I caught up with Robert Carlyle over the weekend at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. The Scottish star of The Full Monty and 28 Weeks Later has two films in the festival: Stone Of Destiny, the true story of four students who steal the eponymous, symbolic stone (pilfered by Edward I back in 1296 to bolster English rule over the Scots) from Westminster Abbey and return it to Scotland, and Summer, in which he gives an outstanding performance as a thwarted man who’s spent his entire adult life caring for his paraplegic best friend.
More on those films in future but when I spoke to Carlyle, he was fresh off a plane from South Africa where he’s spent the last four weeks shooting his role in 24: The Movie, in which he plays an old friend from Jack Bauer’s past who reputedly becomes his nemesis. Not that Carlyle was about to admit to it – here’s what he had to say, before threatening that he’d have to break my fingers if pushed to reveal any more. I believed him…
Where were you shooting in South Africa?
We were in the Stellenbosch region, the wine country. It was doubling for jungle in the fictional country of Sangala.
Who’s your character in 24?
My character’s called Carl Benton who is Jack Bauer’s best buddy and he hasn’t seen him for 10 years or something. Jack’s on his travels and he comes to see Carl and hang out with him and potentially change his life. Maybe…
Is the movie sticking to the TV show’s real-time format?
It is. This two hours is two hours in real time and there’ll then be 22 episodes. I don’t know how they connect it to the first of those 22 episodes but it’s literally the third hour…
So it will lead straight into the new series?
Will you be in the series as well?
We don’t know. I can’t tell you anymore or Jack Bauer’ll come and kill me. And you.