James D'Arcy: "Madonna était charmante et amusante".
Screwed actor James D'Arcy escapes jail to play Madonna's screen king
By Alun Palmer 3/06/2011
Playing a warder in a tough British jail in Screwed, James D'Arcy was immersed in a macho atmosphere on the set. He found the best way to unwind after a tense scene was to chat to the female crew members.
James, 35, says, "There were a lot of lovely girls on the shoot which helped because you'd finish filming and then have a bit of a flirt. Everyone did and you just felt better about life.
"The only release is to laugh after. It's not like you don't take the work seriously, but there is a gallows humour and it takes the edge off it.
"Oddly, when you make comedies everyone is going insane after the day's shoot because it's so hard. Comedy wakes me up at 3am - I go, 'Oh God, why didn't I just do that?' That seems to haunt me more than very intense dramas," he says.
The film, based on a book by a former jail warder, places D'Arcy's traumatised soldier on a different battlefield - a British jail. D'Arcy knows the difficulties faced by ex-servicemen.
"A friend was in the Navy was in the Navy for eight years and when he left, he found it very disorientating," he explains. "Much of civvy street is so banal he didn't know how to cope. So I tried to borrow a bit from that."
Next, D'Arcy will play the lead as King Edward VIII in Madonna's second directorial outing, W.E.
"She was more prepared than any director I've ever worked with, except possibly Peter Weir. She'd written the script and was involved in every area," he says. "She was charming and fun, and challenged me to learn the bagpipes in six weeks, which is next to impossible, but I did it. She gives you amazing self-esteem."
Screwed is released today.