'300' - Rodrigo Santoro - Angry Young God

Category: 300 News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: February 15, 2007 | Publication: Comics2Film | Author: Leslie Morgan
Publication/Article Link:http://www.comics2film.com/StoryFrame.php?f_id=24631

So what's it like to play a God? For Rodrigo Santoro who plays Xerxes in the upcoming film "300" based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller it's all about stepping on the little people. "It was a real trip, but I had to just go for it." Santoro is referring to a scene in the movie where Xerxes steps down from his enormous golden throne onto a set of stairs, which are actually real people.

For Santoro playing such a role could be challenging at times. The make-up process alone could take up to five hours each day, but that time assisted him in getting into character. "It was great. I had time to get into my character; it was all about me."

Did playing a God of Persia ever get to Santoro's head? "There was one day on set I had on this velvet blue cape, heavy chains around my neck and I kept stepping on my cape. It was just a joke, but I clapped my hands and said, 'Don't I have a helper?' This guy from the costume department said, 'I'm your helper.' It was great, but I felt bad."
Rodrigo Santoro as Xerxes in '300'

Rodrigo Santoro as Xerxes in '300'


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Santoro conducted a great deal of research in order to really dive into the role, but was quite familiar with "300" prior to ever auditioning and used the graphic novel as his ultimate guide. "I knew about it. I had a friend who was really into it. When I looked at '300' I thought wow, this would be a great movie."

However, Santoro almost didn't get the role. Producer Gianni Nunnari was familiar with Santoro's work and asked him to fly to Los Angeles for an audition, but the actor couldn't make it as he was filming another project. "I ended up sending a tape, but I had lost 35 pounds for another role so I was really really skinny. They decided to bet that in four months I could come back and become a giant."

Playing a "giant" one as evil as Xerxes can prove to be, "Tricky," as Santoro had to make sure he never became one dimensional in his performance. "I didn't want to play a caricature. I saw him as very insecure and weak past all of his strength. "

Working against a blue screen can also provide its own set of challenges, but Santoro was up to the test. "It's definitely a challenge. You just have blue walls and nothing around…you don't have any idea. The final result, it's amazing to see it. There are a couple of shots with myself and Gerard Butler. It was an intense process."

Santoro hopes audiences will enjoy the film and believes it will appeal to a wide spectrum of people, both fans and non fans of Frank Miller's graphic novels. "It's a great ride, really original."

What's next for someone who just played a God, a role on the hit ABC television series "Lost" for starters. "The "Lost" experience is very unique. I don't know my character's back-story…it's a completely different process." However, don't think you can get any spoilers here. "I can't say anything or I'd have to kill you. Stay tuned."

And stay tuned we will. "300" opens nationwide on March 9th and "Lost" can been seen Wednesday nights at 10pm on ABC.