Interviews - Reece Putinas

Reece Putinas
Role: Lucullus

What's the best Shakespeare performance you've seen?

I rather enjoyed Baz Lurhman's "Romeo and Juliet" with Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio. I felt the performances were so strong and captivating; it made the film easy to follow, even with the Shakespearean language.

How do you feel about your role?  Do you like your character?  Was it easy to relate to your character's motives and intentions?

I am happy with the role I have, the character has depth and substance which was great fun to explore. My experience playing antagonists made it easy to relate to my character's motives and intentions.


This film is very much about connecting with the modern world, how do you feel your character's arc or story connects to modern day?

In today's world there are a lot of fake people and we never really know who is being genuine and who has ulterior motives. Trust is a hard thing to gain nowadays and I feel my character's story portrays this perfectly.


What challenged you about this role?

Finding the perfect balance between my character's two faces/personalities.


You started your career in the entertainment industry as a wrestler.  That role is, in many ways, a showman.  Has the experience influenced how you perform or build character?

As a wrestler, you're playing a character 24/7.  An alter ego, if you will, that you have to make the fans believe is real. This is akin to the techniques in method acting, so when transitioning to screen work I brought that over with me, to assist in not only the development of a character but also allowing me to delve into a specific mindset.  To become and live as the character I'm playing, was very much influenced by my experiences prior to film.  Wrestling has also helped me maintain a razor like focus on set when in the middle of scenes.


Have you worked with CGI before?

Only briefly, my experience with CGI is quite limited. When I was working on both the "Fantastic  Beasts and..." films, green screen was quite a frequent occurrence.  I remember in one of the finale scenes we used green screen to create large crowd of wizards, 100 people would become 500.


Have you ever filmed abroad before?

I recently spent a year in LA filming feature films, short films, web series and commercials.  It was a wonderful experience where I learnt a lot. It's so different to the industry in the UK.  British actors seem to be like 'catnip' over there, especially when it comes to antagonist roles. Literally, every single project I went in for it was playing a bad guy. LA is very fast paced and if you don't know what you’re doing it's easy to get left behind.


For this film we rehearsed, how does that experience differ from other film work you've done?

There was one film in LA where we would rehearse scenes before the day we shot them, however most of the time I just show up and perform on the day, with zero rehearsals; which is very standard for film.


What is like to work with Maximianno Cobra?

Because I was in LA, most of my work with Maximianno was on Skype.  I learned very quickly he is a perfectionist and has a very clear and concise image of the vision that he wants to create. Having now worked with him on set, he has a great energy about him and the passion he has for his projects becomes infectious.


Lastly, what will happen to your character AFTER?  Do you feel there is hope for your character/for the world, by the end of the film?

I feel my character will just move on and find someone new to leech off. Lucullus is like a vampire in the sense that he is always in search of his next victim so he can drink them dry. It’s all about wealth and power and he will stop at nothing to cling onto both.