Jude Law ‘in a good place’ at 42
LOS ANGELES—“I woke up in a good mood,” said Jude Law, dapper in a taupe suit by Rick Owens, in a chat at the Diamond Lounge of the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. “Life’s alright, life’s treating me well. I’m enjoying my work very much. I’m very happy.”
Punctuating that last sentence with a laugh, the good-looking 42-year-old added, “I’m excited about the projects I have coming out. And it’s not too busy, which means that you also get a little downtime to do the stuff that you do day to day. So, yeah, I’m in a good place.”
The British actor recalled the first time he was in Vegas. He was in town for CinemaCon, a convention of movie theater owners graced by stars and studios touting their coming films.
“I’m intrigued about the young man I was,” he said. “It’s funny coming here. The first time I came here was when CinemaCon was still called ShoWest. It was about 18 years ago. I remember flying in just wide-eyed and bushy tailed, standing on the same stage as Harrison Ford, John Travolta and Jon Voight.
While Jude is still very much an in-demand actor, he enjoys that his work schedule isn’t crazy. He explained, “It’s always pleasant when you have a bit of downtime rather than working back to back, because your head starts to spin—and you never spend any time at home.”
The actor shared what he enjoys doing when he’s away from the sets and cameras. “I have a room in my house full of bits and pieces of art. I like drawing and painting. I’m always keen to try and learn an instrument, and I still haven’t. I like climbing, reading and going to the movies. I love being a dad.”
Jude stars as Bradley Fine, a CIA agent, in writer-director Paul Feig’s action-comedy, “Spy.” Melissa McCarthy, as a CIA analyst, Rose Byrne and Jason Statham also headline the movie, which riffs on the James Bond/spy movie genre.
The London native admitted that as a young lad, he pretended to be 007 and other secret-agent characters. “Sure,” he said. “It’s a religion in the UK—James Bond. The reason I became an actor was because I wanted to be all those things. I was very much a young boy who would run around in make-believe environments.”
“Paul’s passion for different types of films is extraordinary,” Jude said of his director. “He loves the action genre. He’s seen every one of Jason Statham’s films. Jason was like, ‘Not even I have seen every one of my films.’”
“The opening scene took the best part of 10 (filming) days,” Jude recounted. He quipped, “I went through a lot of pairs of trousers.”
Jude stressed that while “Spy” may be a James Bond spoof, the cast played it straight during filming. “Paul, our wonderful director, was clear from the get-go and in all the work we did in prep that the tone of the film is that we weren’t spoofing. We were playing it for real. The humor came out of the incongruity of the situations.
“My function was, I had to set up the reality and sophistication of this world and, in the end, be the joke of the piece. I just followed the script. I followed the ‘map’ but, tonally, the choice was really just to play it for real.”
He pointed out that he’s good at laughing at himself. “I’m an actor—I have to be,” Jude emphasized with his disarming smile.
In the movie, Jude’s suave 007 is oblivious to the fact that Melissa’s Susan Cooper has a crush on him. In real life, Jude volunteered that he had his own share of secret crushes.
“Gosh, I’m like everyone,” he remarked with a grin. “There’s always a childhood crush you have on someone who ignores you.”
Jude goes from a Pinot Noir—drinking American agent to a cigarette-smoking Italian-American Pope in Paul Sorrentino’s TV miniseries, “The Young Pope.” Jude is excited about working with the director of the Oscar-winning “The Great Beauty.”
The Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated thespian revealed details about the eight-episode series: “The idea is about a new Pope who is elected. We all know that the Pope is elected through a private ballot. The man who becomes Pope is an American in his late 40s. He arrives at the Vatican and is having a crisis of belief himself. He has extreme and bizarre opinions and starts to change the structure of the Vatican. And he loves to smoke.”
He plays Vortigern in Guy Ritchie’s “Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur.” Asked if he will be in all of the films (this will be a series of films), Jude cracked, “I’m not sure yet. If I behave…”
He’s done filming Michael Grandage’s “Genius,” where he portrays novelist Thomas Wolfe.
The actor who broke through with his performance in “The Talented Mr. Ripley” said that he still has “many dreams, because there are always directors you haven’t worked with and young directors coming up. The older you get, you suddenly have this young talent coming up behind you who are taking cinema or storytelling in a whole new direction. It’s an ever-evolving medium, so I’m still as curious and ambitious.”
Acting continues to excite him. “It’s a technique or craft you can only get better at, the more you do it. You get more comfortable in your process or approach to the job. You want to apply it to new and great things. So, I’m thrilled to be doing what I do. I’m developing more projects through my company.”
As for his other plans, he replied, “I’m excited to one day take what I do into another direction and maybe direct and produce.”
Are the older three of his five kids already showing signs of following in his footsteps? Jude answered, “The young Laws are budding astrologists, scientists or mathematicians—but, they may surprise me!”
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