Ewan McGregor says ‘Angels & Demons’ shoot was ‘nasty’

Anything for a hook! For full disclosure, Ewan McGregor isn’t really saying the Angels & Demons shoot was nasty, he’s saying that the suburb of Naples, Italy, where he shot his scenes for Angels & Demons was “nasty”. This comes from a nice little interview from the Angels & Demons press tour, and it seems to be one of the few Ewan McGregor has done. Apparently, while Tom Hanks got to run around Rome, Ewan was stuck in some “dump” in one of the worst, least scenic areas in Italy. He even invited his wife for a getaway because he thought it would be romantic, but it wasn’t:

While sitting atop the Castel Saint Angelo in Rome waiting to interview Angels & Demons star Ewan McGregor, I had a panoramic view of the city and the beautiful chaos that makes life in the Eternal City tick.

The traffic is crazy and there are people everywhere. It’s an intense place, even more so, I imagined, if you were shooting a big budget Hollywood picture that takes place in some of the city’s busiest spots.

“The funny thing is I didn’t shoot any of it in Rome,” McGregor said when asked. “I shot in this place called Caserta. There’s a palace in Caserta that I thought it sounded really romantic, so I arranged for my wife to come over and spend a weekend with me, but it’s a dump, a horrible place. I’m sorry but it’s just a suburb of Naples that’s exploded around this old palace. It’s really nasty. Not a good place.

“Apart from that I did most of my stuff in L.A. because my character is mainly inside the Vatican and of course, the Vatican didn’t want us to shoot inside their buildings so they built the Sistine Chapel on the Sony soundstages in L.A. They also built the exterior of St. Peter’s Square, this huge, huge set, in the parking lot of Hollywood Park Racetrack in south L.A. That was cool. I saw it from an airplane. I was landing at LAX and I looked down and thought, ‘God, that’s a big set… look at that.’ Then I realized it was ours.”

Despite never having stepped foot in an actual church during the shoot, McGregor convincingly pulls off the roll of Camerlengo Patrick McKenna, a priest who acts as the pope’s right hand man in the film adaptation of Dan Brown’s novel.

“We had a priest from New Jersey who came over and was our religious advisor for any of the technical things,” McGregor said, “the ceremonies and the ritual stuff. But he also gave us a kind of idea of what would be going on behind the scenes during those ceremonies and humanized it for us.

“It looks so precise from the congregation’s point of view but in actual fact behind the table there is a guy with matches trying to light the incense. He put that into it for me which was great.”

The training paid off, he says, at least superficially.

“I didn’t get to understand the meaning of all the ceremonies; why everything is in a certain order, but I did learn enough to look like I knew what I was doing, hopefully.”

[From Canada’s Metro News]

Last week, the Vatican released their review of Angels & Demons, and it wasn’t so bad. They stopped short of recommending it, and they pointed out several technical problems, but they claim the film is basically “harmless” and “fun”. I tend to think the Vatican learned their lesson from the promotion of The DaVinci Code, when Vatican officials tried to orchestrate a campaign to discredit the film, and ended up basically pouring millions of dollars to promote it. Better to let Angels & Demons pass by without too much fuss – it’s not going to do as well as DaVinci anyway.

Ewan McGregor is shown at a photocall for Angels & Demons in Rome on 5/4/09. Credit: OLYCOM/bbauergriffinonline.com

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10 Responses to “Ewan McGregor says ‘Angels & Demons’ shoot was ‘nasty’”

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  1. Bodhi says:

    Dan Brown is the Thomas Kincaide of literature & I can not fathom why people read his books (yes, I’ve read them) or watch the movies. Vomit.

    Oh & Ewan is still hot

  2. Allie says:

    I agree Bodhi. Yeesh.

  3. Emily says:

    I didn’t like either book and the movie Davinci Code was bland at best. But I visited Rome recently (including the Castel Sant Angelo where Ewan was interviewed) so I will go see it just to see all the places I visited!

  4. Tony says:

    I read Angels and Demons and enjoyed the book. It is fiction and if you just read it for entertainment, that is all it is. I’ll see the movie. I hope it’s better than the DaVinci code. That movie put me to sleep.

  5. Valensi says:

    Ewan is delicious.

  6. czarina says:

    I think it was a combination of art/history/secret sects/ and the Catholic Church (which has a sort of mystery about it for many people) that made The Da Vinci Code so popular.
    It certainly wasn’t the plot (unbelievable), characters (two-dimensional) or writing style (bland)!!!
    Frankly, I think it is in bad taste for EM to insult the city where he was filming. Maybe it isn’t a “dump” to the people that live there! (I’m curious how it would comparea to Los Angeles!). That just seems like arrogant bad manners. (Whatever he thought of it, I doubt it would have taken superhuman effort to keep it to himself.)

  7. DEB says:

    Caserta is a small town outside of Naples with a palace. Ewan had been there before for the Star Wars Phantom Menace. The gardens and some of the palace were used for the planet Naboo scenes. Its is not that bad and his comments were probably taken out of context.

  8. Aleksa says:

    I liked the book a bit better than The DaVinci Code, because that one was SO predictable…Still, not brilliant, but it kills time on rainy days.

  9. italy says:

    I am a citizen of Caserta and let me say, Ewan McGregor must apologize to us, our castle is appreciated and visited by people all over the world, if you don’t lile a place your’re welcome to explain your opinion, but take respect to people that lived here and loves his country. Mr Mac Gregor were happy if I say that for me the entire Britain is a hole of shit?

  10. Thank you for but another useful put up – substantially appreciated. If I could +1 rep you I might, lol.