Adrien Brody conjures his magic childhood in ‘Houdini’: “I was more than a fan” – Emmys

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As the youngest man ever to win a leading actor Academy Award (aged 29 for The Pianist, 2003), Adrien Brody has since then pretty much pleased himself when it came to choosing projects. In the case of his 2015 Emmy-nominated role in History’s Houdini, Brody had a genuine, personal passion for the fabled magician, having admired him since childhood. Growing up in Queens, Brody would put on his own magic shows as “The Amazing Adrien.”

“I was more than a fan,” Brody says. “Not only did I have a fascination with magic, but I had aspirations of becoming a magician when I was a boy.”

Of his Emmy nom for the role, Brody says, “receiving recognition for a heroic figure in my life and for something as meaningful as magic for it to have led me into acting and then led me to ultimately play the key figure in that world is pretty remarkable.”

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“Not only did I have a fascination with magic,” Brody says, “but I had aspirations of becoming a magician when I was a boy.”

Interestingly, Brody experienced parallels between the process of acting and working in magic. “You understand the workings of a trick and you make it your own, you develop a patter and you tell that story uniquely, and that’s what makes a great show and a great magician.”

The Houdini role itself was a physical one, involving hanging upside down immersed in water. “The underwater work was particularly challenging,” Brody says, “because it required emotion underwater in confined spaces and completely inverted, which is a very different breathing process and your lung capacity feels different. There’s both physical and psychological pressure. You’re unable to turn around unless you turn around in one specific way–it’s too narrow of a compartment, so you can very easily get wedged and yet you have to hold your breath as long as possible in order to get the shot in too.”

Add to the water chamber the experience of hanging from a crane, suspended by the ankles in a straitjacket. “I’d been fortunate enough to not dislocate my shoulder,” Brody says, “but there’s a lot of struggling in the process.”

But Brody felt well-protected during production and wasn’t concerned about his wellbeing. “That’s not a focal point for me,” he says. “I mean, I think it unfortunately comes with the territory if there’s something like that. But things go wrong and we know that and you hope for the best and you try to prepare.”

Brody currently has several projects in the works. His latest, Septembers of Shiraz, was recently accepted to Toronto. “It’s a beautiful film that I feel grateful to have participated in,” he says. “It’s about the struggles of the people in Iran who were taken in and abducted by the Revolutionary Guard during the fall of the Shah and the regime change there.”

Brody is also co-writing and producing a romantic comedy with his company, Fable House. He says, “it’s a continuation of being able to put a lifetime of what I love about the work and then find an innovative approach that is exciting. It’s a very exciting time for me in a creative capacity.”

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Source: deadline.com

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