CULTURE

‘Charlie’s Angels’ — the sequel

Los Angeles – Some movies are meant to pass on a message while others simply exist to offer audiences an enjoyable two hours. Charlie’s Angels, making a comeback with their sequel adventure «Full Throttle» (the film has already topped the US box office, while local screenings began last Friday), might not be heading for the Oscars but aim to make their public laugh with beautiful leading ladies (Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu) and over-the-top action scenes. Following on the year 2000’s «Charlie’s Angels,» the first blockbuster hit which grossed $264 million, approval for the sequel was swift. This time around, the girls are called on to solve the mystery surrounding the eradication of all information on those in US witness protection programs. Their opponent is Demi Moore. Directing both films was 33-year-old McG, an American director with much experience in video clips and advertising. Acting nervously in the interview, McG answered questions while standing and spoke extensively about the film. «Where are your questions? Which is your favorite scene? Did you enjoy the nude scene? I had a difficult time getting them to agree,» said the director, catching his breath. «I wanted to make a movie destined for all audience groups. A dance scene may remind some of ‘Singing in the Rain,’ while another might be reminiscent of ‘Cape Fear,’ films that they have enjoyed in the past. If I have done a good job, the film will have elements to please a 10-year-old and someone over 25.» To what do you attribute the first movie’s box-office success? If the movie was successful it’s up to you to say so, but I believe that both the first film and the sequel will be enjoyed thanks to the three gifted leading girls. They feel comfortable with each other when they are together, they play with each other’s hair and complement each other when one makes a suggestion. They make my job easier. What I had to do was film the great chemistry between them. Did you make any particular effort to allocate equal [screen] time to all three? Allocating time is a real challenge because «Charlie’s Angels» is like one heroine split into three. My job is to show how well they do their jobs. On top of that, there was Demi Moore, who was so beautiful and with a powerful presence as well as the entire cast of shining actors. It was hard to give everybody exactly the amount of time I wanted to, but I didn’t forget that the principal characters were three. Does the fact that you come to cinema from filming video clips make you feel uncomfortable in relation to other directors? Anyone who has shot as many video clips as I have has used up a great number of rolls of film. All of us involved in cinema watch the same movies and read the same books. I used video clips and advertisements as an opportunity to become familiar with film, to discover what I enjoy and what I don’t in order to become better at it. If I were a student at film school, I would be struggling to make a five-minute short. Would that be better? Do you feel spoiled by the size of the production? Of course I felt spoiled, because in these two movies I had the luxury of doing lots of things at the same time. One day we would be preparing an explosion scene, the next we were windsurfing, while another day we watched Bella Karoly playing the part of Lucy’s trainer. In the future, when I shoot films based on characters, I will certainly miss this kind of fun. There are a few scenes, such as the one with the motorcycle chase, that feature almost «cartoon-like» action. How did that idea come about? «Cartoon-like» is not the first word that comes to mind in order to describe the scene. In any case, we were looking for the most spectacular and exciting action and motorcycle racing was an obvious choice. What these athletes do is incredible. They jump high on heavy bikes and land as if nothing happened, over and over again. I was looking for a surreal reality and I think that it was fitting for «Charlie’s Angels,» because this is an enjoyable, explosive and sexy spectacle. It’s not a dark and deep movie about human emotions but rather a film designed as a celebration of life whose purpose is to please viewers. What are your plans now? If all goes well, I will direct a play in London. I was a stage actor myself, and I would like to further develop my relationship as a director with actors. The above interview was translated from the Greek text.