Eksklusivt: Interview med Michael Fassbender om ‘Alien: Covenant’

I forbindelse med udgivelsen af Ridley Scotts både nervepirrende og blodige ‘Alien: Covenant’ bringer Filmskribenten stolt et interview med Michael Fassbender, der har dobbeltrollen som Walter og David, eksklusivt i Danmark.

Det hele startede tilbage i 1979 med Ridley Scotts egen rumklassiker – den klaustrofobiske og yderst skræmmende ‘Alien’. Den har siden affødt den actionmættede 2’er ‘Aliens’, videre til David Finchers ‘Alien³’ og den spraglede ‘Alien Resurrection’ samt to ‘Alien vs. Predator’-film – samt ikke mindst Ridleys Scotts egne ‘Prometheus’ og nu ‘Alien: Covenant’.

– ‘Alien: Covenant’ er ude på Ultra HD, Blu-ray, dvd og digitalt den 5. oktober.

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In ‘Alien: Covenant’ you have two roles. So who is it you play alongside David?

I also play Walter who is the synthetic on the Covenant ship. He is sort of a different version of what David was, because David was very humanlike and had elements in his programming that allowed him to develop human personality traits that freaked people out. So they built the following synthetics with less of those human design traits. Walter is very much a non-emotional robot.

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Does this mean you get to act with yourself?

Indeed, there are a couple of scenes just between David and Walter. We did some cool stuff there where we filmed it with the camera on a special computerised crane. When we do the David take the movement of the crane is mapped in electronically. So when we do the reverse for Walter it will follow that same electronic path as it did for David. Then they’ll lay me in as Walter into the scene with David. That was pretty cool.

Is he still influenced by Peter O’Toole in ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ as he was in ‘Prometheus’?

I am still taking that as a central thing. I don’t want to veer away too much from what people saw in ‘Prometheus’. So there are some elements that will remain constant and that sort of Peter O’Toole influence is still very much there. There is a reference to ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ in a scene that I do where he is singing the song that Lawrence sings where it echoes round the valley.

So there are still those things. I think that is cool, when you do that with any franchise or running series. You can do little hat tips to previous films and have a level of consistency that the audience can anchor themselves down with.

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Playing both Walter and David must be a tremendous challenge as an actor.

It’s helpful to have a clear idea. It’s fun. When I got offered ‘Prometheus’ and went into that, I wanted to make sure that it was going to be fun doing something like this, to be part of this Alien world and work with Ridley Scott. It is really just seeing how far you can push certain things.

David is very clear to me. I understand him very well. It is just trying to find fun things to do. Sometimes they work and sometime they don’t. It was also important to find the comedy in him as well, because the film is going to be really scary. In ‘Prometheus’, even when he got his head ripped off that was kind of funny.

How much have you looked at Ian Holm’s performance as Ash in ‘Alien’ as an inspiration?

For ‘Prometheus’ I didn’t look at him at all. I didn’t look at Bishop in Aliens either. I didn’t look at any of the previous synthetic incarnations. I really rooted it in Peter O’Toole, David Bowie and Olympic diver Greg Louganis — they were my three influences for him. They remain my hook for him. I also watched ‘Blade Runner’ before ‘Prometheus’ to see the Replicants in that. This time, on the plane over to Sydney, I did watch ‘Alien’ and ‘Aliens’. Took a look to see what both robots were doing there.

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Then for Walter there is more Leonard Nimoy in there, sort of a Spock-like influence. I wanted something that was without emotional content, something that was very logical. It’s interesting looking back at Ash, I think he has purposefully played him very human. It is only after the fact, when you watch it again knowing he is a robot, you almost project the idea that he is a robot onto him.

Have you been involved in the development of ‘Alien: Covenant’ with Ridley Scott since ‘Prometheus’?

I have had conversations with Ridley for sure, every now and again, but I didn’t have a great deal of input on the script. We kept in contact. We’re friends and we have had dinners since ‘Prometheus’ and discussed it, but I can’t take any credit for any of the ideas in the script. It is as we are going along and playing I sort of add some ideas.

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Is ‘Alien: Covenant’ a different kind of film to ‘Prometheus’?

I would say that it remains in the universe. We were introduced to the Engineers in ‘Prometheus’, but they will play less of a role in this. In terms of its feel as a film, it is probably harking back more to ‘Alien’ in terms of it being a thriller. I think it will be a lot scarier than ‘Prometheus’. Once it starts, it is relentless. But not in a way that you see with a lot of action films where it is action packed.

This is psychological suspense. The elements of ‘Prometheus’ that are present are in the grandness, the world that we are trying to explore, the planet that we are on. Those things are similar. What really made ‘Alien’ stand alone is that you never left the ship, so it was a very claustrophobic experience.

– ‘Alien: Covenant’ er ude på Ultra HD, Blu-ray, dvd og digitalt den 5. oktober.