To celebrate the theatrical release of “Redemption” aka “Hummingbird,” we are thrilled to bring you our very first exclusive interview on JStatham.com.
We had the honor of chatting with British actor/writer Christian Brassington (follow him on Twitter @brassingtonc), who co-stars alongside Jason Statham in Steven Knight’s “Redemption” (original title “Hummingbird”) out in US and UK theaters today, June 28, 2013. The gorgeous, smart and very talented Brit was kind enough to make some time for us and generously answered all of our burning questions, offering some fantastic insight into his work as an actor.
JStatham.com Team: Thank you very much for giving us this wonderful opportunity to ask you a few questions about your work on “Redemption.” We are curious, did you share some screen time with Jason Statham? What was it like working with him?
Christian Brassington: I did film with Jason, yes. He’s a great guy. Very impressive when performing the action side of things but I think you’re going to see a different side to him in Hummingbird.
JStatham.com Team: Are there any notable moments between Jason Statham’s character and yours in the film?
Christian Brassington: Ah yes, there’s one VERY memorable sequence with Jason but you’re going to have to watch the film to discover what that is!
JStatham.com Team: What can you reveal about the guy Max Forrester you play in the film?
Christian Brassington: I can’t tell you too much about my character as it might spoil aspects of the film. But I play a man who, at first glance, appears to be a valued member of society but that civilised facade hides a very dark, warped personality.
JStatham.com Team: How did you get into the right mindset of such a two-faced man?
Christian Brassington: In terms of how I prepared for the role, I tried to study City workers and how they held themselves. Having such beautiful suits made for my costume helped a lot actually. You carry yourself differently when in a suit. And having fittings at Gieves and Hawkes on Saville Row in their incredibly opulent spaces certainly gives you a taste of the high life. Then it was about not playing the villainy, if that makes sense. People who do evil things don’t go around laughing maniacally and rubbing their hands together; it’s often striking how ordinary those who do hideous things appeared to those around them. Steven [Knight, director] was very good at making sure I just played the reality of the scene and didn’t patronise the viewer by overplaying Max’s evil nature. He’s a truly nasty piece of work though, Max Forrester! It’s a bit alarming seeing yourself be that creepy. And one scene in particular was quite difficult to film. Thankfully the stunt-woman I was working with was fantastic throughout.
JStatham.com Team: There is a very powerful scene between Jason Statham’s character Joey Jones and Max Forrester confronting each other on top of a rooftop. Did you rehearse for this intense and physical moment beforehand?
Christian Brassington: Yes, we rehearsed the scene beforehand but in two different ways. Firstly, there’s the physical side to the scene. For that, we spent a long time rehearsing. I can’t give too much away here but you want to get to a point where you’re confident enough to just forget about what’s coming and just play the scene naturally. Thankfully, we had an amazing team on board who are hugely experienced (Tom Struthers who was stunt coordinator has worked on massive films such as The Dark Knight Rises and the X-Men and Bond films) so I was in good (safe!) hands.
For the playing of the lines, and ergo the drama, in the scene Jason and I did rehearse but you don’t want to over do it. It takes a long time to shoot a film so it’s about keeping it fresh even after you’ve performed the scene many, many times as it needs to be shot from so many angles. When it came to our close-ups, Steven Knight (the director) tweaked our performances.
JStatham.com Team: What was it like working with Steven Knight who had his directorial debut with the film?
Christian Brassington: I think Jason and I both really enjoyed working with Steven. His directorial style is very uncomplicated in terms of dealing with actors (the scope of his ambition is certainly not though! The film looks amazing!) and it’s really helpful as an actor to know exactly what the director wants from you.
JStatham.com Team: Tell us, what’s up next for you?
Christian Brassington: I’m starring in an independent British movie called Two Days In The Smoke which is in post-production at the moment. There’ll be an exciting announcement about another film I’ve done called The Body (directed by Paul Davies) soon. And I’m writing a TV series and a film with the very talented Georgia Moffett.
JStatham.com Team: We are looking forward to seeing you in action in “Redemption” and want to wish you all the best for your future projects.