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The wizard of Emerald City

Published : Feb 2, 2017, 1:09 am IST
Updated : Feb 2, 2017, 2:50 pm IST

Vincent D’Onofrio speaks about his role as the Wizard in Tarsem Singh’s new dark retelling of The Wizard of Oz.

Vincent D’Onofrio
 Vincent D’Onofrio

Best known for his role in Stanley Kubrick’s war film Full Metal Jacket, Vincent D'Onofrio has recently finished the shoot for the first 10 episodes of Tarasem’s project Emerald City. In an interview, the American actor, producer and singer, speaks about his experience shooting for the TV series. Edited excerpts:

You worked with Tarsem on his very first feature film, The Cell in 2000. Is that how the new show came about for you, or was that purely coincidental?
I was filming Magnificent 7 and I heard that Tarsem was doing Emerald City and was going to direct all ten episodes. So I asked right away: “Is The Wizard cast?”  They said “no” and so I immediately called my agent. ‘Get Tarsem on the phone. I want to play to The Wizard. If he’ll let me, I want to play it.’

What was it that you wanted to bring to the character?
I had read three episodes from the series and I could sense the tone and see where it was going. So with my character, The Wizard, I immediately thought of that iconic projection with the curtain he’s hiding behind. And I thought that’s what we need to do for our Wizard. If we’re not going to use the actual projection and him behind a curtain, we have to use it as a metaphor for his character. What would make somebody like that be such a fraud and try to be so difficult to try to manipulate a whole population of people? Because he hates himself. And so we dove into this kind of worthlessness that this character, Frank Morgan who was the Wizard in the 1939 movie, feels.

What was the biggest challenge putting it together?
Shooting ten hours of a material out of sequence, like you would with a movie. We started with so much content, a mountain of scripts. And that’s tough to shoot.

The show airs on Colors Infinity, every Sunday at 8 pm.

Tags: emerald city