This actor has the enviable task of romping around naked with Sharon Stone

David Morrissey has the enviable task of romping around naked with Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct 2. He co-stars as Dr. Michael Glass, a headstrong psychiatrist that gets caught up in a web of seduction and manipulation. David was very congenial during our interview. He seemed so much the James Bond-type, I had to ask him if he was auditioned for the role. Apparently not, but he, like every other English actor, gave Daniel Craig high marks. You can also see David in the upcoming Stoned, the biopic about Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones.

Sharon Stone spoke about how she was glad they (other male leads) left, turned down or were rejected for the role because they got the greatest guy. How does that make you feel?

David Morrissey: Well, obviously that's fantastic I mean I just loved working with Sharon. When I got the script I was doing a film in England called Stoned. I was running around London but they told me they wanted to see me for Basic Instinct 2. I got the script and I loved the script. The next thing I had to do was come to LA to meet Sharon and I was pretty nervous. I went into this room in the Four Seasons LA and she immediately made me feel at home like we knew each other for a long time. They blocked out one hour for me in this room with her and I was there for two hours and we just laughed and joked and talked about life and what it's like being an actor. We just immediately hit it off and it remained that way through the filming. There's a lot of things that happen in the film that one has to have the trust with the fellow actor and Sharon was just wonderful.

Did the two of you get into deep discussion about the motivation and direction of each character?

David Morrissey: One's motivation for your character is no one else's business. Sharon's character has one motivation and mine has the other and they don't necessarily need to be discussed. What we would talk about was what we would need to achieve from each scene and what we wanted to hit in each scene and also we waned to surprise each other in each scene Michael sort of created that atmosphere. It was very much an organic process with us. I think when you see the film there is a lot of scenes and drama that have a lot of sort of trust in each other.

What was the challenge you had to face in preparing for this character?

David Morrissey: I think the main thing for me was this professional skeleton in his closet. He is in the profession that is all about dealing with the mind and dealing with people's motivations, dealing with the fact that people are blocked in their lives or stuck in a trough in their lives and his whole job is to try to help them out. What happens with Catherine Trammell is he is assessing her that she has a risk addiction and he realizes in the film that he has a risk addiction as well.

What do you think about the relocation to London and do you think British men would have reacted differently to Catherine Trammell?

David Morrissey: The relocation gives Catherine Trammell a new playing field. My character goes on a journey with her thinking he can handle it and the audience, who knows her better, is saying back off! I think British men and American men have the same kind of thought pattern when it comes to sexy women, the same sort of blind spot and I don't think there is a cultural difference when it comes to someone like Catherine Trammell.

The choking scene is extreme beyond the nudity. How does one practice for that?

David Morrissey: You have to trust the other actor. We got it wrong a few times and I got smacked in the face. You know what you are trying to go for and it's a technical exercise. We trusted each other to know that if I was in trouble that she would let it go.

How do you feel about filling Michael Douglas' shoes?

David Morrissey: I've been a fan of the first one and I watched it again, but the joy of this was I didn't feel like I was filling anybody's shoes. It was a new character and a new setting. It was a real freedom.

What's your favorite scene in the film?

David Morrissey: There's a little montage scene where Sharon walks out of the office and my character can't get hold of her. When I was looking at the script I thought there was lot of story to tell here. Its like this man is suddenly bereft. Its just like he broke up with his girlfriend and he's in a therapy session and is not listening to people and she's playing on his mind and he's just sitting and they are quite difficult scenes. I was really pleased when I saw that sequence in the film- that shift in his character when he was out of control and not behaving professionally and he always wants to. It's good for me because I imagine all therapists I met and I asked did they ever do this and they said they did it once but you should never do this. He gives out his home phone number and I was at a screening and surely there was a therapist there and he said oh! And no one else did it there where other moments they did and that is the professional response and I was very happy that that came across.

What else is coming up for you?

David Morrissey:The Reaping and I have a thing called "Ripley's Gold".

Were you auditioned for James Bond?

David Morrissey: No, I wasn't approached, but Daniel Craig is a great friend of mine and he's going to be a great Bond. He is a great actor and he will bring something new to it and he's so committed to it. The film will speak for itself. He'll bring a change to it.

Basic Instinct 2 hits theaters this Friday and is rated R.

Julian Roman