Jared Harris and Jude Law Discuss Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
09.09.11 by Ryan
The upcoming sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows has a few months before its December release, which perhaps explains why the movie's promotional materials are being released at such a slow trickle. Last month, Warner Bros. revealed three photos from the movie that showed Sherlock (Robert Downey Jr.) and Dr. Watson (Jude Law) in various states of repose, while a month earlier, the first trailer showed off a great deal of action.
Working on the sequel was easy, according to Law, and not because there was no shortage of sitting. "Literally, it felt like there was no gap," Law recently told Philly.com. "We went into [the sequel] with a little more confidence and swagger. We were very proud of the last one, but when you pick up a canon like that, it's hard to know how the world will respond. And [audiences] were really enthusiastic, and appreciative."
While Law and Downey Jr. have returned to work with director Guy Ritchie, the new cast additions include Noomi Rapace (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) as a Gypsy named Sim and Jared Harris as Holmes' arch-nemesis Moriarty. Harris only briefly appeared in the trailer, but, while talking to MTV revealed that more about the infamous villain is on the way.
I can't give too much away. It's in keeping with the original version: It's a Guy Ritchie movie, so they haven't suddenly gone back and made a Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes. It's all in keeping with that. But I can't give too much away. Whatever stuff is in the story that they're trying to keep secret until the time comes along, my feeling is it's their secret to blow, and when they feel like blowing it, then I'm free to talk about stuff. That in particular, there are some elements of what you're asking that definitely point to things they've said they'll keep close to their chests until we get closer to [the release date].
Harris did say that most of his scenes are with Downey Jr., whom he describes as "very generous and attentive." Harris particularly appreciated that Downey Jr. "wants people around him to do their best work" since he had the dubious task of playing an well-recognized character, despite only appearing in two of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories (1883's The Final Problem and 1915's The Valley of Fear, for the record). Harris says playing the character was "similar to a monster movie."
It's similar to... a monster movie; the real thought of the monster movie is you don't reveal the whole shark until the very end of the story. You want to keep people guessing as much as you can, and not show too much, while throwing in a few red herrings and stuff like that. I have no idea, because I haven't seen it, how much it works. [Laughs] But you are very conscious about all that.
At the same time, it's a very different Sherlock Holmes film. It isn't a very traditional Sherlock Holmes story at all. It does maintain a truth to the spirit of the times and very much the idea of what we have of Sherlock Holmes and his stories as filtered through this Victorian ideal of how these people behaved and everything, but those were rough, rough, rough times. I wouldn't be surprised that if you went back in a time machine, you'd find that it's actually much closer to what Guy Ritchie is doing than what the Basil Rathbone ones were doing, where everyone's extremely polite with all their clothes pressed and everyone's clean all of the time. I would imagine that! I remember reading at school that Queen Victoria took a bath once every six months and that was considered outrageous, that she was very clean and she was overdoing it.
While it's too early for Harris to reveal whether he might be back for more in later sequels, Law revealed to Philly that he would be up for it.
It's not up to me, obviously, but I don't see why not. I love working with Robert and Guy and the whole team. I'm a big fan of the books, and there's obviously huge amounts of material to dip into and use and be inspired by, so we'll see. I always steal a line that Robert said: If everyone else is as enthusiastic and happy for us to carry on doing it, then we'll probably carry on doing it.