Braver, bolder and badder than ever before, #BourneIsBack with a vengeance! AtoEssandoh is adding his flavor to a new cast that is more diverse than the previous BOURNE installments, as he has joined Matt Damon in this summer’s action-packed film, JASON BOURNE. Ato has starred in quite a few films such as, ‘Django Unchained’, ‘Blood Diamond’ and ‘Hitch’.
We had a chance to talk with Ato. Here are the excerpts:
Art Shrian: Congratulations from another boy of Mr James Price of Acting Studio.
Ato Essandoh: Wow, awesome. I love James. Great talking to you. That’s so cool!
AS: It’s a personal honor talking to you. Let’s talk about the film. It’s wonderful. Lotta action. Relevant to current times. How did you land this gig?
AE: It was another audition like 1000s I have done over years. I have done so many, that I forgot about it. When I got the call, I didn’t even remember, what the part was. Suddenly I was on a plane to ENgland. Met Paul Greengrass. And it slowly started sinking in. It’s one of my favorite franchise. ANd it’s only project I mentioned to my dad.
AS: So he’s like, now you have made it son.
AE: yeah. He doesn’t even watch movies much. But he knew Jason Bourne. It’s that popular. It’s that movie!
AS: Talk to me about the role. It’s very interesting. He’s not bad, but he’s working with bad guy. It makes it so interesting. And you make it so believable.
AE: The first thing I remember was, being in a role like that, I never think of it as bad or good person. Because everyone believes they are behaving in good way, for good reason. So what I kept coming for, is that he’s loyal, true patriot and believes in his boss, played by Tommy Lee Jones. Now, this is my first big action movie. I have done lot of very emotional, dramatic role. But advice I got from Matt Damon, that don’t think too much about what You’re doing. Just go as fast you can. And it works! It was very interesting acting note, and exercise. All the acting stuff we learnt, as you remember, from James, goes out. There’s a bomb ticking, and you have to keep going.
AS: How was working with Matt Damon, Alicia Vikander and this wonderful cast?
AE: Many. Matt Damon is extremely, really-really famous. You don’t realise it unless you are around someone like that. And he’s very laid back cool guy. He’s also Jason BOurne, who can disappear in a second. But Matt Damon is different. Now Matt, Alicia Vikander and I were shooting a scene for the movie in a casino in Las Vegas. There were few extras and stuff, but rest were all regular people. While Matt is playing Bourne, hiding in a corner, people were taking his video. It was so funny. A great juxtaposition of reality and virtuality. Bourne can hide, but you cannot hide Matt Damon. Everyone in the world knows who Jason is.
Another story is about Alicia who almost got us killed. We all went for hiking, and Alicia decided to go this way, where we all almost fell into a cliff. But we thankfully we survived. That was fun!
AS: How was your experience with the wonderful director Paul Greengrass?
AE: I had never met him before. So looking at his body of work, all this gritty action stuff, intense, violent stuff. I thought I would be meeting this Clint Eastwoody dangerous person. But he’s such a kind laid back guy. He loves soccer, and watching games. He knows exactly what he wants, and once done, he’ll go grab a beer and watch a soccer match. It was wonderful. I hope one day, I’ll be able to work with him in a larger capacity.
AS: Absolutely. You do great job in the film. You set great precedent to be next Bourne, or James BOnd or leading guy in an action movie. You are amazing in the film.
AE: Thanks a lot. I would love that!
AS: So, SPOILER: Are you alive after the movie or dead? I hope not.
AE: I don’t know. I hope so too. Although Matt reminded me, that I’m the 2nd guy in BOurne franchise to get a shot at Bourne and wound him. So even if I die, Craig Jeffers will be legendary in Bourne franchise.
AS: You have background in engineering. And now you are an actor. It’s a brutal field. But you decided to be an actor. WHY?
AE: Haha. Everything is brutal. After college, I decided, I wanna find something that makes me happy. And acting is what makes me happy. So after college, I figured, I can be in a chemical engineering lab, and be miserable. Although I liked it, but there was something missing. So I had to find and do something, that makes me happy. Which is acting. For up & coming actors, I’ll be honest and tell this that it’s a marathon. I went to James school in 97-98, and now we are talking in 2016 that I’m in a Bourne movie. HBO Vinyl, Django, it all happened in last few years. So remember, there’s a lot ahead of you. If you are sprinting now, you won’t get to end. So take your time, live your life and act as much as you can.
AS: Awesome, thanks a lot for that. So, you are New Yorker. So tell us what’s your most favorite and least favorite thing about New York?
AE: My most favorite thing is not hot having to own a car. I absolutely love that. The least favorite thing is winter. When the winter hits, and you have to hit slushy snow in 30s, it’s my least favorite thing about New York. But I won’t change it for the world man. I love New York.
AS: Thanks so much for talking to us Ato. Congratulations for the film and all the best!
SYNOPSIS: Jason Bourne, now remembering who he truly is, tries to uncover hidden truths about his past.
Directed by: Paul Greengrass
Cast: Alicia Vikander, Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Tommy Lee Jones, Vincent Cassel, Ato Essandoh
Official website: http://www.jasonbournemovie.com
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