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Field: ‘No bad guy thinks they’re bad’

Wednesday, 11th March, 2020 4:03pm

He may resemble a villain, and often dress like one, but actor Luke Brandon Field is a far cry from the baddies he’s portrayed on the big screen.

If you’re fortunate enough to have seen Taika Waititi’s 2019 Academy Award-winning, WWII comedy drama ‘Jojo Rabbit’, then you’ve certainly seen Field doing his thing.

Field, who comes from a Catholic-Jewish background, plays the despicable bully Christoph, one of the older members of the Hitler Youth, who tries to force the movie’s main character Jojo to kill an innocent rabbit.

Donning the infamous Nazi uniform was a challenge for the young Londoner, considering his own background and the history that comes with it, but Field rose to occasion to deliver a wickedly cruel performance in a role he knew he couldn’t turn down.

“I was aware of Taika, I knew his work. I expected it to be a kind of superhero movie. I read the script and thought 'wow this is amazing',” explains Field.

“When I got the role to play a Nazi, it was always going to be interesting the first time I put the costume on. You've got this thing burning a hole in your arm. You look at yourself in the mirror and wonder 'should I be doing this?'.”

The film follows Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis), a lonely German boy and prospective Nazi, whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic.

Aided only by his idiotic, and somewhat flamboyant imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism in order to overcome evil.

“Every character in the movie has a really interesting arc. Whether or not they die, whether they escape, or get the comeuppances. Every character has a well-rounded arc with great dialogue,” says Field.

Coming from a strong showbiz background in London, Field says it’s no wonder he ended up becoming an actor.

“I'm very fortunate in the fact that my dad worked in the music industry and the TV industry, and a little bit in film. When I was younger I was surrounded by strange and interesting characters.”

One of those characters was the late Irish-American actor, screenwriter and director Patrick McGoohan who would recite Shakespeare to Field as a young boy, and who he looked up to as 'Uncle Patrick'.

Born and bred in London, Field won a scholarship in 2008 to study Film and Drama at UCLA where he swiftly booked his first lead-role in indie-flick ‘Where the Road Meets the Sun’ which won him the Best Actor Award at the Los Angeles Asian Film Festival in 2011.

Since then his acting career has taken him all over Europe and the US, appearing in British film ‘Lotus Eaters’ which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and horror movie ‘Blackwood’, as well as comedy ‘Magic Boys’ alongside beloved bad boys Vinnie Jones and Michael Madsen.

With all that under his belt, Field is now eager to explore his craft in new ways, already expressing a strong desire to play one of his favourite musicians in a biopic role, a challenge and responsibility he relishes.

“I think it's a really good calling card for an upcoming actor or for someone who's not as well known. When I'm watching a biopic, I don't want to know the actor.

“Jamie Foxx's Ray Charles was fantastic. Then you have Lou Diamond's Ritchie Valens in 'La Bamba' and Gary Busey's Buddy Holly. None of these people were big names at the time, even Jamie Foxx was still a comedian, he wasn't a huge A-lister,” he adds.

Next on the horizon for Field is the release of his latest movie, comedy-thriller ‘All for Nikki’ which was directed by Brandon Willer and will be released in the US in May and later In Europe.

Looking forward, Field says he would love to further explore the bad boy image that seems to have been thrust upon him, by someday playing a Bond villain.

“The ultimate villain is a Bond villain. Blofeld would be the archetypal MacDaddy bad guy. With Bond there's such elegance and sophistication in the villains.

“No bad guy thinks they're bad. They all think they're correct in what they're doing.

“As an actor you have to work out what it is that makes them think that they're right, and then equate that in your own life. Maybe I should collaborate with Billie Eilish!”

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