|View single post by Crazyhorse30|
|Posted: Wed Dec 22nd, 2010 06:29 pm||
|An interview conducted with actor Brian Mallon, who played General Winfield Scott Hancock in both Gettysburg and Gods and Generals.
GC: Before we begin, I just want to say that it is an honor to talk to you because Gettysburg was a film I watched when I was little, and it turned me into the Civil War enthusiast I am today—your portrayal of General Hancock was a big part of that. And also, I thank you for reading the reviews on my site. Not many people I interview actually read through it.
BM: I thought they were good, very thoughtful reviews with reasonable criticisms. I really enjoyed playing Hancock because he ended up becoming one of my favorite characters out of all those generals, as it turned out. He was the least preachy…he was a democrat (laughs), and his story appealed to me. It’s too bad that [The Last Full Measure], the last of the trilogy, doesn’t seem to be forthcoming.
GC: That was actually another thing I was going to ask you about, but yes, Hancock seemed like a very straightforward, to-the-point guy, as you said, not very preachy.
BM: And he was so constantly overlooked due to political reasons. He really should have been given a higher rank because his decisions were always the good ones.
GC: Out of all the roles you’ve played, obviously to me, you will always be General Hancock, so what first attracted you to take his role for Gettysburg in 1993?
BM: I was delighted to be offered it. Ron Maxwell came to see me at Cafe Beckett in Hollywood at the time, and we were sitting there talking and he hadn’t told me yet what he wanted me to play, and there’s this friend of mine, an Apache, who was wearing a Civil War general’s hat which was navy blue. Ron laughed and said, “I like your hat.” This friend of mine just puts the hat on my head and Ron thought this was very funny because he was going to offer me the role of this Union general and I didn’t know it yet. My friend then said to me that he wouldn’t take the hat back because it looked so right on me. So Ron thought this was all very amazing because here he was, about to offer me the role of a Union general and I was already wearing the hat.
GC: Did you know anything about Hancock or the Civil War before the movie?
BM: I knew some about the Civil War but I wasn’t really familiar with Hancock. I immediately learned about him, and of course all the actors found that you really had to know your stuff because you’re dealing with all these terrific reenactors who know everything there is to be known about these things and you better know what you’re doing. I read three books on him, and Sam Elliot who had a researcher doing work for him gave me some of his research that had to do with Hancock. I found it fascinating and since we did the movie, I continued to read up on him which only later added to Gods and Generals.
GC: What were your experiences like working for director Ron Maxwell?
BM: They were all great. I had a terrific time doing it. Ron is a fine director and his casting is flawless, really. I could not have had a better time. It was amazing to be in certain scenes and the reenactors were so wonderful with the way they brought their own passion and life to it, which is more than what ordinary extras would bring, which is really nothing. I remember waking through the reenactment camp at night when they had their campfires going. Somebody would be playing a fiddle here and there and everyone was still basically in character and it was amazing—it was like time travel.
GC: I’m a Revolutionary War reenactor and I work at a historic house in New Jersey, and whenever we do an event, everyone stays in character—we even salute each other. It’s quite funny and intense all at the same time.
BM: Yeah, it’s terrific stuff. The more I read about Hancock, the more I liked him. He should have been listened to more.
GC: Now the one thing that everyone is asking about is the rumored Gods and Generals director’s cut. I know you alluded to it in your email but can you tell us anything at all about it?
BM: Yes, I was just talking to Ron Maxwell about twenty minutes ago and I was told at this point that it will be coming out in April. There will not only be one for Gods and Generals but one for Gettysburg as well. He said that I have new scenes coming into G
& G because the whole Antietam section is coming in.
GC: I heard that part was about an hour long. I’ve read all different things about it.
BM: It’s a huge scene and I’m amazed that it didn’t make it into the film initially. It should be a very much enhanced version. They’re enhancing the color and everything else and he’s in Los Angeles working on it now.
GC: This is great information. Do you know how long it’s going to be?
BM: I think he said maybe an hour and a half longer than it was.
GC: So about five hours in total. I’ve read a bunch of things about it, someone said originally it was going to be six hours, then I read that he screened it once and it was five hours and ten minutes, and now James Robertson just said it was going to be four and a half. But yours is coming directly from Maxwell so it’s the most credible.
BM: It might not be the final word on it, cause they’re still working on it. That’s probably why there are so many different numbers.
GC: I’m just glad to see Antietam go back in it. I read online that originally the movie was going to be Rated R when Maxwell submitted it and then he made some edits to get it down to PG-13. Since it was such a bloody battle, maybe that’s what got the rating down.
BM: It could be, but I can’t imagine why anyone would make these movies R—they’re mad and totally crazy.
GC: Yeah, because Maxwell did such a good job in showing the horrors of war and a lot of violence while keeping it at the PG-13 level.
BM: As he said, if you wanted the actual reality on the blood, it would be overwhelming after a very short time. People would lose track of the rest of the story if you had soldiers wading through blood.
GC: Well, as someone who wants to be a history teacher, that movie is perfect to be shown in a classroom setting.
BM: Yeah I think so, and it tells about the actual decisions and how our history depends on people’s character in moments of crisis.
To read the full interview, click Here.
Last edited on Wed Dec 22nd, 2010 06:31 pm by Crazyhorse30