JL: At one point during the audition, the casting director, Billy Hopkins, had his head in my lap. I was whispering sweet nothings to him, so it was kind of ridiculous in a way. It also sort of felt like we had a moment together—and we’ve been dating ever since. [laughs] But it was good because I got the part. The script was unbelievable. Oliver, man—the guy is an incredible writer. There’s no doubt about that. He was one of my favorite directors growing up, and I would have died to do anything with him. Going in and meeting with Oliver, talking about this project, I felt like I did when I met you, when you were casting that little role that I did in Fight Club.
Colin talks Alexander. Just lovely how he decribes the relationship between Alexander and Hephaistion…and funny how he claims that he and Jared never even talked about the issue that this might have been a sexual relationship.
I’m with you Colin, why talk about the obvious!
just watched it for the nth time. i love that movie to pieces.
Fortune favors the bold
We’ll round Arabia, and sail up the gulf to Egypt. From there, we’ll build a channel through the desert, out to the middle sea. And then we’ll move on Carthage, and that great island Sicily, they’ll pay large tribute. After that the Roman tribe - good fighters - but we’ll beat them. And then explore the northern forests, and add the pillars of Heracles to the Western Ocean. And then one day, not ten years from now, Babylon with its deep water habour will be the center of the world. The Alexandrias will grow, populations will mix and travel freely. Asia and Europe will come together.
And we’ll grow old, Hephaistion, looking out our balcony at this new world.
You feel a different way and then you end up thinking a different way. You end up thinking, I feel like this, why do I feel like this, I have to feel like this but I mostly feel like this because I have to get used to feel like this because then I have to be able to do this for longer and not feel like this.
Colin Farrell’s magnificent brain on being stuck in a major movie production mess with a bunch of crazy people and a blonde-dyed head.
US questions Alexander’s greatness
by Peter Bowes
November 29, 2004
Oliver Stone’s much-anticipated epic, Alexander, starring Colin Farrell, opens in the US on Wednesday.
Not surprisingly, for a Stone film, it has been met with lively but largely negative reviews from critics and stirred up controversy.
It is the story of one of history’s most celebrated leaders - a relentless and arrogant warrior who conquered much of the known world by the age of 25.
"For me it’s an adventure ride such as has never been experienced before," says Stone.
"There’s no story quite like it, it’s Alexander of Macedon - he existed, so this is all based on fact. This is not Hollywood mythologizing or creating a scenario."
But the facts are in dispute. A group of Greek lawyers has threatened to sue the makers of the film saying it is “pure fiction and not a true depiction of Alexander’s life”.
It is the portrayal of Alexander as bisexual that has so riled Stone’s critics.
Much of the film dwells on Alexander’s close relationship with his childhood friend and battle commander, Hephaistion, played by Jared Leto.
Using modern day society as a benchmark, the two men certainly appear to enjoy a furtive gay relationship. The eyeliner-wearing Hephaistion appears besotted with the dashing warrior king.
"It wasn’t an issue back then," explains Farrell.
"It wasn’t something that pertained to Alexander as an individual. Did he sleep with men? Did he sleep with women?
"In that kind of society there was no segregation in respect of your sexual orientation - there were no verbal references as we have now - like homosexuality, heterosexuality, whatever."
Leto adds: “I always thought of it that they were brothers of different mothers - they have a really complicated and specific relationship that’s built around a deep love for each other.”
The problem for the filmmakers seems to be the expectations of modern day audiences.
The “is he or isn’t he?” mentality of moviegoers elevates the issue of sexuality beyond its relevance to the story. Early reviews have dubbed the film “Alexander the Gay” or “Queer Guy for the Macedonian Guy” - the ultimate trivialisation.
"People try to contextualise it in today’s kind of standards and society," says Leto.
MCN Screening November 16, 2004
On making Alexander…
"We all came out of it changed people.."
“It was amazing to me.
It was a very very beautiful feeling.”
“It was a motherfucker …
It was incredible to be part of it.”
— Jared Leto on the relationship between Alexander and Hephaistion in Alexander (2004)
(Quelle: Los Angeles Times)
by Degen Pener
OUT Magazine September 2004
According to Leto the script never contained a love scene between the pair.
"Between Colin and I, there’s nothing physical. We hold each other sometimes," says Leto, adding, "If there was [a sex scene], you better believe it would be the best sex scene you ever saw in your life. They could have never done another man-to-man sex scene after that. It would have been the quintessential fuckfest of all time."
"Jared worked his ass off," enthuses Colin Farrell. “I worked with him very close for six months. He was always a joy.”
But the actor doesn’t see the lack of a love scene as an avoidance of the topic. Instead, he says the film makes it clear that these were two men - brutal, deadly warriors, no less - who where also in love.
"It was the deepest love you can imagine," says Leto, his brow knitting a bit, as if he’s focusing hard on the subject.
"Alexander and Hephaestion are two people that found someone else who completed them. I think gay men are going to understand the relationship the first time they see us together, whether there is sex or not," And what about straight audiences? He thinks they’ll get it too, and if they were drawn to the movie simply because it’s a big-budget action film, all the better.
"Ultimately, I think it’s more important to have people who might be uncomfortable walk out of the movie and go, ‘Wow, they really had something special, something unique,’" says Leto, who recalls the advice given him by Robin Lane Fox, the history consultant on the film and author of the critically acclaimed 1973 biography Alexander the Great: "Remember, every time you look at [Alexander], it’s always about the love."
As even one Roman author, Aelian, once wrote, "Alexander was only defeated once, and that was by Hephaestion’s thighs." Quite an image, but certainly nothing that would begin to faze Leto, who admits that he and other cast members even got down to discussing just which sexual role Alexander might have taken. Was it possibe that warrior king was the ultimate power bottom?
"We did talk about that," says Leto, "You know, Alexander takes the world…he might need someone to take him. You never know."
"He takes his acting work very seriously, and he takes chances," Farrell points out, noting his costar’s turns in such edgy fare as Black and White, American Psycho, Panic Room and Fight Club, "Look at the roles he’s done."
"That’s something that I have to strive for: to be part of things that are good and have some dignity to them…I don’t want to feel cheap, you know."
Arrian also mentions Alexander ordering the shrine of Asclepios in Ecbatana to be razed to the ground, and that he cut his hair short in mourning, this last a poignant reminder of Achilles’ last gift to Patroclus on his funeral pyre: “… he laid the lock of hair in the…
I know a few of you are out there. I’d like to know what your favorite scenes are and why. Why would you recommend the film. Tell me.
* "Alexander love" defined as the state of mind in a person who has seen the film more than once from beginning to end, voluntarily and consciously aware (being slightly more drunk, or whatever, at the ending credits than at the beginning is ok, falling asleep after Gaugamela and waking up at Hydaspes is not) and who wouldn’t describe it as a sit through
Arrian also mentions Alexander ordering the shrine of Asclepios in Ecbatana to be razed to the ground, and that he cut his hair short in mourning, this last a poignant reminder of Achilles’ last gift to Patroclus on his funeral pyre: "… he laid the lock of hair in the hands of his beloved companion, and the whole company was moved to tears."
Imagine if this had been a scene in the film. Maybe it’s for the better that it’s not because I would be a complete wreck after waching this. I’m not a historian but it seems towards the end of their lives the bond between Alexander and Hephaestion was closer than ever despite the marriages that were arranged at Susa, another event that would have been interesting to see in the film. Hephaestion became the second most powerful man in Babylon after Alexander and in marrying Hephaestion to Stateira’s sister, he hoped that someday their offspring could be united, so they could have, in a twisted way, a child together.
Wouldn’t it be great if Oliver Stone found the money and time to remake the film in the sense that he could add crucial parts that were missing? He had to cut out so much of Alexander’s extraordninary life by the neccessity to put it all into one film. It should have been a series like Lord of the Rings.