Who’s up for a mystery? Robert Downey Jr is back as the world’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, and Jude Law returns as his colleague, Dr. Watson, in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Guy Ritchie’s sequel to his smash hit Sherlock Holmes. In the movie, Holmes has to deal with a new criminal mastermind, Professor Moriarty (played by Jared Harris) and this leads to the most dangerous encounters of his life. The Professor is just as smart as the detective, and he isn’t hampered by a conscience as he pursues his evil plans.
Holmes knows that Moriarty is responsible for several scandals, deaths and bombings across the globe. This leads the iconic character created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle out of London and across Europe, to France, Germany and finally to Switzerland. Moriarty always seems one step ahead, but will he finally trump the greatest detective of them all?
That’s what Sherlock Holmes part two is about and it also brings back Rachel McAdams, Eddie Marsan, Kelly Reilly, Mary Morstan, and Geraldine James, who were in the first movie. There are interesting new faces as well - Noomi Rapace (who’s made a huge impact in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) stars in her first English-speaking role, playing a gypsy named Sim. Plus, Stephen Fry joins the cast playing Sherlock’s older brother Mycroft Holmes.
We caught up with the stars of the movie to find out more about what’s pegged to be a holiday blockbuster. Read on for all the goss and your chance to win tickets to the UAE premiere on Tuesday 27 December!
Robert Downey Jr: Being Sherlock Holmes, again
“First and foremost, we wanted to maintain the visceral tone that was part of Guy’s original vision, while presenting Holmes with an even more difficult case, one that would challenge his considerable skills,” says Robert Downey Jr.
Downey confesses that Holmes’ formidable new rival drives him quite crazy, “We see the aftereffects of Holmes having been consumed with Moriarty, to the point that he’s clearly kind of ‘nutting up.’ He’s focused on him to the exclusion of everything else, including, quite possibly, his own sanity,” the star reveals with a smile.
But helping to maintain that sanity is his partner in detection, Watson aka Jude Law. “I feel about Jude the way Sherlock feels about John: I love the guy like a brother. I couldn’t ask for a better partner,” Downey says.
The actor was also thrilled to be working with Guy Ritchie again. “I love working with Guy; it’s such a collaborative process and he has a terrific sense of humor that really comes into play here. On this film, there was an element of rediscovering Sherlock Holmes all over again. We wanted to maintain that sense of fun but with even more gravitas.”
Jude Law: Dealing with John Watson’s struggle
“I was thrilled that the connection between Holmes and Watson, as we had developed it, was still very much the heart and soul of the story,” says Jude about his character, who becomes concerned with Holmes’ obsessive behavior regarding Professor Moriarty.
“I don’t think he doubts that Holmes is right, and there’s still a bit of the old soldier in Watson who feels a responsibility to see justice done. But he does suspect it will result in the dilemma he always faces: a secure life with his wife or the thrill of the chase. He undoubtedly has great times when he’s on a case with Holmes and wants to help his friend out of the scrapes he gets himself into, so it’s a constant struggle for the poor chap,” the actor continues.
He was happy to see that his chemistry with Robert Downey Jr was just as strong as in the first movie. “Developing the interaction between Holmes and Watson was one of the most rewarding parts of the first film, and from the get-go, Robert and I slipped right back into it. We benefited this time from the fact that we really knew the characters, having laid the bedrock of their relationship in the first film, so we could trust our instincts and even push it a little further.”
Jared Harris: Making Moriarty
Jared Harris describes Moriarty as “arguably the first uber-villain in modern literature, which was quite daunting. He has to operate on a level that justifies Sherlock Holmes’ high opinion of him in terms of the magnitude of the threat he represents. You have to believe he is as smart as Holmes – perhaps smarter – like a grandmaster in chess who is able to think several moves ahead of his opponent. But the fact is he’s a sick sociopath…which made him a lot of fun to play!”
Rachel McAdams: Femme Fatale Irene Adler
“Irene’s relationship with Sherlock can be quite playful – a cat and mouse game of who is going to admit their true feelings first – but there’s also drama and intrigue because you never know what she has up her sleeve. It was fun working with Guy and Robert to find just the right pitch of their lobe/hate relationship…like a well-choreographed dance.”
Noomi Rapace: The Mysterious Gypsy
Noomi says about Sim, the nomadic gypsy she plays in the movie, “She’s forever on the move and wherever she goes, she’s not treated very well. So she’d had to learn to defend herself. Her people are used to surviving under extreme circumstances and living on the edge, usually in places where they’re not welcome. Sim has seen the darker side of humanity and, in that way, she has something in common with Holmes.”
Noomi also has something in common with her character. “My father was a flamenco singer from Spain, and I was told he had gypsy blood in him. I’m not sure if it’s really true or not but I’ve always had an interest in gypsy culture and playing Sim gave me a fantastic opportunity to delve into that – the way they live and love and their strong sense of family and loyalty.”
Stephen Fry: Sherlock’s brother Mycroft Holmes
“Sherlock Holmes was one of my first and most passionate achievements in literature. I joined the Sherlock Holmes Society of London and was, I believe, its youngest member at the time. When I got the call about Mycroft, I was thrilled; I couldn’t have jumped further, faster or higher.”
“I love the idea that Sherlock Holmes has a brother who is smarter than he is, but is completely lazy and disinterested in people. He co-founded a club called The Diogenes Club, where no talking is allowed. When we see him with Sherlock, they immediately fall into trying to outdo each other.”
WIN! Ahlan! Live is giving away tickets to the UAE premiere of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows at 9pm on 27 December at Grand Megaplex, Ibn Battuta Mall. Click here to enter our competition, and look out for our ticket giveaways on Facebook and Twitter.