Video:John Hannah Interview-The Mummy Tomb of the Dragon Emperorwith Rebecca Murray
John Hannah returns in the role of Jonathan, Brendan Fraser's brother-in-law, in the action thriller 'The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.' Although audiences laugh at Jonathan's antics, Hannah joked that he's always seen him as a serious hero.See Transcript
Transcript:John Hannah Interview-The Mummy Tomb of the Dragon EmperorRebecca Murray from About.com Hollywood Movies at the 2008 San Diego Comic Con.
John Hannah – 'Jonathan' in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
You were cracking me up.
John Hannah: "I didn't mean to. I was being serious. That's what happens. I spent my whole life trying to be serious and everybody laughs at me. I'm actually this heroic character in this and everybody laughs. I don't know how that happens."
Playing a character like this, you've done it a couple of times before, so how do you keep it fresh?
John Hannah: "Working with Brendan. He never says anything that's in the script. He really doesn't. Even at the read-through he never said what was in the script, so you know you kind of want to contribute. You don't want to just be along for a free ride, so you try and contribute something. You try and stay with him. He's incredibly creative so you try and just give him the ball back over the net, you know? And Rob Cohen, of course, isn't going to accept someone phoning it in and doing what they did last time."
And Rob Cohen is new to the franchise though and you guys have been around for a while. How was that adjustment?
John Hannah: "It was great, actually, because you need someone to sort of demand things of you. It's very easy to say, 'Right, here's the script. Yeah, I know what I'm doing. I'm playing this character. I'll come in and do that.' But that's actually really dull and it wouldn't help the film at all, and ultimately you want the film to work. You want those moments to work, and so somebody pushes you and pushes you and then you do it again. You try it different ways and you play with it. It was exciting. It was challenging on a daily basis, and Rob and Brendan challenged you every day."
And having a different actress play your sister this time, any different for you?
John Hannah: "No, not really. I mean, I think everybody – because the script sort of changed in terms of its location and who the mummy is and what the jeopardy we're involved in is – meant that, for all the reasons I've just said about being challenged on a daily basis, Maria [Bello] was doing the same thing and creates the character. There's some very cool funny moments at the beginning where Maria as her character gets to kind of explain that she's a different kind of character, and I think that works really nicely. It gets it out of the way and then everybody can get on with watching the story."
And one final question… Just the logistics of filming in China, what was that like as an actor?
John Hannah: "For me it was great. I loved it. Such a great part of this job is to be able to travel and experience other cultures. And in spite of any preconceptions that anyone might have had of China, it's the same as anywhere else. The people are the same, you know? They get hungry; They have expectations. It was beautiful. Actually I'd love to go back."