Dialogue: Talking Sorcerer's Apprentice with Nic and Jay

Dialogue: Talking Sorcerer's Apprentice with Nic and Jay

Jul 12, 2010

The guys reveal what they think the coolest jobs are, and their favorite Disney classics.

Think of The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and you think of Mickey Mouse in a big pointed wizard's hat, directing mops to do his cleaning for him, only to see them get out of control and nearly flood the place, all set to a wonderful classical score.

Think of The Sorcerer's Apprentice the way frequent collaborators mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Jon Turtletaub and star Nicolas Cage might, and you'd probably envision something with slick special effects, big, fun explosions -- and yes, maybe even a magical mop. You'd be on the right track. In this latest Disney revamp, an ancient sorcerer (Cage) has to convince a modern-day college student (She's Out of Your League's Jay Baruchel) that he's the next great wizard before the hell breaks loose.
 
Fandango sat down with Cage and Baruchel to talk about their new movie, on how cool it was to shoot energy out of their hands and their life-long love of all things Disney.
 
Tell me about your fascination with Disney's original Fantasia and The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

Jay Baruchel: What's weird, something I totally forgot during the entire shooting of our movie and only dawned on me a couple of months ago, was that when I was a little kid, my bed sheets were Sorcerer's Apprentice. I had Mickey and the hat on my bed. Isn't that insane?
Nicolas Cage: That's kismet. Fantasia is probably the first movie I ever saw. I remember it was a New Year's Eve ritual for my family to go see it late at night. The introduction to classical music and to the landscape Disney had just transported me. So it always has a soft spot in my heart.
 
What was the evolution of the project?
Cage: When this idea first began, I was already well on my way in an interest in mythology and Arthurian legend, and I was trying to find a way to apply that in my work. Coinciding with that, I became very interested in making family movies. I am eclectic. I love the midnight audience as well, but I felt one of the better ways I could apply myself now, in this day and age, is to entertain parents and children, so they could look forward to experiencing something together, without body counts and bloodshed.
 
It occurred to me playing a sorcerer would be the perfect way to entertain both parents and children, so on the set of Next, where I was playing another kind of magician of sorts, I thought, “Man, I really want to play an ancient sorcerer. Where can I get an ancient sorcerer?” And the producer on that movie, Todd Garner, said, “I got it! The Sorcerer's Apprentice!” Within in two seconds, it just happened.
 
How about you, Jay, what was the first Disney movie that affected you?
Baruchel: Oh wow! Um, when I was little it was The Sword and the Stone. That was one of my favorites. Arthur was also a big deal for me. I studied Camelot and Arthurian legend in school and stuff. It was that and The Black Cauldron and Robin Hood with the fox. There's just something no other organization nails as well as Disney. This joie de vivre, super fun, happy, magical feeling. I truly believe Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth. I don't care who you are, or what mood you're in when you get there, once you walk through the gates, it's just like the nicest place on Earth! It hijacks your imagination.
 
Also [great was] the chance to marry the stuff I love to do, falling down and getting the crap kicked out of me, with the stuff I've always wanted to do, like shoot energy out of my hands. I get to fall down and do all my schmucky stuff AND save the world. It was pretty cool.”
Cage: It's funny you say Disneyland. I'm at the point when people ask where I'm from, I just say Disneyland. It's my nationality.
 

We know about the green screen and having to act off things that are not there, but what's one thing about special effects that we might not know?
Baruchel: They do this thing called “ball pass” after any shot that has CG featured into it. We'll act and then walk off camera and hear “Ball pass!” And then they walk through with this mirrored ball that absorbs all the light, so they have it as a reference for when they put the CG in later. But there's nothing NOT funny about hearing 20 people yell “Ball pass!” three times a day.
Cage: It was odd, and I never quite fully understood it.
 
The film's tagline is “The coolest job you'll ever have.” Besides what you do, what's another cool job, in your opinion?
Cage: I like social work, I really do. When I was doing research for a movie I did, Bringing Out the Dead, I got to ride around with the paramedics. I have so much respect for those people. What they have to go through. And they always get sued for trying to save people. There's no corruption. They're not getting paid. I think those guys, the paramedics, the fireman, they're the true heroes.
Baruchel: All my mother's family are soldiers. My granddad was in the first U.N. peacekeeping mission ever and liberated Europe. My mother grew up on an Army base, the sixth of eight kids. All her sisters married soldiers. My cousins are in Afghanistan. So as a kid, it was something I always wanted to be. But my mother was like, “You don't want to carry around 50 pounds on your back all day, do you?” And I was like, “No, not really.” But I have tremendous respect for anyone who could leave their home and go 5,000 miles away to try to help other people.

 

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