There's also another video interview with James and Helen over on youtube. I can't embed it, but it's a really funny interview.
Excerpts from two new print interviews are below.
Interview from Movieline:
I’d love to run down this list of casting rumors you’ve spent the last week refuting, but I’d rather know your reaction to them. Does all this speculation ever frustrate you?Interview from About.com:
Well, it’s nice to think your name carries enough weight to benefit them if they use it while fabricating stuff. You know what I mean? But they’re all balls. They’re all nonsense. None of it’s true. I’m With Cancer — I am doing that one. That one’s true. But the Ian Fleming thing? I read it, I really liked it, never spoke to a producer about it, never attached myself to it. Then somebody said I did, which is a little bit naughty, I think. Then the Hobbit thing? Not true. It’s weird to be perceived as something other than that which you are. The weird thing is that if you read something that says, “James McAvoy likes coffee instead of tea”? It’s not a big deal. It doesn’t really matter. But it’s not bloody true. It’s weird that not only do people have an image of you that’s not what you are, they put it out there as though what they say is true, without any way to prove it.
And it only gets worse as the news cycle accelerates. Does it make you cynical, or turn you off to the process?
I got absolutely battered by a newspaper back home about a week ago, and it was completely made up. Just a little bit in the newspaper saying that I’d behaved really badly and acted with little grace in a situation where I was just fairly fucking easy-come-easy-go. But that’s the only time I’ve really been upset. And it’s such a tiny thing. But it’s really bad; you shouldn’t be able to do that. But again — not a big deal. It’s tomorrow’s chip paper. You’ve gotta let it go, but there is a little part of you that says, “Don’t misrepresent people.” We don’t have enough news (of course we do have enough news) of mind-numbing interest to fill our pages with, so we have to make up shit about somebody?
But I shouldn’t complain, and I’m not complaining. Some people get it in the fucking neck. It’s just weird, because I should know better. I read something in a horrible magazine and think, “Oh, so and so’s doing that… all right…” I should know, but there’s a part of you on some very basic, fundamental level that goes, “It’s in print, though!” Even though a part of me goes, “Bollocks,” there’s a part of me that remembers it because it’s in print. It’s kind of powerful.
James McAvoy, who co-stars as Valentin Bulgakov - a devoted supporter of Leo Tolstoy's and the Tolstoyan movement - agreed the real Sofya often acted hysterically. "I think we play a fine line because sometimes we go, 'Is she or has she totally got a point?' There's more evidence to suggest that she totally had a point that we didn’t put in this film," explained McAvoy. "It was one of the guys, the kid who looked most like Tolstoy was not hers. [He] belongs to the woman who milked the cows that he had an affair with for years, and it drove her mental. I mean the guy had kids coming out of his ears that didn't belong to her, and this thing that she was hysterical and all of that...I don't know, I think she totally had a point."Source
McAvoy added, "From Valentin’s point of view, he's in love with the idea of Tolstoy and he slowly has to realize that this most tactile of creatures, this amazing sort of ball of energy that seems to be completely at odds with every thing Tolstoy and everything he believes in and loves about the world, he has to accept that our place in this world is deserved. He has to accept who she is and ultimately love her for who she is. I suppose that genuinely was, part of coming to that place was really integral to Valentin’s journey."
"And yes, you're absolutely right, that was the danger, because she is such a drama queen, you could alienate the audience really fast and that was the challenge in playing it was not to play the drama full-on emotionally all the way there but not to become arch or self-conscious or theatrical with it, never to feel that she was acting it," said Mirren. "You know, you had to feel that this is just how she felt. This was real for her, whatever it was, all those things were absolutely real, of the moment."