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Comic-Con: James Cameron talks Avatar
The movie titan on joining the Na'vi
Comic-Con: Stephen Lang talks Avatar
Avatar's Col. Quaritch on a sci-fi epic with soul
Comic-Con: Jon Landau on Avatar
The Titanic producer on his latest Cameron collaboration
Avatar In-Depth: James Cameron
In-depth and exclusive on the making of Avatar
Avatar In-Depth: Sam Worthington
On Avatar, gun porn and sleeping in his car
Avatar In-Depth: Sigourney Weaver
Avatar’s Grace on Cameron, Aliens and Pandora…
James Cameron Talks Avatar 2
The director talks Pandora and the future of Avatar
Jon Landau Talks Avatar 2
The producer on the sequels and Avatar Collector's Edition
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Avatar (2009)
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Stephen Lang Webchat
Col. Quaritch talks Avatar and more!

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Stephen Lang visited the Empire office, and inbetween not eating our eyes for jujubes, found time to answer all your questions about Avatar sequels, working with Michael Mann, and eating your eyes for jujubes. Well, you asked...
Stephen Lang in Avatar

Owain Wilson: Good afternoon, Stephen. You were so awesome in The Hard Way that to this day I still think of you as the Party Crasher - as in, "ooh look, the Party Crasher's in Public Enemies!". Is that alright with you?
It's OK with me Owain, but time to move on!

FinchN9: Out of all the scenes in Avatar, what was the hardest for you to film?
Well, the opening scene, "You're not in Kansas anymore", was a very long speech, so I wanted to get that all in one take. But leaving the amp suit when I was on fire was physically challenging to do; that was the toughest, I think. Also, climbing up the amp suit was tough because my left shoulder is kind of arthritic.

jolly_ramon: Afternoon Stephen, so you made it here; no problems with the Ash Crisis?
No no; I flew in from Bulgaria, and they'll fly through anything!

TeenageJesus: Stephen, thank you for doing this. We all appreciate it. You've worked with Mann and Cameron, both directors with reputations for being hard working and driven. Who was the most enjoyable to work with? And the toughest?
Well, they're both very enjoyable to work with in different ways. Jim is extremely collaborative; Michael is extremely specific, which is not to say that Michael is not collaborative or that Jim is not specific. That's just what stands out about them in my mind. They're both visionary, both driven, both very focused – and they're both very intelligent. I am very fond of both of them and would work with either of them any time; I'm not going to pick a favourite!

Cornelius: Hi Stephen, were you jealous or relieved that you didn't get to use the performance-capture gear?
I did use the performance capture gear. The battle between Jake and myself, much of what I do there is performance capture. I would be delighted to play a role that was completely done with performance capture, but I wouldn't trade Colonel Quaritch for any character in the film.
Stephen Lang in Avatar

Rossko2x: Hello Stephen. Quaritch is clearly a badass, solely intent of death and destruction. When he suggests killing the Na'vi by gassing them, I got the feeling he forced himself to say that and really wanted to nuke them all. Do you agree?
No, not at all. I think Quaritch just wants to get the job done. Basically, the gassing is like tear gassing somebody. It's a question of getting them to disperse, is what it is. But I don't think he would shy away from doing whatever is necessary to carry out his agenda.

Rgirvan44: Good afternoon Stephen, I really enjoyed Gettysburg and Gods and Generals. Any word on the Last Full Measure? Do you think it will ever be made?
Well, I would hope so, but at this point I think it's a very tough sell. Gods and Generals did not pay for itself, and I think that Ted Turner is not currently in the business of producing films – and he, of course, was the angel behind the films. But I think about it occasionally; I'd really love to be part of it, to finish telling the story.

elias: Mr Lang, my brother and I bodybuild too in our free time. We wanted to know since we saw Avatar for the first time, if the weights you were pumping were real and if so, how many pounds were they?
It was a substantial amount of weight. What I lifted was exactly what you saw me lift. Understand that when you're doing a film you're doing repeated takes. It's not just sets; you can be doing it 50 to 100 times. So it was enough weight to give me a good workout. For the record, I can't lift what I could back in the day. But I still lift.

Billy Boyd Cape: Are you excited for your next villain role in Conan? Is it more fun being a badass evil character?
I love the role I'm playing in Conan. I’m enjoying making the film tremendously. It's very physically demanding. You know, Conan is 28 years younger than me and a big dude, so I have to depend upon my wolf-like wiles to defeat this young bull.

ultraculture: Would you do Avatwo?

Demi12345: Hi Stephen, much respect for your work. Did notorious prankster George Clooney pull any on the set of The Men Who Stare At Goats?
Well, he was certainly full of good humour on set, but that was a film with a limited budget and quite a tight shooting schedule, so there was no time for pranks, sadly.

dylanisis: Hello Mr Lang. Can you share your thoughts on working with Steven Seagal on Fire Down Below?
Steven is something of an exotic, I would say. I found Steven quite fascinating, and got along with him very very well, and always made sure that I protected myself at all times, because you never know with Steven, do you?

thatfilmlover: Stephen, every actor has those
The only one I recall really breaking my heart was Miller's Crossing. I was very heavily in contention for the role that Gabriel played in it, and I really wanted it. But I'm over it now.

Blunt: Hello Stephen, thank you for doing this. I was wondering how it was to work with Michael Mann on Public Enemies 20 years after being in Manhunter ? Did you see any difference in how he approached the filming, any evolution to his method of directing and working with actors during that time ?
First of all, it was really great to be reunited with Michael, a very dear friend an I think a very great director. I would say that Michael has, without losing any of his edge, intensity or focus, I think he has mellowed a bit. There's a sweetness to Michael now that maybe wasn't there many years ago. But I think that's a product of time and getting older a bit.
Stephen Lang in the Empire office for his webchat

Gargoyle: Hi, Stephen! I saw behind-the-scenes-footage of a fight between you and Ribisi's character in Avatar. Any chance this will be in the extended version? I would love to see Quaritch kick some human ass!
It's a wonderful scene. I think that it's quite possible it will be in an extended version. It was taken out of the film quite late in the day, and it was really a sacrifice to bring the film in at a certain time. In terms of plot points, it was not necessary in terms of advancing what happened, but it's a very cool scene and I hope it will be in an extended version.

Interestingly enough, Giovanni and I also have a scene in Public Enemies that got cut where I collar him at the end. It's an excellent scene that I know Michael liked very much. But it was after Dillinger's death, so at that point in the movie they needed to speed towards the conclusion. So maybe Giovanni and I are destined to have our scenes cut; they're just too damn good.

Sully: Hi Stephen, did you ever imagine the eventual success of Avatar and the way it would change the film landscape forever?
I don't think anyone from Jim Cameron on across envisioned the tremendous impact that it would have. I think we all believed in the film, and that it was going to do well, but it would have been foolish to kind of foresee the cultural phenomenon that it has become. Remember, back in the fall of '09, the film was being dissed on a regular basis all over the internet.

jolly_ramon: Looking forward to Conan, but has Avatar opened up lots more acting opportunities? Are you in demand? what do you plan to do next?
Well, the opportunities are more plentiful these days, that's for sure. Conan seemed like a wonderful follow-up. I'm doing a picture called Dance Hall in June, and then we'll see.

le mon: Stephen, I notice that all the questions so far (as I am typing this) are about your films. So, favourite food, drink and music?
My favourite dish is pollo ajillo; my favourite drink is a good Rioja with it. And as for my favourite music, oh god there's so many things I like. Well, I'd say it's Walk of Life by Dire Straits.

Timon: Hey Stephen, your performance as Col. Jessop in A Few Good Men on Broadway has been credited as the main performance that Jack Nicholson based his performance from for the film version. How do you feel about Jack Nicholson being forever assoicated with the role and who is the best 'Jessop' you've seen? Apart from yourself....?
I haven't seen anyone else play Jessop, including Jack. I'm sure he was great. Jack Nicholson is one of the great actors. I'm not aware of who else has played the role. I do understand that there's a revival coming to Broadway, and I'll be curious to see who plays Jessop in that. But there's some virtue in having been the first!

dylanisis: Can you share any anecdotes on working with Stallone?
I watched the Tyson-Holyfield fight with Stallone. I remember when Tyson bit him, Sly looked at me and said, "I think he bit him". I said, "I think you're right, Rock."

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