For Kenneth Branagh, Josh Gad turned into Mulch Diggums, the shaggy, kleptomaniac dwarf from the Artemis Fowl universe. During a videoconference interview, the actor told us more about his participation in the film. “Artemis Fowl, Kenneth Branagh does not bother with any major problems for the dwarf Mulch Diggums. The kleptomaniac created by the author Eoin Colfer becomes a giant dwarf here rather than just a dwarf. To play him, it’s Josh Gad (the original voice of Olaf dan s the Snow Queen, but also Lefou in the remake of Beauty and the Beast) who dressed up as a dwarf hidden behind a huge leather jacket and with a shaggy beard. In an interview for Linternaute.com, Josh Gad talks about what makes Artemis Fowl such a special saga. He also confides to us his happiness at the idea of working again with Kenneth Branagh and Judi Dench, whom he had already had the opportunity to rub shoulders with in Murder on the Orient Express. He shares with us all the admiration he has for them.
Comment did you join the Artemis Fowl project?
I never refuse a proposal from Sir Kenneth Branagh! I had just finished Murder on the Orient-Express, it was a wonderful experience to work with one of my heroes. A few months later, I received a phone call telling me that Ken wanted to invite me on his new project: Artemis Fowl. Of course, as soon as I get a call from Ken, I’m already in, but I wanted to familiarize myself with the world created by Eoin Colfer. I opened the books and couldn’t help but devour them. I was impressed by the idea that the character of Artemis Fowl was almost the antithesis of Harry Potter. He is a year old master criminal, a child who is smarter than any adult and any creature in this magical universe, the fairies, the goblins, the dwarfs… It seemed so different to me, so original. On top of all that, I fell madly in love with the character of Mulch Diggums, this kind of loner who always gets into trouble until he becomes an ally of Artemis Fowl, or at least that’s what we say. believes.
In the film, Mulch is mainly used as a narrator to introduce us to the universe of ‘Artemis Fowl. So you have few scenes with the other actors. Did you find it difficult?
Yes because the most interesting aspect of acting is to react to the play of others. That said, all the scenes where I am in some way the narrator are played opposite Ken who plays the role of the investigator who questions me. So I always had this chance to have fun shooting these scenes with someone brilliant. But nothing replaces the joy of shooting a scene with Ferdia [Shaw, Artemis Fowl] or Lara [McDonnel, Holly Short], Nonso [Anozie, Butler] and particularly Dame Judi Dench, with whom I am absolutely in love.
Did you have the opportunity to improvise on the set?
I had tons of them! It’s interesting because it’s the exact opposite of my experience on Murder on the Orient Express where we had an amazing Michael Green script that pushed the story forward and didn’t really call for improvisation. . So I didn’t need to improvise. On the set of Artemis, I quickly realized that Ken not only welcomed improvisation with open arms but also encouraged it. It’s always a joy for me to hear that because it allows me to propose things that are obviously inspired by the screenplay but which take it further. Once we have recorded what is written on the page, it is always interesting to modify it a little.
Were you able to keep a prop from the film?
Nope ! And besides, it annoys me to think about it. But it’s funny you ask me that because I’m so innocent that I’m always afraid to ask. I should have kept that damn jacket. I think I’ll ask them to send me the Mulch Diggums jacket.
This film allowed you to work again with Kenneth Branagh and Judi Dench. What is it like working with them?
I went to the conservatory where I studied theatre. During my second year, the whole program was about Shakespeare and we started by studying the filmed work of Sir Kenneth Branagh and Dame Judi Dench. I’m thinking of Henry V, of Much Ado About Nothing… We had master classes with great British actors like Michael Gambon, Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Ian McKellen and of course Dame Judi Dench. So they literally taught me how to act! To find myself now in a situation where they are my colleagues, my co-stars and my director is quite surreal to me.
Artemis Fowl – Available on Disney+