Metro News (Russia) Scans

Ben recently spoke with Metro News (Russia) about his upcoming film, ‘Seventh Son’. Scans have been added to the gallery. Many thanks to Kat for the translation!

I’ve seen Seventh Son, you were just splendid in it!

I think you’re the only person in the world who’s seen this film. I‘m so happy you liked it!

Why did you decide to take part in Seventh Son?

First of all, I galloped through Joseph Delaney’s The Spook’s Apprentice, I really enjoyed it. Secondly – Jeff Bridges! When I realised I’d be playing alongside a legend….Well, how could I refuse? Bridges is a hero of mine! It was my dream to work with him!

Thirdly, Sergei Bodrov. I was so impressed with his Mongol. Besides, before I was cast, Bodrov and I had a meeting and we had a long conversation after which I felt a connection of some sort between us.

What’s it like to work with a Russian director? Did you feel any difference?

Actually, I‘ve worked with directors from many countries. Sometimes Sergei found it difficult to find the right words to describe a situation or when he wanted me to do in terms of acting. Obviously, I have no one to compare him with. It was the first time I’ve ever worked with a Russian director. But he has such an amazing visual intuition; he knows what a shot must look like. He wants every scene to look convincing and real, even if it’s a comic scene.

Do you know about what happened to Sergei’s son?

Yes, I’ve read about it in the news but I’ve never talked to him about it.

But being aware of this, did you feel any responsibility playing a son?

To be honest, I didn’t project it on myself.

Sometimes to understand their characters better actors project similar memories on themselves. What memories did you use?

Emotional memory helps you act. At the beginning of the film Tom Ward leaves his family, he says good bye to them, knowing they wouldn’t see each anytime other soon. I remember leaving my family for seven months for the first time. This is a familiar emotion. Also, I understand Tom well – saving the world isn’t an easy job to do. When I was young I had a less responsible job but also not an easy one – I worked in a bar. Besides, I’ve worked with some directors who had a much worse character than the one of Master Gregory (Jeff Bridges) in Seventh Son. Of course, I’ve never came across a dragon, I mean in our case a female dragon, so I have nothing to compare with.

By the way, what’s your take on such harsh educational approaches that we see in the film?

Sometimes circumstances make teachers behave strictly with their students. And when evil descends on the world and a teacher has only got one week to teach his apprentice, well, I think it’s quite justified then. By the way, my parents were quite strict and sort of ruled with a rod of or iron. So Master Gregory managed to make a real man out of my character.

Was it the first time you worked with Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges?

Yes, definitely. Unfortunately, I don’t share that many scenes with Julianne. But she is extraordinarily charming. However, Jeff wasn’t too nice to me and at first he just ignored me completely. Can you imagine, he didn’t even look at me during our scenes. It was so frightening! I expected the opposite. In about three or four weeks, however, the ice moved and our relationship improved.

On the film set he always had his own chair. I once sheepishly came up to Jeff and asked “How’s the chair, comfy?” and he went “Oh yeah, it’s the best chair in the world. Here, try it!” So I sat in it and it was really incredibly comfortable. Jeff started playing on his guitar and singling something along. And the next day when I came to work I found the same chair for me next to his!

He got you a chair?

Yes! I couldn’t believe it was happening to me after so many weeks of silence! Now I have this chair in my garden at home. And I’m actually sitting in it now as I’m talking to you. It was so sweet of Jeff. Oh, forgot to say. Jeff calls me Jamin, he shortens my full name Benjamin and just uses the last bit. And at the end of the shoot we even sang together.

But Julianne didn’t get a chair from Jeff, did she?

No! (laughs)

So tell me, what’s the film about?

Jeff and I wanted to show the spirit of the book. Each of us has both something good and evil inside, and we all have this constant struggle between these forces. You won’t know which force’s going to win until you make a mistake.

Do you divide life into black and white?

I’m sure life consists of different shades of grey. We all have our own scale which determines how much black or white a person can be expected to get. It all stems from childhood. No one is capable of doing either exclusively good or bad things.

Let’s talk about serious things. Have you read 50 Shades of Grey?

Yes. I’ve read the first book out of three. I don’t belong to its targeted audience, though. However, after reading it I understood why it is so popular. By the way, I’ve met its author E L James. She told me how shocked she was by the success of the book.

Let’s get back to films. Sevenths Son is a fantasy. But I’ve always wanted to ask an actor playing in this genre if fantasy has an impact of his/her real life? Do you feel responsible to people?

You know, I don’t think that playing a hero or a superhero in films makes you feel a hero in real life. But when you play a leader then yes, you start feeling like a leader in real life, you start feeling responsibility before others. But playing a fantasy hero is too far from reality. And at the beginning of the film I’m so far from being a hero…

At the beginning of the film you’re feeding pigs!

Exactly! (laughs). See, when I play a hero I feel like a swineherd.

Is there anyone you dream of playing?

Honestly? No one! I have a passion for good stories. The best part of my job is getting scripts and reading them. I like laughing, crying, feeling guilty, feeling the tension between characters…Then I imagine how I’d play all that! It’s insanely interesting to play a whole spectrum of emotions!

Does it mean that in real life you don’t get enough of these emotions and you seek them in films?

I wouldn’t say so. The more emotions you feel the more alive you get. So if films give you an opportunity to feel all range of emotions, why not take it?

What do you know about Russian culture?

Not as much as I’d like to know. The second film I’d ever made was Bigga than Ben. It’s based on the book of the same name written by Sergei Sakin and Pavel Teterskyi. It’s about two Russians who emigrated to London. I played one of them nicknamed Sobakka. Andrei Chadov played the other one. Andrei and I have been friends since then. We lived in a flat together, slept on a mattress on the floor. He didn’t speak English then and I, as you can guess, didn’t speak any Russian. That’s why I bought a Russian phrase book. By the way, now I can’t remember a single phrase in Russian. But actually we spoke with the help of vodka and cigarettes rather than the phrase book. This way we connected with our characters really well. It’s been many years since we made that film but I’m still proud of it. And yes, Chadov is a great actor.

Now you’ve reached the age of Christ. What has changed it your life by now?

I’ve started treating life in a more philosophical way. I’ve started thinking about what all these people are doing in the world and where we all are going.

And where?

I don’t know yet. But I’ve started thinking about it so that’s good, I think.

Do you feel like a star?

No. I still can’t believe that what I do here, in Britain, for instance, can be interesting to someone in different countries, like Russia. And I’d like to say thank you to all the fans in Russia. My agent passes me over fan letters filled with love.

You know, you are a very handsome young man. Does it make your life difficult at times?

I don’t want to complain but I often come across some casting directors who say they don’t need good-looking actors, they need someone odd-looking. So my looks sometimes bother me rather than help me. It’s funny because I’m so not used to the fact that I’ve grown to be good-looking. I was so clumsy, skinny and even ugly as a teenager!



lindacabrera said:

good interview, he has so many fans. because is a person with his feet on the ground I love him

December 11th, 2014

Dianna said:

Thank you Stephanie for this great inteview and excelent scans.
Give a big thank you also to Kat for doing such an awesome job with the translation. Very much appreciated on both of you.

December 11th, 2014

stefhoule said:

Amazing interview….thanks for share this STephanie :D

I can’t wait to see the movie


December 11th, 2014

LaRose said:

Great interview. I had to Google to find out what happened to Sergei’s son.He was killed in a avalanche. How horrible. I can’t wait for this movie since I’ve read all of the books.

December 11th, 2014

Lulu said:

Thank you very much Stephanie for this informative interview and thank you Kat for this great translation we really appreciate :)

I admire Ben for being such a modest and sincere person and he deserves all the best, God bless him.

December 12th, 2014

Lulu said:

Wow and I’m a bit shocked about Jeff Bridges’ handling of Ben at the beginning, I didn’t expect that too and I think Ben seems in need of harmony so he dies hard. Chalk up one for him!

December 12th, 2014

Kelisha Waters said:

Gangly, I would never say ugly. Great Interview though.

December 16th, 2014

Carol said:

Oh, the last sentence :D

December 22nd, 2014