I recently got the chance to talk to Peter Brooke about his role in ‘The Dinosaur Project’. Here, Peter talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set and what is coming up for him in 2012…
Hey Peter. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘The Dinosaur Project’.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
It’s about an expedition deep into the Congo to investigate sightings of “Mkole Mbembe”, the local Loch Ness-type monster.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play Charlie Rutherford, the “right hand man” and fellow cryptozoologist of Jonathan Marchant who leads the expedition. As the situation grows increasingly worse, Charlie and Jonathan lock horns about whether the team should head back to safety or follow the amazing dinosaur discoveries. Charlie wants to plunge on ahead.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
When I auditioned in London, they told me they had already assembled the rest of the cast, but were still looking for Charlie. After hearing about Sid’s – (Sid Bennett, writer and director) ideas on how he envisioned the movie, I wanted “in”….
How would you say this film is different and unique?
On so many levels….but primarily, it’s because it’s shot from the perspective of the handheld cameras that the expedition team and accompanying camera crew have. This brings the audience along on the expedition in a very first-hand way! This “cinema verite” style is not new, but works fantastically with this kind of adventure. AND when the incredible dinosaurs start showing themselves, the perspective is quite harrowing.
The film stars Natasha Loring, Matt Kane, your good self, Richard Dillane and Stephen Jennings – with Sid Bennett onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
Amazing cast and crew……! We were in some fairly remote locations shooting, with everyone having to “muck in” and they did so…beautifully. We spent many days on boats, and one of them was in and out of icy water in a vast dark cave in an almost lightless gorge. In between takes, I’d lie back in the rowboat, looking up into near-complete darkness of the back of the cave, and hear what must have been thousands of bats squeaking away……! That stayed in my dreams for a while.
Let’s talk a bit about you Peter. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
My parents had a love of theatre and were always bringing me as a kid. I got to see such a variety of shows and concerts. I remember being eight years old and sitting four rows back from Marcel Marceau for 2 hours! The man was (of course) silent for this time, but he made us laugh, jump, sigh….he was riveting. He was intimate and epic all in one, and I thought: I want to do that!
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in the industry?
Same as for ANY career: you have to love what you’re doing with every fiber of your being….or, really what’s the point?
You’ve been in a number of well-known films and TV projects – which actors/actresses have been your favourites to work with and why? Any good stories?
Gosh, too many to mention! I will say, though, that I have loved working in Great Britain the last few years. Generally speaking, the casts and crews are so down-to-earth, self-effacing and no BS…!
What is currently on your I-Pod right now?
Tom Waits, Parliament, Earth, Wind and Fire, Leonard Cohen, Frank Zappa, Amy Winehouse…..to name a few…..!
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
Gore Vidal, Albert Einstein and Ghengis Khan: what a conversation THAT would be…….!
On your off-days, how do you like to kick back and relax?
Both my sons are very active, so it’s great to go out with them wherever that is : theatre, museums, swimming, dinosaur hunting……
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
I’ve just shot a film ‘Trained’ which will be showing at Cannes, in which I play Leonard, a magician in 1900’s London who is losing audiences when he discovers a paranormal ability that he tries to capitalise on with dramatic results! Also, I just shot ‘Wrong Turn 5’, a 20th Century Fox horror, playing Jason Carter, the doting husband of the film’s protagonist!
Thanks for the interview!