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Jamie Bell goes feral in ‘The Eagle’

While filming “The Eagle,” Jamie Bell learned that the tale of a Roman soldier and native slave hiking into the wilds of Scotland in search of a lost legion was going to be more than a walk in the park.

While filming “The Eagle,” Jamie Bell learned that the tale of a Roman soldier and native slave hiking into the wilds of Scotland in search of a lost legion was going to be more than a walk in the park. Throw in some hypothermia and mastering an ancient language, and you get the picture.

How much Gaelic do you actually speak?

I don’t even really remember my lines from the film. But in terms of what we had to learn, it was pretty extensive. I had to learn it phonetically, similar to how I would learn an accent. It’s very obvious when it goes wrong because it does not sound like Gaelic. It sounds like gobbledygook.

What did you do to get into shape for the role?

I really felt the idea of going to a gym and drinking protein shakes was an incredibly contemporary idea. So for me, I just wanted to get to a place where the guy had a feral masculinity and looked like he could take care of himself. But also he’s been a slave. He’s probably been malnourished.

Are you spending more time in California or England lately?

I live in California right now. I love it here. I go back to England about four or five times a year. I don’t think California is necessarily a permanent place of residence. This is an industry town, similar to the town I grew up in. This is a town where the predominant industry is entertainment. The town I grew up in, it was just steel and paint. So the sensibility is still the same. It’s also a beautiful place to live.


 
 
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