"Cut! Why are you smiling?"
"You told me to smile."
"No, no, SNARL, not smile."
So goes the exchange between Frank Miller and actor Gabriel Macht on the set of 'The Spirit', Frank Miller's new film based on Will Eisner's long-running comic strip. Macht, decked out in a fedora, black eye mask, dark suit and red tie has been hanging off a mock up of what looks to be a fire escape for several minutes. Once Miller has gotten his shot, Macht takes a few moments to speak to us about what it is like to play the title character of the latest Frank Miller project.
Macht, last seen opposite Mandy Moore in 'Because I Said So' and 'The Good Shepherd' has died his typically blond hair brown and his once brown eyes are now a light blue comes off as incredibly gracious. He is humbled to be starring as the title character in 'The Spirit' and is thrilled with the opportunity. Then again, for this thirty-five year old actor, this could be the role that launches Macht from virtual obscurity to Hollywood's latest leading man. "To have Frank as a Director, it's a dream come true for me; it's mind blowing how fortunate I feel. I am having a brilliant time and everyone is at the top of their game."
Eisner's hero is Denny Colt, an honest cop who dies in the line of duty, but comes back to fight crime as The Spirit.
Macht describes Denny as, "...an honest kid who is just trying to figure himself out. Denny grew up in the streets as an orphan; he always wanted to be a cop. He loves the ladies and fights for truth and justice...I don't want to give too much away."
In order to get himself into shape for the role, Macht went on a serious diet and weight training regiment. "I did a week of stunt training and the fighting in the film is a cross between martial arts and street fighting. The process overall for Macht has been fairly seamless and easy and jokes, "I was hesitant to wear the mask."
Since the film is shot with green screen whereby visual affects and surroundings are added later in post-production, Macht along with the rest of the cast and crew are not able to see what the film will look like until after post-production has been completed. "I have seen some of the animatics and they are very visually stimulating."
Macht is soon quickly whisked off to the next shot, but this time he will remember to snarl and not smile.
Stay posted for more about my on set visit of Frank Miller's 'The Spirit' including an interview with Producer Deborah Del Prete and Frank Miller himself.
Bonus: Lionsgate has released photos of Frank Miller on the set. Enjoy!