Inkheart is going to be another big scale Hollywood fantasy. Based on the book by Cornelia Funke, it tells the story of characters coming out of books and making trouble in the real world. Paul Bettany plays a character who actually wants to go back to the book world. A veteran of Hollywood blockbusters, he says Inkheart is no different.
Set Visit: Paul Bettany on Inkheart
"My experience is that all film sets usually feel mostly the same," Bettany said. "I know that big films, small films, they all sort of film the same really and this one is the same. Usually you can hear sort of whimpering from the producers with the more money that they're spending. You do sort of hear that, but this film set has been filled with so much joy and fun. I've said that on most movies that I've made and have usually lied. This actually is the first time that I'm telling the truth."
Bettany has admitted lying in the press before too, so this is nothing new. "Yeah, I've talked a lot of sh*t about films, but this one actually really is fun. It's so much that it's a bit repulsive, the idea of us getting paid to be here."
His character, Dustfinger, is the villain's henchman, but he wants what the heroes want, to send all the literary characters back. That moral ambiguity gives Bettany some juicy stuff to play. "Well, what's interesting to me is that he's sort of an opportunist, but who desperately wants to go home. He didn't ask to be here and sort of every moment in the film that we see him he's just trying to get home to what you realize later on in the film is his family. That's how I often feel when making films."
It may be hard to read Dustfinger, but Bettany spells it out for us. "He doesn't sort of state what he wants. You're like, 'What does he want?' And he's sort of intense and what is it he's after? Then you realize that he just wants to get home to his kids in exactly the same way that [Brendan Fraser] wants his wife back."