We asked the South African actor about what it was like to play King Stefan, a man who starts out as the good guy but becomes a terrible villain.
"I felt it was always going to be a fine line for the filmmakers to decide how much to humanize him. So, I played him as human as I could. But you can only make him so human. He's still got to be the bad guy, he's got to be the villain. I wanted him to be as human as possible. By the time he comes face-to-face with his daughter, he's so caught up in what he's doing."
So did the District 9 actor enjoy fighting on-screen with Angelina Jolie? Not exactly. In fact, his background and upbringing made the whole experience quite difficult for him.
"The hardest part, really, was playing a scene, fighting with a woman. I have a major problem with that, personally. It's probably the toughest thing I've done as an actor. Where I'm from in South Africa and how I was raised, it's kind of quite old-fashioned with, like, you know, you'd never, ever hit a woman in any way, under any circumstance. It's not justified in any reality," Copley said.
So did he apologize to Jolie for his character's brutality?
"No. She's not intimidated, she's not scared by me. She acted like she was never concerned. I'm learning that in acting, sometimes you get to a point where you wonder, 'Do I have this in me?'" he admitted.
Of course, we had to ask what's the next thing Copley doesn't know if he has in him as an actor.
"Probably kissing a man on camera. If you see me kiss a man on camera, then you sort of know that I've gone a long way in my artistic repertoire. Maybe I should attempt that one day. Matt Damon did it. So if Matt can do it, damn it, I must be able to find it in me somehow, in some artistic part of myself," he said.
We'll be on the lookout for that kiss in his next movie. Maleficent opens in theaters today.
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