In an interview with Yahoo! Movies, Lee Pace talked about how impressionable he is when he’s playing a given role.
I mean, I’ve got a little bit of Ned [from Pushing Daisies] in me* - I’m awkward. You play a character that long and it draws something out in you - but after doing Guardians of the Galaxy I’m now much more evil than I ever thought I would be. Super, super evil.
Yahoo! then says he “[laughs]” but I’m going to assume they mean “[evil laughs.]”
I’ve never played a character like Ronan before. I like a bombastic villain, and that’s what I had a good time doing. It was the most fun playing this character… I was stronger than I’ve ever been, doing all this training, and the character is just a beast. He’s just so evil. At first when I started working on him, I was thinking, “We’ve seen so many great performances of villains by very talented actors in superhero movies. I’ve got to find something relatable about this guy.” But the more I played him, the more fun I had with just being evil. [Laughs] Evil, evil, evil. He’s an alien - there’s no kind of human rules. There’s nothing to relate to, actually. It just became, like, the more dark I could conceive of him, the more I understood him.
Is anyone else concerned that he says this character is so purely evil that there’s NOTHING to relate to, and then IN THE VERY NEXT SENTENCE says he started to relate to him?
The interviewer, in a potential super dick move, then brought up the “question mark” on Pace’s IMDb. Pace admits, “Yeah, the thing that I judged myself the harshest for was a kids’ movie that I did.” But the interviewer keeps pushing until Pace breaks.
Marmaduke! Marmaduke! I did Marmaduke. At the time I gave myself a real hard time for it, but I’m so grateful… whenever kids come up to me, the parents are like, “We watched it everyday for a month.” You don’t get that on Soldiers Girl. A little bit different. [Laughs] But… oh god please don’t take this the wrong way, I have to be grateful for the work that I get. And I am grateful!
He then goes into detail about how Marmaduke was way more evil than Ronan.
What I was really kind of annoyed with myself about was I’d just finished Pushing Daisies and I was really sad that that was over. And I know that I wasn’t responsible for it being over, but I was the lead of that show, and when it falls apart, you do feel a little bit of like, “Aww… I must’ve missed it. Maybe I’m responsible for why people didn’t watch. Maybe if I was in tabloids more, people would be more interested.” These are the kind of things that go through your head.
And so I felt like I was lazily doing a cheap version of Ned. I was doing that “Like me!” dance that a lot of actors do. It’s easy to get caught up in that. “Do you like me? Do you like me like this? What if I do that? What if I wear this?” At the time I was thinking, “I’ve got to take it because I might not be able to do this forever.” You know? But you take it and you learn. I learned a lot on that movie. You always learn something if you pay attention.
I think we can all do a happy dance for this sudden abundance of Lee Pace in our lives. Between Guardians of the Galaxy and Halt and Catch Fire, everyone wins. Lee can calm down, and we get more of this:
*Vivian Kane would like a little Ned in her.
(I said it, I had to, and I’M NOT SORRY!)