Rodrigo Santoro was thrilled to come back to the world of 300 in 300: Rise of an Empire, but it meant a serious sacrifice. "Not eating ice cream was hard. And it was harder this time,” Santoro said to Movie Fanatic at Comic-Con over the weekend.
Although, Santoro was thrilled to portray a character he knew and it was also an opportunity to delve deeper. “The interesting thing for me is six years later, I get to revisit a character and there’s more to his backstory so we can make it a fresh experience. Because in the first one, you see him as the god king and in this one, you wonder how he became the god king,” Santoro said.
The highly technical filming process of 300 is now old hat to the star of the sequel, but that’s not to say the shoot was easy. “Now I know the process of working against a green screen. But, it was challenging and I was ready to work on a long process. I just wanted more time to bring the details. I had a blast on the first one and when they asked me to be in the second one I was thrilled.”
Director Noam Murro stepped in for Zack Snyder, who still wrote the script for the sequel and serves as the film’s producer. Murro admitted that fans of the first film should know that there is no way to replicate that film, but that he keenly is aware of what they should expect from a 300 movie -- clearly seen from even the first promotional moments, such as this 300: Rise of an Empire poster.
“I love 300. I never thought we were replicating it. I think this has a different trajectory and they are very different. There are very distinct fighting styles and battles in this movie,” Murro admitted.
He sought to make it as of the moment as possible in terms of the action, as the first film also pushed the cinematic envelope. “I wanted to give us some forward-looking ship battles that are specifically tailored to how fighting is happening, action is happening. I feel I was charged to create a rich palette in not only how the movie looks, but in the way it progresses from an action point of view.”
Murro also stressed that Snyder still has his handprints all over 300: Rise of an Empire. "He wrote it, so that helped greatly,” Murro said and laughed.
“What is so great about Zack is he’s a filmmaker, a very busy filmmaker, so that allows you to have a great collaboration because it allows you to have an access to his knowledge or instinct, whenever you need it. He also allows you to have the freedom when you need that. That’s all you can ask for. It was quite incredible.”
Joining the world of 300 was a career high for Eva Green. “I loved the first movie. I was there the first weekend it came out with my popcorn,” Green said. “I couldn’t believe when they asked me to be in this one. That film had such a distinct style and felt like nothing we’d ever seen.”
She welcomed the opportunity to play a warrior woman, who needless to say is a strong female character… something she thinks is rare in Hollywood. “As you know, as an actress it is hard to find strong roles. You’re offered the love interest or boring girlfriend,” Green said.
“Here, she is full-on, she doesn’t do anything halfway. She is obsessed with vengeance. I enjoy playing evil, but not one-dimensional evil characters. I like them to have cracks in the armor. She’s ruthless and a badass.”
Star Sullivan Stapleton knew he had joined a franchise with a passionate fan base when the 300: Rise of an Empire trailer debuted and quickly became the most downloaded trailer on the internet. “I saw it on Facebook when it first came out and I showed it to my friends and put it on my page. But, the reaction to it has been immense,” Stapleton said. “I was not surprised. I knew it was going to be great.”