Home Entertainment BENEDICT WONG ~ Exclusive Interview: Doctor Strange

BENEDICT WONG ~ Exclusive Interview: Doctor Strange

by Heather

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I am sad that we are preparing to bring the Doctor Strange Event, better known as #DoctorStrangeEvent, to a close. This was my first Marvel Press Event with Disney and I am so excited and thankful to have been a part of the magic that is this movie. If you haven’t made it to the theaters yet, Doctor Strange is now playing in theaters everywhere!

While in Los Angeles for the #DoctorStrangeEvent we had the opportunity to attend an advanced screening of the film. We also sat with the stars of the film Benedict Cumberbatch (“Dr. Stephen Strange”), Rachel McAdams (“Christine Palmer”), Mads Mikkelsen (“Kaecilius”), Tilda Swinton (“The Ancient One”), Director Scott Derrickson, and today, I am thrilled to share with you fun from our sit down with Benedict Wong (“Wong”).

Known for his roles in films like The Martian and Prometheus, Benedict isn’t a stranger to the big screen. Before he arrived for our talk I tried to imagine what he may be like in real life, I settled on really serious or larger than life. As he walked in the room, I was pretty sure I was on to something and then he sat down and started talking and I was certain. He is absolutely, positively larger than life! He’s hilarious and humble, his eyes light up as he talks about playing Wong in Doctor Strange, and he is absolutely adorable. I wanted to run over and give him a huge bear hug as a thank you for coming and talking with us. I’m about 98% sure he would have hugged back! He was an absolute pleasure to spend time with and I am pleased and privileged to share with you, what she shared with us a few weeks ago when we met him in LA.

Photo Credit: As Mom Sees It

Photo Credit: As Mom Sees It

HIS FAVORITE MOMENT BEHIND THE SCENES

I have known Benedict and Chiwetel over the years and have been in a few films with him. I’m very thrilled to be a part of this incredible cast, this magnitude of Marvel, and we’re really embarking on this incredible journey together.  I feel really ecstatic.

I think when we came back to LA, we did a bit of additional photography. I was just looking over incredible costumes as we were walk into Santorum again.  I just thought, oh this is just WOW.  There are beautiful moments and you get that warm, fuzzy feeling.  I think it was just a warm fuzzy Actor Production feeling.  I just thought OH WOW, it’s culminated into something really wonderful and it’s sort of a mixture, sort of childhood dreams to sort of being in the Marvel Universe.  Yeah, I was thrilled, thanks.

Photo Credit: As Mom Sees It

Photo Credit: As Mom Sees It

HOW HE GOT INVOLVED IN THE FILM

I saw Chiwetel for lunch one time.  I asked what he was up to and said, you’re doing Doctor Strange?  Then we had a little tit tat. Then, I saw this picture and it was Doctor Strange and then I saw there was a Wong Character. I was like what?

I was always so crestfallen that there were no Asian Superheroes, like where are the Super Asians. It was simple, I had to get this by birthright; ancestors would not have let me live this down. So, I looked at when they were shooting and thought, this is never going to happen. But bit by bit, the stars aligned, and they kindly moved the dates, and then it kinda went straight into filming.

What’s fantastic is, they’re honing these movies and they want to get them right for the fans. There’s an element of certain roles that they played in the ’60s which I think we would really be doing with updating this for a modern Audience and I’m thrilled about the fact that he is this really kind of Drill Sergeant that is standing alongside with Strange.  They fight in this Multiverse as we sort of introduce this to the audience.

Photo Credit: As Mom Sees It

Photo Credit: As Mom Sees It

MOST MEMORABLE “BLOOPER”

I landed and my bags came back up and we pretty much went straight into filming. So Benedict’s doing this elaborate spell which probably takes about a minute and then Chiwetel and I kind of were waiting in the wings to come down and obviously chastise him for breaking the space/time continuums.

I was just having this dialogue problem where you’ve got that huge chunk of taffy or something in your mouth.  I couldn’t really get the words out.  So he’s doing this minute spell and then we come down and Chiwetel’s like what’s up with the space time continuum.  And I was like pup, pup, pup, okay, let’s go get.  Yeah, yup.  The jet lag was kind of setting in, as he was doing this minute elaborate spell, I was creating my own black hole and then we were literally going into double figures.

I had to be sent home.  The next day, we were all back on track but that was a bit of a wobbler I think.

Photo Credit: As Mom Sees It

Photo Credit: As Mom Sees It

HIS FAVORITE LINE

I don’t really have favorite lines to be honest.  I love all my children.  I love all my lines.  I love being part of the scenes. I feel like I’m a cog in a part of these amazing machines.  And everyone’s in it as well and special effects and the writing teams and everyone and the crew.  Everyone’s just putting so much energy into this and I’m just there to be a part of that really.

Marvel's DOCTOR STRANGE..Wong (Benedict Wong)..Photo Credit: Film Frame ..©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

Marvel’s DOCTOR STRANGE..Wong (Benedict Wong)..Photo Credit: Film Frame ..©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

IS HE LIKE WONG?

I’m a little bit of a goofball really, like a serious goofball.  I think they’ve got a very interesting relationship.  They’re a little bit chalk and cheese, aren’t they? The odd couple.  As much as he’s got these incredible mystical powers, he’s also there to put in check and help guide him through this crazy multiverse that they’re about to encounter.

Photo Credit: As Mom Sees It

Photo Credit: As Mom Sees It

HOW HE GETS INTO CHARACTER

I never actually went to Drama School and I’m always kind of sort of always doing sort of little funny voice warm up exercises. There’s this part where you’re bending over and you’re letting your tongue hang out and you say —  We could all actually do it if you fancy–  [LAUGHS]

If you bend over, I’m gonna do a little voice workshop Mary Had a Little Lamb Whose Fleece Was White as Snow and Everywhere That Mary Went, the Lamb was off to go.  Mary Had A Little Lamb Whose Fleece Was White.  So that’s what we do, but there was as a side thing, there was one time where I was doing that, practicing my lines and I think it was like, I think it was with a film with Tim Robbins.  It was my scene with Tim Robbins and I’m practicing my enunciation and then the Director walked past and tapped me on the back going yes, do it like that.  And I go what?  I was going No No No, it was just a vocal warm up and then so you’ll see me doing it in a scene with Tim Robbins like Daffy Duck or something like that or Porky the Pig.  I’m normally doing that.

Photo Credit: As Mom Sees It

Photo Credit: As Mom Sees It

THE SUPER POWER HE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE

Oh wow, Super Power.  You know, I think, this place really needs the power of understanding.  I think I’d forego that from flying around and being invisible.  Yes, unifying that we’re all one.

Photo Credit: As Mom Sees It

Photo Credit: As Mom Sees It

MOST MEMORABLE SCENE

When I was in England with Benedict and Chiwetel, we were just looking at each other.  This is great, just having this really unified moment, working together once again. I personally feel like I’m the one that’s won the competition.  And then hey, you get to be in Doctor Strange and you get to work with these guys. It’s like oh yeah, and we pay you as well.  Oh right, great.  No, it’s fantastic!

Photo Credit: As Mom Sees It

Photo Credit: As Mom Sees It

HOW HE RESEARCHED THE ROLE

I first picked up the oath; I just had a little look at that. It was certain aspects of that, Man Servant, kind of sidekick, were just sort of took it back into the 60s and leave it there and for me, as an Actor as well, I’m always looking for a flow, what can we do to promote a positive role model.  The fact that I feel this kind of stoic strength of Wong that is serious but he’s very, no doubt he is serious about the severity of what is about to happen really and these forces that we do not know.

And obviously with the story of this arrogant Neurosurgeon becoming a broken man coming to find himself being humbled that he has a place that is bigger than himself and I’m thrilled to sort of play this role. I think Marvel, Kevin Thelke and the gang are doing a great job really to promote that.

Needless to say, hanging out with Benedict was amazing. I loved listening to his take on the part, how he wants to be a role model, and how important love and unity are to him. It was a riot watching him do his warm-up exercises. A few of us may or may not have bent down and tried to mimic his actions. HEY! It could result in us picking up a starring role in the next Marvel film! 😉

It was a great interview and my cheeks actually hurt from all of the giggling that we did. His smile is warm and touching, his eyes glisten when he talks, and he literally lit up the room with laughter. Benedict Wong is a great guy that I will not forget anytime soon. See his movies, especially this one {in 3D}, you’ll thank me!

Doctor Strange is NOW PLAYING in theaters EVERYWHERE!

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Marvel’s DOCTOR STRANGE follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange, who, after a tragic card accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilizing a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

CONNECT WITH DOCTOR STRANGE

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

Disclaimer: I was sent on an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles to cover the #DoctorStrangeEvent and #FindingDoryBluray Event with Disney/Pixar, Marvel, and Freeform. Regardless, all opinions expressed are still 100% my own.

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