The Mummy – Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe

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INTERVIEW WITH
TOM CRUISE & RUSSELL CROWE

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When cinema-goers first heard that a film was hitting screens in 2017 titled The Mummy, people instantly thought the franchise starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz and, yes, The Rock before he was Dwayne Johnson, was making a comeback. When the trailer and featurettes started arriving though, it was soon realised that, no, this wasn’t a reboot: this was the start of something very different.

People were a little confused at first – why were the likes of Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe starring in a monster movie?  but those fears were all put to rest when Universal announced that this was the start of a brand new Monster universe that has some big name stars appearing over the next few years. The first cab off the rank is The Mummy, which is directed by Alex Kurtzman (known as a producer on Star Trek and The Amazing Spider-Man) and sees Cruise and Crowe finally appear in a film together.

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When being interviewed about The Mummy, Cruise says it shouldn’t be a surprise that he is in a monster movie. “I want to see a monster movie now,” he laughs. “I only go for things that I… I love movies. I go to the theatres to watch films, you know I watch a movie a day and I am hungry as an audience to see a film like this. I want to be scared and I want to be entertained and I want it in a way that is thrilling and will put me on the edge of my seat. We have really been pushing the edges of storytelling, and this film is obviously going to have really great action, real thrills, real scares and wonderful kind of character humour that I love within it – a kind of dark humour that I want from this kind of film. It’s exciting when you get together to make a movie like this… you can feel it, it is massive. It’s a massive scale but there is also that sense of enjoyment of creating something and I love it. And I love this genre and this universe.”

…continued below…

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So how would Cruise describe his character to an audience before they watch the film? “Nick Martin is a thief!” he says, laughing loudly. “He is… he is basically stealing these old relics and then selling them on the black market for money. He works for the Army and uses his position in the Army to scout and go ahead and work the size of the black market and with his partner Chris Vail (Jake Johnson). He has no interest in history, he has no understanding of what he deals in and he gets caught up in this terrifying adventure.”

He is also full of praise for two of his co-stars: Sofia Boutella, who plays Ahmanet, and Russell Crowe, who plays the legendary character, Dr Jekyll. “Sofia is perfectly cast as the Mummy,” he says. “She brings a real exotic charm and exotic energy to the role, it is a brilliant performance from Sofia. Russell is a very powerful actor, he is a brilliant actor; and to have him play this character, I was excited when he said that he wanted to be part of it. See, I am very interested in him playing this character at the centre of the film. He’s playing Jekyll, and it was very exciting to watch him create it. Having the promise of that in the film and having that dynamic between the two of us and also with all the other cast.”

For Crowe, though while Cruise’s character is just a thief, Crowe, on the other hand, is playing a character that many instantly think goes hand-in-hand with evil – Dr Jekyll. “What we have with our Jekyll is that he already has something inside of him,” Crowe explains. “He has to work hard to keep that thing suppressed and I don’t think it is giving too much away to say that because he has the thing inside of him he has a very clear understanding of evil.”

 

Like Cruise, Crowe says he believes that people are going to be genuinely impressed with Boutella’s portrayal of the Mummy. “I think Sofia is going to be a revelation to people in this movie. Some of the stuff that she was doing physically is just amazing, what she can make her body do is just amazing. And she brings something very special, and the make-up design that they have done with her character is crazy, man.”

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Crowe says the film was further enhanced by the skills of director, Kurtzman. “Alex has such a deep passion for film,” he says. “That is the most infectious thing about him, you really realise that when you hang out with him. You see very early on that his heart is just in the right place so it just makes the whole experience a lot more fun when people are approaching with passion.”

One sequence that the trailer hints at that audiences are excited about is the fight sequence between Cruise and Crowe, and it seems both men enjoyed filming it. “We had to do a fight sequence in this film,” Crowe explains. “Right when we first started talking about it – because it wasn’t really fleshed out on the page – we just made a pact between us to try and really do something with it. There’s a whole bunch of things in there with it: there are some martial arts, there is some boxing, there is some wire work and there are even some rugby moves – one particular back-slam onto a desk that I thought will rattle theatres when you see it.”

The Mummy is in cinemas on June 8th through Universal.

Written by Dave Griffiths

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