Steve Martin on expectations for high-def film ‘Billy Lynn’s’: ‘I’m going to look fantastic’

NEW YORK, Oct. 15 (UPI) — Steve Martin admits he didn’t know what to expect when he signed up for a role in director Ang Lee‘s drama Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.

The movie was shot in a new, hyper-real, digital format that makes the viewer feel like he or she is inside the picture.

“Going into it I thought: ‘I’m 70 years old. I’m going to be shown in high-def with no makeup. I’m going to look fantastic!’ And you know how you take a photo of your dog with your phone and his nose comes out like this and it’s so cute because his nose is almost as big as his head? I thought: ‘OK, I’m going to be in 3D. Is it going to be like my nose is out in the audience or what?’ But I prepared for the role. I went to fancy restaurants. I drove in fancy cars,” Martin said at a press conference in New York Saturday.

“I was impressed by the idea of the technology, but, by the time I got there, I’ve just kind of done enough, been in situations where crazy things, shooting under crazy circumstances… So, the camera was actually quite physically beautiful. I became very attracted to it. It’s a gorgeous piece of machinery and the operation of it is so skillful. And I felt — I think all the actors — felt, ‘I can only act and do my job.’ In many cases, I felt like we weren’t really acting somehow. It was quite a natural experience. I felt very comfortable in my role. I felt very comfortable in the environment and it is like a process that is really, really fun — especially when you are working with very talented people.”

The screen adaptation of Ben Fountain’s novel had its world premiere at the 54th New York Film Festival on Friday. It follows a young Iraq war hero — played by newcomer Joe Alwyn — who comes home with his fellow members of Bravo Company for a victory tour.

“This culminates in a halftime show at a Thanksgiving Day football game — a high-intensity media extravaganza summoning memories of the trauma of losing his beloved sergeant in a firefight,” a synopsis said.

Martin plays the wealthy owner of the football team who is considering financing a movie about the returning soldiers.

Co-starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, Garrett Hedlund and Vin Diesel, the movie is set for release Nov. 11.



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