Exclusive Interview: Prometheus’ Logan Marshall-Green

Logan Marshall-Green

Logan Marshall-Green

You’ve already watched him capture audiences as a central character on TV shows like 24, Dark Blue and the teen phenomenon of yesteryear, The O.C. You watched him lead revolutionaries in Julie Taymor’s big screen Beatles musical, Across The Universe. You saw him struggling to survive while trapped in an elevator with supernatural forces in M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller, Devil. But as one of the stars of the upcoming summer blockbuster Prometheus, Logan Marshall-Green is ready to kick his career to the next level and become a household name.

From director Ridley Scott (the visionary filmmaker behind such contemporary classics as Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator), Prometheus is without question one of the most eagerly anticipated motion pictures of the year. And while much about the film has been kept under tight lock, audiences won’t have to hold their breaths much longer to experience this cerebral science-fiction adventure of what looks like monumental proportions.

Also starring Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce and the original Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Noomi Rapace, Prometheus hits theaters on June 8th. Gearing up for the film’s release, I chatted with Marshall-Green about working with Scott, the roles of religion vs. science in the film, how the movie will impact the science-fiction genre, the already rumored sequel, and more.

ALEX NAGORSKI: Have you seen Prometheus yet? What were your first reactions coming out of it?

LOGAN MARSHALL-GREEN: I haven’t seen the whole movie yet. I’ve only seen snippets here and there.

AN: What was your favorite sci-fi movie growing up?

LMG: I loved Alien and Aliens. I would say both of those movies were my favorites.

AN: So as a fan of both of those films, what is your response to the flood of rumors that Prometheus is interconnected with the Alien franchise?

LMG: If it is, cool. If it’s not, cool (laughs). It’s a win, win situation for me, which is great because I love the original. And if they’re not connected, it’s great too because it makes Prometheus the original. I don’t care how people look at the movie as long as people look at it.

AN: Prometheus is a film thirty years in the making. Why do you think now is the right time for it to finally be released?

LMG: Because Ridley Scott has an impeccable sense of timing.

AN: How did you physically and mentally train for the role of Charlie Holloway?

LMG: Physically, I got into a plane, flew to London and that was pretty much my training. Mentally, I think it was just about juggling the incredible amount of stimulus that you get walking onto set. I mean, I got to go to work dressed in a spacesuit! And really, being an actor, a character and a fan all at once is very enthralling.

AN: What was the best piece of direction Ridley Scott gave you on set?

LMG: I don’t think there’s a specific direction that stuck with me but what I often think about was his trust in myself and everyone to go big. To make big, real choices. And he would waltz you back in if need be. But for me, I loved his sense of play and his trust in everyone to do their jobs – especially in the acting department.

AN: There’s so much hype surrounding Prometheus that the film already has a bit of a cult following, even though it hasn’t even been released yet. As an actor, how does that type of pressure impact your creative process?

LMG: It doesn’t impact it at all. I’m certainly not thinking about the hype that others will attach to the movie when I’m doing my job. It’s all about what’s happening in front of me and what’s happening in front of me is a fully built world that makes it very easy to settle into and act in. I don’t think anyone during the making of the movie – and I think I speak for the entire cast and crew – was worrying about what people would think going into it. We were just having an absolute blast making it.

AN: Can you talk a little bit about the roles of religion versus science in the film?

LMG: I think the movie strikes a good balance in that argument. There are some characters that represent faith and some characters that represent science and fact. Charlie Halloway is one of them. I certainly think there are going to be a lot of religious groups that are not going to agree with certain philosophies and ideologies that are in the movie, but I don’t think we really care. The world that Ridley created is a religion in itself and I think in many ways, it’s even bigger than religion (laughs). Let’s just say, I think more people will go to our church.

AN: With a title like Prometheus, the film seems to have an obvious root in Greek mythology. What parallels does the movie have with the original myth of the same name?

LMG: Well as most people know, Prometheus was the god who gave humans fire and sewed in them the seed of hope. If there’s a context with God, that’s what we’re looking for. But I don’t think you should read too much into the parallels of the mythology of the name “Prometheus.” Really, it’s just the name of the ship and the story of that ship and the crew that’s on it.

AN: Ridley Scott is well known for pushing the boundaries of sci-fi. What type of lasting effects do you think Prometheus will have on the genre?

LMG: I hope it invigorates it. It’s a genre that Ridley built and created. I think he’s just looking to tell a great story. It just so happens that this story is in the genre of science fiction and it just so happens that it’s in a genre that he created. But I hope it pushes movie making beyond classifying what genre a film is in. It’s shot, composed and articulated fully in 3D. It’s realized in 3D. We’re not trying to just make another 3D movie. We’re trying to create a 3D experience that hasn’t been had yet. For me, it’s more about inhabiting a movie and not having a movie thrust upon you, which I think many 3D movies do. A lot of 3D movies, by the way, are just cut later on into 3D. They’re not shot in 3D.

AN: So given that Prometheus is the first 3D movie you’ve been in, how different was the process of shooting the film compared to what you’re used to?

LMG: I’ve always acted in 3D so I didn’t do anything differently. There were a couple cameras that were a lot different and technical aspects that needed to be taken care of – which I’m sure seem tedious after four months, but they have to be done if the movie’s going to look good. But in terms of the acting department, we’ve always been in 3D (laughs).

AN: I imagine that working on such a vast and detailed set provided for lots of opportunities for the cast and crew to play some fun pranks on one another. Did you and/or any of your fellow actors take advantage of this during filming?

LMG: No, Ridley did all that. He’s known to get real, organic reactions out of his actors and he did it again in this piece. I won’t tell you exactly how but you’ll see. And I think you’ll agree that the reactions you see on screen are pretty real. But yeah, if anyone was a prankster, it was Ridley.

AN: There have already been rumors about a Prometheus 2. If you were offered to reprise your role in the sequel, would you accept?

LMG: Yeah, of course. If Ridley says jump, I’ll always say, “how high?” It would be an interesting sequel for my character (laughs). Nonetheless, yeah, I would.

AN: What was the moment you made the decision to commit to being an actor? Was it a specific performance by another actor or was it something else?

LMG: It was probably one of Anthony Sher’s performances of Cyrano de Bergerac at the Royal Shakespeare Company. There was a specific moment in that performance that I won’t get into but it made me understand live performance and stagecraft in a way that made me want to pursue it for the rest of my life. That’s when I knew that I wanted to be a stage actor. I can’t tell you when I wanted to be a TV or film actor. I consider it all kind of the same because you use so many of the same tools. Also, growing up, musicians like Mike Patton set the foundation for me to want to be on stage and to want to govern emotion and laughter every night. And that’s why I do so much theater.

AN: As an actor who works both on stage and on screen, what do you find to be the biggest fundamental differences between these mediums?

LMG: One’s live and one isn’t. One allows for there to be mistakes and one erases them. For me, the mistakes are what make great actors. It’s not about whether they make them or not. The great actors are the ones who pick themselves up and work on their form. And they do that in front of a live audience.

AN: Do you have any theater work lined up in the near future?

LMG: I’m not sure. There are a couple things buzzing, but nothing that I could tell you for sure. But I try to always stay somewhat around the orbit of the New York theater scene.

AN: If you were personally attacked by an alien species, what would be your warfare tactic of choice to fend them off?

LMG: I mean, I think I would absolutely go down like Hudson. I think everybody would go down like Hudson. I think I’d want to go down with a couple of great lines like, “you want some of this?” If I’m going down, I’m going down like Hudson. Know that.


Alex has been writing for PopBytes since 2011. As the Theater Editor, he focuses on all aspects of Broadway, Off-Broadway, Regional Theater, and beyond. Alex lives in Western Massachusetts and can be found on Twitter at @AlexKNagorski.