Lee Pace Catches His Stride

Source: h Magazine
Date: March 2008
By: Susan Michals

In Hollywood, there’s this term that you might hear from time to time called a “glowjob.” No, it’s not some sort of strange sexual experience with a radioactive person, it’s more along the lines of heaping loads of praise and/or accolades on a particular individual/film/script. Lee Pace is one such individual who merits the aforementioned definition. In just a few short years he’s gone from a blip on the radar to a familiar TV face, primarily due to the success of his show Pushing Daisies. You know the scoop — the show where he’s the dude who can bring back the dead (and send them back there again) with the touch of his fingers. With that gig he was catapulted to heartthrob status, along with his second Golden Globe nomination (the first for the Showtime film Soldier’s Girl). Now Pace arrives on the scene with not one, but three features — Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Possession, and The Fall. Pettigrew is the first to hit theaters this month (see review on page 45) and while Pace is in the film for maybe 20 minutes, (here comes the glowjob part) he’s the breakout performer of the entire production. He has the onscreen charisma of a rare movie star – more old school like Montgomery Clift – than those of present day. With his classically handsome feature and debonair swagger, it’s no wonder Amy Adams can’t help but swoon. Pace shared some time on his whirlwind press tour to talk with this h writer about Daisies, NYC vs. L.A., and old-fashioned romance.

h: I recently interviewed your co-star Swoosie (Kurtz) and she is so tiny!

LP: We have a lot of tiny girls on the show! I work in the land of teeny tiny girls and big guys. Swoosie is great. We have this running joke because her trailer is huge; it’s even got a ping-pong table in it.

h: And you?

LP: I’ve got a tent in the parking lot.

h: Everything you’ve done so far – Soldier’s Girl, Pushing Daisies, Miss Pettigrew – has been extremely diverse.

LP: It’s a real mixed bag. And a lot of the movies I did before Pushing Daisies were pretty dark… and when you’re in the dark world all the time, it takes a toll on your life. Like with Good Shepard, it was about some very dangerous men doing some very dangerous things, and you take that home with you. I’ve never been happier working on Pushing Daisies. I get to be in love all day and bring the dead back to life. Same thing with this movie (Miss Pettigrew)… it’s just fun stuff.

h: It must have been a great set to be on. Like the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movies.

LP: I like to say it’s an old fashioned movie as opposed to a period piece — it’s light and good-hearted. The love story with me and Amy Adams — we spend the whole movie sparring and then there’s a kiss.

h: This movie seemed like it was small in scale compared to something like Pushing Daisies or The Fall (Due May ’08). O just saw this book about the making of The Fall and I thought it must’ve been like working on acid everyday — the costumes, the sets, the locations are out of control crazy.

LP: Everything was epic. We were on principal photography for about four months. Tarsem (the director) shot all this incredible footage. One scene, we shot about 30 different masters of it. Eiko Ishioka did the costumes. She won her Oscar for Franic Ford Coppola’s Dracula. Plus we shot in 38 different countries, and there are no green screens in that movie.

h: That must have been a heavy duty film to shoot as well.

LP: It was, because for a good portion of it, I was in a wheel chair. The whole crew even thought I was really disable and no one knew who I was because we shot this before I did Pushing Daisies, so I could get away with that. But it was hard to be a wheelchair for so long.

h: I hear you really like L.A.

LP: You sound shocked about that. (laughs)

h: A lot of actors say ‘I don’t like it here. I’m just here for the work.’

LP: I never thought I could live without New York, and then I got to L.A. and all of those things i thought I couldn’t live without, I’m doing fine without. (laughs)

h: So now you’re back in town — what did you do during the writer’s strike?

LP: I had all these big plans — I was gonna learn Spanish and learn to play the guitar, but guess what? I’ve done none of that!