5 Questions is a series by Steve Duffy –
Rising young Hollywood favorite Will Poulter has definitely been picking the right roles of late. His newest film, “The Revenant,” has him acting alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy. On a recent visit to Boston, I was able to sit down with him and talk about his new film.
SD: You have had a pretty solid acting career. What did you learn from working with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy?
WP: Thanks! That is really kind of you to say. At first, I felt really intimidated by them. They are far more experienced than myself. It was my biggest challenge yet. I was always mindful that this was a big stage for me to be on especially when I was around them. Early on in filming, I realize there was so much to do that my fears quickly passed and I knew I had to just focus on my job.
SD: Your role is both mentally and psychically challenging. How did you prepare for it?
WP: Physically, I was not quite aware how tough it would be, there really wasn’t any preparing for that. I had a basic level of fitness. I had little to no experience in that kind of weather, so my acting skills were definitely tested. The research progress was very interesting because it was conversations and reading books instead of watching YouTube videos. The research was pretty “old school”, so it was a reminder that we rely too much on technology.
SD: You mentioned weather. Most of the filming took place in Canada. How did you prepare for filming in the colder temperatures?
WP: I was expecting it to be tough. Being from England, I am not used to that kind of weather. Our director, Alejandro Iñárritu, told us not to fight the weather, but to embrace it, stand up to it and try and collaborate with it. I braved it all – snow, sleet and hail! I am very proud of myself for not cowering to it. He wasn’t lying when he told me it would be the toughest thing I ever did.
SD: What was it that attracted you to this role (James Bridger)?
WP: For me, it was very interesting in playing someone who was bridging the gap between a boy becoming a man. Experiencing that natural period of maturity especially during that time period. James had to make difficult and moral decisions that conflict with his survival instincts. I think he just tried to do and be the best that he could be. As I think, we all try to do in life.
SD: I read that you did not read the book beforehand. What was the motivation behind that?
WP: Alejandro said that the book was a rough skeleton for the script. He built in so much unique emotional detail especially for my character that I did not want the two to conflict. The book and the script couldn’t have been more opposing. The script is based on the book and having two views can complicate things, even insecurities and doubts as an actor can be introduced to the way you portray your character. Having read the book after I completed filming, I am glad that I waited to read it.
The Revenant opens in theaters everywhere on January 8th.