Luke Mably is just breaking onto the scene in America. He has a role in the new film, “The Prince and Me,” opposite of Julia Stiles.During spring break, Mably stopped by Philadelphia to talk about the film and the experience of working with Stiles.
Mably, 28, was born in London, but was raised in the ghetto, likening it to “the setting of Save the Last Dance.” I went to a school like that,” Mably said. From there, Mably ended up in a drama school called Birmingham School of Speech and Drama (or as he likes to refer to it, Birmingham School of Screech and Trauma.)
Mably refers to the film as an honest love story. “It’s like a traditional love story. Like an old 50’s love story, with the whole 50’s feel,” he said.
Mably said that Stiles was good to work with, especially with this being his first major role in a film she helped to look after him during the shoot. “What Julia and I decided from the early stages, we wouldn’t get to know each other as people. We hardly ever talked. We wanted to keep it fresh,” Mably explained. “The only time we really had to talk was when we were shooting. It keeps you on your feet.”
Stiles, who I spoke to via telephone while she was in London rehearsing for a play, disagreed with Mably. “He said we didn’t communicate? That’s interesting,” Stiles said with a laugh. “Usually what I do is I try and keep a familiarity and trust with the other person so you feel comfortable working with them. I like to bond with the person I’m working with.”
In the film, Mably’s character races lawn mowers. It was something that the actors had fun doing as well. “I had to have training in lawn mowing, which sounds ridiculous. But these things got up to 95 miles and hour the real modified ones,” Mably said with a laugh.
In the role of Paige, Stiles said that she saw a lot of herself. She also agrees with Paige’s decision to become the princess. “It’s immediately seductive. I think it’s interesting that Paige can see 28 years down the line when she isn’t really doing anything or allowed to have a voice, would she be happy?” Stiles said about the character. “Although, the one question that always pops into my mind is, couldn’t she deal with all of the humanitarian work more powerfully if she were queen?”
When he was younger, Mably made horror movies with his friends. Coincidentally, it was also in a horror movie this past summer that most American audiences got their first glimpse of Mably in “28 Days Later.”
“It was a dream come true to work with Danny Boyle. Reading the script, I was petrified. You had the zombie movies before, but this was different,” he said about the film.
Mably had a month to prepare for the film, which didn’t leave much time, before filming began. To prepare, he read books about etiquette, learned to ride a horse and worked with a movement teacher.
The ultimate experience in preparation came two days before filming began in Toronto. “We went out as characters. That was my favorite part. I was pacing up and down my hotel room. I rang Ben and said, “I got an idea. Let’s go out as our character.” Mably explained. The two went to a restaurant.
“Ben did most of the talking,” Mably said. He introduced everyone. I started demanding tea and cake. It sounds cruel, but from an acting point of view, it was really interesting.”
Considering the plot of the film, if Stiles had the chance to date a real life prince, who would it be? “I think I would date the rock star Prince,” Stiles says, “Because it would be more fun. You wouldn’t have to worry people ironing your newspaper before you have tea.”
Eventually, Mably would like to move into directing, but for now he is concentrating on acting. “It’s something I would love to do. I got to learn more about my own craft first,” he said. To help learn, Mably says that he is constantly watching how everything is done.
Mably will next be seen in a film called “Color Me Kubrick,” a true story about a man who posed as Stanley Kubrick while he was filming “Eyes Wide Shut.”
Stiles, will be seen this summer in David Mamet’s play “Olleana” opposite Aaron Eckhart and will be seen reprising her role in “The Bourne Supremacy” with Matt Damon. When we spoke with Stiles, she had just finished working on the sequel.
“It couldn’t have gotten smaller than the first one. What I think is interesting is that it’s an elaboration. It builds on [the first one],” she said.