Fright of Fancy (10 September 1997)

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Fright of Fancy (10 September 1997)

Post  DebraRatt on Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:46 pm


Wednesday, 10 September 1997
Fright of Fancy
Jeremy Northam grew up watching horror, so Mimic appealed to him
By LOUIS B. HOBSON
Calgary Sun

NEW YORK -- For American audiences, there are two Jeremy Northams.

First there was the sexy, lethal Northam who terrorized Sandra Bullock
in The Net.

Then came the kindly, considerate Northam who wooed Gwyneth Paltrow in
Emma.

Now, somewhere between the two extremes, is the new Northam of Mimic,
the scientist who comforts Mira Sorvino while battling giant bugs bent
on destroying mankind.

"I grew up watching the old Hammer Horror fright films in Britain.
Dracula, Prince of Darkness was my favorite, so I have a lot of respect
for the horror genre," Northam says.

But he expects more than his fair share of ribbing for being in a film
with giant bugs.

"I'm not a fan of bugs in general. I had my moments with giant
cockroaches when I was doing some live theatre in Hong Kong. But worse
things have happened to me than sharing dressing rooms with cockroaches
or being upstaged on screen by giant, man-eating bugs."

Northam is referring to a production of Hamlet in England.

He was playing the small role of the foppish knight Osric but also
understudying Daniel Day-Lewis, who was playing Hamlet.

Without any warning one evening, Day-Lewis broke down early in the play
and could not continue. It has been speculated that Day-Lewis thought he
saw his own dead father in the guise of the ghost of Hamlet's father.

"I can't enlighten you on what Daniel saw or why he couldn't continue,
but I do know it was the most terrifying moment of my life."

It was already six months into the run of the play and Northam had
never been required to go on as Hamlet.

"I honestly thought they'd cancel the show before they'd have me go on.
Suddenly I heard an announcement that Jeremy Northam would continue in
the role of Hamlet.

"The saliva stopped running in my mouth and it got drier when Daniel's
dresser walked into my cubicle with all Daniel's costumes."

Northam was 24 in 1986 when he started acting.

"I come from an academic family. Both my parents are teachers, so I
went to college to study English.

"I started out by moving scenery for a local theatre company during a
summer break one year. I had so much fun and I envied the actors so much
that I thought I'd give it a try."

Northam had been acting on the British stage and British TV for 12
years when he got an offer to star in a Canadian film called Voices from
a Locked Room.

"While I was in Canada, I thought I'd check out the possibility of
getting a Los Angeles agent. I turned up at exactly the time they were
casting for The Net.

"The producers wanted an unknown Englishman to play the villain. There
I was in the proverbial right place at the right time."

Northam has already completed roles in The Misadventures of Margaret
with Brooke Shields and Parker Posey, The Tribe with Joely Richardson,
and Stephen Spielberg's Amistad.

The only time he can remember actually feeling star-struck was on the
set of Mimic when director Quentin Tarantino popped by to visit
girlfriend Mira Sorvino.

"I am a great fan of Quentin's. It's my dream to be in one of his
films. He's one of America's greatest directors.

"Quentin didn't offer any suggestions to anyone during his visit. He
was there not as a filmmaker but as Mira's boyfriend.

"Judging from his behavior, it's a role he's very proud of."
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DebraRatt

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