Flesh and Bone · Press

Q&A Ben Daniels of ‘Flesh And Bone’ on Starz

YOURTVLINK – by George Dickie | 23 December 2015

Q: What kind of research did you do to create your character of bipolar ballet director Paul Grayson on Starz’s “Flesh and Bone”? 

A: Oh gosh, there was a lot, both physically and understanding where he’s from emotionally as someone who is bipolar, has bipolar disorder, and how that affects his mood episodes within each scene because they’re very extreme. And then obviously physically because he was a principal dancer who enjoyed great fame and stardom for years before a career-ending injury. I’ve never danced in my life, so that was intense to try and pull that off.

Q: Was there a physicality you had to assume as well? 

A: Yeah. I think it’s something that is really important anyway as an actor, to use as much of your physical presence as you can to tell a story. With him, it’s very extreme because he holds himself in a completely different way than Ben Daniels shuffling into a room. … I think I’m a bit of a physical magpie unfortunately.

Q: What surprised you about what ballet dancers go through? 

A: When I first met them, I was invited to watch their class at the beginning of the day. And there’s a quote from Einstein, which is, ‘Dancers are the athletes of the gods.’ And I sat at the front of this studio and within touching distance of 22 of the most extraordinary dancers you’ll ever see in your life in one room. They’ve been handpicked from countless auditions, and it was inhuman what their bodies can do – the power and the soaring kind of magical feats that their bodies go through. I was like “whoa!”

Q: The toe stands are very impressive. 

A: Absolutely, to do all that on like two toes is incredible. And I was like, “Yeah, Einstein, the theory of relativity is good but your quote about dancers is the dog’s b… .’ It’s astounding what they can do and they do it without complaining and moaning, unlike a mere mortal.

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