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last update: Wednesday, October 10, 2001
Triple J Interview

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Triple J Interview

Christian Slater's Triple J Interview

Interviewer - Lawrie Zion.

LZ: "I caught up with Christian Slater the other day to talk about playing Captain Hale, Riley Hale, and it's a pretty good role for him, he's been in about 30 films I think, in a very short career, he's not even 30 years old...."

LZ: "Were you always going to be an actor?"

CS: "Well, I guess it was in my blood from a very early age, yeah."

LZ: "So there was never anything else on your agenda in terms of a career?"

CS: "Not really, no. I remember being backstage and watching my father do his job.."

LZ: "What was that?"

CS: "Well he was doing theatre, doing broadway shows, that kind of thing and it looked like so much fun that I really knew that I wanted to be part of that from an early age."

LZ: "Your back catalogue contains some pretty memorable films, you did the Name of the Rose when you were about sixteen, there was Heathers, Pump Up The Volume, True Romance, Murder In The First, Interview With The Vampire, Bed Of Roses, it's a pretty impressive list, is there a favourite in there for you?"

CS: "I guess if I had to really pick one I'd say Pump Up The Volume, because it was at the beginning of everything, and it was a really fresh new exciting character to play."

LZ: "In your earlier years you were billed a lot as the next Jack Nicholson, how did that make you feel?"

CS: "Great!"

LZ: "How did Jack feel?"

CS: "Great too! Absolutely. I have no idea to be honest with you but, for me it felt at the time very exciting, I'd say that label was probably given to me maybe 10 years ago, from a movie called Heathers that I did, and since then I've done several other things to sort of rather instill that image further or dispell it, I don't know."

LZ: "Are there characters you particularly identify with in the past apart from the Pump Up The Volume one?"

CS: "Well, sure, I guess the Untamed Heart character, I identified with him, you know, a very sweet innocent guy, I think I 've identified with all the characters I've played in one way or another."

LZ: "Your latest film Broken Arrow, it's your first action film, you're the hero, you're the nice guy, were you hungry for this part?"

CS: "Hungry for it? I was starving for it.. no it's something I've always wanted to do, it's the type of character I've wanted to play, it's a very, very heroic guy, I had a great time doing it."

LZ: "He's interesting this guy Riley Hale too, because he's not, although he's the hero, he's not the charismatic one, that's John Travolta's part, did that make it more challenging for you being in that position?"

CS: "Not really. I've played other characters before that definitely layed out the charisma, that sort of thing, so this was an opportunity for me to really do something very, very different."

LZ: "There's doesn't seem to be a form of transport that isn't in the film, except maybe gondolas, I didn't see any gondolas (laughing)(Christian in the background laughing and saying "no gondolas") did you have a favourite means of getting around within Broken Arrow?"

CS: "I suppose I'd have to say the Stealth Bomber , that was a good way to get around."

LZ: "How was that filmed?"

CS: "Very, very, well just incredible special effects, you know, they really did a great job of that, I was very impressed."

LZ: "So were you doing any of the stunts at all in Broken Arrow?"

CS: "I did a few of them yeah."

LZ: "What was that like, any special coaching?"

CS: "Special coaching, sure, I had to work with the stunt team, John Woo of course, but yeah, I did a lot of stuff. It always bothers me whenever I see these movies and the actor gets replaced by the stunt man, so I wanted to do as much as I could."

LZ: "A lot's been made about the fact that this has been the big breakthrough film for John Woo the director, after a lot of his Hong Kong actions films, what do you think is special about what he has bought into the film, that maybe no-one else could have done?

CS: "I think he brings a lot into it, he's got such a special unique way of working with the camera and editing and getting the story together, so it's got a lot of John Woo written all over it, if you see the movie, you can see that. I don't think there's a director quite like him, there's a lot of directors in the States right now that slightly imitate his style, but there's just nothing like the original."

LZ: "What struck me about the film that it does seem to find that narrow terrain between being a serious action film and a bit of a piss-take on the genre."

CS: "It is a movie, so it's not really based too much on reality, there's a lot of things that are blown out of proportion and taken to the extreme, but I think it's entertaining, it's pure escapism."

LZ: "And in a funny way it's a bit of a send up of the old buddy flick between you and Travolta there."

CS: "Sure, absolutely."

LZ: "Was he good to work with?"

CS: "He was great to work with, he's got a great personality, wonderful sense of humour, very, very down to earth guy, I liked him a lot."

LZ: "And your co-star Samantha Mathis who transforms very quickly from being an ordinary park ranger into someone who's in on the game of saving the world, tell us about working with her."

CS: "She's a fantastic actress, we've worked together before in the past, I was very, very happy when they made the decision to hire her for the movie, I was really looking forward to working with her again and we ended up having a great time."

LZ: "Christian Slater talking about working with Samantha Mathis, John Travolta, and all the gang in Broken Arrow."

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