Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje on Pompeii

pompeii.jpg

Pompeii star Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje on the joy of making an explosive swords’n’sandals epic

“Myself and Kit Harington were sent to Gladiator Bootcamp four weeks prior to shooting. We did two hours of sword fighting, an hour’s weight-lifting and an hour’s cardio every day, and we were put on a 1,800-calorie diet.

Our director, Paul WS Anderson, was intent on having the actors not only look the part, but also be able to perform our own stunts.

We were trained in what I call ‘the alphabet of swordsmanship’, which was a very dull, monotonous drill every single morning. But when you put those things together with another fighter, it’s poetic, it looks beautiful. I had to take my hat off to Kit, because yes, I was very handy and there were a few fancy twirls, but he had two swords, and that requires a lot of skill.

His character was about the speed and primal ferocity, whereas mine was about technique and power. To see those two fighting styles clash is really interesting. We shot most of the dialogue scenes first, so as characters we were able to bond and get a feel for who they were, as opposed to jumping around and beating

each other up.

The sets were enormous. There were days when we shot in the amphitheatre – that’s the arena where the fights took place – when there were up to 400 extras in there, which really conjures the atmosphere – when they’re cheering you, you get into it.

When the volcano erupted, it would throw these boulders that were about five-miles wide, and then land on you indiscriminately. We had explosives on set, so when you see the boulders being thrown and landing close to us, an explosive would go off next to you. The most effective CGI was when I was running from the tsunami. There were two massive tanks of water over my head and a very distinct marker I had to hit in a certain time, because otherwise I was going to drown. That was real water being released every time I crossed the line with a baby in my hands. Remarkably, I found I could sprint extremely fast when they told me to. Plus the baby I was holding was the stuntman’s daughter.

This is the reason I got into movies. I grew up watching the epics – Spartacus, Ben Hur, Ten Commandments – and this is a homage to that. To be able to do this while I’m young and fit enough is a delight.”

Related

godzilla-image.jpg

Godzilla first look: 7 things we now know

xmen3.jpg

Final X-Men: Days of Future Past trailer

bryan-singer.jpg

Bryan Singer on X-Men: Days of Future Past

godzilla1.jpg

Gareth Edwards Talks Godzilla

guardians2.jpg

James Gunn on Guardians Of The Galaxy

tomorrow1.jpg

Doug Liman on Edge of Tomorrow

More

This new Netflix documentary is quickly becoming a must-watch

It's like nothing you've ever seen before

by Tom Victor
18 Aug 2017

Seth Rogen spills 'Superbad' secrets to celebrate its 10th birthday

Wait... you changed your name to... McLovin?

by Emily Reynolds
18 Aug 2017

The best ever uses of songs in movies - as chosen by Reddit

What's your pick?

by Gary Ogden
17 Aug 2017

Samuel L Jackson: "If Donald Trump broke into my house, I'd shoot him"

We chat to the movie legend about hentai, yachting and killing the President

by Andrew Dickens
16 Aug 2017

Six possible posters for the upcoming Nigel Farage movie

How and why is this actually happening?

by Gary Ogden
16 Aug 2017

The 25 scariest movies on Netflix right now

Stream if you dare

15 Aug 2017

Ryan Reynolds reveals the best prank he's ever pulled

It's classic dad joke stuff

by Tom Victor
14 Aug 2017

Why 'Undisputed' is the best action movie franchise you've never seen

As an action fan, you owe it yourself to watch these movies

by Gary Ogden
11 Aug 2017

Watch the terrifying trailer for Jennifer Lawrence's 'Mother!'

It's the creepy new film from the director of Black Swan

by Gary Ogden
08 Aug 2017

An animated Transformers movie is coming to cinemas

Will it be a return to form?

by Gary Ogden
07 Aug 2017