In "Prometheus," Logan Marshall-Green plays Charlie Holloway, an extreme archeologist who, along with fellow scientist Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace), leads a crew across space to discover the key to mankind's creation. That key may turn out to be a slithery, bloodthirsty monster or two.
Raised in the theater, Marshall-Green nabbed a Drama Desk Award for his role in Neil LaBute's play "The Distance From Here" in 2004. After several small roles in films like "The Great Raid" and "Across the Universe," not to mention a nine-episode arc on TV's "The O.C.," he gained attention as one of the leads in the horror film "Devil." With "Prometheus" he's now found himself in one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer.
We talked to this up-and-comer about his fidelity to the "Alien" franchise, playing Tennessee Williams in an upcoming biopic, and the truth about what he did with that first Hollywood paycheck.
What was it like being on set with a movie god like Ridley Scott?
Well, you know, it wasn't underwhelming. It would be an understatement to say exciting! Surreal at times, and very real most of the time. That's what makes him so great -- and working on a Ridley Scott movie so great -- is you walk into it and you have to pinch yourself. Then you find out he's just an amazing collaborator. He wants to make a great movie and he wants you to help him. He wants you to make big choices and find them on your own and own the characters. He trusts you implicitly with the character, and he just wants to play. He gathers A-people all around him.
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He did a lot of stuff practically; like when you come onto that set the big giant head is there, right?
Yeah, when that head was revealed ... I stayed away from that room on purpose, I knew something was behind that door. [laughs] The sets are entirely built, functional, wet, and we're exploring them in a very organic way. When you're seeing all that fear, awe, and search [it] is all real on our faces.
Did you feel any sense of debt to the fans of the "Alien" franchise?
No, we felt that if we had a debt to anyone it was to the scene, to the characters, and to the story. That never came on set. We were aware of what we were shooting, it's a totally different story, and that would only be in our way. No one was thinking of a history with this movie, 'cause we were trying to make history.
You have a couple things coming down the pike, including "Black Dog, Red Dog" with James Franco. What can we expect from that?
I have no idea myself, so you probably want to ask James. I still don't know what I shot, it was kind of a whirlwind.
You're also playing Tennessee Williams in "Lonely Hunter."
Yeah, I'll be doing that later in the fall.
Are you doing a lot of prep for that?
Right now just trying to read everything I can and mentally get into the man himself, and then physically I'll start working on it in a few weeks. I have a few other things I'm going to be doing before so I have to balance Tennessee very delicately. I'm around some other male characters that are a lot different.
What was your first acting gig?
It was in one of my mom's [playwright Lowry Marshall] plays. I was in so many I can't remember. My first real acting gig was probably playing Mamillius in my mother's "Winter's Tale." My mom and dad are both in theater so I grew up acting and being a little theater brat as well.
How were you discovered?
If I was discovered by anyone it would be Stephen O'Neil, who saw me in a play at Williamstown, and introduced me to my team who I'm still with today. He was the first person to introduce me to the film and TV world. Other than that I just assumed I would be a theater actor my whole life.
Whose career in Hollywood would you like to have?
Paul Newman, of course, but I don't think I'm as good a person as Paul. His philanthropy …
It's not too late to start making your own salad dressing.
Yeah, I'd like to make my own hot sauce, I think, before salad dressing. Again, I'm sure I'm not nearly the culinary genius that Paul Newman was. Billy Crudup as well. I've always admired Billy's choices, I've always admired his dedication to stage, and of course his talent.
What would you be doing if you weren't acting?
What did you buy with your first Hollywood paycheck?
I think drugs. [laughs] Some booze and drugs, but I don't do drugs anymore and I don't drink anymore. My publicist is squirming right now, by the way. [laughs] No that's not what I bought, I'm just kidding with you.
Okay, what did you actually buy?
Poker chips at a casino. No, I'm kidding, I didn't buy that either. I don't remember, to tell you the truth. I do a lot of off-Broadway theater, so I think it went straight to rent in New York.
We would have also accepted "cute cuddly puppies."
[laughs] I'm not responsible enough to have puppies.
Who's your dream love interest on-screen?
Oh wow. Well, Sigourney Weaver in "Year of Living Dangerously." That car scene with Mel I think is one of the hottest scenes of all time. I've always been quite attracted to Sigourney Weaver.
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What would be your dream role?
I think Iago in "Othello."
Mac or PC?
C'mon, do I even need to say?
New York or L.A.?
New York. New York Mets just had their first no-hitter last night, and I watched it at 3:30 in the morning.
"Potter," "Twilight," or "Hunger Games"?
"Hunger Games," but the book, not the movie.
Rock or rap?
Beer or wine?
Bieber or Timberlake?
"Alien" or "Predator"?