Dish Diva : Welcome to MSN Live!
Dish Diva : We have a great show tonight!
Dish Diva : Our first guest is Jason Isaacs who
stars in the new film, also starring Mel Gibson, "The Patriot."
Dish Diva : Please help me welcome Jason Isaacs
to MSN Live!
Jason Isaacs : Hello everyone. Thank you for having me here!
Dish Diva : Let's get started!
Dish Diva : Jason, thanks for being our guest tonight
on MSN Live! It's great to have you here! Let's get started with the audience
Dish Diva : Sasha says: I haven't seen the film
yet. Can you tell us about your role as Capt. Tavington?
Jason Isaacs : Well he is a Colonel. If you called
him Captain, he would cut your head off. He is based on a real man, Colonel
Banastre Tarleton. I did an enormous amount of research on him. There is a whole
wealth of material available online. Some of the spooky parallels between he
and I is that we are both the 3rd son in a family from Liverpool. There were
certain biographical details that we appropriated. His dad died young and left
a huge debt. The mother packed him off to the colonies and I read all this stuff
and thought it was fantastic. He became a fantastic successful soldier and in
all these glorious battles. He had to make a name for himself. They said that
is great. Let's use it. Lots of biographical features are in the story. I knew
his whole back-story. Everyone describes him as an evil guy. He is a guy who
is determined to win. He is a very brave man. He was outnumbered 5 to 1.
Jason Isaacs : He is used to fight in a bizarre
fashion, they fired and charged and died. The Calvary charged in there early
and hacked people to pieces. They had bayonets and they had guns. By the time
he meets Mel's character he is rising up in the ranks. The real guy used to
carry around a map of the Carolinas. He also carried around a book on polygamy.
Then he meets Mel's character and Mel's character throws all my plans out of
whack. He won't meet me in an open field. He is with his family and he gets
right up my nose. I can't bear to see that harmony and peace. He hides in forests.
It was the first example of guerilla war. The British were slightly better equipped.
They would wear camouflage and the British thought it was terribly unmanly.
One the wonderful thing is that Roland let me show where the bullying comes
from. I go to my boss for approval. I get slapped down through the film and
that just fuels my rage. That is where it comes from. A little bit of a thank
you and it all would have been avoided. (laughs)
Jason Isaacs : People think Mel's character is
based on The Swamp Fox, but he was not based on the Swamp Fox. Whatever makes
the story best. Whatever works best. It is not a documentary.
Dish Diva : Anegleyes1 says: Has anything in
your personal experience prepared you for this role?
Jason Isaacs : Oh yeah, tons of it. I think (because
I) was always the bullied never the bully. There is a part of me that finds
great catharsis in being king for a day, command a whole army and whole villages
quake at my eyebrow twitch. It was cheap therapy. There is something in me that
rather enjoyed dominating because it is not something I ever do in my own life.
Jason Isaacs : Also I am an actor and this is all
pretend. Acting is a trick of the imagination. Anything around you helps. Put
on extraordinary plumage and everyone calls you sir or Colonel and they are
terrified of you and the countryside is spectatuclar and 99% of what you need
to imagine is done for you. When the writing is good it is like surfing the
wave. Luckily there wasn't any bad writing for me.
Dish Diva : Delirious says: Where did you shoot
Jason Isaacs : Carolinas. South Carolina. There
are ghosts there. It is where the battles took place. People lent us their land.
They could trace their lineage back to the Revolution. It was spectacular. I
am a city boy but every morning it was awe inspiring and the fall was just wonderful
with the trees turning and the mists and the glades and rivers were just beautiful.
Dish Diva : Fanofmel says: What was it like
working with Mel Gibson?
Jason Isaacs : The biggest tribute I can pay him
is that he is just a wonderful actor. In the first scene I terrify him at his
house. Really you are only as powerful as the other person in the film makes
you. Mel is always in the moment. He was terrified. I have an enormous amount
of respect for him. He has an ability to be in the moment and full of rage or
pain or grief and he has instant access. He is just very very good at his job.
He doesn't need the ego boasting. He is also very very funny. He likes to keep
people relaxed he laughs at other people's bad jokes. He keeps everything in
a feeling of free play.
Jason Isaacs : Roland and Dean are very careful
to create an atmosphere of creativity with random human elements. When you feel
completely relaxed the arbitrary ticks of human nature just happen and that
has a lot to do with Mel and with Dean. He is very self-deprecating. Why do
people work when they have so much money? He is fabulous at it and he had a
big heart. If someone had a bad back he massages them. He is about as humble
as you could ever hope to be. I came away thinking it is possible to be that
successful and have your nerve endings open which I never would have thought
Dish Diva : Katydid says: You studied law. Any
chance of going back to it or are you sticking with acting? Also, what did your
parents think when you quit law school to become an actor?
Jason Isaacs : I was lucky. My other brother studied
law and was unhappy. They had seen me in dozens of plays and they already had
a doctor and a lawyer and now had someone in the arts as well. The first play
I was naked covered in chicken blood then they saw me as a male prostitute who
got castrated with a cheese wire at the end. I think they were just happy got
a job where I wore clothes.
Dish Diva : UKCraze says: Jason, you've done
British TV. Would you ever go back to the small screen?
Jason Isaacs : Oh yeah. It is really hard to find
anything that is exciting. I did a play in a 70-seat theatre in London where
it was wonderful. It is great when all elements come together.
Dish Diva : Badboy says: Being that you are
from England, could you relate to "The Patriot's" freedom storyline?
Jason Isaacs : Oh well you know when this was going
on in the 1700's my family was fighting off rapes from the Cossacks. I identified
with the Calvary on both sides. To stand opposite each other on open fields
was carnage everywhere and it was mostly neighbor against neighbor. The causes
of the Revolution were confusing. I identified with the feeling of sacrifices
and feeling of the bravery with the people involved.
Dish Diva : Genius_Mark says: Jason, do you
know if any of your ancestors fought in the Revolution?
Jason Isaacs : My ancestors were somewhere fighting
off the Cossacks and desperate to get out of Russia and Poland. I haven't traced
that far back.
Dish Diva : Daphne says: Did you keep anything
from the set as a memento?
Jason Isaacs : I couldn't keep my boots which was
a shame. They were handmade. They measured every toe and heel and sole. I didn't
get my bear fur hat because everything goes into storage but now I will ask
for my hat. That is what I would like.
Dish Diva : Patriot99 says: Maybe you can help
me. I have always wondered what they use for blood in movies. Can you tell me?
Jason Isaacs : Yeah, it is a special mixture. There
are secret recipes. The standard stuff is never dark enough. In England it is
called Kensington Gore. Don't ask me why.
Dish Diva : TVFan says: Famous actress or actor
you would like to work with?
Jason Isaacs : We all have fantasies about Deniro
and Pacino. I had my expectations dashed before and been amazed by people who
are sensational. There are people who I love but are scene stealers. I wouldn't
mind working with Mel again. I asked him to do Macbeth with me but he has that
huge family and he can't really ship them off to England.
Dish Diva : Pinktoes says: What are your next
Jason Isaacs : I just wrapped "Sweet November"
with Keanu Reeves in which I play a drag queen advertising copywriter and it
was a fantastic antidote. I did a play about the situation with the police in
Belfast. I was in San Francisco and had a scream playing a screamer. I had to
learn to pull my pantyhose on with false nails and how to use a corset and how
to eat lunch without smudging lipstick and how to run in high heels. I have
a new respect for the dressier sisters amongst us.
Dish Diva : Sham says: Do you have a favorite
scene in "The Patriot"?
Jason Isaacs : Yeah I do, the scene where I go
to Tom and tell him I can do what need to be done but he had to do something
in return. The best acting is when you are saying one thing but mean something
different. He was humiliated by Mel's character. I also adore the fighting and
slow motion stuff because we are all big kids.
Dish Diva : Melrulez says: Who was the prankster
on the set?
Jason Isaacs : There wasn't one. No matter how
funny you tried to be you were always upstaged by the horses going to the bathroom.
Mel has the reputation but, we are all pranksters. I pulled out my camera and
went to pull out my musket. It is a lie that a tense set makes a good movie.
Roland and Dean realized that the feeling of creativity was great.
Dish Diva : Sounds like a great experience. Jason, thanks so much for joining us this evening. We'll see you
Jason Isaacs : I thank everybody for coming in
to meet me. I find the whole notion of people wanting to meet me wonderful and
I think it is good to be self-conscious. I hope you enjoy the film. Goodnight.
Dish Diva : Thanks for joining us tonight!
Dish Diva : That was Jason Isaacs who stars in
the new Mel Gibson film, "The Patriot."