Every great story needs a villain–the bad guy! In the new Maleficent movie, King Stephan is that villain. Stephan is played by Sharlto Copley and he’s a South African triple threat–actor, producer, and director. I thought his performance was brilliant in the film–his multifaceted character required him to be many different roles within the same person. I had a chance to interview him last week during the Los Angeles press junket for the film. Here’s a bit of what he had to say:
You had a lot of emotion and power in your role. How did you prepare for your character?
… 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. ..I can relate to ambitious men. I’m an ambitious person in my life….You know, I have certain alpha male type tendencies. I’m quite a dominant guy… I don’t practice my lines first in my trailer or things that some actors find useful. I don’t do that.
Yes. Spend time with your children so you don’t end up like Stefan. I have people <men> 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, it’s like, “Well I was making money for my family.” It’s like, they didn’t want money. They wanted time with daddy…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.
Did you audition? Did you go in really wanting this role?
I did really want this because I’d met Angie before and really felt she was very complimentary about District 9. She’d seen my performance in there and she said how we should work together some time. That was about two years before. And so when this came around I was really looking for a fantasy film. I was looking for something that was, you know, that I could show my seven year old nephew, you know? ‘Cause most of my films are like R-rated movies…I went after this quite aggressively.
Check him out in this trailer. The film starts on Friday!
Disclosure: I was able to meet Sharlto as part of the Disney press junket for Maleficent in Los Angeles. Disney covered my travel, lodging, meals and activities. All of the opinions, however, are my own.