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I recently attending the press junket for and saw an advanced screening of The Legend of Tarzan. I was thrilled to be able to interview co-stars Alexander Skargard and Margot Robbie plus director David Yates.
After seeing the film, I was absolutely enthralled by the story. This is not Disney's Tarzan rather a look into the life of a man who lived in the wild, returned to society and then goes back to Africa to protect his land. This must see movie will be in theaters tomorrow and in fact, I plan to see it again with my family.
It has been years since the man once known as Tarzan (Skarsgård) left the jungles of Africa behind for a gentrified life as John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke, with his beloved wife, Jane (Robbie) at his side. Now, he has been invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, unaware that he is a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge, masterminded by the Belgian, Captain Leon Rom (Waltz). But those behind the murderous plot have no idea what they are about to unleash.
Best known for his role in HBO's True Blood, Alexander Skarsgard hails from Sweden and is the perfect poster guy for a handsome Tarzan (look at those abs).
I was curious about how he trained for his role and what his guidelines were for how he wanted his character to look. Here is what Skarsgard had to say:
In kind of different– well, phase one was to kind– I wanted to put on some weight. I was out here in L.A. wrapping up True Blood and so, for the first three months, it was just I ate a lot, and I lifted weights. The idea wasn't just to get big. But, I wanted to put on some weight, but also, it was important that, in the movie, he doesn't look like a bodybuilder.
It was important that when he returns to the jungle and he's back in his natural habitat, you have to feel that he is born and raised there, that it's natural. And it– so, it was–to have– to work on agility and be nimble and flexible. And so, once we got to London about six or seven weeks before starting the movie, they cut down the portions a lot to very small meals. And it was more cardio-based workout. And we got to work with– Wayne McGregor was an incredible choreographers– on movement stuff.
That was really fun. So, it was much more than just eating chicken breast and lifting weights because, again, I didn't want to get too big because then it– animals don't have muscles that don't serve a purpose because it's stupid in the wild because that means they need energy. And that means you have to hunt more. It's all about efficiency in Mother Nature, obviously. So, the idea behind it was everything has to be there for a reason.
Famous for her role in The Wolf of Wall Street, she is also in the upcoming Suicide Squad. Margot Robbie speaks in a lovely Australian accent and is the absolute epitome of a strong and confident woman.
When asked what made her choose the role of Jane, she said:
And I just think Adam Cozad, who wrote it, came up with such a brilliant take on it. I love the idea that it opens–it's a surprising introduction to these characters because you kind of expect the loincloth, the “Me Tarzan, you Jane” and instead, it's this very sophisticated couple in Victorian London. And I thought it was really interesting and very smart.
And kind of the trajectory of the story is the opposite of the old novels or the old movies. It's not, you know, the wild man, like, finding his way into civilization. It's someone who's already acclimated to that and then is forced to go back and kind of reconnect with his roots and with his inner animal in a way, which I thought was quite interesting to play.
Award winning director David Yates not only directed the last four Harry Potter films, he is in post-production on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. He was the perfect choice to direct The Legend of Tarzan because he brought a realness to the film that I wasn't quite expecting and had me gripping my seat until the end.
When asked what made him choose the script and how he chose who would play the roles, David Yates said:
The thing that really pulled me in was the fact that it was about two human beings that ultimately save each other. And I felt that was a very moving thing to have at the heart of it.
So, it was fundamentally about– Jane saves Tarzan at the beginning of the movie because she pulls him out of the jungle. She kind of civilizes him. She brings him back to England.
And she kind of saves him. And then the second half of the movie is really about him trying to save her. But, without each other, they're incomplete. You know, he's kind of strong and connected to the environment and loves animals and has these extraordinary abilities. But, without him, he can't really survive.
So, for me, it was about that relationship and making that resonate and feel moving and timeless, just finding chemistry between two actors that you really believe and that you want to stay with basically.
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I am WICKED excited for this movie. I think it looks awesome.
This movie looks great. I am looking forward to seeing it!
I have always loved Tarzan movies and stories. This one looks like it will be good.
I really appreciate that this movie seems to be more than just another retelling of the classic Tarzan story. It doesn’t hurt that Alexander Skargard is easy on the eyes either.
This movie seems like it will be fantastic. I loved Disney’s version of Tarzan and I am also a big Samuel L. Jackson fan. I can’t wait to see this movie!
This seems like it’s going to be a great movie. Pretty excited about seeing it though.
It’s really cool that Yates decided to take this Tarzan in a new direction. I think people are really going to like this movie.
I cant wait to see this. Bummed to be out of town when it comes out, but will see it soon for sure!
This looks very entertaining.
It appears to be a different spin-off of the traditional story and definitely worth checking out.
I am so excited about this movie. I can’t wait to see it. My hubby loves Tarzan’s story since he was a child.
I would watch this in a heartbeat! I love the cast and Margot Robbie’s a young and inspiring actress fitting for a Jane role! Tarzan has always deserved a magnificent and more serious interpretation and I highly believe this is it!
Oh I really want to see this! This looks like it’s going to be one of the best movies of the year!
I have been wanting to see this movie since I have seen a trailer for it months ago. I find it interesting all the work that most actors go through in order to play a role to the best of their ability.
I am also excited for this movie! It would be a fun date night for me and my husband!
This movie is going to be so good and I can’t wait to see it. I’m glad that it’s not like the original Tarzan movie because I’d like to see a different plot this time.
This looks like such an amazing movie. I love all the movies that are coming out this year.
My son wants to see this movie but am not sure. I kinda like the trailer though.
Oh! I’ve been waiting to see this movie! I’ve been a fan of Tarzan since I was a child.
I remember really enjoying a version of tarzan that came out when I was about 8 years old. I’ve heard the visuals on this new one are really impressive.
This movie looks like it is going to be so good! I cannot wait to see this!
I’ve seen the trailer and I really think it’s a great movie. I can’t wait to see this.
This movie looks absolutely amazing! I can’t wait to see the new Tarzan movie.
I haven’t been to the movies in so long. I didn’t know a new Tarzan movie was set to be released. Thanks for sharing. – Yolonda
This looks great! I hadn’t even heard of this until recently and I’m actually looking forward to checking it out if and when I can!
This sounds like a great movie. I will have to take my kids to see it. I bet they will enjoy it too. I don’t even remember watching the first one.
This looks like it will be a really entertaining movie. I can’t wait to see it!
I think changing the story instead of sticking to the usual Tarzan story is a smart move! I am interested as to what happens next after he and Jane returns to the jungle! It’s a movie I’ve been looking forward to.
I didn’t know that they came out with another Tarzan movie. It looks and sounds like a great movie from your description so I will have to schedule a movie date this month.
We are definitely going to watch Tarzan soon! Seen the trailer and I have no doubt it’s an awesome movie. Can’t wait!
I love the story of Tarzan and enjoyed the animated versions. I’m still torn on whether I will catch this in theaters or wait until it hits Redbox, though.
We have seen the Tarzan movies and we loved the story so we can’t wait to see this one!