Moviefone got to sit down with Oldman at the press day for the film. We chatted about his character, Catherine Hardwicke as a director, playing a bad guy and which stories scared him as a kid.
The film stars Amanda Seyfried as Valerie, the girl with the red hood, and the legendary Julie Christie as Valerie's grandmother. 'Red Riding Hood' opens March 11. Check out the interview after the jump.
Moviefone: You've called your character "a man possessed." How do you approach playing a bad guy?
Gary Oldman: Well, that's assuming or presuming that Solomon is a bad guy. I don't think he's a bad guy.
What do you think he is?
I think he's a good guy, but he isn't very nice.
He does do the torturing ...
Well, yes, but in the context of where it's set, it's not so unusual.
But you do have a very unique method of torture. Tell us about the elephant.
Well, yes, he has a huge metal ... I would imagine it's bronze ... a big bronze elephant and you heat a fire underneath it. It has a door on the side. A big door in it's tummy. And you put a person in there, close the door and lock them in. And of course, the inside of the elephant heats up.
And that's the way of extracting truth from someone. All in a day's work for a wolf hunter. [Laughs]
Of course. Tell me a bit about working with Catherine Hardwicke, because I had heard that she was part of the reason you decided to do this project.
Yeah, I very much liked her movie, 'Thirteen,' and you know, I read the script and I liked the script, but it was like, well, who is this aimed for? Who is the audience for this? Because it wasn't R-rated. It only went so far. And they said, 'Oh, it's a Catherine Hardwicke film.' And I went, 'Oh yeah, I get it. I get it.' She's had a huge, huge success with ... she understands that genre. I don't know if it's because ... I don't know how she does it, but she just gets it.
This fairy tale scared the pants off of me as a kid. Which one scared you as a kid?
Hmm. I remember 'Little Red Riding Hood.' I don't remember when I first heard 'Little Red Riding Hood.' I was that young. I can't remember. It's just always been there. I've just always known the story of it. I liked 'The Three Little Pigs.'
There was a nod to that in the film.
Yes, there is. At the festival. It always fascinated me. 'I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down.'