Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gabriel Macht's "Spirit" is willing !!!

Once upon a time, superhero roles were considered career-killers. But not anymore, not with Christian Bale, Will Smith, Robert Downey Jr. and Hugh Jackman proving that if the glove fits, you should wear it. Still, for Gabriel Macht, who suits up as the latest masked man in " The Spirit," which opens Christmas Day, there are new and different risks in this modern era of cinematic crime fighting.

For one thing, there's the danger of getting upstaged by the bad guy, who in "The Spirit" happens to be the nefarious Octopus, a near-invulnerable crime boss played with great zeal by Samuel L. Jackson. Macht first got a sense of that threat while doing an informal script read-through with his future costar.

"I needed earplugs when Samuel L. Jackson started doing lines, he had the volume at 11," Macht said with a bewildered smile a year after the table read. "Look, when actors come to read-through in Hollywood they don't give anything; everything is a whisper. They're not risking, they're not showing anything, and they're not trying to do stuff with the character. The attitude is: 'Put on a camera, get me lights and makeup and hair and wardrobe, that's when I'll perform.' Not Sam. He shows up and he was screaming and went crazy. It lifted everyone. And I knew way back then that we were going to be taking chances in this movie."

And "The Spirit" is absolutely a film that cranks the volume and goes for broke. The movie aspires to mint a leading man out of Macht, who may be a veteran of the New York stage and a graduate of Carnegie Mellon School of Drama but has a Hollywood résumé of supporting roles and indie fare. The movie is the solo directorial debut of Frank Miller, the acclaimed comic book creator, and, like his artwork in the pages of "300" and "Sin City," "The Spirit" is a stylized visual swirl that instantly divided viewers into love-it-or-hate-it factions at screenings.

No comments: