Cary Elwes Describes the Unconventional Casting Process for His Role in Tintin
08.17.10 by Ryan
As most actors can relate, being cast in a movie is an unusual process requiring meetings, screen tests, and studio decisions. Often times, casting comes down to previous working relationships, or an actor's agent championing him or her for the part. But sometimes casting comes down to persistence and dumb luck. That's certainly how Cary Elwes found himself in the role of a pilot in
Steven Spielberg's adaptation of The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, based on the comic book series by Belgian author and illustrator Hergé.
A big fan of the Tintin books ("I’ve got all the books at home," Elwes told Empire), Elwes wanted to be a part of the movie since he heard about it, and the way he landed a part is a cross between luck and good-natured stalking.
Steven Spielberg came down to the set of A Christmas Carol because he’s friends with Robert Zemeckis and was there while I was filming a scene — no pressure! He came over afterwards and said, "I’m shooting Tintin. It’s got Jamie Bell and Andy Serkis and it’s going to be a lot of fun." And I said, "[Stutters] Mr... Mr... Spielberg, I’m a really big fan of Tintin. I have to be in it." He did that Hollywood thing: "Yeah, yeah, we’ll see."
Then two weeks later my wife and I are in a grocery store, and my wife says, "Honey, that’s Steven Spielberg." I say there’s no way Spielberg is grocery shopping on his own; he has people to do that for him. But there he was, shopping for cereal by himself. So I went up to him and said, "Steven... er, Tintin?" [Laughs] He said, "You know what, I think I have one part left. Do you speak French?" and I said [adopts best Clouseau impression] "But of course!"
The Adventures of Tintin will be released in 3-D on December 23, 2011. Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Toby Jones also star, with Peter Jackson producing. The first teaser poster was finally released last week.