From big blockbusters to smaller-budget films and hit TV series, Ian McShane has done it all throughout his six-decade career in film, television and theater. During a recent interview with Vulture, the “American Gods” actor explained what is like to make a blockbuster.
“Oh God. God. It’s a just a … You can’t … You have to be patient, but they go on forever, you know, just go on forever. Johnny [Depp]’s a great guy, I love Johnny, he’s a great guy, but at one point when you’re shooting those [‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ movies], you go [rolls eyes],” the English actor said.
He continued, “I remember I was doing a movie with Ava Gardner, at Pinewood, back in 1969, called ‘Tam-Lin,’ directed by Roddy McDowall, and at the same time, Billy Wilder was shooting his ‘Sherlock Holmes’ movie there. He’d been there about 20 weeks. I was at the bar and there, outside, was Wilder, with a martini. I go, ‘Mr. Wilder, I just want to say, I’m a huge fan of your movies, and how’s it going?’ And he said, ‘Thank you. How’s it going? After 20 weeks, it’s like fucking after you cum.’ On those movies, that’s what it’ like. When you’re doing ‘Hercules,’ it’s, like, ‘Well, I’ve just cum, but I’ve gotta keep going.’ Because that’s what they’re like! They’re relentless, they’re machines, because they shoot so much material.”
The actor also spoke about his experience shooting 2012’s “Snow White and the Huntsman.” “I did a so-called artistic one called ‘Snow White [struggles to remember the rest of the title]. And the Huntsman.’ We were the best things in it, the dwarves, but by the time we had 6,000 prosthetics and our false asses put on, they could only shoot with us for three hours. So it was a bit sad,” he added.
McShane also described what was like filming Bryan Singer’s 2013 fairy tale “Jack The Giant Slayer.” “When you’ve got gold armor with a 50-foot train and a fancy beard, that’s the part. You don’t need to do any acting. It’s like, ‘Can I just cut all my lines and stand here? And sit on the horse?’ [Director] Bryan Singer used to say, ‘Can you give the lines to the guy behind you?’ and I said, ‘I can’t fucking turn my neck! I’m in gold armor, and every time I turn my gold armor, it squeaks! What the fuck is that?’ Half the time, you’re giggling in those shows; and half the time, you’re thinking of the very large paycheck at the end of the day. What does it do? Diminish you? No, I don’t think so. But you have to be prepared because it’s a completely different way of filming,” the actor said.