Quatermass and the Pitt’s star talks about the digital remastering of a timeless classic.
A short time back I was lucky enough to interview Julian Glover for Starburst magazine. I’ve included the first part of the interview below.
- You play Colonel Breen in Quatermass and the Pit. What are your thoughts on the character; would you, for example, describe him as the villain of the piece?
Well, he’s not a villain, is he? And, anyway, when you play baddies as I have – which I’ve quite a career of doing – you can’t possibly go in thinking I’m the baddy. Even if it’s not in the script, you’ve got to invent why he does things. Breen is not a villain: he’s not out to destroy anything or to spoil anything. He got it wrong, completely and utterly wrong. Someone described him as the idiot of the piece, but I wouldn’t put it that far. He’s just not bright enough to understand what’s gong on. He’s a military man, middle-class background, probably gone to Sandhurst. He’s used to defusing bombs and stuff like that. That’s where he did his training. And he gets this unique situation, but when you find a bomb there are certain courses of action, and he follows them. He doesn’t want to know when people like Quatermass are nosing about. He doesn’t want to know about that because he knows about defusing bombs, and he’s got it wrong. So I wouldn’t say he deserved his ending. (laughs)
- Colonel Breen has a particularly gruesome death scene. What was that like to film?
Uncomfortable. Make-up of that kind is very uncomfortable. There’s a lot of stuff stuck on your face. He had to be burnt, you may remember. I always thought it was rather a mistake for him to have his hat on. They made it sort of smoke. His face was in such a state that I think his hat would have burnt. A difference of opinion that I didn’t win on.
- How do you think the special effects of Quatermass and the Pit compare to the CGI of today’s science fiction films?
Well, they are not as good. It’s remarkable what they manage to achieve in those days without any trick photography or digital work. The appearance of the locusts was really well done. It was done with models which for those days was very satisfactory. Today not quite so much. I haven’t seen the re-mastering. Have you seen that?
- We have, yes, and thought it was very good.
I was told it’s terrific.
They didn’t get round to all this clever mastering, digital stuff until comparatively recently. Even in Indiana Jones, my death is quite a dramatic business. That took three days to film. They’d do my face, then take it away and work on it frame by frame. Each little bit was shot separately, which they don’t do now. The effects are absolutely remarkable; I mean, how did they do that! The latest Star Wars film: how did they do that! But earlier on – when I was coming up – and even as far as Indiana Jones, they were frame by frame shooting with film. So that’s the difference. But, of course, the effects are better and more spectacular. I think it’s quiet remarkable what they achieved in the older days.
I’m hoping that as a result of doing all these interviews, I’m going to be given a copy of it.
- You’ve not had a copy yet?
I’m not asking you for one! (laughs)
For the full interview follow the link.