In Shrek the Third, Shrek and Fiona become the reluctantly rulers of Far, Far Away. Their wish is to find the rightful heir to the throne so that they can return to their home in the swamp.
The film finds Shrek, Donkey, and Puss N' Boots searching for the future King Arthur in a medieval high school. All the while, Fiona and her army of princesses must protect Far, Far Away from Prince Charming's impending, fairytale villain-laden attack.
Rupert Everett returns to the series as Prince Charming. He seems poised to take over the land of Far, Far Away. But can he and his evil minions do it? Rupert talked to us about reprising his role and the challenges that he faced.
Rupert Everett: What's wrong with your lot, you all look a bit drained? Not you specifically, but some of the tables.
At what point did you know your character was going to be brought back?
Rupert Everett: When we went to Cannes for the second one.
Is there anything that you do to specifically prepare for this role?
Rupert Everett: No. I come from the just get on and do it school. Really, what would you do? Go and see some cartoons? I think its one of those jobs that just has to do with being a professional. You just get it on. Maybe if you had never done anything before. It could be quite intimidating. If you go into a room, and it's all of them, sometimes the head of the studio is even there, and you have to turn it on just like that, I think it would be literally impossible. But like riding a bicycle, once you learn how to do it, you never forgot.
Are you aware of how much the animation has improved?
Rupert Everett: Oh, yeah. The thing about Shrek the Third...All of them actually... They have all made huge technological leaps. This one is beautiful. The way they have managed to do sunlight and water. The cliffs. It's the more romantic one, really. Look wise, I think. I loved it.
Were there elements of Prince Charming that you wanted to rework as the character evolved?
Rupert Everett: Well, my song at the end wasn't coming. Then suddenly it showed up. Maybe about a year ago. They are constantly thinking. It is an amazing process to be a part of. It is kind of like the golden handshake in a way. You can't get into a Shrek movie if you want to. They have to ask you. You can't audition for a role coming up. It's a fascinating thing to be a part of. It's a state of the art movie, and a lovely thing to be involved with.
Do you know if you'll return for a Shrek 4?
Rupert Everett: I'm not sure. We'll have to wait and see. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
How long did it take for you to record your character?
Rupert Everett: I should say about fifteen days all in all, over the course of three years. That's how long it's been.
Was it easier for you this time around?
Rupert Everett: I don't mean to sound glib. But it's not difficult. It's a really great job. But it's not a character...it's a great character for me to play, lets put it that way. Its fun.
Does the popularity of the films surprise you?
Rupert Everett: No. I think they are brilliant films. They are astonishing. They manage to be for children. They manage to be for adults. They are charming and simple, yet they are also quite profound. They are a commentary on scociety that is much deeper than any live action film for adults. In a way. And I think they are very tongue and cheek about Hollywood. And the culture we live in. On every level this film scores.
At what age did you know that you'd want to be an actor?
Rupert Everett: I didn't feel so confident at other things. This job, you can get on with it and get employed. They have other issues besides your acting. I don't think they want an actor that is milling about, asking questions. They want one that can come in and do what he says. But, I've wanted to be an actor from the time I was very, very young.
Have you ever had an acting experience like the one in the opening scene of the film, where you are in the dinner theater?
Rupert Everett: No, I haven't. But it was just a funny idea for him to be in dinner theater. His dressing room is out in the street. He'd made the fire door into a dressing room entrance. It's very charming. I like it.
Can you tell us anything about Stardust?
Rupert Everett: That is another kid's movie. It is a fairy story. It is made by a man named Mathew Vaughn. It is a really great film, too. And I'm not just saying that because I am here. It is a film where the real world and a parallel universe coincide with one another. It has Michele Phieffer in it. Tons of other people. It's a very good film. It's coming out soon.
Can you tell us about your character...
Rupert Everett: He's a prince that inherited a kingdom. His brother pushes him off the side of a roof and he becomes a ghost. He's dead throughout the movie, cause he's a ghost. I'm also doing a remake of the St. Trinian's films. It is a comedy that takes place in a girls' boarding school. I play the head mistress. And the head mistresses' brother. So, I play two characters. It should be funny. I hope that it's funny. You can never tell with those types of films, whether they will connect with an audience. You just don't know. You think its funny when you're making it, because everyone is just so invested. Everyone is laughing, and drained. Then, when it's all over, you can find yourself with something that is utterly unamusing. That I feel very uneasy about.
Where you familiar with the original series?
Rupert Everett: Yes, it was my idea to do the film. I have a lot of pressure on me about it. Maybe it will be too funny, you know. You tend to want to make everything funny. Sometimes it's too funny for its own good.
What makes Stardust such a wonderful movie?
Rupert Everett: It's just beautifully made. And the director is someone I've known since he was six or seven years old. It's just a great movie. Very romantic and funny.
You got to be a special effect?
Rupert Everett: Yes. I'm a special effect because I'm a ghost. I'm a ghost that has fallen on the floor in a funny way, so my head is all splattered.
You've written three books. What does that give you that you can't get from acting?
Rupert Everett: It's giving me an out. I hope to do a lot more writing if I can.
Are you planning any more stage performances?
Rupert Everett: Yes. I am going to do a play next year. I think. Possibly starting in Sydney. I am going to tour it around.
Shrek the Third opens May 18th, 2007.