James Marsden: A romantic hotshot who can sing
Westworld star James Marsden has only ever met well-known actress Anna Kendrick briefly, whom he described as a “delightful woman with a great sense of humour”.
But he made enough of an impression for her to tell a Buzzfeed reader looking for self-improvement tips, “You should imagine that you have the spirit of Oprah, and the face of James Marsden, and just project that in your daily life.”
Asked what he makes of this advice, the 43-year-old American laughed and told Yahoo Singapore wryly, “I don’t know about the James Marsden part, but I agree with the Oprah part.”
The father of three is in town to promote HBO’s science fiction drama Westworld, about a futuristic theme park where visitors come to play out their darkest fantasies. Marsden was speaking to Yahoo Singapore in a one-on-one interview on Wednesday (30 November).
Marsden plays the gunslinger Teddy Flood, doomed to die a thousand deaths as a robot host. His romance with fellow host Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) forms the emotional heart of the show.
With a complicated storyline infused with philosophical themes such as the nature of existence, Marsden said there was one theme in Westworld that drew him to the show.
“I think some humans come to Westworld to divulge their darker side. One of the big themes was: who are we when no one’s looking? Who are we when we don’t have consequences?
“As a person who tries to be a good man, I ask myself that question a lot.”
Marsden has also learned much from watching Oscar-winner Anthony Hopkins, who plays the mysterious Doctor Robert Ford. “He can go from being the most warm, kind, generous beautifully spirited man, and they say ‘Action’, and he turns into a man who’s just void of soul and spirit, just dark.”
Marsden’s million-dollar smile and bluer-than-blue eyes have served him well in iconic movies such as Enchanted (2007) and the X-Men franchise.
But his role in 2004’s The Notebook, a romantic drama that has gained a cult following, has struck a particular chord with some very invested fans. Marsden played the man who comes between star-crossed lovers Noah (Ryan Gosling) and Allie (Rachel McAdams).
“Some people take that film as, not a film, it really happened,” said Marsden with a smile, who sees it as a testament to the staying power of the movie.
“Some people have come up to me and said, ‘Oh, you’re the jerk that was getting in the way of Allie and Noah. You almost made the movie (not) work.’”
No singing, please
Marsden has also sung extensively on the small and big screens, such as the musical Hairspray (2007) and the TV series Ally McBeal (2001-2002).
Given that Westworld has made extensive use of contemporary music, will Marsden be utilising his impressive pipes as Teddy any time soon? Not as long as showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are in charge.
“I think we’re forbidden. I don’t know that that’s part of Jonah’s vision,” explained Marsden, who added that the producers want to keep the characters “dignified”.
But as Marsden told reporters earlier, he has great faith in Nolan and Joy. “There’s nothing that happens in this show that’s by accident. Everything is there, meticulously planned, and with great precision.”
The final episode of Westworld premieres at the same time as the U.S. on Monday, 5 December, at 10am, with a same day primetime encore at 9pm, exclusively on HBO (StarHub TV Ch 601).
Source: Yahoo Singapore