One of the highlights of this past month was the chance that I had to get on a phone call with Armie Hammer, the incredibly handsome actor who plays Prince Alcott in the movie Mirror Mirror, which opens in theaters today (March 30).
Armie totally won me over in the movie, but after I had the chance to chat with him on the phone, I became a fan for life.
Here are a few of the things that we talked about with Armie:
On love at first sight
Question: You’ve mentioned before that when your character sees Snow White, it’s love at first sight – a kindred spirits kind of thing. Do you believe in that personally? And what kind of advice would you offer young people who believe they’ve met “the one”?
Armie Hammer: I do believe in love at first sight, but I wouldn’t have if I didn’t experience it. I remember everything my wife was wearing the first time I saw her. And that was almost six years ago at this point.
So, I do believe in love at first sight, and I think that’s something that I recognized in the script. And so, it’s like, “I feel like I can bring some truth to that. I have actually been through that. Lucky me.”
I would say for young people who think they’ve found the one, it’s a commitment. If you think you’ve found the one and you’re willing to really knuckle down and say, “You know what? I’m not sure what’s going to be happening in 20 years, but I’m willing to work on this for that long of a period.” 30 years, 50 years, 60 years, 70 years, whatever it is, it’s a serious commitment. And if you think you’re ready to make it, I say don’t take it lightly but do it. It’s the greatest thing that ever happened to me.
Where I make Armie speechless…
Question: We’ve talked a lot about the positive message for young women and girls in Mirror Mirror. What do you think that boys and young men could learn from the message of the movie?
Armie Hammer: That’s a very good question. You know what? To be honest, I hadn’t even really thought about it that much. What can boys learn from Mirror Mirror? I don’t know. I think that, wow, that’s a very good question.
Can we do this? Can I think about this while we do other questions and we can come back this one after a bit? Can we make sure that we come back to this? It’s thinking time.
On preparing for different movie roles
Question: One of my readers wanted to know: how did you prepare for transforming from each of your roles, from The Social Network to Mirror Mirror, and also for J. Edgar that’s coming up?
Armie Hammer: My process, I would say, as an actor is very much research based. I try to take as intellectual approach as possible by learning every little thing I can about it. When it was J. Edgar, I don’t want to give anything away but, living in that time and feeling a certain way.
And, it was about understanding the concept of royalty. How did a prince live in those days? Well, they had an hour a day of dancing, an hour a day of sword fighting and a half an hour a day of math, half an hour a day of science, half an hour a day of histories, half an hour a day of geography. And then they would have etiquette courses and they would have formal dinners. And they never dressed themselves and they were never alone through the course of an entire day.
So, seeing all of these things in my research, it sort of led me to believe, “No wonder this guy was on an adventure. He wanted to get away from all of that.” I was able to work with Tarsem and we were able to come up with a fun character who did grow up with all of these things but wanted to see what else was out there and wanted to understand why this was even the way things were done. So, yes, I would say my process is heavily research based.
On Prince Charming jokes
Question: So, that answer about your wife earlier, I’m totally dying because that was so sweet. I am definitely going to make my husband read that. So, I was just wondering, do you have a lot of jokes in your household about that you’re a prince, or have you guys joked about that? Have you joked about that with your wife at all?
Armie Hammer: Not really. Not too many prince jokes, no.
I think at this point that’s pretty far removed from us. We’re now focusing on other things. Elizabeth [his wife] has the bakery. That’s what she’s really focusing on, and I’ve got The Lone Ranger . So, if anything, there’s a lot of cowboy jokes going on more than anything.
Underneath my fingernails will be filthy and she’ll ask, “Would you please stop pretending to be a cowboy and go take a shower?” And I’ll say, “Baby, there were no showers out on the prairie. Out on the open range, you didn’t shower.” And she’s like, “Get in the shower.” I’m like, “All right.”
On Mirror Mirror’s message to boys and young men
We had a chance to revisit my earlier question about Mirror Mirror’s message to boys…
Armie Hammer: Okay. I think that for little boys, if you want to look at the Prince Alcott role, this guy was living in a kingdom. He had it all made. He had it all easy for him if he just went down this certain path.
But, instead of doing that, he chose a different route. He chose to question everything. He wanted to get out there and see the world. He wanted to have his own adventure. He didn’t want to placate himself by falling into the success of whatever was easiest. So, he really set off on his own adventure.
And I think that’s a great thing. That’s your rite of passage. That’s where you find yourself. I think that’s where you find what you’re worth. And you become, in the end, more than people ever expected of you.
See Armie Hammer talk about playing the Prince in this Mirror Mirror clip:
See more about Mirror Mirror
Note: Photos, interview, and press day experience courtesy of Relativity Media.
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