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Interview: Jude Law of 'Side Effects'

'Let's be honest -- we all know why I wasn't in "Magic Mike."'

By James Rocchi Feb 7, 2013 12:30PM

In Steven Soderbergh's "Side Effects," Jude Law plays a psychiatrist whose connection to the pharmaceutical industry might be better -- and more profitable -- than his connection to his patients.  When Rooney Mara comes to him for help with her anxiety, he winds up giving it --  just not in the way he expected. We spoke with the actor in L.A. about working with Soderbergh, acting with Mara and why he was passed over for "Magic Mike" ...


MSN Movies: Talking with Jude Law about "Side Effects," the latest and ostensibly last film from Steven Soderbergh. Did that come up at all? Do you look at him between takes and go, "I give it two years before you get bored"? I mean, does he seem like he's retiring, really?


Jude Law: You know, I didn't ever really grill him about it. I should've done. I had the front seat. I could've really asked him.




He doesn’t just say stuff. He doesn't strike me as the guy who says stuff just for the impact, and I know that he has a lot of other interests and talents. I have a feeling it'll be ...I think it'll be longer than two years. If he's serious, I think it'll be a fair bit of time, but I think he'll come back.


BING: Jude Law l Rooney Mara

More importantly, as you read the script and more and more things happened to the psychiatrist you're playing as he gets more and more caught up in the life of Miss Rooney's character ...was it a pleasure to watch that relationship and the script unfold in this delicate Hitchcock-like fashion?


It was a challenge. It was what lured me in really, as an actor, to really engage the pieces and the subtlety with which this sort of peeling, this sort of unraveling, had to be laced in, if you'd like. And it was a joy to sit opposite Rooney every day, because she's a remarkable actress, and I was kind of intrigued with what she was doing and where she was going. And she's very ... she's quite mysterious. I find her a quite mysterious actress. She doesn’t give a lot away, and she's kind of rare in that quality; I think it's this sort of aloofness almost, and I just found it extraordinary. I couldn’t quite see how what she was doing. I think she's brilliant in this film, really brilliant.


Watching her onscreen, I know this is a clumsy metaphor, but it's kind of like an iceberg. There's the 10 percent you see, but you have this hint of much greater darkness below ...


That's very interesting. Yeah, yeah, indeed.


You were in "Contagion" with Mr. Soderbergh, and you were in this with Mr. Soderbergh, so he skipped you over for "Magic Mike." Have you confronted him about that? Did you say, "I could've played a Florida stripper"?


Let's be honest. I think we all know why I wasn't in that film.


Because you were busy. You would make an excellent exotic dancer. C'mon, c'mon.


Thank you so much.


I think I'm speaking on behalf of all women here.


I don’t know about that.


It would not be so bad.


I don’t know about that. I don’t think I could compete in any way, shape, or form with Mr. Tatum or McConaughey. (Laughs)


But in all seriousness, when you're watching Mr. Soderbergh bring his talent set to two extensively very different films how often do you find yourself just watching him out of the corner of your eye doing what he does because he's so good at it?


I think it's one of the most extraordinary experiences that I've had the good fortune to watch, is seeing him analyze a scene and work out what he wants to get from it at the speed at which he figures that out and never goes back. It's not like he goes the next day, "You know what? We needed to get this. We needed to get that." I mean, his understanding of the art form is extraordinary, and he does it all with the greatest of ease, it seems ...

(For more on "Side Effects," watch our video interview with the cast:) 


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