When you go to hear the people involved in making a film about the riots in Seattle during the 1999 WTO meetings, you don’t expect the morning to be non-stop sex jokes.
But that’s what happens when much of the film is shot in Regina, a name that apparently non-Canadians think is just. So. Hilarious!
At the presser Sunday for Battle In Seattle, actor Stuart Townsend’s directorial debut, the innuendoes were flying fast and furious.
Super-stylish Andre Benjamin describing his initial discussion with Townsend about his role: “Our first conversation was about turtles.”
Townsend: “What? Oh turtles. I thought you said herpes.”
Woody Harrelson: “Were you guys in Regina when this conversation was going on?”
And so forth.
You can insert your own joke about Canada’s film crews being “a well-oiled machine” but star Charlize Theron actually meant that as a compliment, so let’s move on.
Theron and Townsend, who have been an item for years, talked about the awkwardness of having Townsend write the script in their house.
“We’re very good at separating our work from our relationship,” Theron said. “I’ll never forget the day he gave me the script … He left for three hours and I couldn’t stop reading it. I was so impressed.”
The two didn’t spend that much time together on the set, however, since Townsend was in Vancouver and Theron was in – wait for it – Regina. (Just keeps getting funnier, doesn’t it? What a riot!)
Theron did, however, let slip a pet name for Townsend, which the rest of the crew immediately picked up on. Oops. Funnily enough, they didn’t want to share it with the press.
Much like Jodie Foster earlier in the week, Theron showed off her language skills, answering one reporter in what I assume was Afrikaans. Whatever it was, it sounded beautiful. The range of accents on the platform was lovely to listen to, actually, from Townsend’s soft Irish lilt to Harrelson’s Texas twang to Benjamin’s Georgia drawl to Martin Henderson’s faint trace of Auckland to Michelle Rodriguez (wearing a long dress – to cover the ankle bracelet, perhaps?) whose accent is far more Jersey, where she grew up, than Texas, where she was born.
The wide range of talent in the film, Townsend said, is “a miracle” because two weeks before shooting started he didn’t have a cast. “Then actors started dropping from the sky.”
“I told him I’d be willing to be an extra in this film,” Rodriguez said.
Townsend said taking on such a big topic for his first film was a bit daunting, but as an Irishman, the sight of riots and protests “really sets my imagination on fire.”
As for her part, Theron said she wasn’t sure why she keeps making such dramatic films, although representing something that actually happened on screen “adds another level to the stakes.”
But really, she said, “I’m not a super-serious person at all.
“I think I would be great at comedy.”
“You have to be funny, though,” Harrelson joked.
Just start with some Regina references, Charlize. That’ll get ‘em going.