Acclaimed Welsh actor Michael Sheen said the cinema of India, including movies by legendary Indian filmmakers Satyajit Ray and Mira Nair, have had a big influence on him.
“I would love to come and do something in India. It will be amazing. The films from India, the cinema of India has had such a big influence on me, watching Satyajit Ray, Mira Nair films. It is such an incredible country and culture and so I hope that I can come soon,” Sheen told PTI in an interview here.
Sheen stars in the sci-fi romance movie Passengers, which has Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence and Jurassic World star Chris Pratt in the lead roles.
Passengers, a Sony Pictures Entertainment film, will hit Indian theatres on January 6 in English, Hindi, Tamil andTelugu. The movie is about two strangers Jim and Aurora, played by Pratt and Lawrence, who are on a 120-year journey to another planet on a technologically-advanced “cruise-liner” style space ship when their hibernation pods wake them 90 years too early.
Jim and Aurora are forced to unravel the mystery behind the malfunction as the ship teeters on the brink of collapse, jeopardizing the lives of the several thousand passengers traveling from Earth on the spaceship to the distant planet for starting a new life. Sheen plays ‘Arthur’, an android bartender onboard the ship.
Sheen said playing the role of a robotic bartender was “physically quite uncomfortable” as he had to be strapped intoa machine and had a steel rod tied through his back to facilitate his robotic movements.
The actor said he had a great time working with Lawrence and Pratt, adding that “it was just such a laugh working” with them on the sets.
“They are great people, really funny and we all got along really well which is handy because it was just the three of us everyday for a long time,” he said.
On the way technology is impacting movie-making, Sheen said it is a “double-edged sword.”
“Technology, as it advances is supposed to make our lives easier and help us in all kinds of ways but at the same timetechnology is always threatening how much we are able to be useful and how much we can get involved in things,” he said adding that “so it starts to take away our sense of our own usefulness in some ways.”
Sheen said the technology in terms of how people watch films and the way stories are being told is “changing” all thetime.
“But ultimately it always comes back to what is the story. Is it a good story, is it a story that you connect to, does it fires up your imagination, makes you think. That is what I loved about this film as it seems to do all of this,” Sheen added.
He said while the film is about technology and he is a piece of technology in the film, “ultimately it all feeds back into the central story of what is it that humans need to be happy.
The movie says that it doesn’t matter what technology and material possessions one can have, “it is about connections to another human being and the ability to feel love for another human being,” he said.