Kit Harington and Chloe Zhao on the Marvel Eternals epic
While promoting his role in a Marvel movie, Kit Harington admits that his desires say a lot about him.
Eternals Director Chloe Zhao roasts Kit Harington, one of the many famous actors in her Marvel movie, after the Game Of Thrones The star cheekily gave an answer that, even if he admits it, “says a lot about me.”
The question was, which of the Eternals 10 superpowers would they want for themselves?
“In my heart,” Harington said with a wry smile, moments before Zhao’s playful warning. “I want to be Druig.”
Played by Barry Keoghan, Druig is one of the Eternals, a group of immortal beings who have been on Earth for 7,000 years. Each has their own power, such as Gilgamesh’s enhanced strength, Ikaris’ flight and laser eyes, and Sersi’s ability to change the structure of all non-living objects.
Druig? Well, Druig can control people’s minds – to put it bluntly, he can brainwash humans.
“He’s the kind of manipulative person that I am,” Harington continues. “Or Sprite. They are both tricksters. Isn’t that strange? That says a lot about me, I think.
Zhao, who says she wants to be Ikaris – “I’m so boring, I’ve wanted to steal my whole life” – laughs and consciously points her thumb at Harington with the promise, “Dane Whitman isn’t who you think” .
Harington’s character Dane Whitman has a small role in the sprawl Eternals, a Marvel epic tasked with introducing nearly a dozen new superheroes into a narrative universe that is already teeming with them – and their millennial history.
But even if Harington’s journey in the MCU begins in the studio’s 26th film, which also stars Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, and Kumail Nanjiani, it won’t end there.
Dane Whitman has his own intricate character backstory in the Marvel comics, and one that’s only touched upon in the studio’s 26th film. Suffice it to say, you don’t give Harington a small role without any results.
Harington got a call from producer Nate Moore, who introduced him to the character and arranged to meet Zhao.
“[We] got together in Notting Hill and had a cup of tea, ”Harington says. “We bonded over tea, as we come from two great tea-drinking nations.”
Zhao plays in a playful way, “English style, but mine is bigger.”
Harington laughs and gestures to the room full of people – agents, publicists and production people – off camera, challenging Zhao as he was “in a room full of English tea drinkers.”
The Chinese director reminds her actor that her country gave English tea. He nods on this point.
Zhao won the Oscars for Directing and Cinematography this year for Nomadic country, his third film in a work that until now has been grounded, naturalistic, and emotionally intimate, which isn’t exactly the vibe of Marvel superhero films.
She was four days away from the start of principal photography on Nomadic country when she received Marvel’s official offer.
“I was in a border cabin in South Dakota, and they called me and I screamed and I ran back and forth in the little cabin,” she recalls. “I think [Nomadland star and producer Frances McDormand] Probably looked at me and said, “Finish this one first!”.
Eternals isn’t what you’d expect from Zhao’s fourth film, and Zhao isn’t the director you’d expect from Marvel.
But she insists that while the budgets and scale between her independent features and Eternals are very different, the fundamentals of cinema remain similar.
“If you are very careful, even when a celestial creates the sun, the camera is very anchored, it moves in exactly the same way as in Nomadic country, it’s just a man in a rolling gimble, moving forward.
“It’s probably one of the hardest things to do in a movie of this stature for a visual effects artist, for a stunt coordinator, for an actor, because that means everything that happens in the setting must be exciting enough. “
There’s certainly a lot of excitement in the frames that Zhao and cinematographer Ben Davis shot, and a lot of it was on-site exteriors. Natural environments lend a timelessness and naturalism to a film that risks being dominated by CGI monsters.
When the Eternals weren’t in their superhero outfits, when they were just talking to each other, this could have been one of Zhao’s early films, like The horseman, a quiet drama about an injured rodeo cowboy.
It will come as a surprise to many to learn that Zhao found the experience of working with Marvel akin to creating an independent.
“I had heard of Marvel and I was hoping it would be true and it turned out to be true, that they are actually very different from more traditional Hollywood studios,” she says. “It’s a very small group of people, three or four, at most, and that’s about the number of people you interact with for two to three years, and that turned out to be true.
“Which makes me feel like I’m still making independent films.”
No stranger to a big budget franchise after its years Game Of ThronesHarington was still surprised by his first Marvel experience, but in large part because of Zhao’s insistence on filming as much of the movie as possible on location.
“I thought I was going to walk into a big green box in a studio and imagine everything around me,” he explains. “And what really happened was on this film, we were there.
“All my things were there. They closed Camden Town for us in London, it’s amazing. All I had to imagine was the [CGI monster] Deviant. Everything else was done for me and around me, and it’s not what I expected from a Marvel movie.
“And that’s because of Chloe and thanks to Marvel, that’s what’s unique about this movie. That’s where they wanted to make this movie.
Eternals is in theaters from Thursday, November 4
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