Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde and Jon Favreau talk Science Fiction and Westerns at the Cowboys and Aliens Press Conference
Cowboys And Aliens is the latest film from visionary director Jon Favreau, starring Daniel Craig as the mysterious Jake Lonergan who wakes up in the middle of the desert with no idea who he is or where he’s come from..the only clue is a strange looking bracelet shackled to his wrist!
Woodrow Dolarhyde played by Harrison Ford is a local cattle rancher with a score to settle with, but that is the least of his worries as the townsfolk of Absolution come face to face with an invasion of aliens who destroy their town and snatch up its residents . Accompanied by Ella, the strange and beautiful out of towner its up to this rag tag crew to rescue their loved ones and defeat the aliens.
It was a fairly overcast day in London, but one can forgive the weather when spending time in the company of Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde and their director and producer/writer, Jon Favreau and Roberto Orci respectively for the Cowboys And Aliens Press Conference.
Chaired by Empire's very own Chris Hewitt who kicked off precedings, The Fan Carpet are delighted to bring you coverage of the full press conference!
Which side of this movie appealed to you more, the Cowboy side or the Alien side?
Jon Favreau: Well I grew up watching Science Fiction, so I was first exposed to the Western through Science Fiction. I grew up with Star Wars, I'm part of the generation and then of course Lucas drew a lot of inspiration from Kurosawa, Kurosawa drew a lot of inspiration from John Ford and Spielberg is a huge John Ford fan and I think as you learn more about directing you start to appreciate the Western more and this is a wonderful opportunity to actually get to do a large scale Western which is fallen out of favour for many years. So I think we all gathered around the notion of doing a Western together and and that seemed like a really unique opportunity.
Daniel Craig: I can't answer as intelligently as that. Probably the Western, although I'm a huge Science Fiction fan. The Western, i think I've always wanted to play a Cowboy. That's the bottom line.
Olivia Wilde: I would say the Western as well because it's something that I never thought that I would have the chance to be a part of, I felt that maybe the genre had died for the most part and, I certainly didn’t think there would be a female role in the Western, that was this interesting and this tough that I would have the chance to do, so I'd say the western was what got me.
Harrison Ford: To be fair, I don’t really care what genre is. I'm in it for the money [laughter].
No I was playing a part of the Western side of the story, that really is what attracted me, but I was you know, in particular it was the character, not the genre. The character is what I was attracted to, the opportunity to work with all these talented people was the other main draw for me.
Roberto Orci: I like the idea of a mix, I'm a fan of both, but we all thought the challenge and the fun was to maybe do something you haven’t seen before and mixing them very nakedly and very openly.
A couple of questions for Miss Wilde. First of all Western question followed by a Science Fiction question. On the Western front, could you give us more detail about the creativeness of doing the stunt when the Aliens lasso you, how you persuaded Mr. Favreau to let you do it and exactly what was involved because I can't believe it was easy, and secondly on the Aliens front I'm told you’re a Trekkie fan and indeed you have a deep desire to play Captain Kirk.
Olivia Wilde: Obviously Bob, producer of Trek over here! I was starting with the stunt, that was supposed to be done by my great stunt double and we started off with me on a mechanical horse which was the horse they used on seabiscuit but it looked way too slow for our movie, so I ended up getting on the real horse and Jon let me do it and I didn’t convince him, our stunt coordinator convinced him. He said he was confident I could pull it off which made me very proud and I felt safe, Daniel was riding next to me and I galloped through two 80 foot cranes, we galloped through, and then at one point a bungee cord attached to harness from my waist yanked me back 40 feet into the air and the danger was that I would get stuck in the stirrups so the trick was to not get my feet stuck and get ripped in half and that was the challenge and it was a lot of fun, it was amazing to be floating above the set and have this unusual perspective and there was our crew looking like little ants and these incredible deserts and mountains and canyons around us and it just made me realise how ambitious it was to lug these giant machines and cameras out into the middle of nowhere to tell a story, it was just really beautiful. To answer your question about Trek yeah, my family grew up, well I grew up watching Star Trek with my family and my sister was a Trekkie and so you know there have been great female characters in Trek over the years, and still are. I think playing, there was Captain Janeway of course she did it well and she's got that voice that I could never compete with. But I would love to play more powerful women in Science Fiction, i think what Sigourney did for women in Science Fiction is just incredible and I think she sort of set the standard and I love the genre, I'd love to do more of it.
Roberto Orci: Would you mind if we paint you green?
Olivia Wilde: You can do anything, that's fine.
Daniel Craig: For Star Trek?
Roberto Orci: For anything.
Olivia Wilde: For the next press conference.
Jon Favreau: What is kiss? Every episode of Star Trek I saw there was some green women going..’what is kiss Captain Kirk, what is this kiss word..lemme show ya!’
COWBOYS AND ALIENS HITS CINEMAS ON AUGUST 17