Jamie Bell: Fantastic Four is 'not beloved', fan response was 'surprising' (exclusive)

Tom Butler
UK Movies Editor

‘6 Days’ star Jamie Bell says he’s glad to have put some distance between himself and 2015’s ‘Fantastic Four’. Bell played Ben Grimm – AKA The Thing – in Fox’s gritty reboot of the Marvel comic series, which tanked at the box office in the wake of terrible reviews.

Talking to Yahoo Movies to promote his new thriller ‘6 Days’, we asked the ‘Billy Elliot’ star about his most memorable day on the set of ‘Fantastic Four’, but Bell says it was the film’s release day that sticks in his mind.

“It was a surprising day, I’d say,” the 31-year-old Brit cagily reveals. “It’s not a beloved film, it’s not a seminal film. I think a lot of comic book fans are not so keen on it.”

Bell played Ben Grimm in the ill-fated 2015 reboot (20th Century Fox)

When asked about his character’s distinctive look, he said it was never a costume, for which he remains eternally grateful.

“I was in a motion capture suit for all of it, fortunately, cause I can say ‘that isn’t me!’ That isn’t me.”

‘Fantastic Four’ director Josh Trank also distanced himself from the film a week before release tweeting: “A year ago I had a fantastic version of this. And it would’ve recieved [sic] great reviews. You’ll probably never see it. That’s reality though.” He quickly deleted the tweet, but the damage was already done. He later got dropped from the ‘Star Wars’ spin-off film he was due to direct.

Jamie Bell plays SAS operative Rusty Firmin in the gripping ‘6 Days’ (Netflix)

In ‘6 Days’ Jamie Bell plays real life SAS hero Rusty Firmin. Firmin was one of the squad of special forces troops who stormed London’s Iranian Embassy in 1980 after a 6 day siege. Bell says shooting the assault of the embassy was an incredible experience, as the real Firmin was there to advise him on the day.

“Suddenly it became real,” Bell says, “And having the real guy who experienced it with us, it was profound. It was an interesting moment.”

Here’s what else he had to tell us about his career highlights so far.

On experiencing the ‘Spielberg Effect’ on 2011’s ‘The Adventures of Tintin’

Jamie Bell as Tintin opposite Daniel Craig as Red Rackham in ‘The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn’.

“I’ll never forget [day one] on set with Steven Spielberg, and going ‘uh oh, how do I do this now?’ Thinking ‘how do I maintain composure? How do I not ask him a million questions? How do I not tell him he changed my life?’

Daniel Craig told me ‘you’re experiencing the Spielberg effect’ and it’s a real thing, I guess. It kind of paralyses you for a second. But he’s great, he’s a brilliant filmmaker.”

On nearly freezing on 2007’s ‘Hallam Foe’

Jamie Bell as lovelorn teen Hallam Foe in David McKenzie’s quirky 2007 drama.

“That day on set, that’s a real loch in Scotland, and it’s like sub, sub, sub zero, and I had to fully submerge. I had to pull this stuntwoman out and even she was like ‘I’m not getting in there, it’s too cold’. It’s probably the coldest body of water i’ve ever been in.”

On getting injured by Andy Serkis on 2005’s ‘King Kong’

Jamie starred in Peter Jackson’s lavish ‘King Kong’ remake.

“At the end of a scene, Andy Serkis – the great Andy Serkis –  he went to shove this drink in my mouth and it chipped my tooth, and it’s still chipped today. I remember it every time I lick my teeth.”

On breaking through on 2000’s ‘Billy Elliot’

Bell shot to fame playing a young ballet dancer in ‘Billy Elliot’.

“On day one of the film [I remember] running out… the scene is: I run out of the kitchen and then I look up a hill, and I was supposed to run in the other direction. I remember them saying ‘action’ and all these terms that are so like ‘whatever’ to me now, I was like ‘that means go?’ And I’m running out and doing everything fine.

I run out the thing, and I look this way, and I remember seeing a hundred people, a full on film crew, and I’ve never run so fast in the opposite direction in my life. I’ll never forget that, just that moment of ‘holy s***'”

‘6 Days’ will be available to stream on Netflix from Friday, 3 November. Watch a trailer below.

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