he is so cool about it. He can even be lighthearted and funny.

At the junket, during the cast press conference, someone asked Robert who between him and his producer-wife was the boss at home and the actor replied in his typical dry humor: “First of all, I am definitely the boss at home,” he stressed with a sly smile forming on his face. “And I am also the boss on the set!”

“There is no room for discussion ever,” he continued. “I am so happy she’s sitting in the back of me right now because that’s where she belongs.” Susan, who, along with Joel Silver, has produced Robert’s string of megahits beginning with 2008’s Iron Man, was present during the junket and laughed along with everyone else.

But, no, the Urth Caffe encounter was never brought up.

Robert has enjoyed an enviable success over the past couple of years. He has two huge franchise hits to his name: Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes.

In the latter, the actor returns as the world’s most famous and smartest detective which again features the returning Jude Law, as Sherlock’s trusted friend Dr. Watson, and director Guy Ritchie, whose hyper-kinetic directorial style provided the original Sherlock Holmes a distinctive appeal.

“Robert was a great friend to me so it was with great enthusiasm that we embarked on the second one,” Guy replied when asked to describe how it was working with Robert again, “and I enjoyed it more than the first.”

Jude skipped the L.A. junket because he had a previous commitment in London.

The stunning and beautiful Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, who made a splash last year when she made the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo joined the junket and was surprisingly relaxed and very articulate in person. She stars in the movie as the mysterious gypsy woman who may hold the key to Sherlock solving his current case.

This is Noomi’s first Hollywood movie (she will be appearing in Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel, Prometheus later this summer) and she revealed to us how both excited and nervous she was when she learned that, for her first Hollywood outing, she was going to be in a movie with Robert, which proves that, apparently, no one is immune to Robert’s charm, even among actors.

“I was a bit nervous,” she said. “I met Robert and Susan six weeks before we started in a very intense and crazy 30 minutes in their office and Robert was on the floor trying to find a fan for me because he’s like, ‘Noomi needs a fan because it’s way too hot for her,’ and he was just fantastic from the first moment I met him.”

Robert with Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, who plays a mysterious gypsy in the film
“He was so sweet. We had a good chat. We talked about movies, dreams and what kind of things we want to do,” she added. 

To the curious, the answer is “No.” Noomi wasn’t offered nor she turned down the American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. She told this writer during a private conversation that she made it clear after finishing the original Swedish trilogy that she will not revisit Lisbeth Salander again because, according to her, the character and the movie took a such huge emotional toll on her.

But I digress.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows also brings to screen Sherlock’s foremost enemy, the equally clever Professor James Moriarty, portrayed by British actor Jared Harris.

This rousing and action-packed movie jumps from London and takes the audience to an adventure in France, Germany and in Switzerland. Complementing the thrilling journey is the impressive production design, which is such a visual delight, and the original music composed by Oscar-winning Hans Zimmer, which incorporated authentic gypsy music into the score.

The sequel has retained nearly the same team from the first Sherlock Holmes. Even Rachel McAdams provides a brief cameo in the movie.

Among the characters he has portrayed, Robert considers Sherlock among his favorites. “I am not particularly like Sherlock,” he said, “I think the great thing about it is Jude and I found a lot of escapism and aspects of ourselves in Holmes and Watson.”

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows opens Jan. 8. in theaters.

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