- Title: BELGIUM: JOHN HURT SPEAKS ABOUT HIS ROLE AS 'THE COMMISSIONER'
- Date: 18th March 1997
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (MARCH 18-19, 1997) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) FILMING IN PROGRESS IN BRUSSELS RESTAURANT, SCENE BETWEEN JOHN HURT AND ROSANNA PASTOR AS EUROPEAN COMMISSIONERS JAMES MORTON AND HELENA NOGUENTES GEORGE SLUIZER DIRECTING HURT DESCRIBING CHARACTER, (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) SAYING HE STARTS OFF AS A CABINET MINISTER, HE HAS TO RESIGN, AS A GOLDEN HANDSHAKE HE IS GIVEN THE JOB OF COMMISSIONER IN BRUSSELS WHICH DOESN'T APPEAL TO HIM (AND IS) SEEN AS POLITICAL SUICIDE GEORGES SLUIZER DIRECTING HURT AND PASTOR ON SET IN RESTAURANT HURT IN RESTAURANT WITH AUTHOR STANLEY JOHNSON AND CO-PRODUCER CHRISTINA KALLAS JOHNSON (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) SAYING COMMISSIONERS WHOM I KNOW SAY THAT THERE ISN'T QUITE AS MUCH, FOR EXAMPLE, SEXUAL ACTIVITY INSIDE THE COLLEGE OF COMMISSIONERS AS I'VE PRESENTED IN THE BOOK, I MEAN THEY'RE NOT ALL BONKING THEMSELVES SILLY EVERY NIGHT AFTER NIGHT, BUT THAT'S LIFE ISN'T IT, I MEAN WHO AM I TO SAY WHAT IS AND ISN'T REAL LIFE, BUT I SUPPOSE FOR THE PURPOSES OF DRAMA AND INTEREST, YOU DO SPEED THINGS UP A BIT SLUIZER DIRECTING HURT AND PASTOR SLUIZER (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) SAYING THERE ARE LOVE STORIES IN ALL PLACES, THERE ARE THRILLERS IN ALL PLACES, I THINK IT IS THE QUALITY OF THE FILM ITSELF. IF THE sTORY'S GOOD AND THERE ARE SOME TWISTS HERE IN THIS. THERE'S A LOT OF PLAYING AROUND. IT'S A KIND OF MINI JAMES BOND BRUSSELS STYLE JOHN HURT (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) SAYING IT'S ONE OF THE THINGS THAT THE DIRECTOR, GEORGES SLUIZER, SAID TO US, HE SAID THE SECRET OF THIS IS BEING ABLE TO PLAY DISHONESTY HONESTLY... BUT IN FACT JAMES MORTON, THE CHARACTER IS PLAY, IS ESSENTIALLY AN HONEST MAN, IN SO FAR AS POLITICS WILL ENABLE HIM TO BE, THERE ARE AREAS OF COURSE WHICH SOME WOULD SAY ARE DISHONEST, SOME WOULD SAY ARE NECESSARY TO KEEP IN CAMERA IN ORDER TO MAKE THE JOB POSSIBLE FILMING IN PROGRESS
- Reuters ID: LVA8KBGVBUF6SMD6OGTCHIUR19NI
- Location: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- Country: Belgium
- Duration: 00:03:47
- Story Text: Passion, political intrique, ex-Nazi war criminals and assassination attempts.
Not perhaps the first things that spring to mind when you mention the European Commission, but these are some of the ingredients of "The Commissioner", a film starring John Hurt.
Hurt plays James Morton, a British MP who is shunted sideways to the European Commission, where he finds himself caught up in a web of intrique and romantically entangled with fellow-commissioner Helena Noguentes (Rosanna Pastor of "Land and Freedom").
The 15 million U.S. dollar film, the work of Berlin-based production company Metropolis Filmproduktion, is being shot in Britain, Belgium and Germany, with backing money coming from all three countries.
Hurt, who has about 60 major film roles behind him including Midnight Express, The Elephant Man and Rob Roy, says it was the script that first attracted him to "The Commissioner".
The film is an adaptation of a novel by British author Stanley Johnson , whose long-time association with the European institutions in Brussels gives it much of its detail - although Johnson is the first to admit that he may have bent reality to create a good yarn.
"Commissioners I know say there isn't quite as much sexual activity as I've presented in the book," said the author, who was taking advantage of the location work in Brussels to see how the adaptation was progressing.
Director George Sluizer, whose credits include the award-winning "Spoorlos" and its U.S. remake, "The Vanishing" is unfazed by suggestions that Brussels might not be renowned as a hotbed of glamour and intrigue.
"Brussels is boring in the papers", he said. "It doesn't have to be in the cinema".
It was Sluizer, Hurt confides, who told him the secret of playing the part of a politician: "Being able to play dishonesty, honestly." Co-producers Christina Kallas and Luciano Gloor say they hope "The Commissioner" will be ready in time for next year's Berlin or Cannes festivals.
( NOTE 2014 - Stanley Johnson - father of Boris Johnson - later London's mayor )
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- Embargoed:2nd April 1997 13:00
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