Hugh Dancy Video Interview On ‘Adam,’ Rose Byrne
He was the tough magazine editor in Confessions of a Shopaholic. Now, Hugh Dancy‘s taking a different direction playing a mentally handicapped man with a crush on Rose Byrne in Adam.
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I think you sort of invent those things after you are done - especially since we had so little time - we had 25 days to shoot the film. What that means, practically speaking, is that you have about 10 scenes every day to shoot. So there isn't time for anything to become memorable, by the time you'd done it, you are on to the next. There's an amazing scene when Adam tells her that he has Asperger's. In his attempt to make conversation, he asks her if she had been sexually excited when they were together the night before in the park. That's his opening gambit...then segueing into him telling her about his condition - that sort of chopping and changing is exactly what you look for in a good scene.
No, when I heard about it I was so in the dark that I wouldn't have even known what it would mean to overplay it. The one thing I knew about the script, I can recognize good writing and scenes that have many dialogues going on in them at the same time, and I knew that there was kind of a fine balance that I would have to try and capture. The more work I did, the more I realized how Max Mayer, who wrote the script and directed the film, there's a lot of humor in the film for example. You ought to be very careful with that. It's important to the relationship of Adam and Beth but you overstep it by a millimeter and the whole movie would come crashing down so a lot of it was kind of a balancing act.
Just on a professional basis out of professional pride I wouldn't have wanted to misrepresent this. But obviously beyond that there's millions of people who are underrepresented and I would have hated to feel that I had gone out and done them a disservice. We didn't set out to make a movie to teach the world about Aspergers and I think, ironically, we best served the community at large by actually just focusing on this one guy, Adam, and letting people know that he's an individual and everybody out there on the Autism spectrum and so on is an individual and unique. So we were just focused and kind of contained in that way.
Well I started from a place of total ignorance about Aspergers Syndrome. So I felt I had two parts, in a sense, that were really the same which was figuring out about Aspergers Syndrome and educating myself in that way and also figuring out who Adam was as an individual. I think that I did what anybody would do, basically I used Google and I read everything I could get my hands on. I educated myself kind of to the point where I felt comfortable sitting down with people that knew a lot more about Aspergers and people with Aspergers. Then when I got to a certain point I felt comfortable going back to the script trying to hone it down, be selective. Really you're just looking for things that trigger your imagination and bring you back to that story and in a way then you start filtering things out.
Initially, with some panic. It was quite daunting. There's a lot of things that you don't know how they're gonna work until day one when the camera starts rolling and there you are and you say 'Oh I see it's going to work like this.' The first two days on any movie set, I think any actor would tell you, are pretty odd. You're often finding your bearings and this was doubly so. But eventually because Adam can't read other people necessarily, the signs that we all rely on, there's something about him that's very present. He seems detached but he's listening very very hard, processing everything that he hears and as an actor that's what you are meant to be doing all the time and there was something about that discipline that was ultimately quite liberating.