*In an exclusive interview with EURweb associate Marie Moore, Ben Barnes, one of Hollywood’s hottest actors, gave EUR the 411 on “Seventh Son” and his stellar career at the Crosby Hotel recently in New York City. Barnes, Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore and Djimon Hounsou star in this electrifying epic adventure that arrests audiences with its powerful portrayal of the forces of good and evil at war.
For centuries humanity had been protected from creatures of the dark by an ancient order of noble warriors called the Falcon Knights. As the sole remaining warrior of the mystical order, Master Gregory (Bridges) travels to find the prophesized hero, Tom (Barnes), born with incredible powers, who is the last Seventh Son.
EUR: There is a statement in the Production Notes that goes, ‘Mankind usually destroys anything or anyone they don’t understand.’ Do you believe that to be true?
I would like to believe, like in the film, there is always room for educating the ignorant. If you don’t understand something, learn about it. You know what I mean? You educate yourself about it and that, I think, is why Tom doesn’t make quick judgments when he finds out that Alicia is a witch. He can’t kill Urag because although he’s terrifying as a bear, as a man, his eyes are a window into his soul. He seems like a person with a pulse. Maybe he is, or maybe he isn’t, but I think a little bit of hesitation isn’t always a terrible thing in terms thinking before you act.
EUR: This is not the first time you have played the hero, so what was the draw this time?
Jeff Bridges. I could never turn down a project with Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore. I would’ve done a film with them set in space, in a desert, or in a prison, it doesn’t matter.
It was in 2008 that Barnes made his first appearance in a major film as Prince Caspian in “The Chronicles of Narnia.” That year while promoting “Narnia” in New York, the affable actor had a room full of writers in stitching. When he walked in the room, someone said, “Hello, gorgeous.” His response in a southern drawl was, “Damn, this is going to be fun.”
Midway through the interview, a People Magazine reporter asked him how he felt about being a sex symbol. As Barnes hesitated to answer, the People reporter said, “Sorry, I have to ask,” and Barnes said, “Really? You don’t have to ask.” Meanwhile, another reporter said, “That was my question.” Esteemed, award winning journalist Audrey J. Bernard (Eurweb, New York Beacon Newspaper) jumped in with, “Let a woman go there,” and Barnes enthusiastically agreed. “Yeah, you ask,” he encouraged her.
Bernard recounted women’s reactions the night before. “Women around me were swooning, including yours truly, when you appeared onscreen.” “She’s much better at this than you,” Barnes laughed. As Bernard continued to imitate the women, everyone in the room roared. Barne finally said, “Ok, now I’m embarrassed.”
The same exuberance and lighted heartedness Barnes exuded when he commanded the room more than seven years ago, is still intact. As Barnes talked about “Seventh Son” and the things he had to do onset before a green screen, he stood up, went around in circles and imitated the director’s crescendoing voice. I was in tears from laughing.
EUR: Are you still as excited about your career now as you were back there in 2008?
Yes, of course. It’s different on each job. On this one in particular, it was getting a chance to work with Jeff Bridges who was had been one of my heroes since the ‘Fabulous Baker Boys,’ ‘The Big Lebowski,’ and countless others. I’m still excited about the whole fantasy genre. But ever since we shot this film three years ago, I’ve had so many opportunities to do different things, historical, I did a gangster movie, I did a music movie and learned to play the guitar. I like to learn things and try to see the world through different people’s perspectives. That’s part of what I love about the job, with each job it’s different.
EUR: Speaking of historical, ‘Sons of Liberty’ was great.
You liked it? I’m so excited for people who like it.
EUR: What’s next?
The music film “Jackie and Ryan,” with Katherine Heigl.
Marie Moore reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected].