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Video:Across the Universe - Jim Sturgess Interview

with Rebecca Murray

Jim Sturgess is sure to win over a lot of female fans with his starring role as Jude in Across the Universe, the wild, imaginative movie musical directed by Julie Taymor and co-starring Evan Rachel Wood and Joe Anderson.See Transcript

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Transcript:Across the Universe - Jim Sturgess Interview

Rebecca Murray from About.com Hollywood Movies at the Special Hollywood Screening of Across the Universe.

Jim Sturgess ('Jude')

Jim Sturgess: "I like your shirt."

Thank you (I'm wearing a Beatles T-Shirt). You get this opportunity to bring these songs to life. Is it a huge weight on your shoulders and did you feel that when you were filming?

Jim Sturgess: "Yeah, there was at first and then you had to try and forget about it completely. Otherwise it would have just destroyed each and every one of us, I think. I mean, for us I guess we had to kind of take it just from an acting perspective and treat the music and the lyrics as dialogue for our characters. We tried… I mean, I certainly did try my best to forget that they were written by two of the best songwriters in the world."

Which was the hardest for you to tackle?

Jim Sturgess: "Which song? God, I think it was probably Something because it's such a tender kind of song and when you sing like you tend to like make stupid kind of faces when you're singing, and I had to be all kind of like whimsical and look into Evan Rachel Wood's eyes and not pull those ridiculous faces that you tend to do when you're singing."

Was that tough most of the time to remember not to make that face when you're singing because this is all live, right?

Jim Sturgess: "It was all live, yeah. In fact when we were rehearsing I think I had a whole day dedicated to me not lifting my chin up while I'm singing, but just kind of singing like that (putting his chin down). It's a whole… You know, you sing a certain way for the many years as I've been being in a band. But that was the thing. It's not like being in a band. You can't just sing these songs with a microphone to kind of cover your mouth. You can't move like you would on stage. You have to move like an actor and like the character that you were, and sing at the same time."

When you look at the script and look at what's on the screen, how different is that? Is it at all alike?

Jim Sturgess: "When we first got the script, really it was just like a list of Beatles songs. It was just a list of lyrics with the dialogue that Ian (La Frenais) and Dick (Clement) had written in between, and maybe some stage directions. But none of us knew what was going on inside Julie's head. And really we didn't even know until we turned up on the set that day and then you'd be like, 'Oh, okay, right… We're doing this, are we? All right, there's puppets everywhere and Blue Meanies, and Eddie Izzard's wearing a silly hat and a silly mustache.'"

And you got to work with Bono?

Jim Sturgess: "And we got to work with Bono, which was an amazing experience. It was good. I mean, that day was fun. We were in like this…it's an Andy Warhol-style loft apartment and there was like rooms with giant balloons, and then a room with an inflatable bed. We really didn't have to do much that day because it was all about Bono. So we just hung out in this trippy, kind of crazy flat and listened to him sing I Am the Walrus."

I heard he said he likes your voice.

Jim Sturgess: "Yeah, I think he might have said that."

That's a pretty cool compliment.

Jim Sturgess: "Yeah, it's a pretty big compliment. I like his, too."

And working with Julie, she has such a vision for these films. What is she actually like on the set directing you?

Jim Sturgess: "She's like an endless head of ideas, you know? You can't stop her from just thinking and coming up with ideas on the spot, too. She's great to work with as an actor, from an acting point of view because she lets you kind of do your thing. She's inspired by the things that you do and you're then inspired by the things that she says to you, and it was a very kind of organic and very creative process. That was what was great about working with her."

One last question before you get pulled away. Who do you play in The Other Boleyn Girl?

Jim Sturgess: "In The Other Boleyn Girl I play George Boleyn who's the brother of Mary and Anne."

That's an interesting film to transition to from this.

Jim Sturgess: "Yeah, it was a weird thing. We're doing this kind of great, psychedelic movie with all this singing and then suddenly I was doing this very kind of straight period movie wearing tights and a codpiece, you know, and like riding a horse."

A codpiece?

Jim Sturgess: "Yeah. It was all about the codpiece in that movie."

Across the Universe Resources:

  • Exclusive Interview with Eddie Izzard

  • Across the Universe Soundtrack News

  • Across the Universe Photo Gallery

  • Across the Universe Credits, Poster and Trailer
  • The Other Boleyn Girl Resources:

  • The Other Boleyn Girl Photos and Cast Info
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