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Side Effects (2013)
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Exclusive Jude Law Webchat Transcript
The Side Effects star talks headlocks, Tottenham Hotspur, Breaking Bad and more...

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In Steven Soderbergh's Side Effects, Jude Law plays a psychiatrist who prescribes drugs to a fragile woman (Rooney Mara) and suffers the consequences of the resulting fallout. Intrigued? Check out the trailer for a better look, but not before you read through our webchat transcript with the man himself, including such interesting titbits as who still leaves him starstuck and more...

Exclusive Jude Law Webchat Transcript

Liam Quane says: Hi Mr. Law, I’m a big fan. I was just wondering – and I know this doesn't pertain to Side Effects – but how is Sherlock Holmes 3 coming along?
Well, it is in no state to talk about really. There's a script meeting in March, but there's a desire to do another one. We all took a very decisive break and now it's just starting to reassemble.

Fender Marlowe says: Hey Jude, big fan. Can you recall your first meeting with Steven Soderbergh back in the day?
First time I met Steven Soderbergh was actually at a screening of Traffic in Los Angeles, and I attended with a producer who was a friend of his. And then typically for him Contagion came together over the phone, but in an early stage in the process, because I was onboard as one of the members of the ensemble for almost a year and a half before we actually started filming. And then finally I met him properly and worked with him in San Francisco.

Happy says: Side Effects feels like three different movies in one - in the best possible way - how did it feel when you first read the script?
Well, reading the script for the first time for me was like the experience of watching the film I suppose; it was the only opportunity I've had to get that initial effect of getting the twists and turns and surprises. My initial response to the part was, "Is he the good guy or the bad guy?" and Soderbergh's reaction to that question was, "Exactly".

MattHooper says: What do you think Side Effects says about the pharmaceutical industry?
Well, I think Scott (the writer) and Steven have been really clever in that they haven't made a statement or a judgment about the pharmaceutical industry - because there is a hugely positive side to it - but what they have done is to start the conversation and shine a light on our relationship with prescription drugs and our desire for a quick fix.

Thrice says: How honoured were you to play Heath Ledger’s part as Tony in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and how did you go about making this character your own whilst also respecting how Heath represented Tony?
Guy Ritchie's a very good drinking partner. He enjoys a good sing-along.
Well, weirdly it wasn't about honour. I think if Heath were alive today he'd laugh at the idea of being about honour. It was about getting it done for Heath, and getting it done for Terry. I think the three of us stood in as much in memory of Heath as for Terry, because we didn't want Terry to fall foul of yet another film tragedy. What's really weird about my involvement in that film is that at a very early stage Terry and I were talking about me playing the part, and he went away and did all these illustrations and computer mock-ups of me in the world of the Imaginiarium, and the one that he used me for was in the land of ladders, which is the one I ended up doing. So there was a strange sense of finish, I suppose.

Flash says: I'd love to know what your favourite movie soundtrack is - is there a movie soundtrack that really inspires you?
Well, the two that spring to mind are - and I went and saw it live about ten years ago - is Ennio Morricone's Once Upon A Time In The West. He performed it at the Royal Albert Hall and it was amazing; they had the choir and all those mad sound effects. The other one is Drugstore Cowboy, which is a fantastic soundtrack.

MattHooper says: Do you think Tottenham can retain their current form and make the Champions League this year?
I'm going to stick my neck out and say yes, finally, as long as we don't suffer from vertigo again.

Boo says: Do you have a favourite Soderbergh movie (that isn't one of your own, of course)?
I'm not very good at coming up with favourites, especially with someone like him where he's changing his genre all the time. But I think the first part of Che is absolutely brilliant filmmaking, but I love Traffic too. Typical, double-pronged answer.

Haffeet says: Is Guy Ritchie a good drinking partner? My round, what's your drink?
Yeah, he is, he's a very good drinking partner. He enjoys a good sing-along, and encourages everyone to move in the direction of the piano. I'd have to ask for a double Lagavulin, no ice.

Graham says: It's a complex movie, Side Effects – could you describe it in three words?
Relevant. Timely. Twisted.

VivianGATTACA says: Do you think that Side Effects shows an advanced view of society and psychological problems?
No, I think if anything its effect is very much because it gets the here and now quite clearly, and if anything the effort really went into making it authentic and accurate and yet also function as a plot-driven piece of drama.

Exclusive Jude Law Webchat Transcript

Ripley says: Mr. Soderbergh has announced his retirement from making movies - did you get any sense of that while working on Side Effects?
Not at all. He was very much work as usual.

TalentedMrLaw says: What can you tell us about The Grand Budapest Hotel? I imagine working on a Wes Anderson film is a very unique experience!
Yeah, working on a Wes Anderson film is like being in a Wes Anderson film, I can't describe it any other way. You get on set, and you're like, "Oh yeah! I'm in a Wes Anderson film!" As soon as I was handed a tweed suit and a pipe! I'm not sure how much I can say. Tom Wilkinson plays a novelist who tells a story about being a young novelist, and that's me, and then I'm told a story, and the film is that story. So it jumps from present day to the 1960s to the 1930s. It was roughly inspired by the work of Stefan Zweig.

Liam Quane says: Did David O. Russell really head lock Christopher Nolan over you leaving I Heart Huckabees?
Apparently he did, yeah. Not only head locked him but pulled him off his chair at a dinner party. But that was nothing compared to his behaviour on set. My favourite memory is him directing from a sun lounger in a pair of pants with a sombrero on.

PreTTyHeLL says: Hi Mr. Law, I'm a Chinese fan. Have you ever considered bringing your stage work like Hamlet and Henry V to China some day?
I'm now a die-hard Sherlock Holmes fan and I'm a bit of a traditionalist.
I'd never thought of doing that, but I'd be intrigued to come. I've been to China before, several times, but never thought of touring there with theatre. Thanks for the invitation.

Graham says: Why does Soderbergh keep saying he's going to quit movies? Do you secretly have Contagion 2 up your sleeves?
He's genuinely not a person to make statements for dramatic effect, so I believe him because this is not him making a bold statement that doesn't mean anything. To quote him, he thinks that narrative in film is not evolving, and he's quite keen to get back into a medium that is evolving.

Boo says: What, on pain of having no more sandwiches in your life ever again, is your favourite sandwich?
It would have to be a crusty white roll with cheddar cheese and ham and a bit of mustard.

GigoloJoe says: What are your memories of working with Spielberg on A.I.? Were you flattered to be cast as the ultimate sex machine?
Yeah, it was an extraordinary experience and typically epic from beginning to end, in that we rehearsed for a month, and I was filming in Berlin at the time, and he would fly me by Concorde at the weekend to New York, and then chopper up from JFK to his garden. It was all the last summer before Concorde got cancelled. And filming was this enormous experience of sets and lights and prosthetics it was a fantasy. And along the way, my daughter was born in Los Angeles, so it was a monumental period in my life really.

Ripley says: Have you seen any of the BBC Sherlock?
I've seen all of them, and I like parts of it if I'm honest. I think Benedict is brilliant; I like the concept, but I'm now a die-hard Sherlock Holmes fan and I'm a bit of a traditionalist.

The Captain says: Empire once interviewed Matt Damon in a hotel, and the name he used at check-in was Dickie Greenleaf. Were you aware of that, and are you flattered?
I am well aware of that, and it still slightly bugs me.

IndieJones88 says: What attracted you to the part of Henry V in the upcoming theatre production?
The speeches!

Timon says: Is there any truth to the rumours that you may be in the Man From UNCLE remake, if anyone ever gets round to directing it (First it was Vaughn, then Soderbergh left it...)
No idea. But I like the idea.

SpeedRacer says: What line do you hear most often from fans on the street?
I don't know that I do. I think I've avoided a catchphrase.

DNA says: Loved your work on Road To Perdition. Would you fancy a Craig/Mendes/Law reunion in the Skyfall follow-up. Next Bond villain perhaps?
Javier Bardem is a hard act to follow I have to say. I'd like to be the only Bond villain to actually kill him. That'd be my stipulation. I'll do it, but Bond has to die. That'd shock people, wouldn't it? Now, world domination!

Quentin_Cappucino says: Hi Jude. I hear you're obsessed with Breaking Bad. Who's your favourite character and are you up to date?
I am completely up to date, and my favourite character is Mike.

IAmTheLaw says: Hey Jude, you've been in the business a long time - are there many things as an actor you've seen change over that time?
Yeah, things have changed, but only because I suppose I've gained experience and perhaps different perspectives, so it's not that it's changed in any fundamental way. I've just seen things differently. It's just that I've changed.

Exclusive Jude Law Webchat Transcript

Liam Quane says: Who's your favourite director?
At the moment, I think Michael Haneke is quite hard to top; I think he's on quite incredible form. His last five films have been faultless, really. And I'm a huge fan of Paul Thomas Anderson.

Boo says: Do you have any nicknames and if so what are they?
I do, and I'm not telling you. Only because they are used by my nieces and nephews, so they're slightly cheesy and slushy so I'm not giving it away. I'll never hear the end of it.

TalentedMrLaw says: What's the Empire office like?
I'd love to be in a comic book film, but they seem to have all been done.
It's busy, and laden with paraphernalia.

Medic says: You were involved / awarded a payout during the Leveson Inquiry, are you hoping that things change for the better after everything came to light?
Yeah, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

PreTTyHeLL says: Mr. Law, you and Ewan McGregor are my favourite actors ever, and I think you two are close friends – how come you two have never worked in a film together yet?
It's just never incarnated in that way. We had a couple of plans to, years back, but those fell by the wayside and no one's ever come up with something to tempt us both in. When you're friends with someone, you hold out for something really special to work together on, and not some gimmicky idea you do just for the sake of it, and that's just never happened.

Greenleaf says: Of all the actresses you've worked with, who was your favourite and why?
Again, I don't really have a favourite, because I've been pretty lucky in that I've always worked with really decent people and not yet had a diva to contend with. Kate Winslet is a good pal, and Cameron Diaz is a good friend, and they're both a lot of laughs.

chattypatra says: Sir, is there anyone in your line of work who still leaves you starstruck when you see them?
I was on the jury with Bob De Niro and I still find it quite hard to talk to him.

Robogigolo says: What’s your all time favourite TV comedy?
Fawlty Towers, I think.

SarkyStark says: Any chance of a comic book role?
I'd love to be in a comic book film, but they seem to have all been done.

AliceMelody says: Hi, Jude. Have you seen Henry V played by Tom Hiddleston? Or any of the BBC show The Hollow Crown?
I watched all of them, and I think they were terrific. But I'm a staunch believer that Shakespeare should be done on stage, because that's what he wrote them for. And I still don't think they work on film.

Flash says: Do you own any nerdy T-shirts? Any 'Better Call Saul!' numbers or anything?
I've got a great Oscar The Grouch T-shirt, which is a favourite of mine.

Many thanks, and goodbye!

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