Tony Curran

Born and raised in Scotland Tony Curran has starred in a number of British productions including Touching Evil and Split Second, and also appeared in Go Now, Shallow Grave and Heavenly Pursuits. He made his American film debut in Being Human and appeared in Ridley Scott's Gladiator. But it is for his role as Lenny in the BBC series This Life that Curran is probably best remembered. Sci-Fi-Online caught up with him as his latest film, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, was about to go on general release...

Sci-Fi-Online: Can you tell us something about your character in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?

Tony Curran: I play Rodney Skinner, an invisible man. I get involved with this scientist and take this serum and become invisible. And I can't find an antidote to make me visible again. The British government approach me to become part of the League and in turn for helping save the worlds he will get the serum to become visible again. He is a very dodgy character however.

SFO: Do you think that the British public will take to the film?

TC: I hope they take to it better than the American press. One guy said to me: "I don't see how the Nautilus would get up a gap that size in Venice". Well what about someone who was invisible or immortal? I hope they enjoy it, because it's based on British literature, HG Wells etc. And its action packed, very amusing and the costumes are great.

SFO: What was it like working with Sean Connery?

TC: It was great. He's a movie legend but very down to earth. I was a bit apprehensive to be honest but he puts you at ease. He's very professional. He doesn't threaten like some actors do. He's a great laugh too. He takes the Michael and gives it too. I played golf with him. I wasn't actually any good. He spoke to my friend on the phone and said: "Your friend Tony. Tell him he's a better actor than he is a golfer." I would be upset but it's all true [laughs].

SFO: Did you witness much of the Sean Connery/Stephen Norrington spat that was rumoured in the press?

TC: I never saw that much tension on set. I heard there was some, but obviously when you are making a film like that you get individuals with very strong ideas and sometimes they don't always agree with each other. You know if you want to make the omelette you will have to break a few eggs. Maybe there was a few eggs broken but there was nothing too serious. Especially between me and Flemyng (Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde). My ginger brother laughs]. I used to kick Stuart Townsend's butt at table tennis. Let him know I said that.

SFO: What differences do you notice working on a major Hollywood movie when compared to working on TV shows?

TC: Obviously the scale in movies is much bigger. I enjoy working on both. For me it's a sort of a different format, which doesn't really have an influence. I'm focused as much on what I'm doing on television as I am on doing film. Its just the scale. A lot of people go from TV to film and forget about their TV work. Me, I would love to do a few more pieces of telly in the UK. Great Expectations or some British costume drama. I hope someone's listening [laughs].

SFO: Did you find Mina Harker alluring?

TC: Yeah she was very attractive. Bit of an Aussie bird. Bit of a rough diamond shall we say. But she's a sweetheart as well you know? Pretty down to earth. She had a little baby over there, and she didn't really come out that much. But when she did, she was a lot of fun. Let's leave it at that [laughs]. She would definitely make a good Catwoman.

SFO: Where can we expect to see you next?

TC: It's good that I've got something to tell you this time, 'cos normally somebody asks me that I'm like:

"Well you know I've got a few things in the pipeline"

"What are they?

"Well I've got to paint my bathroom"

But this time I've got something to tell you. I went to LA for a while and got a manager, and got a job on a film called Flight Of The Phoenix with Dennis Quaid and Giovanni Ribisi and we are filming it in Namibia in Africa for 17 weeks and I leave on the 17 October. It's a remake of the 1950's film with Jimmy Stewart and Richard Attenborough and it's about a plane that goes down in the desert and they try to rebuild another plane from the existing one that crashed. It's a good script and should be quite interesting.

SFO: Thank you for your time.

With thanks to Wez at Way to Blue

Twentieth Century Fox's The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen is released nationwide on 17 October 2003

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