- Title: USA: Steve Martin takes on Inspector Clouseau once more in "Pink Panther 2"
- Date: 23rd January 2009
- Summary: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (JANUARY 22, 2009) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTOR STEVE MARTIN, SAYING: "Definitely it is, but I think ours is different enough, it's got a little different approach that we're not really going head to head, I don't really feel like I'm going head to head with Peter Sellers, and we sort of got through the first one and now I'm very comfortable with it, I really love performing the role."
- Reuters ID: LVA6OPCWAC6QT2FVSCBSQ2WUIC6S
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:00:21
- Story Text: Comic actor Steve Martin takes another turn as Inspector Jacques Clouseau in the sequel "Pink Panther 2," based off the popular Blake Edwards film franchise that began in the 1960s. Although the lead character has been played by several different actors over the years, including Sir Roger Moore, Alan Arkin, and Roberto Benini, the most famous incarnation remains that of Peter Sellers, the original star of the film series.
The extreme popularity of Sellers' Clouseau made playing the gaffe-prone French detective a particularly daunting task for Martin, although he had plenty of practice with the role in 2006's "The Pink Panther," which the actor calls a "re-imagining" of the 1963 film of the same name.
"I think ours is different enough," says Martin.
"I don't really feel like I'm going head to head with Peter Sellers, and we sort of got through the first one and now I'm very comfortable with it, I really love performing the role."
Known for his gifted physical comedy, Sellers brought the character to life with an overdone, phony French accent and outrageous stunts. For Martin, who grew up watching the "Pink Panther" films and once met Peter Sellers, playing Clouseau gave him the chance to showase his talents at a tender age.
"It's very hard to come up with something where you can do physical comedy, and especially with my age, because it's harder, it doesn't look as good on older people, and I think that this is just perfect because actually the character is so young at heart," says Martin.
Aside from giving audiences the chance to see another "Pink Panther" film and hear new varations of the memorable Henry Mancini musical theme, a huge draw of this version is the assembling of all-star cast that makes up the "International dream team" of detectives gathered to solve the case of the missing Pink Panther diamond. Joining Martin on-screen are fellow Americans Lily Tomlin and Andy Garcia, French actor Jean Reno, Brits Alfred Molina, Emily Mortimer, Jeremy Irons and John Cleese, Bollywood film star Aishwarya Rai.
Jean Reno reprises his role as Clouseau's police partner Gilbert Ponton in the film, and was grateful that he had the chance to work with such a talented cast.
"when you have good people," says Reno, "they know how to play, they play with you, they have the scene without any shock or any discussion, they understand because they are professionals, like John Cleese, for me it was like a dream to have the 'Faulty Towers' onstage, I love that guy also. It's luck and happiness."
Martin, whose career kicked off in the 1970s with his appearances on sketch comedy show "Saturday Night Live," believes that the humor in the film is improved by the variety and quality of the actors involved.
Although it stars comic legends like Tomlin and Cleese, the majority of the stars in "Panther" are serious film actors.
"I really believe that it's important to have serious actors with comedians because it makes the comedian come out a little more front, and the world that's presented seems very real," says Martin.
"You can't have six comedians, there'd be clashing, it's just a theory of mine."
"The Pink Panther" opens in the United States on February 6, 2009.
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