Young “Prince Caspian” himself, British actor Ben Barnes, undoubtedly will become Hollywood’s latest heartthrob with the release of “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian." However, the real scene-stealer in 2008 movie summer’s first sequel is Peter Dinklage.
The exceedingly skilled performer plays Trumpkin, the tough but loyal dwarf who warns the four Pevensie kids about newfound savagery in Narnia before joining them on their latest -- if not necessarily greatest -- adventure.
Capturing Trumpkin’s cynical wit and delivering humorous quips with eyes peeking through layers of makeup, Dinklage certainly will score with all ages by bringing a genuine character to life now and at least in the next “Narnia” sequel, “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” which starts filming in October for release in 2010.
“Would you like me to answer with my eyes,” the 4-5 actor said when his prowess for glaring was pointed out during a recent New York interview. “I don’t know, eye acting, right? My wife (theatrical director Erica Schmidt) mentioned the same thing after we saw the movie last night. She said, ‘So much eye acting going on with you.’ I guess that was the only part of me that was me. I wasn’t wearing contacts or anything. Might as well use what you got.”
The modest Dinklage, who turns 39 next month, credits screenwriters for his funny one-liners and a pair of creative artists for his somewhat menacing look.
“That is all (Academy Award-winners) Howard Berger and Tami Lane,” he said. “Tami was the one who did my makeup every day, and Howard was the one who sort of oversees everyone’s work. He designs it and does a lot of the hands on for some of the creatures.
“They are incredible. They became my close friends on this movie. It was three hours every morning with Tami and sometimes it was my favorite three hours of the day. Sometimes we were the first people to arrive, when it was still dark out. We just played music the whole time."
“It might be 4:30 in the morning," Dinklage continued, “and I hadn’t had my coffee yet, so there were a couple of days where I would fall asleep in the chair with my head (hanging down). Tami, being the nice woman that she is, would be underneath me practically lying down on the ground because she didn’t want to disturb me. She wanted to continue her work, and drool would be splashing her face. The two of them don’t sleep. They are vampires, and they were amazing.”
Of course, Dinklage's own talents are anything but small.
Cleveland Sun -- Intermission
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