Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More Watch: First Trailer For Rom-Com 'Playing It Cool' With Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Aubrey Plaza & More Watch: First Trailer For Rom-Com 'Playing It Cool' With Chris Evans, Michelle Monaghan, Aubrey Plaza & More Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes

Terence Stamp Talks Destiny, Vanity & His Thoughts On Michael Shannon Playing General Zod In 'Man Of Steel'

The Playlist By Jessica Kiang | The Playlist December 11, 2012 at 10:05AM

One of the most whimsical and enjoyable interviews of our time at the Marrakech International Film Festival came courtesy of iconic British actor Sir Terence Stamp (“Superman II,” “Far from the Madding Crowd,” “The Limey,” among many others), who was in town to present his latest film “Song for Marion” (our review from TIFF is here), in which he stars with fellow Marrakech jury member Gemma Arterton and Vanessa Redgrave. Stamp’s career stretches back to the early ‘60s, when his otherworldly handsomeness saw him teamed, professionally and romantically, with some of the most beautiful women of the age. And in recent times, he's become a reliable presence in Hollywood, ranging from “Yes Man” to “Get Smart” from “Wanted” to “The Adjustment Bureau."
7
Terence Stamp

One of the most whimsical and enjoyable interviews of our time at the Marrakech International Film Festival came courtesy of iconic British actor Sir Terence Stamp (“Superman II,” “Far from the Madding Crowd,” “The Limey,” among many others), who was in town to present his latest film “Song for Marion” (our review from TIFF is here), in which he stars with Marrakech jury member Gemma Arterton and Vanessa Redgrave. Stamp’s career stretches back to the early ‘60s, when his otherworldly handsomeness saw him teamed, professionally and romantically, with some of the most beautiful women of the age. And in recent times, he's become a reliable presence in Hollywood, in supporting roles ranging from “Yes Man” and “Get Smart” to “Wanted” and “The Adjustment Bureau." 

Julie Christie once said to me -- she’s an Aries, so she’s very forthright -- she said ‘You think you’re a great actor, but you’re a better storyteller,' ” Stamp said at one point, and we certainly agree he’s got the raconteur thing down. Below are the highlights of our talk, during which Stamp not once but twice removed his shoe (made by the shoemaker to the Royal family in Fez forty years ago) and banged it on the table to make a point, and promised to mail the photograph he refers to below to our postal address. (I gave him my mother’s address. If it happens, she will faint).

Song For Marion
I read that you turning down King Arthur in the musical “Camelot,” because you were afraid to sing, was one of your greatest regrets. Was “Song For Marion,” in which you do now sing, an exorcism of that regret?
It was more than that. I so admired [“Camelot” director] Josh Logan, and Josh Logan so wanted me for “Camelot” that he went down on his knees in a restaurant called the Trattoria Terrazza, begging me. And I was just so frightened, I believed I could never sing it. I was young and I thought if I do this and I’m revoiced, my career’s over -- probably not true, but still. I should have known it was my destiny, but I was frightened and I turned him down and finally he took Richard Harris and he cast Vanessa [Redgrave].

And then the film came out and I thought “Well, I could have done that” -- it wasn’t like Mario Lanza. Now in a long career, I’m not sure how other actors are, but certain things that I passed on or lost or gave up for the wrong reason, come back to me. And “Camelot” comes back to me more than all the others. I still think about it.

When this movie [“Song For Marion"] came up, I didn’t want to do it. I thought it was a wonderful script, but I thought it would be more beautiful if the character had been very ordinary. And I don’t want to sound vain but, well, I can do ordinary, but it’s not my best thing. 

Anyway I had reservations, but I met the director, and he was very rough, all tattooed, but he said to me, “Are you worried about your looks?” And I couldn’t believe he saw right through me. Because that was my major worry. I thought, “I’m going to look silly playing this role.” I don’t think of myself as the age I am, and it meant I was going to be opening a door I couldn’t close. Everyone’s gonna know how old I am -- I can’t go back to being a romantic lead after I’ve done the OAP [Old Age Pensioner]!

But he said, "Don’t worry it’s based on my grandfather who was a lovely looking man." And then, the big thing, he cast Vanessa [Redgrave]...the universe is giving me this, am I going to turn this down and regret it for the next ten years? So I just jumped into the void. 

This article is related to: Terence Stamp, Interview, Marrakech Film Festival, Unfinished Song, Man Of Steel


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates