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

Comments

More

The Rock and Zac Efron star in the first trailer for Baywatch

Slow-mo running included (obviously)

by Joe Ellison
08 Dec 2016

Sling your eyes onto this new 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' teaser

Looks like Marvel Studios has another winner on its hands

by Chris Sayer
08 Dec 2016

Tom Hanks and Emma Watson explore the dark side of Silicon Valley

Imagine Tom Hanks in an extended episode of Black Mirror

by Emily Badiozzaman
07 Dec 2016

The ultimate movie trailer mashup of 2016 will rock your world

Featuring the best bits from 2016's greatest cinematic moments

by Tom Fordy
06 Dec 2016

These movie opening sequences have just been voted the greatest ever

Even better than Alan Partridge doing the Spy Who Loved Me

by Tom Fordy
06 Dec 2016

Bernardo Bertolucci vehemently denies Last Tango rape accusations

06 Dec 2016

The trailer for the new Mummy is here

Can Tom Cruise outact Brendan Fraser?

by Emily Badiozzaman
05 Dec 2016

Why Rocky is the most important film about masculinity ever made

As the film turns 40, here's why the boxing saga is so much more than an underdog story

by Tom Fordy
01 Dec 2016

We asked men to tell us which movies make them cry

...and then we definitively ranked their pain

by Sam Diss
30 Nov 2016

Watch newly released trailer for Star Wars: Rogue One

by Joe Ellison
28 Nov 2016