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Countdown to LXG: West and Townsend - rival heroes

"The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" made its premiere June 30that a press event. The movie was screened and the cast and crew were on hand tobe interviewed by the press.

Twentieth Century Fox has provide Comics2Film/CBR News readers with thisbrief Q & A session with actors Shane West and Stuart Townsend who play TomSawyer and Dorian Gray in the movie.

Stuart Townsend and Shane West play...

...Dorian Gray and...

...Tom Sawyer

Q: What are the characters that you guys play?

Shane West (SW): Tom Sawyer. Special Agent Sawyer.

Stuart Townsend (ST): I'm Dorian Gray.

Q: So we've got a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen here. What exactly makesthese characters extraordinary?

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ST: Well they each have different attributes. One's immortal. One's avampire. One's an invisible man but more than that they also all have these darkpasts that they're trying to escape from or forget. Unfortunately those pastscatch up with them and they have to do this mission in order to sort ofreconcile, in a way, with the past.

Q: How was The League brought together?

SW: Well, it was through M, right?

ST: [nods]

SW: ...actually.

ST: There's a character called M.

SW: The character called M brought these guys together because he knew howextraordinary these people were and if anybody was going to be able to save theworld from The Fantom, it's probably these characters.

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ST:  And what's happening is there's all these...these events arehappening in England and Germany, around the world...

SW: Around the world.

ST: ...that no one knows who's doing. So each country's blaming, youknow...Germany is blaming Britain. Britain's blaming Germany and suddenlythere's the threat of world war. These characters step in.

Q: When the audience goes to see this movie there going to notice that it's aperiod piece. It takes place in the 1800s. How do you think that the kids todayare going to be able to relate to what's going on with the movie.

SW: I think they're going to very much enjoy it, really. In the beginning,you know, with the tank...there's not supposed to be...there is a car. They'veadded specific things that I think the kids are going to identify with anywayand I think they're just gonna like these characters.

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ST: Yeah. There're certain elements they might miss, like the literaryelements, but it's the kind of film where it doesn't matter. It's a fantasticfilm. You don't have to get everything and if you can actually learn somethinglike, "Oh, you know Tom Sawyer was a literary character," and they goand read the book, that'll be great.

Q: Did you guys do any research to find out about your characters?

ST: Yeah. I read as much as I could and saw the old thirties or fortiesmovie, but essentially you still have to stick to the story you're telling.

Q: What was it like working on a film of this scope? The sets are justamazing and it just looks so spectacular.

SW: You kind of...you know every day you'd walk to set and there wassomething new and something always amazing. We knew...I knew in the end thatthis was gonna look really good but we just didn't know how it was gonna comeout.

ST: How the story would play...

SW: Yeah. Exactly, but the sets were insane and when we were done we justended up with a very cool looking project.

 ST: It's also like one of the few times where...I actually went to thecinema yesterday to see the move and I was really excited because I no ideareally what it was going to be like. There was all these effects that I'd neverseen.

SW: Right.

ST: There were these scenes that I wasn't in. Normally in a film you prettymuch know, OK I did the film. I sort of know what it's gonna be. In this Ididn't so it was almost like watching a film that I'm not in, and it was great!

Q: I know you guys had a little bit of a rivalry right from the start. Canyou talk about that a little?

ST: It's interesting because Dorian immediately takes a dislike to this fella...

SW: ..uh huh...

ST: ...and we don't know why, you know. We find out.

SW: Yeah. We find out later and Tom, I guess, is just trying to...He's beinga bit brash, I guess. He's an American, a silly American, and he's gonna try tofit in if he can, but he also knows that everybody's not necessarily in lovewith each other. So, he's not gonna really go out of his way to make anythingtoo better and they can sense a thing right off, at the beginning, in Dorian'slibrary, and I think they kind of probably enjoy each other's competition.

ST: It is tongue-in-cheek the whole movie anyway.

SW: Yeah. It's definitely tongue-in-cheek.

Q: But, Shane, your character gets to build a relationship with Sean'scharacter (Allan Quatermain). Can you talk about that a little bit?

SW: You know Sean's character, Allan Quatermain, has lost a son and, I guess,buried many wives. This character as Tom really comes in as this guy who musthave been very reminiscent of his son and he pretty much teaches him how to firea gun in a better way than he's been doing. Yeah...it's just a very cool,classic storyline, that I actually got to deal with Sean Connery, which is kindacool. 

"The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" opens in theaters on Friday.

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