Countdown to LXG: West and Townsend - rival heroes

Wed, July 9th, 2003 at 12:00am PDT

TV Film
Rob Worley, Columnist

"The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" made its premiere June 30th

at a press event. The movie was screened and the cast and crew were on hand to

be interviewed by the press.

Twentieth Century Fox has provide Comics2Film/CBR News readers with this

brief Q & A session with actors Shane West and Stuart Townsend who play Tom

Sawyer and Dorian Gray in the movie.

Stuart Townsend and Shane West play...

...Dorian Gray and...

...Tom Sawyer

Q: What are the characters that you guys play?

Shane West (SW): Tom Sawyer. Special Agent Sawyer.

Stuart Townsend (ST): I'm Dorian Gray.

Q: So we've got a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen here. What exactly makes

these characters extraordinary?

ST: Well they each have different attributes. One's immortal. One's a

vampire. One's an invisible man but more than that they also all have these dark

pasts that they're trying to escape from or forget. Unfortunately those pasts

catch up with them and they have to do this mission in order to sort of

reconcile, in a way, with the past.

Q: How was The League brought together?

SW: Well, it was through M, right?

ST: [nods]

SW: ...actually.

ST: There's a character called M.

SW: The character called M brought these guys together because he knew how

extraordinary these people were and if anybody was going to be able to save the

world from The Fantom, it's probably these characters.

ST: And what's happening is there's all these...these events are

happening in England and Germany, around the world...

SW: Around the world.

ST: ...that no one knows who's doing. So each country's blaming, you

know...Germany is blaming Britain. Britain's blaming Germany and suddenly

there's the threat of world war. These characters step in.

Q: When the audience goes to see this movie there going to notice that it's a

period piece. It takes place in the 1800s. How do you think that the kids today

are going to be able to relate to what's going on with the movie.

SW: I think they're going to very much enjoy it, really. In the beginning,

you know, with the tank...there's not supposed to be...there is a car. They've

added specific things that I think the kids are going to identify with anyway

and I think they're just gonna like these characters.

ST: Yeah. There're certain elements they might miss, like the literary

elements, but it's the kind of film where it doesn't matter. It's a fantastic

film. You don't have to get everything and if you can actually learn something

like, "Oh, you know Tom Sawyer was a literary character," and they go

and read the book, that'll be great.

Q: Did you guys do any research to find out about your characters?

ST: Yeah. I read as much as I could and saw the old thirties or forties

movie, but essentially you still have to stick to the story you're telling.

Q: What was it like working on a film of this scope? The sets are just

amazing and it just looks so spectacular.

SW: You kind know every day you'd walk to set and there was

something new and something always amazing. We knew...I knew in the end that

this was gonna look really good but we just didn't know how it was gonna come


ST: How the story would play...

SW: Yeah. Exactly, but the sets were insane and when we were done we just

ended up with a very cool looking project.

ST: It's also like one of the few times where...I actually went to the

cinema yesterday to see the move and I was really excited because I no idea

really what it was going to be like. There was all these effects that I'd never


SW: Right.

ST: There were these scenes that I wasn't in. Normally in a film you pretty

much know, OK I did the film. I sort of know what it's gonna be. In this I

didn't so it was almost like watching a film that I'm not in, and it was great!

Q: I know you guys had a little bit of a rivalry right from the start. Can

Story continues below

you talk about that a little?

ST: It's interesting because Dorian immediately takes a dislike to this fella...

SW: ..uh huh...

ST: ...and we don't know why, you know. We find out.

SW: Yeah. We find out later and Tom, I guess, is just trying to...He's being

a bit brash, I guess. He's an American, a silly American, and he's gonna try to

fit in if he can, but he also knows that everybody's not necessarily in love

with each other. So, he's not gonna really go out of his way to make anything

too better and they can sense a thing right off, at the beginning, in Dorian's

library, and I think they kind of probably enjoy each other's competition.

ST: It is tongue-in-cheek the whole movie anyway.

SW: Yeah. It's definitely tongue-in-cheek.

Q: But, Shane, your character gets to build a relationship with Sean's

character (Allan Quatermain). Can you talk about that a little bit?

SW: You know Sean's character, Allan Quatermain, has lost a son and, I guess,

buried many wives. This character as Tom really comes in as this guy who must

have been very reminiscent of his son and he pretty much teaches him how to fire

a gun in a better way than he's been doing.'s just a very cool,

classic storyline, that I actually got to deal with Sean Connery, which is kinda


"The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" opens in theaters on Friday.

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