Recently we caught up with “The Originals'” Joseph Morgan to talk a bit about his latest film, Armistice, as well as playing the anti-hero and of course the finer and favorite parts of portraying Klaus Mikaelson. Read on for the goods.
First, Morgan spoke about what attracted him to Armistice. “Working with the director, Luke Massey, was the main thing that attracted me to the project. I worked with him on a short film previously with Matt Ryan, who played the other role in Armistice. Luke was the director of photography, and it was just a great experience.”
“Luke was very much into the same films as I was and the same comics and books so we geeked out a lot together. When he presented me with Armistice, which is his directorial debut, and then I met Ben [Read], who wrote the film with him, it just seemed like the perfect opportunity to collaborate on a deeper level.”
“I had a fair bit of acting experience just before making it, but I didn’t have the profile that I have now, and I certainly didn’t have the experience of working on something not only as an actor but also on a producing level and being creatively involved in the decision-making pertaining to story and character development. Being a part of that inner circle was really, really attractive to me. It was a very rewarding experience. Not everything is as you’d expect it to be by the film’s end. This is something that I know I’ll be proud of for the rest of my career.”
In Armistice Morgan carries pretty much the entire film on his shoulders so we then spoke about the challenges he faced as an actor as a result. “I wonder if I’ll ever get to play a role again in my career where I have those moments to create. Especially now being in a TV show where the show is 42 and a half minutes long so your dialogue really has to be rattled off. There’s very rarely time in which you can spend a moment contemplating. It’s very punchy, and you often find that if you do have those moments, they end up being edited out to meet the time frame.”
“To do a film in which the majority of it I get to spend time engaging with this character so you can relate and you can root for him, without saying hardly anything at all, was a HUGE challenge, but it was very exciting to me. I remember saying to Ben and Luke, ‘Even if we make a film which just the three of us like, it will have been worth it. I was so excited by the whole idea of it. I enjoyed it immensely.”
Throughout his career this far Joseph has played many a hero and anti-hero so we asked if he was more attracted to the darker side. “I enjoy being the villain. It’s not something that I actively look for… I’m just looking for interesting parts really, and I suppose what I deem as interesting is a role that’s a little more damaged than most. More layered.”
“I did a remake of Ben Hur for television, and I know that character is widely regarded as a hero, but for me the challenge of playing a role like that was to look for those flaws and the idea that I had going into it was that here is someone who’s consumed by revenge… so yeah, maybe I am attracted more to the darker roles, but it’s not something that I will look at a role and say, ‘That’s not dark enough for me.’ *laughs* I’m always looking for something challenging that will allow me to dig deep emotionally.”
“I have to be able to empathize with a character in order to play them,” says Morgan. “I have to be able to relate to them and understand their motives, even if I don’t agree with them objectively. I need to understand them because if I don’t, then I’m just playing a two-dimensional character. In terms of playing Klaus, doing a TV show allows you to explore a character for far longer than you would do in a movie. I’ve seen hours and hours of this character, and I’m still having a good time playing him. I’m a perfectionist so I’m constantly able to improve on something or, in this case, someone. Being able to win people over with a complicated and quintessentially evil character like Klaus is a challenge which I very much enjoy.”
Klaus has wrought a lot of heartache on his universe between “The Vampire Diaries” and now “The Originals” so we asked Morgan if he had any favorite Klaus moments. “I don’t know, man! That’s too hard! *laughs* That’s like asking what’s your ultimate favorite movie, and I could tell you that my favorite movie is Fight Club but it’s also 12 Monkeys… I could answer that question but my answer would be bullshit because it would be the first one that I could think of right now, but that doesn’t mean in five minutes my favorite moment won’t be something different. It’s hard… it’s too hard… don’t make me answer that! *laughs*”
XLrator Media has released director Luke Massey’s Armistice (formerly known as Warhouse) on VOD, and it will be in theaters on January 31st.
Matt Ryan and William Troughton co-star.
In the role of Royal Marine A.J. Budd, Joseph Morgan stars in this brutal psychological and supernatural thriller, in which he finds himself trapped in the Warhouse. Imprisoned, he is forced to fight for his life against grotesque, inhuman opponents. He must kill every day or die himself. His one glimmer of hope comes in the form of a diary, left by a former occupant of the house, WWI Lieutenant Edward Sterling, played by Matt Ryan.
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