I think one of the things that’s most compelling about “The Tourist” is the fact that your character, The Man, is obviously figuring out who he is along with the viewers. Going into the project, you had read the script, so you knew what was going to happen. How do you disconnect from that existing knowledge to get into the head space needed to play your character?
Crazy. It’s the total opposite of how you work, usually. It was a headf***, to be quite honest with you. You’re doing all that work, usually, to form all of that information and to come up with that backstory and to understand how they react and why they react the way they do to certain scenarios. Suddenly, even though you know what’s coming, you’re like, “Don’t let that in. Don’t let that in.” You have to make sure it is as sincere as possible that you’re hearing this information for the first time. Really weird way to work.
I loved it. It had a purity to it that I managed to find with it, that I’d never really experienced before. [It was] definitely a different way of working because it felt sincere. I’ve played a character with amnesia before, where you’re questioning whether he is telling the truth or not, or he’s manipulating the situation. This was very pure. I know that he [The Man] doesn’t know who he is. I know that he is f***ing terrified as a result of that. Getting to play that was amazing for me.