Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is the second installment of Warner Bros.' film adapation of Arthur Conan Doyle's super sleuth stories. A third film was already in the works before the second one had its chance to strike box office gold. The excitement over this blockbuster film franchise was palpable at its Hollywood red carpet premiere. Buzzine's own Nicole Rayburn grabbed a few minutes with the cast and crew at the premiere.
Nicole Rayburn: Can you give us a ten-second scoop on why we should see this movie?
Jared Harris: Because it’s great fun and you’ll have a good time.
NR: What was it like working with Guy Ritchie and Robert Downey, Jr.?
JH: I’m a big fan of both of their films. There’s no insecurity about either of them. They have a great sense of humor. Their relationship is not too dissimilar to Watson & Holmes’. They have a lot of banter. The very first time that I saw the two of them was going to rehearsal on set, and the two of them are standing a little bit far off, and they’d just been training, I think, so they were in track suits. And they were so squared off like gun fighters against one another, and they were flicking kicks at each other’s balls, and seeing who flinched first, and you lost if you flinched first.
NR: That’s hilarious. What did you think of that?
JH: I didn’t want to get involved. [Laughs] It reminded me of me and my brothers – the sort of stuff we used to do when we were kids.
NR: What can people expect from you role as the professor?
JH: He’s kind of the engine of the plot in terms of what he is trying to do is what Holmes is trying to foil, and essentially he’s a mysterious character. Mostly what I wanted to achieve is that you never quite knew what the guy was up to, even by the time you get to the end of the story.
NR: Were you necessarily a fan of the murder mystery books before you signed on for this?
JH: I read all the books, yeah. I love those types of films. It’s sort of a puzzle and then they give you the answer at the end. They always don’t give you all the clues so you can’t quite figure it out, but you feel smart because you almostdid it.
NR: What are some of your other favorite villains or heroes that you love to play?
JH: That’s good. I don’t know. MacBeth.
Susan Downey and Robert Downey, Jr.
Nicole Rayburn: You recently performed at Sting’s 60th. How did that come about?
Robert Downey, Jr.: He asked, I thought it might be fun. I thought he wanted me to do some MCing, and the next thing you know, I’m singing “Driven to Tears.” But I actually saw some of it on the Jay Leno show last night, and I believe I was in the correct key.
NR: Speaking of Jay Leno, you broke the news on the show about the baby last night. Susan, how do you feel about that?
Susan Downey: I can’t stay mad at him for very long. [Laughs] It wasn’t planned; it wasn’t some gag…
RDJ: The funny thing is we’re having a girl.
SD: No, you’ll just confuse everyone.
NR: Now I have to return the boy gift.
RDJ: You have a gift? May I have it at once?
NR: And Jay Leno, of course, he gets all the scoops. Did he send over a baby gift right away after?
RDJ: First of all, he gave us a diaper disposer thing in the shape of Iron Man. He had his Set Dec. paint it.
NR: Do you have any sympathy cravings?
RDJ: You mean like pickles and ice cream? I just call that “after workout protein shake.”
NR: What’s your favorite part about playing Sherlock Holmes?
RDJ: The boss.
NR: How about the character itself?
RDJ: Oh, the character is fine, but I could be playing any character.
NR: Susan, when did you start planning on the second film?
SD: We had ideas when we were promoting it, but it wasn’t until we went out and worked that the studio actually said, “Go and figure out what the story is gonna be.”
NR: What was the most challenging thing of producing both of these?
SD: I think it’s getting it right. He’s a beloved character, and we don’t want to mess it up, and certainly doing a second one is always a challenge because you want it to be as good if not better. I think we were able to do that, so it’s exciting.
NR: Especially juggling marriage, baby, producing, and all of your other projects going on. That’s a lot to handle!
SD: Yeah, but when you’re in it, you just do it. [Laughs]
Michele Mulroney & Kieran Mulroney
Nicole Rayburn: The first thing I want to know is: when you come up with the scripts for the SherlockHolmesmovies, clearly there’s quite a different realm to it than the books. It’s come a long way. Where does that come from? What do you think? How big can we make this? How modern…?
Kieran Mulroney: The funny thing is everything that feels different about these is actually from the stories – it’s from the Conan Doyle stories. It’s all in there; it’s just a matter of what you want to pull out. In the old days, with the houndstooth cap and the pipe…
Michele Mulroney: Everyone has this image of Sherlock, but in the books, he actually is a martial artist, and he actually did dabble with opium, so all these things that we play with in the movies actually do come from the Conan Doyle books.
KM: So it’s all in there; it’s just a matter of which pieces you take to tell your story.
NR: Did Robert Downey, Jr. have his own take on things? His own improv?
KM: No question.
NR: But coming from your writing, how did you feel about that?
MM: We feel great because when you have someone as talented as…well, this whole cast… But Robert and Jude (Law) in particular and their incredible chemistry, you want to make sure that when they’re on set, they feel free. If they come up with something fantastic, they should do it! So we’re lucky writers because we write something down and they make it sound like they’re improvising. They make it sound so fresh. So we were just really always thrilled and encouraged when we see them play around with the script. It’s fun.
NR: What are some of your favorite moments when you wrote them down and you saw them come to life?
MM: We have a couple, but I lovethe wedding sequence, where Watson gets married and turns up at his wedding drunk and hung-over, and staggers down the aisle and gets propped up by Holmes and gets a dirty look from his new wife. I just love that sequence because it’s emotional and funny all at the same time.
KM: For me, this goes to Guy Ritchie and his directing. The way he directs this film is sometimes you write down action sequences, which take a page or page-and-a-half of the script, and then you see them in the movie and you think, “Holy cow! You have made that page-and-a-half some of the best action that any audience will ever see anywhere,” and I think that’s in this movie. I think the audience will find the relationship and the story and the mystery, but amazing action as well, and hats off to Guy Ritchie for doing that. It’s brilliant.
MM: Amazing stuff, yeah.
Nicole Rayburn: Can you give us the ten-second scoop on why we should see this film?
Noomi Rapace: I think Sherlock Holmes, Watson, and Simza – my character – will take you on a roller coaster ride through Europe, and you will both be laughing and touched, and a bit surprised.
Rayburn: You play a fortune teller in the movie. What would you like to see in your future?
Rapace: I hope that I can continue doing movies with amazing people.
Rayburn: What was it like working with Robert Downey, Jr.?
Rapace: Fantastic. He has such an explosive, incredible energy, and he’s so intelligent, and he’s so much fun.
Rayburn: I think it’s really interesting that this is your first English-speaking film, but it seems so natural. Was it a big surprise to you that this is your first English-speaking film?
Rapace: Yeah, and I didn’t speak English 2 ½-3 years ago, so for me I was really nervous before, and I didn’t know if I would be able to feel free and to be able to improvise and keep up with the boys, because I know that Robert really likes to be able to change things and move and try…but actually I forgot that it was not my first language, and I realized after a couple of days that I was not nervous anymore. So much thanks to them.
Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows' is playing everywhere December 16, 2011.