The Prisoner's Jamie Campbell Bower on New Moon, Harry Potter, and Gay PDAs
If there remains a fanboy or fangirl who doesn't know Jamie Campbell Bower, rest assured, the 20-year-old Brit is working on it. He first won the hearts of theater fans as Anthony in Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd, and he's got a trio of upcoming projects that come with strong, vocal audiences attached: The Twilight Saga: New Moon, where Bower plays the evil vampire Caius, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which finds Bower in the role of Gellert Grindewald, and Game of Thrones, a beloved set of fantasy books which HBO is hoping to make into its next big series.
Meanwhile, Bower's got fans of The Prisoner to please, as he's got one of the pivotal roles in AMC's miniseries remake. As 11-12, the enigmatic son of 2 (Ian McKellen), Bower is often silent, but -- as he revealed last night -- quite deadly. I talked to him about his Prisoner twists and the pressure of satisfying so many disparate fanbases.
11-12 really had a lot to do in last night's installments, but in The Prisoner's first two hours, you were silent almost the whole time. When you shot those installments, did you think, "Easy day on set! Everyone else has to memorize lines, but all I have to do is stare mysteriously at Ian McKellen."
[Laughs] It's one of those days where you have a 5am call but you know you don't really have to be "on it." You can just be like, "I just have to stand in the background."
Had you met Ian prior to shooting?
I met Ian two years ago, at a party. I kind of knew what he was like a little bit before we started shooting, and a lot of my friends who have worked with him before said that he was absolutely lovely. For me, there were no worries as to whether he was going to be a drama queen or a big shot -- he's just a genuinely great actor and a great person. We had rehearsals in London before we even began shooting, so we got to know each other and became pretty close. Working with Ian is so amazing. He's such a cool guy...I can't stop talking about it!
I know that there's a lot that's ambiguous about The Prisoner, but I have to say, I was initially a little confused by the reveal of 11-12's gay relationship. There were two times where it felt like he and 909 were coming in for a romantic kiss and then it would be...a hug. At first, I thought, "Wait, am I reading too much into this?" Was there some restraint used there?
That's a good question. I don't know. I think that the idea of a relationship between 11-12 and 909...they're definitely together, but they would have been together for a while. There's that scene in the club where he comes up and kisses me on the cheek, and when you're with someone for a while and you're meeting them somewhere, you don't go in there and snog their face off. You know?
Even though there's an American in the lead role in this version of The Prisoner, it feels very British in how obsessed it is with surveillance. I know that's sort of a growing concern in London, isn't it?
I can tell you that I believe we have more closed-circuit television cameras within a square mile than anywhere else in Britain, and that's in Soho. For me, I find it pretty scary, just because I'd have to know who it is who's watching us. And who's watching them, who's making sure that they're OK? It's a weird idea that you're constantly being watched. It's great for crimes, but it's very intrusive.
Do you feel even more watched after taking roles in New Moon and Harry Potter?
Do you mean, is there an increased scrutiny on my performances?
Or on you in general! I know that with a lot of your New Moon castmates, the paparazzi attention is merciless.
For me, it's been interesting. Obviously, a lot of people want to talk to me about Twilight, but all they want to really know is, "What's going on with Rob and Kristen, blah blah blah?" There's been increased media attention, but I haven't had my life invaded, and so I'm still in a happy place, I think. [Laughs]
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