The Spotlight: Ben Mendelsohn talks working with Steven Spielberg on 'Ready Player One,' his possible 'Captain Marvel' role and wanting to play Doctor Doom
(image via Lucasfilm)
Ben Mendelsohn knows how to pick a director.
Coming off 2018's "Ready Player One," Mendelsohn has a newfound respect for Steven Spielberg or "Steve" as he calls him.
Speaking with Josh Horowitz of "Happy Sad Confused," the Aussie actor says working on the Ernest Cline adaptation was like watching "Steven Spielberg sampling Steven Spielberg."
"The thing you don't expect about him is how much, well, he's got his battle map and he's got his battleground," says Mendelsohn. "On the battleground, boom! He is the Napoleon of filmmaking. That guy can be on a set and just change it all up completely. He's got a crew that are insane. In terms of what they can do and the speed in which they can do it, I've never experienced anything like it.
"He loves [filmmaking]. He loves it. His knowledge is post-encyclopedic. It's beyond encyclopedic. He still has a passionate engagement with a classical period of Hollywood filmmaking that is actually the strongest life force of the whole business."
Mendelsohn is also hoping for a chance to reunite with Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. The directing pair let Mendelsohn outshine Ryan Reynolds in their 2015 film "Mississippi Grind." With Brie Larson to star, reports are that Boden and Fleck could snag Mendelsohn as the villain for their 2019 "Captain Marvel" film.
"Boy, I hope so!" says Mendelsohn. "I love that they're doing that Marvel movie that you seem to be referring to. I would be very, very happy to be doing that Marvel movie."
Another Marvel role Mendelsohn has his eye on is the Fantastic Four villain Doctor Victor Von Doom.
"Doctor Doom is the greatest comic character of all time," says Mendelsohn. "The bit that deals with the beginning of Doom is pretty small, but it's just ... good. It's just really, really, good."
As it happens, “Legion” and “Fargo” creator Noah Hawley is developing a movie at Fox centered on Doom. Mendelsohn is well aware.
"That's a great role," says Mendelsohn. "That's a great, great role. The thing that's really appealing about Victor is the damage, the trauma, the loss of the family and the wrong done to him, the revenge, the takeover and then the protectiveness of Latveria wrapped in that Cold War vibe. There's just something about the combination of that.
"What actually makes him great is his caring bit. That's what's great about Doctor Doom. I just like him. The traditional surrounding that he has doesn't particularly do it for me. The context in which he appears, that doesn't really do it for me, but he, himself, I love."
Mendelsohn stars alongside Gary Oldman in "Darkest Hour," in theaters Nov. 22.
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