Five Favorite Films with Michael Sheen

Plus, the actor talks TRON, Bowie, and The Dude.

Michael Sheen

"When I start to see a path to explore for a character then I really go for it," says Michael Sheen, who describes his villain in this week's TRON: Legacy as equal parts Mae West and Ziggy Stardust. "That's part of what I really enjoy." For the film's key digital villain, Castor, the British actor dug deep into the back catalog of the Thin White Duke himself, David Bowie. "I did spend a lot of time watching Bowie," Sheen continues. "The idea behind this guy is that he's able to change and assimilate things; he's very chameleon-like, and that's what made me think of Bowie."

For Sheen, a fan of the original TRON since seeing it in theaters in 1982, there's a certain amusement in the fact that Disney's massive sci-fi project revolves around the very mellow Jeff Bridges. "There's a sort of spiritual white Russian inside him all the time," Sheen laughs. "In the middle of all this technology, you know, this huge, amazing world that's been created -- and there's a lot of pressure, a lot of anticipation, a big budget, a lot riding on it and all that -- at the center of it all is The Dude. It's this guy going "Hey maaaaan."

Here then, are Michael Sheen's Five Favorite Films.



A Matter of Life and Death (1946, 94% Tomatometer)
 A Matter of Life and Death

It has a strange beauty about it. It has a deceptively simple story. It has all the classic trademarks of someone who introduces you to a special, magical world, and yet you are able to then see your own world completely differently. There's always something slightly uncanny about what Powell and Pressburger did -- if you think about The Red Shoes or The Tales of Hoffman, and things later like Peeping Tom, films like that. They're just extraordinary.




Apocalypse Now (1979, 98% Tomatometer)
Apocalypse Now

It's a film I've watched so many times, and every time I watch it I find something new in it. Again, it's got kind of a strange beauty about it: it's disturbing and kind of magical, and mythical and mysterious, and just shot amazingly. And there's kind of a madness in it, which I really like as well. The original version, because that's the one I know the best.




Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977, 95% Tomatometer)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind

It's a film like the other two, in a way, which has grown as I've grown; it's changed with me. You think of films as being finished, completed things that never change, but actually they do change -- because we change. And so a film like Close Encounters, when I first watched it -- when I was much younger -- it scared me to death, and now it's a film that I find intensely moving. It's an almost spiritual film. Spielberg is just, I think, a genius in being able to tell a very simple story and get to something so complex and profound. I think he does in E.T. as well, to a certain extent, but this one I find one of the most moving films I've ever seen.




12 Monkeys (1995, 86% Tomatometer)
12 Monkeys

For some reason I always find time travel intensely moving and it speaks to me in some weird way. Of all of Terry's films I find that one the most moving. I love it. It's a great story.




The Last Temptation of Christ (1988, 83% Tomatometer)
The Last Temptation of Christ

Okay, I will pick a film with Bowie in it. [laughs] I'm going to say The Last Temptation of Christ, where he plays Pilate. All the Romans are English, and all the Jews are American. [laughs] I think it's just a perfect piece of filmmaking. It's brave and it's imaginative and it's about the most kind of profound things, and yet it's very human. And the music -- Peter Gabriel's soundtrack is incredible. Again, every time I watch it... it's the same with a lot of Scorsese's films -- as soon as you turn the channel and come across one, no matter how many times you've seen it, you sort of can't stop watching it, because he's a master story teller. That's my five for today.



TRON: Legacy is in theaters this week.

Comments

FISHEYE

jdfjs jsdjdf

good list

Dec 13 - 12:17 PM

Corey B.

Corey Beliles

That's a good-ass list if I ever saw one.

Dec 13 - 12:28 PM

Jeffrey C.

Jeffrey Cooperhouse

Gilliam, Spielberg, Coppola, and Scorsese on one list. Nice choices.

Dec 13 - 12:45 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

12 Monkeys! Yes. Love that movie. Pitt should have gotten nominated for his role and Willis once again proved he could pick good projects along with his weak ones.

Great choice for one of Sheen's favorite movies. I can see why he was able to bed Beckinsale.

Dec 13 - 01:02 PM

Smartest Person Here

Greg Bonnette

Pitt was nominated for best supporting actor.

Dec 13 - 01:44 PM

Pycs

Matthew Charlebois

maybe he meant for a razzie. . .

Dec 16 - 08:00 PM

TheMovieNerd

Tumelo Drametu

Pitt was nominated.

Dec 13 - 03:20 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Holy crap! He was! Sorry. Well... he should have won!

Dec 14 - 02:11 PM

rle4lunch

Chad W

How was Hugh Grant able to bed Liz Hurley?

Dec 13 - 04:42 PM

Royhid

Ravi Rana

If shayne Warne can, then anyone can bed Hurley.

Dec 14 - 02:47 AM

Smartest Person Here

Greg Bonnette

Pitt was nominated for best supporting actor.

Dec 13 - 01:44 PM

Pycs

Matthew Charlebois

maybe he meant for a razzie. . .

Dec 16 - 08:00 PM

TheMovieNerd

Tumelo Drametu

Pitt was nominated.

Dec 13 - 03:20 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Holy crap! He was! Sorry. Well... he should have won!

Dec 14 - 02:11 PM

rle4lunch

Chad W

Close Encounters, haven't seen that much on any top 5. Good choice!

Dec 13 - 03:27 PM

filmfanatic

Chris Stanton

Best list I've ever seen

Dec 13 - 04:17 PM

Bye bye

Steven Bailey

Great list, three movies on there that I need to see.

Dec 13 - 04:35 PM

rle4lunch

Chad W

How was Hugh Grant able to bed Liz Hurley?

Dec 13 - 04:42 PM

Royhid

Ravi Rana

If shayne Warne can, then anyone can bed Hurley.

Dec 14 - 02:47 AM

THEREWOLF

Markus Arbutina

Good list. Although I know Im talking apples and oranges here but I always enjoyed The Greatest Story Ever Told to The Last Temptation of Christ. Greatest Story had so many good cameos, and in my opinion the greatest actor who ever lived, Max von Sydow. Also never cared for 12 Monkeys, annoying movie.

Dec 13 - 05:30 PM

Bye bye

Steven Bailey

I agree that 12 Monkeys was annoying, but I still enjoyed it to some extent.

Dec 14 - 04:41 PM

Peter W.

Peter Winters

I just thought it was annoying

Dec 15 - 09:07 AM

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