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March 2006
BASIC INSTINCT 2 -RISK ADDICTION: An Interview with David Morrissey

BASIC INSTINCT 2 -RISK ADDICTION: An Interview with David Morrissey

by Melissa Walters
March 28, 2006

In what is perceived to be his biggest film thus far in regards to exposure, David Morrissey had the dubious pleasure of starring opposite Sharon Stone in the sequel to the film that made her internationally known. In “Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction”, Morrissey plays Dr. Michael Glass, a respected London criminal psychiatrist who finds himself being manipulated by his latest client, Catherine Tramell, into exposing his basic instincts when she pushes his sexual buttons. In speaking with blackfilm.com, Morrissey spoke about getting in this role and working opposite Sharon Stone.

Sharon spoke about how she was glad they (other male leads) left, turned down or were rejected for the role because they got the greatest guy. How does that make you feel?

DM: Well, obviously that’s fantastic I mean I just loved working with Sharon. When I got the script I was doing a film in England called Stoned. I was running around London but they told me they wanted to see me for Basic Instinct 2 and I got the script and I loved the script and I met the director and I got along well with him and the next thing I had to do was come to LA to meet Sharon and I was pretty nervous like you are when you go for any job because I wanted it so much. I went into this room in the Four Seasons LA and she immediately made me feel at home like we knew each other for a long time. They blocked out one hour for me in this room with her and I was there for two hours and we just laughed and joked and talked about life and what it’s like being an actor we just immediately hit it off and it remained that way through the filming. I was there for a long time and we got along so well and for a film like this the trust and chemistry has to happen and there’s a lot of things that happen in the film that one has to have the trust with the fellow actor and Sharon was just wonderful.

So did the two of you get into deep discussion about the motivation and direction of each character?

DM: Well, one’s motivation for your character is no one else’s business. Sharon’s character has one motivation and mine has the other and they don’t necessarily need to e discussed. What we would talk about was what we would need to achieve from each scene and what we wanted to hit in each scene and also we waned to surprise each other in each scene Michael sort of created that atmosphere. It was very much an organic process with us. I think when you see the film there is a lot of scenes and drama that have a lot of sort of trust in each other.

What was the challenge you had to face in preparing for this character?

DM: I think the main thing for me was he has this professional skeleton in his closet my character he is in the profession that is all about dealing with the mind and dealing with people’s motivations, dealing with the fact that people are blocked in their lives or stuck in a trough in their lives and his whole job is to try to help them out and what happens to him is that he is one of them as well and he doesn’t see it and what happens with Catherine Trammell is he is assessing her that she has a risk addiction and he realizes in the film that he has a risk addiction as well, with this character Catherine Trammell and that’s where he’s going to all the time and he is so blocked out of it that he doesn’t see it. When I met some analysts they told me that an occupational hazard is that they spend so much time trying to help other people unlock their emotional closets that they don’t spend a lot of time on themselves.

What do you think about the relocation to London and do you think British men would have reacted differently to Catherine Trammell?

DM: The relocation gives Catherine Trammell a new playing field. My character goes on a journey with her thinking he can handle it and the audience, who knows her better, is saying back off!

I think British men and American men have the same kind of thought pattern when it comes to sexy women, the same sort of blind spot and I don’t think there is a cultural difference when it comes to someone like Catherine Trammell.

The choking scene is extreme beyond the nudity. How does one practice for that?

DM: You have to trust the other actor. We got it wrong a few times and I got smacked in the face. You know what you are trying to go for and it’s a technical exercise. It took a while and the sense of when it is around my neck and Sharon is really choking me with it there was a sense between us that we trusted each other to know that if I was in trouble that she would let it go.

How do you feel about filling Michael Douglas’ shoes?

DM: One of the advantages of the time that has passed between the two films is the fact that it is a completely - you have to see it as a single entity and the relocation helps with that. I’ve been a fan of the first one and I watched it again but the joy of this was I didn’t feel like I was filling anybody’s shoes- it was a new character and a new setting and it was a real freedom.

This movie is real different from Stoned and Basic Instinct. Ho do you contrast them?

DM: The Stoned experience is one I’m more used to in the sense the budget was of a size that if it rained and the scene is all about how beautiful the day is then you change the scene- I can’t choose it. With Basic Instinct there was enough money that they can push a scene or relocate a scene and that’s a great luxury. But I think that that is essential to this film whereas Stoned has a rock and roll feel about it and it lends itself to that type of film. With regard to the first film I believe Verhoeven had an homage to Hitchcock in the first film and you can see that that’s where the big score comes from and the sweeping shots of the San Francisco coastline and I loved that about it and I believe Michael had more of a noir feel about him. It’s a cerebral movie there is a lot more stuff inside the analysts office; there was a lot more talking within the film more about what’s going on inside people that’s where he had that influence and those were the differences. San Francisco was important to the first film and London was important to this film and Michael shows London as a modern European city and that first scene you don’t know where you are you can be in Manhattan. But I think the way he uses modern London and then the Kensian side of London for the psychoanalytic world is great and London offers that kind of change in architecture and he used it in a great way.

Any particular scene you liked?

DM: There’s a little montage scene where Sharon walks out of the office and my character can’t get hold of her. When I was looking at the script I thought there was lot of story to tell here its like this man is suddenly bereft its just like he broke up with his girlfriend and he’s in a therapy session and is not listening to people and she’s playing on his mind and he’s just sitting and they are quite difficult scenes. And I was really pleased when I saw that sequence in the film- that shift in his character when he was out of control and not behaving professionally and he always wants to. It’s good for me because I imagine all therapists I met and I asked did they ever do this and they said they did it once but you should never do this. He gives out his home phone number and I was at a screening and surely there was a therapist there and he said oh! And no one else did it there where other moments they did and that is the professional response and I was very happy that that came across.

So who did the killing was it Dr. Michael?

DM: That’s an unfair question because I can’t really answer that you have to go and make your own decision. I think in the first one the ending is ambiguous and it’s ambiguous for a reason.

What else is coming up?

DM: The Reaping and I have a thing called Ripley’s Gold.

Would you do James Bond?

DM: No, I wasn’t approached but Daniel Craig is a great friend of mine and he’s going to be a great Bond. He is a great actor and he will bring something new to it and he’s so committed to it. The film will speak for itself- he’ll bring a change to it.

What would you do if you weren’t an actor?

DM: I would be in this profession in some way, I direct as well and I would like to do more of that in the future. I would be here in some way I like being in a collaborative atmosphere. I am not a conceptual person so I’d be in this profession in some way.




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