Last week I had the chance to talk to Sharlto Copley who plays King Stefen in Maleficent.
This interview was amazing! Sharlto Copley is a true prince at heart.
Sharlto Copley was touching, genuine and so caring during our interview. You could tell the love of acting, the craft and how much work he put into preparing for this role.
Sharlto Copley talked about taking on the role of King Stefan and morphing from a prince into a king who is fractured and broken.
I don’t want to give away any details to the movie until you all get to see it so I am going to hint around at them and hope that I don’t give to much away.
When asked what he did to prepare to play King Stefan Sharlto Copley told us how hard it was for him to fight against a woman. How ingrained it is in him to be a caring, loving man and not a fighter….hello swoon!
I really don’t enjoy playing villains. Like, I find it quite, quite unpleasant in some ways. I really, my way in with Stefan was to take a very, sort of, male trait, which is, you know, most men have sort of ambition, they want to kind of be the king of their castle.
You know, in this case he literally does become the king of his castle. And so it was, for me Stefan was kind of, because in a form that’s sort of very female-centric if you will, I felt like there was a chance to almost play like a male, a cautionary tale for men with Stefan, of what happens your sort of male drive and ego and ambition get carried away with itself. And in this case, worst case scenario, he’s prepared to betray his true love to become king.
In smaller ways you see that all the time. You know, you see men very successful, very wealthy man, whose families are in complete disarray. They don’t spend time with their wives anymore. They don’t spend time with their kids. Their sort of ambition has sort of become their obsession. So that was, that was kind of for me the, the interesting part about playing.
Seriously! I was so inspired listening to Sharlto talk about playing this role and the lessons he hopes to convey as part of his role. He did not go into the role trying to be the mean guy, he went into it hoping to teach a life lesson to each of us.
We asked Sharlto how he prepared for the role of King Stefan.
I can’t go through my experience because I do characters. I really just feel like I — it is a little crazy I suppose. I do feel like I become somebody else and, and in the rare occasions where I’ll be doing a take where that slips, you know, and I suddenly feel like myself again and I’ll actually stop and go like, “Okay guys, hang on.” You know, and go again. Um, so I don’t, when I’m preparing is really just understanding what the deepest truth that I can find in humanity or in human archetypes within human behavior.
I try to cotton onto that and then once I know what that is, so for example, I can relate to ambitious men. I’m an ambitious person in my life. And it’s like, okay, so I know what that is. You know, I have certain alpha male type tendencies. I’m quite a dominant guy. So if I take that and just do that in its extreme form. If you just, if it’s possible that that was completely unchecked, where would that, where would that lead to? And so that’s really my preparation I suppose.
And once I’ve made that decision, then I just let it come out and see what’s, what happens, you know? And it’s not like every day I’m preparing in some way, or I don’t you know, practice my lines first in my trailer or things that some actors find useful. I don’t do that.
The film comes out right before Father’s Day. We asked Sharlto if there were any messages that you can give dads who may want to take their little girls to see the film?
Yes. Spend time with your children so you don’t end up like Stefan. I have people like, “What’s the message for my child?” I was like, “Well, the message is for you, dude. It’s, like, don’t fall off your castle.” It’s like “Well I was making money for my family.” It’s like, they didn’t want money. They wanted time with daddy. You know? And you see it all over the place. And you see it, I’ve lived with them. I don’t have kids yet because I was aware that I was like, I was working so hard.
It was like if I want to have kids, I want to be able to spend some time with them every day. And you know, when I’m ready to do that. So, yeah. That’s, you know, Happy Father’s Day. Yeah. Definitely. Definitely. It’s like it’s a lesson for you, for your children but it’s very much for the dads, a lesson for you.
There is a bit more to the interview but I am going to wait until next week to add it in. I want to make sure I don’t take anything away from your experience seeing Maleficent this weekend. Because of course you are going opening weekend!
It is so good that I am taking John this weekend so he can see it. I am pretty sure he is already tired of me telling him how it is my favorite movie this year.
I can’t wait to hear what you think!
Like MALEFICENT on Facebook: facebook.com/DisneyMaleficent
Follow MALEFICENT on Twitter: @Maleficent
YouTube Playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTnR43JTLNs8AKNpJ4KFI6SSdpTzkcXjw
MALEFICENT is rated PG and releases in theaters everywhere on May 30th!
Disney flew me to LA to interview Angelina Jolie. All flight and hotel accommodations were covered.