Pilou Asbaek didn’t exactly land his role in “Ghost in the Shell” so easily. In the sci fi thriller, in theaters, the 35-year-old Danish actor (pronounced Pe-lou As-beck”) plays Batou, second in command to Scarlett Johannson’s bad-ass cyber-soldier.
The “Game of Thrones” costar was in Miami on a press tour to talk about the movie, based on a famed Japanese manga, and his character, a fun loving warrior with a shock of white hair and bulging, prosthetic eyes.
How did you get involved with “Ghost in the Shell?”
I did this film called “Woodshock” with Kirsten Dunst, and one of the producers Michael Costigan saw my work and said, ‘You know what? I think you should meet our director [for ‘Ghost’]. I’m not in a position where I can pick and choose. It’s the other way around. The studios pick and choose. I had an audition but the studio said, ‘We don’t think this guy is Batou. He’s not smiling enough.’ So I thought, ‘You know what? Beep you.’ I’m going to fly to L.A. and I’m going to show you. I had a four hour meeting with Rupert [Sanders, the director]. I did the whole scene again, smiling the whole time. I can be charming if I want to. Look!
Going in, how familiar were you with ‘GITS’?
I saw the original film when I was a teenager. I thought it was an incredible story. It was a cartoon with a female lead. What’s not to like?
He is part of this elite task force called Section 9 and second in command to Soldier, portrayed by Scarlett. He’s a combat expert. He likes pizza, beer and has a dog named Gabriel and a pretty cool car. He likes shooting people. Only the bad people.
There is a lot of action in this flick. What was the biggest challenge of the entire experience?
Whenever you do a film, it’s always like a little miracle. So many people getting together trying to do something so that the audience can be entertained. What was difficult: Four hours of makeup, the prosthetic eyes, then you shoot for four hours. I didn’t have much private life for six months. I missed my family, my friends. But then you meet new people and create your own little family.
What’s next after this?
I may be going to do some more “Game of Thrones.” Maybe I won’t. I’ll take a break. I want to see my wife and daughter. I’ve missed them a lot.