Jamie Bell can handle just about any challenge he can face as an actor. His first role ever ,after all, was that of the iconic 14 year-old dancing savant in Billy Elliot back in 2000. Earlier this year, he fenced his way through complex fight scenes in icy rivers for the Roman epic The Eagle. And this winter, he will take on one of the most beloved characters of all time using motion capture technology for The Adventures of Tintin.
It sounds as though acting with a green screen might be difficult, but Bell is quick to dismiss this as any kind of challenge.
“An actor who enters into a motion capture film will bring to the table exactly what they bring to the table in a live action film,” he says. “The only difference is that you don’t wear costumes and the props in front of you are representational of what they are in the virtual world.”
As a young child, the 25 year-old Brit had loved the Tintin comics, which served as an inspiration to him.
“Everything he did, I wanted to do myself,” he says. “I wanted to be a journalist. Obviously, I definitely don’t want to do that now, because I’ve met so many of them. Travelling the world, great, always wanted to do that as a child. Tintin did it every week on my TV set.”
Not many people get to see themselves animated into one of their favourite fictional characters from childhood and for Bell, seeing animated scenes from Tintin was a little unsettling.
“It’s weird seeing my facial articulations, all that stuff, on another person’s body with another person’s face, but I think that’s only weird to me,” he says. “But I think [other people] will be blown away by how advanced this technology is, how good the animation is. How, ‘Oh thank god it’s not like those other films.’ We’ve really stepped up the bar.”