Factory Magazine’s Exclusive Interview with Ben Barnes
From Factory Magazine: The film industry magazine celebrates its fifth birthday with the launch of a radical, online edition at www.factory-publishing.com packed with world-exclusives and free iPod downloads. Fans of the Narnia books and movies can download, completely free of charge, a world-first photoset and exclusive podcast interview with Ben Barnes, who stars as Prince Caspian in the upcoming Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.
Here are some highlights from the IPod download [warning, some parts of the interview are not suitable for young audiences].
Howard Webster: My name’s Howard Webster and I’m the editor of Factory magazine. I’d like to welcome you to this special interview with none other than Prince Caspian himself, aka Ben Barnes. Ben is widely regarded as one of the hottest young acting talents to come out of Britain today. He won the role after getting rave reviews for his performance in the History Boys in the West End of London. When I caught up with him in London recently, I asked him what it was like to receive the news that he was going to get a role that would change his life forever.
Ben Barnes: Well I was fast asleep cause I found out on American time in their afternoon, so I was called up by my agent and I just ran around the house screaming. I just got this huge adrenaline rush and was swearing and I would have been smashing things if there were things to smash, but it was just really overwhelming. It was the second time I’d heard that I’d got a big part. The first time I was in LA driving and I pulled over with a call saying I’d got two parts. I’d got a pilot that I’d been auditioned for and I got a part in Stardust the movie. I was so excited that five minutes later I crashed. I was so over excited that I got really lead foot in my right foot so I was speeding down Wilshire Boulevard and went straight into the back of another car.
HW: Oh my god! Did you explain it to them?
BB: Um, I did explain it to them, but they were not particularly sympathetic to me because almost everyone in L.A. is an actor and wants those jobs. And so they weren’t particularly happy, but it was only a little dent, so it was all right.
HW: Oh that’s not too bad. So for you, the casting process, because I heard it was a long, long time with all the key roles, but you mentioned it was quite short for you.
BB: For me yeah, it was very short. I know they had been looking for that part for over a year because they weren’t exactly sure what they were looking for. Whether they wanted Mexican, Spanish, or French, or what kind of race they were going to make this Telmarine race so they were just looking all over the world. So eventually somebody saw me in The History Boys and suggested I come in for a quick reading, which I did, and I did a screen test for the director the next week, and then I had the part a couple days later. So for me it was a real whirlwind, a couple weeks start to finish. And then within three and a half weeks of that I was in New Zealand on a horse…
HW: Galloping around!
BB: Well not galloping, it took me another two weeks to get the galloping.
HW: But you were telling me you had only ridden once.
BB: No, I mean, they asked if I could, I think I told them I was average or intermediate, but I think I had been on a horse once when I was eight and I thought that counted.
BB: And then I got there and I landed and before I even went to the production office and met with the other actors and Andrew Adamson the director, I was driven straight to the riding center. We needed somewhere that was kind of quiet so I thought ironic that I actually learned to ride the horse in the riding center for the disabled. I thought that was some sort of commentary for saying that I could ride better than I actually could but it was three in the afternoon.
HW: So you’re now awesome, you can charge through rivers…
BB: I can charge through rivers, I can run down ramps, do it holding flaming torches, jumping I haven’t quite mastered yet, but rearing up was yeah, by the end I really began to enjoy it.
HW: What was your horse called? Did you have one?
BB: I had a couple, and they were both sort of Spanish names like Fibrelon and things like that, but we got one — we didn’t have quite enough horse doubles because obviously when they get tired you have to switch them out — so we got a new horse and they let me name it, and I named it Destrier cause that’s the name of Caspian’s horse in the actual book so we named Destrier, so there’s now an official Destrier running around.
The direct link to the Ben Barnes page with exclusive downloads can be found here.
Special thanks to Michael Regina from Factory magazine for sending this in!