Ed Speleers

Ed Speleers

Ed Speleers shot to fame in the Movie Eragon back in 2006 but this year he returned to the big screen with a Lonely Place To Die - which is out on DVD & Blu-Ray this week.

I caught up with the actor to talk about the nee movie, his experience shooting the film and what lies ahead.

- A Lonely Place to Die is about to be released on DVD so for anyone who hasn't seen the movie can you tell me a little bit about it?

It’s a fast paced action movie and it’s about a group of rock climbers that goes on a mountaineering expedition and discover a young girl who has been buried alive. Being semi-decent people they decide that they cannot leave her up there.

What they fail to realise is that she has been kidnapped by two guys who go around the world kidnapping wealthy children and holding them to ransom.

So they are coming in and picking us off one by one. At the same time there is a Serbian warlord who is coming in to rescue his daughter with his two mercenaries - and it’s a big shoot out that ends in disaster in a small town in Scotland.

- You take on the role of Ed in the movie so what was it about the script and the character that drew you to the project?

One of the big draws was Julian (Gilbey) as he is a very exciting director to work with and he is going to go on to bigger things - he was a big drawing card.

But I also think that this was an opportunity for me to show people something outside a blonde haired, blue eyed Eragon looking chap, that’s a big part of my life but it’s time to show something different and play someone a little more rough and ready.

The great thing about this character is he goes from being a bit of an idiot, bit of a jack the lad and not a nice person to be a round to progressing right through to be one of the more heroic characters in the movie - well that’s the intention anyway; people might think he is an idiot the whole way through.

- You have mentioned Julian Gilbey so how did you find him as a filmmaker?

He is superb. He really does lead from the front as he is very much a method director; he goes off spending two years rock climbing and mountaineering to be able to shoot a film about rock climbing and mountaineering.

He does everything at a very fast pace and he knows exactly what he wants - as a young actor certainly you need to have absolute clarity from your director I think; he was up for me throwing in ideas but he knew what he wanted from the character and from the film.

- It's a very physical role for you, we see you doing rock climbing at the beginning, so what sort of preparation and training did you do before shooting?

The main thing I did was try and get some rock climbing under my belt, Julian said it was very important for me to do that, I am always up of new challenges and learning new skills and I was really chucked in at the deep end.

Julian took me down to Cheddar Gorge and we had a day out there and then the following day he took me to Snowdonia where we climbed up Crib Goch Ridge, I was going up to 1,500 feet and that was quite scary.

It was a baptism of fire and all that but what it allowed me to do was by the time I got to Scotland I was ready to go, I was excited, I was relaxed in from of the camera on the mountain and I was comfortable with the ropes - so it allowed me to concentrate on my performance which was key.

So Julian getting me very nervous down south got me very prepared up north.

- How did you find the shoot in the Scottish Highlands?

Beautiful, just beautiful. It was my first time in Scotland; I have been living in Soho so to go from Soho to the middle of nowhere was a real treat. It was so vast and absolutely beautiful.

I have just finished another job up in Scotland but this was from a very different side, I was living in Glasgow for six weeks which was again beautiful but in a different way.

- The film also stars Melissa George, Eamonn Walker and Alec Newman so what was the mood like on set between the actors?

It was really good as there was a good mix of characters in there. Out of our rock climbing fraternity of Alec, Melissa, Garry and Kate we all got on very well and there was a good rapport there and then Eamonn Walker, Sean Harris and Karel Roden brought on a new curve as well.

I am lucky to do this job anyway but to get the chance to work those calibre actors makes me an even luckier boy - on my day off I would go and watch Sean Harris and Eamonn Walker work together just because I was that intrigued and excited to see these guys work.

- What was the major challenge for you as an actor while you were shooting this movie - was it the physical aspect?

I think it was the pace because it was just none stop and everyday just threw up a new challenge but I think that is what I thrive off.

That is the great thing about filmmaking as no two days are the same and I think it does give you the chance to challenge yourself and that’s what’s exciting, everything’s different.

I enjoy a new challenge and the physical aspect really was a challenge, the having to step up the plate with certain types of actors was also a challenge but it was enjoyable as I was trying to better myself each time - that is the plan anyway.

- The movie was met well when it played at festivals earlier this year so what have you personally found to be the reaction to the movie?

I think it has been good, I think it has been a really strong reaction. Yes the festivals have liked it but I think people overall have liked it.

My friends and family are incredibly honest with me, which is always helpful, and they have all come out with really good responses and fair responses - they have said where they think it’s strong.

But on the whole I think people have responded well to this film, which is great, and it’s nice to be a part of something you feel people have enjoyed.

- You shot to fame in Eragon but since then you have gone on to work in TV and shorts so what do you look for in a script?

To be honest I think I look for something that does throw up new challenges for me. But you look at who is directing and you look at the character certainly for someone who is as young as me, as I say I am very lucky to be doing this, I am looking to be showing off different things each time, even if they are just subtle differences each time.

If the character has a good arc, the director is interesting, the rest of the team are good - there are a lot of variables as to how or why I might take on a role.

But I am up for trying anything as I want to do it all; I want to do theatre, more shorts, I want to produce, TV dramas and blockbusters and I hope that my career continues on the way that I want it to go. But we will see - I am lucky if I can get on the next job at the moment (laughs).

- And how have you found working in all of the different mediums?

They are different and when you do a blockbuster you can really tell the difference, mainly scale everything is just bigger; not necessarily better but bigger. You have got more time, bigger number of cast, bigger number of crew.

The last couple of projects that I have done, I have just finished another film up in Scotland, I have enjoyed all my roles for different reasons but I have really enjoyed doing these two independent movies because they seen to have a good medium between keeping the pace of television but at the same time they have that filmic element going on.

But all the different forms have got great advantages and that is why I want to do it all.

- 2011 is almost at an end so what movies have you been enjoying this year?

What films have I enjoyed this year? I’m trying to think what has been on this year - I go to the cinema all the time but I always have trouble remembering what I have seen.

The Fighter was right up there for me it was a pretty stand out film. I didn’t see Submarine at the cinema but I saw it on DVD and I thought that was superb - that was one of the best movies of the year for me.

- Finally what's next for you?

I am waiting to find out - there are a couple of things in the pipeline. It has been a nice year for me having had A Lonely Place To Die then going on to shoot Love Bite, which is out next year, so that will be exciting.

There are a few things in the pipeline which I am just trying to work out. But I am also producing a film Beslam, which is about the Russian school siege so I am just piecing that together at the moment. That is exciting and I hope that that will go into production next year.

Read our review of A Lonely Place To Die DVD here

A Lonely Place To Die is out on DVD & Blu-Ray now

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw

Ed Speleers shot to fame in the Movie Eragon back in 2006 but this year he returned to the big screen with a Lonely Place To Die - which is out on DVD & Blu-Ray this week.

I caught up with the actor to talk about the nee movie, his experience shooting the film and what lies ahead.

- A Lonely Place to Die is about to be released on DVD so for anyone who hasn't seen the movie can you tell me a little bit about it?

It’s a fast paced action movie and it’s about a group of rock climbers that goes on a mountaineering expedition and discover a young girl who has been buried alive. Being semi-decent people they decide that they cannot leave her up there.

What they fail to realise is that she has been kidnapped by two guys who go around the world kidnapping wealthy children and holding them to ransom.

So they are coming in and picking us off one by one. At the same time there is a Serbian warlord who is coming in to rescue his daughter with his two mercenaries - and it’s a big shoot out that ends in disaster in a small town in Scotland.

- You take on the role of Ed in the movie so what was it about the script and the character that drew you to the project?

One of the big draws was Julian (Gilbey) as he is a very exciting director to work with and he is going to go on to bigger things - he was a big drawing card.

But I also think that this was an opportunity for me to show people something outside a blonde haired, blue eyed Eragon looking chap, that’s a big part of my life but it’s time to show something different and play someone a little more rough and ready.

The great thing about this character is he goes from being a bit of an idiot, bit of a jack the lad and not a nice person to be a round to progressing right through to be one of the more heroic characters in the movie - well that’s the intention anyway; people might think he is an idiot the whole way through.

- You have mentioned Julian Gilbey so how did you find him as a filmmaker?

He is superb. He really does lead from the front as he is very much a method director; he goes off spending two years rock climbing and mountaineering to be able to shoot a film about rock climbing and mountaineering.

He does everything at a very fast pace and he knows exactly what he wants - as a young actor certainly you need to have absolute clarity from your director I think; he was up for me throwing in ideas but he knew what he wanted from the character and from the film.

- It's a very physical role for you, we see you doing rock climbing at the beginning, so what sort of preparation and training did you do before shooting?

The main thing I did was try and get some rock climbing under my belt, Julian said it was very important for me to do that, I am always up of new challenges and learning new skills and I was really chucked in at the deep end.

Julian took me down to Cheddar Gorge and we had a day out there and then the following day he took me to Snowdonia where we climbed up Crib Goch Ridge, I was going up to 1,500 feet and that was quite scary.

It was a baptism of fire and all that but what it allowed me to do was by the time I got to Scotland I was ready to go, I was excited, I was relaxed in from of the camera on the mountain and I was comfortable with the ropes - so it allowed me to concentrate on my performance which was key.

So Julian getting me very nervous down south got me very prepared up north.

- How did you find the shoot in the Scottish Highlands?

Beautiful, just beautiful. It was my first time in Scotland; I have been living in Soho so to go from Soho to the middle of nowhere was a real treat. It was so vast and absolutely beautiful.

I have just finished another job up in Scotland but this was from a very different side, I was living in Glasgow for six weeks which was again beautiful but in a different way.


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