Matthew Rhys On Fearing Bradley Cooper’s Death, Struggling To Make An Omelette Filming ‘Burnt’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO]
Matthew Rhys stars in John Wells‘ culinary comedy-drama Burnt as the elite chef whose successes taunt Bradley Cooper‘s character.
Matthew Rhys On ‘Burnt’
In Burnt, Rhys’ character Reece proudly boasts three Michelin stars, a feat of the culinary elite that Cooper’s Adam Jones is hungrily trying to achieve. For Adam, it’s of paramount importance to attain that elusive status to make himself Reece’s equal on paper, and for Reece, it’s equally important to hold onto the mark of superiority.
Despite the characters being at odds with one another, one scene in the film forced Rhys to break character and respond as any human would when someone else’s death appears imminent before him or her. In a moment of improvisation, the committed Cooper managed to convince Rhys that his apparent suffocation wasn’t an act.
“He’s fearless in striving to make the scene as perfect as possible, and that is applied to any element,” Rhys told uInterview exclusively. “At the very end… Bradley’s character at his lowest ebb sort of took [a poaching bag] and began to suffocate himself in a very realistic way,” Rhys explained. “So I abandoned any acting and tried to get it off his head.”
Fearing Cooper’s end by way of a poaching bag may have been Rhys’ most memorable moment on set, but reviewers have noted that the shots of food are the ones that won’t soon be forgotten after seeing Burnt. One of the items that Rhys had to cook up was a French omelette – a task that proved far harder than the actor had anticipated.
“[I had] to present Bradley with an omelette at one point, which I thought would be fine. But when I was taught by one of Marcus Wareing’s chefs, who is a three-star Michelin chef himself, how to do a french omelette, I realized that I was so out of my depth, I should’ve drowned,” joked Ryhs.
So, how did the scene go on? “She very kindly did the majority of all the omelette shots, and very kindly passed it to me on the word action.”
Burnt, which also stars Sienna Miller and Daniel Brühl, is currently in wide release.
My character is – well I like to think is – Bradley’s arch nemesis and rival. They were two young chefs in Paris at the same time, went up the ranks together. My character did very well in London, got his three Michelin stars, opened his restaurant. Bradley’s character got two Michelin stars, fell foul of the rails, derailed himself, had a brief search in Louisiana and now has come back to get his third Michelin star, and that is basically the film’s trajectory, watching him rollercoaster his way to his third star, if indeed he does. My character hates the fact that he can potentially be the same rated chef as he.
It’s sort of incredible. He’s fearless in striving for... to make the scene as perfect as possible, and that is applied to any element. John Wells, the director, fantastically let us... was confident enough to let us play and improvise. At the very end, very in keeping – cause my chef has a style of cooking that uses these poaching bags, these plastic bags – and Bradley’s character at his lowest ebb sort of took one and began to suffocate himself in a very realistic way. So I abandoned any acting and tried to get it off his head. It was very succinct as to what’s going on, and perfectly played by him. And I think it became a great moment.
Not as much as Bradley and his army of chefs; they’re the old vanguard who believe that food should be in a frying pan with oil and butter and flames and passion. And my character believes more in the new wave; food can be infused in a bag and poached in a far more clinical scientific way, possibly. Therefore, in the script, I basically had to do very little except to shout at chefs, and then present Bradley with an omelette at one point, which I thought would be fine. But when I was taught by one of Marcus Wareing’s chefs, who is a three star Michelin chef himself, how to do a french omelette, I realized that I was so out of my depth, I should’ve drowned. So she very kindly did the majority of all the omelette shots and very kindly passed it to me on the word action.
Just an ever-sinking rollercoaster of the Jennings, as the trajectory in the fourth season things can only get worse for them, as this net of many aspects snares them even tighter. So it’s certainly not dull. It’s doesn’t lack any conflict or tension as they try to keep their heads above these espionage waters, really.
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