Set Visit: Underworld 2 (2/2)

Hey guys! Here is PART 2 of the JoBlo.com/AITH UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION set visit. On the menu? Part 2 of the press conference, straight from the set...right into your eye! You can read PART 1 of of my SET VISIT by clicking HERE. Now give it up for Len Wiseman, Kate Beckinsale and Scott Speedman as they give us more thick juice about the potent beverage that UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION seems like it's going to be!


This question is for Scott. In this film you get to be hydride out more than you did in the first. Can you share a little bit about the makeup process and also what it feels like when you’re fighting?

SS: The makeup process from the first one, I really enjoyed it. This one it's a little more intricate. I don't know -- we won't say too much -- but it's a little more detailed so it's a little longer. But for whatever reason I really like that process. The guys that I get to work with are amazing and they’re very nice and they are like artists. They work really hard. So that part of it is really fun. And in terms of just physically, I love that you kind of get to -- it sounds kind of corny -- but you can kind of-- disappear into the whole makeup thing, and I love that. And I love jumping around in it and being kind of crazy…

KB: Plus you look hot.

SS: Yeah, I look, I look pretty good in it, so…

LW: He becomes a different person when he’s on set with the makeup. You realize that.

SS: Yeah, I do. Yeah, well yeah.

KB: It's the mask.

SS: It's the mask. But it is really fun and they've been letting me do a lot more of the stunts and stuff like that. So I love that.

Len, have you found that Vancouver has provided the right locations for everything? Is it just like in your head?

LW: Yes and no. We built a lot, because it's still trying to bring across a European flavor in Vancouver. So a lot of the movie takes place in the mountains that was easier. But there was a lot of stuff that was quite difficult. We go to an ancient monastery. There's a whole medieval village. There's a lot of stuff that was easier to find in Eastern Europe. There was a balance; what kind of movie I could get here versus there. I mean UNDERWORLD it was great to go and just have all that production value for free just ‘because it's there and didn't have to build it. So we’ve found a lot and we’ve built a lot.

It’s also nice that people speak English.

LW: I can't even tell you. Yeah.

To Scott and Kate, it seems like in this movie there’ll be something different between your characters. I’m also sensing a sort of a Tracy/Hepburn thing with fangs and hair.

LW: I haven’t heard that one.

KB: Not really, no, not quite that. (LAUGHS)

SS: I don’t think it’s that.

KB: In the first movie they obviously met up and they were in very different positions. He was human and she was vampire and she was doing a lot of sort of telling him, bringing him up to speed with what was happening and he was just generally sort of confused. And by the time they start this movie, obviously he's no longer just human and they just got a little bit more time to get to know each other. So they're much more partners than they were before.

SS: Yeah, there's just more of a connection too.

Are there any further thoughts on the relationship dynamic there as well?

LW: I was, was intending that the first film ended with the relationship beginning. I know a lot of people expected this ROMEO AND JULIET sort of aspect and it wasn't necessarily that. There was always the story between Lucian and his love that was the parallel to the more traditional ROMEO AND JULIET story. And the Michael and Selene – Selene hated humans from the get-go, so that relationship was really not given a chance to start until the film was kind of closing. So I, I felt I had done my job if at the end of the movie people would speculate will there be a relationship? What will that relationship be like? Will it build? And so now we get into what happens to that relationship.

This one’s for you, Len. The first film had the very distinct blue look. How did you approach this more brand film?

LW: The blue look actually was what I wanted and actually to be honest a lot of the really blue look came when we went through the coloring process the release print was a bit more blue and almost black and white blue than I had intended, just because I was pushing the look so far. We had an end result that wasn't entirely what I was going for. The DVD is closer because I was able to retime it and recolor it. So this film has a bit more color in it… different environments. We've got the cold blue UNDERWORLD feel, but then open up into some different looks, just-- also just to do something different and just have a different variety of environments.

KB: There's a lot more scope in the story for doing different things in this one.

LW: Yeah it opens up. UNDERWORLD was also very urban and kind of claustrophobic, and this film opens up. It's on the run. It's outdoors. It's in the mountains. And I didn't want to do the same film over again.

Do the flashback scenes take on a different look?

LW: There are genetic memories in this film that will have the look of the ones in the first film. And then there are other flashbacks. When we go into the medieval era and all that there's a whole different design for that as well.

Question for Len. In terms of the title of the film, UNDERWORLD EVOLUTION, what kind of evolution do we see in terms of story and character?

KB: It's really a working title anyway.

LW: It, it is, it is a working title, yeah.

Oh, it is?

LW: If it ends up being evolution, that was something that came about through evolution of the characters and what happens actually to Selene's character as well. There’s an evolution with her character and the story with the elders as well. That’s all I want to say without giving too much up.

A lot of people saw the first movie and liked it a lot. The premise of vampires versus werewolves is a cool premise. But some people were disappointed with the first movie. What about the second movie do you think will get them back in to try and get back into the premise?

LW: I think the second movie will impress a lot of people and it'll upset the same amount of people.

KB: Everyone's always disappointed in some way.

LW: Some people will love it. Other people will hate it and that will be the case for any movie anybody ever makes.

What about this movie will people that didn’t like the first film like it? What will grab them?

LW: I mean probably him. (POINTING TO SCOTT) Yeah. (LAUGHS) I mean in terms of what will grab them? It's a funner movie...

KB: Well, can I just say something? I do think that the way that the trailer happened was very impressive and I think people were expecting a movie that had a much bigger budget than ours did. And I think that the expectation from the trailer was to see something that could compete with THE MATRIX or any other, you know, eighty to a hundred million-dollar movies. It was made for nineteen/twenty million dollars. So I think there may have been a slight like “Ooh, there's not quite as much action as I would have expected of a movie of this scale,” and it wasn't a movie of that scale. So possibly it'll be a little bit more realistic with people sort of maybe getting what they think they're going to get this time.

LW: We got a lot of that and felt a lot of that because the ad campaign and the trailer were presented no different than – in my mind -- no different than a DAREDEVIL or whatever was out at that time. And I was actually really shocked at the….

KB: You were actually upset.

LW: Yeah, it was like a bus goes by with an UNDERWORLD billboard and I was impressed about how large they were presenting my small film. So there was a bit of that reaction. So now we are probably closer to...

KB: ...to reflect the movie this time.

LW: Exactly.

How did your personal relationship change the nature of your working relationship with one another?

KB: I'm not scared of him now as I was.

LW: That's a shame. Yeah, actually there's no, there’s no intimidation factor unfortunately. To be honest it's, it’s fantastic because there's a lot of stuff that you're kind of nervous about that you can't really discuss with your actress.

KB: Could you hold your stomach in please. Which you can say to your wife.

LW: Yeah. So there's there’s a lot of things like that, it's more comfortable and you can have discussions about certain things where you're not nervous about how they're going to take your comment. And we are on the same page so often that it helps just to cut through a lot of the kind of tip-toeing around that a director has to do.

KB: (OVER) It means, we also we get to be in the same country. It's quite difficult conducting a relationship in this business where you're separated for months and months. And so that we were both able to work and were able to actually sleep in the same bed is a miraculous treat. So that's really fun. We haven't had any big fights or anything like that, so the crew still likes us


LW: I know. Amazing.

To Scott. Compare and contrast the two experiences: UNDERWORLD EVOLUTION and KITCHEN PARTY.

SS: KITCHEN PARTY was like my first movie, one of my first jobs I ever did. So I was twenty-one and it's still one of my favorite jobs I've ever done. I think this is the fourth movie I've filmed in Vancouver. It's become obviously one of my favorite places to film. But it’s totally different. I mean this is obviously a big action movie and that was a small little teen movie.

LW: KITCHEN PARTY. We’re going to go rent it now.

Rent it tonight.

SS: It's a pretty good little movie.

Question for whoever wants to grab this one first. What kind of new challenges are you getting being that this is a sequel and it’s a much bigger film now? What are the new challenges that you’re having?

KB: We didn't have a big press junket last time.

LW: Yeah, I was going to say questions like that to start. The fact that people know about the franchise now. There's a lot of anticipation now that there wasn't before. So the pressure. There's pressure to satisfy what the fans are looking for.

So do you feel you have a little less creative control this time around?

LW: No, no. I have more.

You guys are now veterans of kicking ass on-screen. What was it like … for those who hadn’t done an action film before? Scott?

KB: He's a natural. He is really good at it.

LW: He is a complete natural, yeah.

So does it feel like play now?

SS: Yeah. I don't know for whatever reasons I've been having way more fun too.

KB: I was paralyzed with terror the first time. I just felt every single time I did anything I was going to just get busted and all the stunt guys would be like “Oh, the girl, you know.” Um, I mean I really did. And also because I had much more of a dance background and it was gentle reminders of “You're not in PETER PAN right now. Look tough, look tough.”

That kind of seems to have just absorbed now. So I still get nervous and think “Oh, God, I'm going to blow it and ruin it,” and yet I can actually throw a punch which still surprises me. So it is more fun. I remember the first time I shot the gun on the set. I felt immediately afterwards like going into the corner and quietly sob, because it was quite a shock. Whereas now it’s crossbows and God knows what else.

LW: Just the process of going back and stepping back into it. It's a bit like going back to...

KB: Summer camp.

LW: -- to high school or summer camp, it really is. Just when we were doing the tests and got the suit back on and everybody's back out there, I thought was a really good feeling of like you’re back with kind of like your high school friends.

KB: Well it is. It is.

This question is for Kate. Could you compare the differences in the directing styles in the action sequences between this film and VAN HELSING?

KB: Wow. I like Stephen very much, you know, but obviously he's not my husband, so our rapport is different. I mean he's terribly nice and very upbeat and very sweet and everything, but obviously on a sort of every level, Len and I are very well matched in terms of he can sort of go “Can just do that?” and I'll go, “Oh, yes,” and nobody else probably knows what we're talking about. It’s different...

LW: We, we’ve become an old couple very quick.

KB: (LAUGHS) And I had a lot more training with the stunt men on this movie. I had sort of two or three months of it before UNDERWORLD ONE, so I knew those people very well by the time we started. There's a kind of a little Zen guru and little acolyte relationship that develops and you do start thinking “Stuntmen are the coolest people ever in the world,” because you’re so busy trying to sort of get to their kind of Olympic gymnast level, and they just seem so brilliantly talented.

On VAN HELSING I literally showed up and they were saying “Well, you're doing a flip today, you know,” so I think they felt I’d had my training by then, so it was just a very different kind of vibe really. This time, you know, we've got the same people. I'd hate to kind of do Stephen or any of his team a disservice, but these are kind of my friends. So it's just a different, you know, it's a different set-up.

Is there less wirework on this one?

KB: Yeah. Not because we failed on the first one. (LAUGHS)

LW: A bit less and also there was a lot of backlash, it’s been a bit overplayed. So I just wanted to cut back on the level of wirework stuff. I mean we have to use a lot of wires for the creatures when they walk around but in terms of actual flips and kind of Hong Kong type stuff we really toned back on that kind of wire work.

And that's that on that! If you haven't read PART 1 of my UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION set report than click here and feel ashamed.

I'd like to thank the sweet Amy Conley from Sony and the fly webmasters that hung out with me for making this set visit a fly one.

For those who care, here's a pic of me on the ship set that I got to take right before hitting the airport.

Till the next time mofos!




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