Set Visit Elektra
July 2004
Latino Review

Obviously comic book movies are a big thing now in Hollywood, Spider-Man, Superman, X-Men, Daredevil and now this, is this something you’ve been following, something you’ve been interested in?

Goran Visnjic: Yeah, this is definitely my first experience in comic books but I was a big sci-fi fan since I was a kid. Stargate was one of my favorite TV shows and when Elektra came by, I was auditioning for it and I was really, really happy when they called me and they said I got the part. European comic books are a little bit different, we have pretty much all the big guys like Daredevil, Spider-Man and Superman but Asterix and Obelix, if you’ve ever heard of the French comic books, and they’ve made the movies in Europe, that was like my favorite when I was growing up.

Can you talk about what attracted you to the story itself, what you think the essence of this story is, about this young woman?

Goran Visnjic: In Mark’s case (Mark Miller, his character), a good thing about it is, what makes it interesting for an actor to play it is - protecting his daughter, that’s my main objective and Mark’s only duty in the film. It’s protecting his daughter and trying to get Elektra on our side, to help us out, she’s the only one literally who can save us; in the case of an international mafia with villains with supernatural capabilities after you, you want to have someone like Elektra on your side. He’s one of the characters who helps with the storytelling also, it’s like Rob said, it’s one of the things you throw at Elektra on her journey which makes it really, really complicated because it’s one of the reasons why she’s turned from a serial killer into a good person again.

Rob Bowman: Mark is an everyday guy who is thrown into extraordinary circumstances and has done a very noble job of keeping his daughter alive while being chased by the meanest, most cold-hearted villains on the planet who use black magic as a weapon. And as everyday, as the neighbor down the beach as he come across, he has kept themselves alive, extraordinarily. And I think the balance between being the common man and trying to keep a cool head and keep his daughter alive and being wary of Elektra upon first meeting her - Is she another person who wants to kill us? We don’t know. We say that she is so…I think that really was part of my selection of Goran was – Who is a man who looks like there is more than just what appears to be on the surface of the face? There are other things going on internally. And what does he do, what lengths will he go to protect his daughter? Any length.

What was easy and difficult about playing this character?

Goran Visnjic: Easy, was spending time with Jennifer on the set. Difficult was being the only one with no superhuman powers, so when we get attacked by wolves and people throwing like, shit at you, it’s sort of difficult to just take that, and seeing everybody do their magic stuff and you need to just be there and have Elektra help you out or trigger things…

You’re making the transition gradually from television to movies, what have you noticed in a movie like Elektra that’s new for you as an actor?

Goran Visnjic: It would be like how many pages a day you shoot, which is pretty much the classical difference between television and film. But in this film it would be, what Rob mentioned before, you can give people and offer with this genre of comic book, is all these weird special and visual effects and you can really imagine certain things that maybe twenty years ago would be impossible to put on screen. Now, they can be done realistically. Talking about the animals, for example, you can mix a little bit of visual computer animation with real animals and it’s real difficult to guess that any trick was involved and it becomes very cool to be on set. We had, two days ago, we had 175-pound wolves on set, just to choose which one we would be using. I mean you don’t get wolves on ER. (laughter)

Not yet anyway. Can you talk about some of the biggest stunts you’ve had to do so far?

Goran Visnjic: Like I said, my character is not superhuman, so I don’t have a lot to do in that matter. I’m mostly an observer. One sort of big action scene for me, when I’m fighting one of the bad guys, we’ll be shooting in about ten days. We’re still setting up choreography. It’s going to be interesting, it’s going to be compact, with a lot of nasty tricks because, well, I love Rob’s explanation of my character and how does he fight with all these other guys knowing martial arts, well, my character is basically picking up everything that’s not grounded on the floor and hits the guys with garbage cans and stuff. It’s sort of interesting to do something like that.

If you could have a superhero power, what would you choose and why?

Goran Visnjic: I would be flying.

You and Goran both have hit TV shows and you’re squeezing this into your hiatus. Do you guys ever compare notes about what it’s like?

Jennifer Garner: Yeah of course we do. It’s funny because we both refer to our shows as “work.” We go “So when are you going back to work?”, as though we’re just hanging out at camp.

Rob Bowman: One of the distinctions, if I could just make an observation, between Matt Murdock and Mark, is that Matt Murdock exists in the world in which Elektra operates, sort of like a comrade. Whereas the scary thing, the interesting thing about Mark is he’s very ordinary, and sending Elektra into these very ordinary circumstances. Ironically, it’s a very scary thing for Elektra because she doesn’t know normal. And the contrast between Elektra and Mark could not make Elektra more uncomfortable. So Goran playing the good guy down at the beach, is in some ways, at least for me, a scarier journey for her Murdock’s apathetic, “I know how you feel, we’re both outcasts.” You know, partners in crime. Goran’s Mark and Elektra are from opposite ends of the spectrum. Put those together, how does it make her feel?

Jennifer Garner: She’s terrified…just so freaked out.

Goran, do you have stories about Jennifer or any thing that surprised you about her?

Goran Visnjic: The amount of work she does, I’m so jealous she gets to do all of those things in a 24 hour day. I would need a 48 hour day to do everything that she puts in one day.

Jennifer Garner: Thanks Goran.

Goran Visnjic: You’re welcome.

Were there any changes to your diet or exercise routine for this movie?

Goran Visnjic: I haven’t had a beer in a couple of days. [Laughing] No I’m joking, but I only have a couple scenes like that, and just as I told you, it’s just throwing garbage cans at bad guys.

Jennifer Garner: You’re in good shape.

Goran Visnjic: Thanks. Well I’m pretty much active like all of the time. I do a little windsurfing, I do Kung Fu a little bit, stuff like that, but I’ve been doing that for the last couple of years, so nothing special for the movie.