Actor Laurence Fishburne on what to expect from his upcoming film, Passengers
KNOWN best for playing Morpheus in The Matrix Trilogy, playing complex characters come easy to Laurence Fishburne. Besides keeping busy with his renditions of Shakespearean classics at the Kennedy Center Honors Gala hosted by US President Barack Obama, the 55-year-old actor and playwright will also be seen with his Matrix costar Keanu Reeves for the action-thriller John Wick: Chapter 2. He is also set to star alongside Daniel Radcliffe in Beasts of Burden, where he plays a drug cartel handler. Currently promoting his upcoming film, Passengers, a romantic science fiction thriller, with Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, the actor speaks about the film and his character, Chief Gus Mancuso.
What is Passengers about?
The film traces an almost hundred-year journey from Earth to a new planet. People are asleep for most of the journey and wake up eighty-odd years later to populate this new world. But things start going wrong, and the movie traces those events.
What is your character like in the movie?
I play a spacer who has spent a lifetime traveling through space. Having made close to five or six voyages to different planets, he has no real attachment to Earth. In the movie, he’s a crew chief, so he has access to certain things the others wouldn’t have access to as passengers. So, he sort of helps them to acclimate to the environment of this crazy ship that’s on a course that can’t turn back.
How was it like to work with Morten Tyldum, the director?
I think the thing that was most important between Morten and myself was the fact that he was the one that said to me first that Gus is the adult, he’s the father figure in this piece. That was sort of a really good anchor for me to have in terms of finding out who the character is and how to play it.
How was the experience of working on the movie?
The elegance of the ship is one thing. It’s super sophisticated. We got to play in clean, modern and beautifully designed environments. I am sure that’s going to add to the quality of isolation in the film. I also really enjoyed working with both Jennifer (Lawrence), Chris (Pratt) and Michael (Sheen). The latter’s character, Arthur, is a kind of an anomaly, being half human-half android. They all are really some of the finest actors to work with. Period.
Passengers is scheduled to release on January 6.
— Team Indulge