An Interview with Sam Riley, “Diaval” in MALEFICENT

Disclosure: Disney is sponsoring travel, accommodations and activities during my stay in Los Angeles. Thoughts are my own. 

Have you have been following along with my MALEFICENT cast and director interviews? If not, here is a quick list:

Today I am sharing my last interview, this time with Sam Riley who plays “Diaval” in MALEFICENT.

Sam Riley (Diaval) in Maleficent

Q: What was it like to work on a new but yet very old story?

“It was really exciting. I thought the way they did MALEFICENT was really interesting.  I mean, what would make a woman or a sorceress curse a little baby? It’s like one of the worst things you could possibly do. The fact that Angelina was gonna play Maleficent was very exciting.”

Q: Was there research you had to do to figure out how to get into your character?

“I had some, they organized it so that they could bring in a real raven into a room about this big. I’d never seen a real raven before. I thought they were like crows but it’s like this big bird that could do tricks and stuff, which is pretty scary. They’re very intelligent and kind of vain as well which I thought was funny.  I just watched this raven in a room for awhile just to see if anything would rub off on me. I tried to copy bits of his movements. By the end of the session I was actually running around the room flapping my wings.”

Sam Riley (Diaval) in Maleficent

Q: How much hair and makeup did you have to go through every day?

“It’s about three and half, four hours. I couldn’t really complain because there were other people that had been in there since three o’clock in the morning. So, the ladies and guys that were putting all this stuff on, they probably work some of the hardest because they have to be there at that time and then the whole day they have to make sure things aren’t falling off.”

Q: What’s your most memorable scene?

“The first one really because I was really nervous. I met Angelina before, we rehearsed and things like that, but I’d never seen her in the full costume. Then they had this amazing set there and she was already standing there so I was worried that I’d been keeping her waiting or something which wasn’t a good start. She had her back to me and it was all lit amazingly. Then, when she turned around it was weird because it looked real with the cheekbones and the contact lenses.”

Q: Can you tell us about your audition?

“It was pretty classic, which is more or less they send you the scenes, you learn them at home if you’re a good boy and then I flew to London and met Rob and the casting director. Then you do the scene.

I didn’t hear anything for quite a long time, then about three weeks later my American agent rang, which is always at night in Europe, and he said, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘Oh, I’m in a pub.’  And he said, ‘Well, buy yourself another drink because Angelina saw the tape and you’re Birdman.’  So exciting.”

Q: I think your character plays her conscience throughout the movie.  So was it intimidating to you?

“When we talked about it in the beginning she said that at the beginning he’s more like a servant and he’s scared of her because she’s all-powerful and everything. But they spend every day together for sixteen years then. I mean, she’s isolated herself somewhere so that I’m the only one who talks to her.  So we wanted them to be a bit more like a bickering married couple by the end of it and have these lighter moments.”

Sam Riley (Diaval) in Maleficent

MAELFICENT is open in theaters NOW, so don’t miss it! Also, check my out movie review, too.

Disclosure: Disney is sponsoring travel, accommodations and activities during my stay in Los Angeles. Thoughts are my own.