As can be seen in the Seventh Son trailer, Jeff Bridges stars as a medieval warrior who takes Ben Barnes’ character under his wing. The pair are joining forces to try to defeat an evil witch (Julianne Moore, a reunion from The Big Lebowski) and her coven who seek to destroy mankind. Bridges met us at Comic-Con recently to talk about what it was about this story that saw him heading back to the Dark Ages.
“I’m a big fan of myth and mythology, and I saw this as a chance to make a modern-day myth. It also talks about good and evil. My idea is that good and evil are really different sides of the same coin,” Bridges said.
He then read from a quote that he thought perfectly epitomizes what he’s trying to say.
“I ran across a quote that really set me off. I thought, ‘If we can accomplish in turning people onto this idea, this would be something I’d like to be involved with.’ It’s from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and the quote is, ‘If only it were so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere, insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?’ That rang true for me.”
Bridges sees the themes of that quote, and the crux of the Seventh Son, all around us. “I think that is something that is evident in the world that we live in today, and certainly in the past. It’s something that’s a work in progress for us human beings,” Bridges admitted. “As an artist, I see it as our task to help bring that dream of peace about.”
For Barnes, the appeal of the film wasn’t the timeframe, although he enjoys it. It was finally getting to work with one of his acting heroes.
“I’ve done some work in the fantasy realm before (The Chronicles of Narnia), but I think a lot of films are presented as an allegory of good versus evil, and they have very interesting subtexts. Not all too often are the characters really explored, to the point of what dilemmas they’re going through, in their approach to what they’re doing,” Barnes said.
“Jeff Bridges has been one of my heroes, since I was very young. He is, even more so now, since working with him."
He thinks that whole concept of good versus evil is a dilemma that these characters in Seventh Son are struggling with and agrees with Bridges that it is never so black and white.
“Particularly my character, as an apprentice, he’s somebody who’s new to it, but knows that he’s meant for something more in this world. How exactly that’s going to play out is something that he doesn’t know, and the idea of fate and destiny is painted on top of that as well,” Barnes said. “There’s a lot of interesting things, thematically.”
Bridges, when asked to recall one of the best parts of filming the movie for him personally, did not hesitate.
“I remember, working in Alberta, we had such a wild time. We were on top of the world, on this mountain. There’s a place mentioned in the script, and Sergei found it. No CGI was required. There it was. And we went there and shot and we had a wild time, being helicoptered in there. It was really terrific. It was an unusual experience,” Bridges said.
“Then, there was an announcement that I’m not sure whether it turned out to be fiction or not, that said, “Be careful and don’t have any food out because there is a grizzly bear, just over the river!”