July 4, 2017

Malekith’s Number Two Man: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Malekith’s Number Two Man: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Tony Tellado: Hi How are you ?

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje: Very Good

Tony Tellado: Congratulations on Thor Dark World. It looks really epic.

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje: Yes it is. I think they really pushed the bar in this one.Obviously, I’m a new addition to this second installment.But being a fan and just being a part of it,you read the script, they talk to you about it the vision, but seeing it is truly, I think a spectacle.It really has pushed the bar like special effects and the creation of these surreal super real worlds.It’s an amazing film.

Tony Tellado: As I understand it you’re one of the Dark Elves.

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje: I am. I am the dark in the elf my friend.

We both laugh

Tony Tellado: So that involves some kind of make-up.

 Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje: You would be right.First of all I play Algrim. Algrim The Strong who is really the right hand man of Malekith. So we’re the two, I supposed you’d say villains in the movie.Algrim is his right hand man and by any means necessary he will do anything for the cause and sacrifice his own life for the mission.It took three hours to apply the make-up. Blond wig, eyes, pointed ears and these wonderful costumes created by Wendy Partridge.And then two hours to suit up as Kurse whom Algrim transforms into in order to complete the mission of the dark elves.So often, I’d have to play the two characters in the same day which was five hours in make-up and maybe two hours to get out of it. So it was a challenge but ultimately when you see the end result it was a rewarding challenge.

Tony Tellado: And working with Christopher Eccleston how develop a chemistry ? Did you get a chance to meet before hand ?

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje: I had worked with Chris before on GI Joe so that certainly helped with the bonding.We spent some time outside of work just because of the type of actors that we are in perfecting the language, the elvish.And also to really establish a genuine bond and to intercede who these guys and creatures were and what their organic relationship would be.We did spend some hours out of hours creating the language and movement actually. How would these creatures move ? We were intent on not making them quintessential baddies.

Tony Tellado: Speaking of the language was it actually created or did you get the chance to add some words here and there ?

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje: Marvel is very specific about the world it creates.They know that world inside out.And that’s the great thing about working with them. Often as an actor you are, you’re hired to bring a lot of those tools to the project but here was one project where you could sit back and be fed all of the information and then just process it.And there go out there and act it.They came up with the language.They were very specific,We had experts telling us phonetically how it was pronounced. It was based on Finnish and it was very complex.

Tony Tellado: Cool

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje: I think it’s a great installment to this addition because it adds an added spooky dimension.As I have said in other interviews, often when we see aliens and creatures mystically they always seem to speak English.(laughs) So it was nice to finally hear them speak their own tongue.It really makes you invest in the fact that they are otherworldly.

Tony Tellado: Let’s speak about Mr Hemsworth. I can’t see anybody else playing Thor. He owns this guy.

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje: Yeah. I think in this one…I really enjoyed the first one, Kenneth Branagh’s one. I just think that he shines so much. He’s so stoic in his performance.I love Chris. I love working with him.You’re right. I don’t think you could get anybody to play Thor better.I think that’s one of Marvel’s talents as well in how meticulous they are in their casting process.That’s part of the success in telling the story in casting the right people for the part.I think that Chris down to the tee is Thor.

Tony Tellado:  The first one almost had a Shakespearean quality thanks to Mr Branagh’s great direction. This one looks sort of like a mythological Lord Of The Rings type film.It seems that the universe is fleshed out a lot more in this one.

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje: I agree with you.We still have the thespian kind of themes in it especially with Loki, his brother and even with the elves arc, how they were scorned. And how their world was destroyed by the Asgardians.It’s all in there. I think that one of the things that Alan Taylor, the director who I worked with on Oz, one of the things that he brings is the humor because he very much is an actor’s director.But obviously also working on Game Of Thrones, he also brings. He canvases the world but still makes it human.You still get the texture,those human relationships even in that otherworldly setting.It’s so much more epic in scope this installment.Right from going to shoot in Iceland.It actually looks like it’s been CGI’d but it is real.The big throw down between Kurse and Thor is shot in Iceland in minus thirty degrees.It was a great project.

Tony Tellado:  I have to ask you have you had a chance to step back and look back at Mr Eko from Lost ?

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje: I haven’t would be the answer to that.(laughs). I’m just too busy working.I think when I do sit down and take a breath.Obviously there is a lot of love for the character and the show.Wherever I go, I’m always remind of the impact. I was able to create Mr Eko. And it’s always a warming feeling.It’s a great feeling that you connected with a global audience with such a character.People are really upset that he’s no longer around.But you know that’s great.In answer to your question, I haven’t had time to take it all in.I’m still on the road just creating new characters.But there will be that moment.

Tony Tellado: I do want to mention that you’re going to be in Pompeii.

[caption id="attachment_33022" align="alignleft" width="300"]  Global Premiere for "Marvel's Thor: The Dark World" at Odeon Leicester Square on October 22, 2013 in London, England. Left to right Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Chris Hemsworth, Jonathan Howard, Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgard, Natalie Portman, Christopher Eccleston, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba.[/caption]Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje: I’m in Pompeii and shooting Annie.I’m very excited about Pompeii.You talked about Mr. Eko who was an epic character on TV.And now we have Atticus who I play. He is the champion gladiator of Pompeii. And he is epic in scale as Mr Eko was but on film.I trained very hard for this film, lost thirty pounds.I’m wearing things that women only should be wearing but it is one of those things that you want to do as an actor.From Ben Hur, I grew up watching those films and Spartacus.And just the boy in you relishes the fact that you check that box off and say, “I did it, I got in the arena.”I threw down. I was the gladiator.When you can play those roles when you’re fit enough, young enough, and really there’s a lot of texture.He’s humorous. He’s spiritual like Mr Eko but he is vicious.He attacks guys twice the size of himself.His whole Mo is that he has to kill before he is killed.He has one more fight to win it. And of course who would that fight have to be with ? The guy that he’s in prison with non other than Kit Harrington of A Game Of Thrones.

Tony Tellado: There you go.

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje: You’re going to love this one.Cool action packed.Sexy.Beefcake.Delicious film.And then we have Annie.Give you a giggle after all that beating and punching.Annie is shooting all over New York.It’s going to be a big promo for New York.It’s great.Great cast. Quvezhane’s (Wallis who is Annie) is great..Jaime’s (Foxx) great .It’s a great project to be involved with.It shows a different side to my acting reportie I would say.

Tony Tellado:  Thanks so much for your time. I’m looking forward to see what you all do with Annie.

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje: Me too. Thanks so much for talking, Man

Tony Tellado: It was my pleasure.

Special thanks Marvel Studios and Sunshine Sachs