- Title: USA: LEONARDO DiCAPRIO TAKES LEAD ROLE IN "THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK"
- Date: 28th February 1998
- Summary: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (FEBRUARY 28) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) GABRIEL BYRNE SAYING OF HIS SWORDPLAY IN THE FILM," WELL, I HAD TRAINED FOR SEVERAL YEARS AS A FENCER IN AMSTERDAM AND IN MILAN, BUT THEN, BUT IT WAS WITH BROADER SWORDS. I WORKED WITH THE OLD MEDIAEVAL SWORDS SO THIS, YOU KNOW, WHAT THEY CALL A RAPIER. I FOUND IT A LITTLE BIT MORE DIFFICULT TO WORK WITH THE RAPIER AS OPPOSED TO THE BROAD SWORD, BUT, BY AND LARGE, IT WASN'T LIKE A BIG STRETCH ONCE I, YOU KNOW, BECAUSE I HAD THAT EXPERIENCE BEHIND ME." (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) JEREMY IRONS SAYING OF A DAY ON THE SET, "GERARD HAS TO GET OFF HIS MOTORCYCLE AND GET HIS COSTUME ON AND THEN HE HAS TO DO HIS TELEPHONE CALLS FOR RUNNING HIS BUSINESS AND THEN IF WE'RE LUCKY, WE GET HIM ON THE SET AND THEN THE PHONE GOES DOWN AND HE GETS INTO CHARACTER. SO THAT'S GREAT. LEO WE HAVE TO GET OUT OF BED BECAUSE HE'S BEEN UP ALL NIGHT, SO HE'S SORT OF COMATOSE IN THE TRAILER. WE HAVE TO DRAG HIM INTO COSTUME AND GET HIM ON THE SET. GABRIEL HAS BEEN READING AND SMOKING A CIGAR AND MALKOVICH, OH HE'S BEEN STIRRING IT AROUND." (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) GERARD DEPARDIEU SAYING OF DUMAS' CLASSIC STORY, "I KNOW NOTHING BEFORE, I KNOW THE MUSKETEERS EXIST, I KNOW THE IRON MASK EXIST BUT, I READ THE SCRIPT, THAT'S ALL BECAUSE, I DON'T KNOW THE HISTORY, IF IT'S TRUE OR NOT, I JUST LOVE THE SCRIPT, I LOVED THE CAST."
- Reuters ID: LVA88FZ2ELXN7MY4RKWJR9Y3HADO
- Location: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES AND FILM LOCATIONS
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:01:29
- Story Text: Fresh from his success in James Cameron's "Titanic," Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the roles of both hero and villain in the latest film adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' classic novel "The Man in the Iron Mask".
The actor joined two of his co-stars -- Gabriel Byrne and John Malkovich -- for the film's world premiere in New York this Monday (March 2).
DiCaprio plays both the cruel French King Louis XIV and a prisoner held in an iron mask within the notorious Bastille prison for nearly a decade.
The film starts in 1660 as the population of France is starving.Louis XIII, the great King whose throne was served by the famous Three Musketeers, has died.He has been succeeded by his arrogant and cruel heir, Louis XIV.
To save the nation, the Musketeers must reunite and embark on their most dangerous mission so far -- to free the mysterious "Man in the Iron Mask" and unlock the secret of his destiny.
The three warriors are played by John Malkovich, Gerard Depardieu and Jeremy Irons.
Gabriel Byrne plays d'Artagnan, the only solider who still serves the King as Captain of the Musketeers.
Randall Wallace, who was nominated for an Oscar for writing Mel Gibson's Oscar-winning film "Braveheart," makes his directorial debut with "The Man in the Iron Mask." He also adapted the script from Dumas' classic novel about the legend of the Three Musketeers.
Alexandre Dumas was born in north-eastern France in 1802.The son of one of Napoleon's generals, he moved to Paris at the age of 21 and rose to fame as a playwright, literary figure and a star of the Romantic revolution.
His most famous works were published between 1844 and 1850, including the novels "The Three Musketeers," "Queen Margot" and "The Count of Monte Cristo".He was a prolific writer and by the end of his life, his complete works represented more than 300 volumes.
The majority of the film's 14-week shoot was spent on soundstages at the Studios d'Arpajon near Paris, where the production team built 15 different sets on eight of the studio's nine stages.The cast and crew also spent nearly five weeks on location in some of France's most beautiful castles.
More than 1400 costumes were used on the production and at least 70 had been designed and made especially for the film.Each principal actor had between five and seven diffferent costumes.
As well as going back in time to 17th century France, the actors faced the challenge of learning horse riding and swordfighting.DiCaprio in particular was new to both.
He also had to learn how to act like a king.An expert in etiquette was hired, at his request, to help him learn the finer points of regal behaviour.
"The Man in the Iron Mask" opens throughout the United States on March 13.It opens in Britain on March 20.
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