Steven Mackintosh

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    • Steven: (Explaining his character Tony in The Escapist) I think you see him as an out-and-out psycho because there are lots of elements to his character that you're not seeing. It's fair to say that this is a tough guy, who's obviously severely damaged, and we don't really get to know what the reasons are for that. But we see him as this psychotic, manipulating character, and that's the purpose that he serves within the story. But I'm sure there are redeeming features there somewhere, although you might have to dig around to find them. And I would imagine that Rizza and Tony have a very troubled past and they've both responded to it in their own ways.

    • Steven: (Comparing The Escapist, in which he co-stars with Brian Cox and Damian Lewis, to other movies who aren't linear timewise) The puzzle quality that it has is something that I've certainly never seen before. Messing with time is not a new thing in film, but using it in this context was really brave and unusual. The danger with doing time jumps is that it can leave you rather unsatisfied – unless you have a fantastic payoff. But fortunately, The Escapist pays off beautifully. Brian's story is very sad and that's what stays with you. You're not just left thinking it's a 'tricksy' film where time jumps around, it actually has real meaning.

    • Steven: (Saying what he was hoping the reaction to be for the movie Sugarhouse before it was released) When a film's being made for such a small amount of money you do start to wonder whether audiences will compare it to something that costs £100 million. But I think people will be able to see a raw energy in the acting that really works. I also think there's a touching element to the story at the end that I think people come away with.

    • Steven: (On improvising while filming Shiny Shiny Bright New Hole In My Heart a TV movie about shopping addiction) It's an interesting way of working because you feel you're delving inside yourself that bit further. Things can pop out that you just didn't expect. I like that spontaneity and I like being able to surprise myself and feel like something's possible that I hadn't imagined before.

    • Steven: (Speaking of the script for Care a TV movie dealing with abused children in the foster care system) I thought that it was the most mindblowing thing I had come across in my life. Very shocking, very powerful. It's just a very human story that deals with the horrors that occur everyday in this country, but which no one wants to talk about.

    • Steven: (Commenting on the quality of the script for Good, a movie in which he plays a SS in pre-war Berlin) it was a script that had been around for a while but I was so pleased to be involved because it was one of the best scripts I've ever read. It's a really intelligent look at a period in time that's been covered a lot in films – but it brings a new dimension to it.

    • Steven: (On wearing Victorian costumes) Those sort of clothes dictate the way you act, particularly the tight jackets. They force you to stand up straight. Naturally I'm a bit of a slouch. My posture's really bad, actually.

    • Steven: (On how he went about loosing weight for his role in The Escapist) I was careful about doing it. I didn't want to do anything dangerous. But what I did worked for the role and gave me that haunted, wasted look the character definitely would have had. I also have very short, cropped hair.

    • Steven: (On what attracted him to the role of J in The Criminal) When you read a script, how it affects you is always a big thing. I always loved the opening scene; it had a big impact on me, this arresting speech about dance music. And then it went straight into this scene with this girl--but you didn't quite know how it was gonna go. Then suddenly it became this dark, plot-heavy, conspiracy thriller, and I liked it. The thing is, for me, a lot of my work has been very diverse but also very heavily character-driven. Which is fantastic, but what was nice about this is that, from an actor's point of view, there was always something very simple about it that was quite appealing--the idea of just being thrown into a situation and led by the forces around you. I thought it would be immense fun to do. There was some nice dialogue and I liked the intricacies of the plot.

    • Steven (On preferring a character to be very different from his real self) I'm not what you call a method actor, I like to play characters far removed from myself - characters who are evil and passionate and shrouded in mystery. I'm not comfortable with that 'extension of myself' kind of acting. Some people play themselves brilliantly, but I like to go through a transformation. What I look for is to make a journey. I like having accents and costumes.

    • Steven: (On not wanting his daughter to go to theater school like him) I was scared at just how much she loved being in the film, but even if Martha begged me I would not let her share that fate. Fortunately, I didn't turn out to be precocious and self-obsessed, but I could have. So she's getting a normal education. For now, I'm making the rules.

    • Steven (On being a family man) I guess doting dad is not the picture people have of me, but actually my family is the most important thing in my life.

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