Alfred Molina in The Da Vinci Code
Bishop Aringarosa is a pivotal supporting character in The Da Vinci Code. As the leader of Opus Dei, he is the caretaker for Paul Bettany’s more visible assassin, Silas. He’s also a head honcho in the cover-up, but don’t expect to see a snarling, scenery chewing performance.
Molina on The Da Vinci Code
“When you play a villain, the last thing you do is in some way turn it into an attitude where you’re basically telling the audience, ‘I am the villain,’” said Molina. “In the same way that if you’re playing the romantic lead in the movie, you don’t walk around carrying yourself around as if you’re the sexiest thing in the world. That would just be really boring. So I think what you try and do is just find- - I don’t like using words like the reality because there’s nothing real about it. But try and find that thing that’s very plausible and very authentic so the audience feel comfortable about suspending their disbelief and are willing to buy you in that role and go on this journey with you.”
The reality of an Opus Dei Bishop trying to cover up the secrets of Jesus Christ’s lineage is simply religious faith. “With any character, you have to believe in what you’re saying in the same way that he does. I always use the example that the actor playing Sister Mary Theresa has exactly the same responsibility as the actor playing Adolf Hitler. The responsibility is to represent those people as accurately as you can, regardless of whether they’re good or bad, evil or saintly, regardless of what they’re like, you have to represent them. You can’t misrepresent them. You can’t suddenly decide, ‘You know what? I’m playing Mussolini but I’m going to give him an Irish accent because I think that works better for some of the dialogue.’ You can’t do that kind of thing. But when you’re playing a character that’s fictitious, really what they’re paying you for is to be as imaginative as you can.”
Also, he liked wearing those robes. “The bishop outfit is actually terribly comfortable. It’s all made to measure because if that’s what you wear all the time then you’ve got to be comfortable, so it was certainly a lot easier than wearing the Spider-Man tentacles. It was a nice change really.”
But don’t worry, Molina won’t be converting anytime soon. “It’s certainly enough to play a bishop to look like a bishop but if you’re asking me did I have some kind of Road to Damascus experience then I’m afraid the answer is no.”
The Da Vinci Code opens this Friday, May 19th.
For the trailers, movie stills, posters, early reviews, synopsis and more info, go to The Da Vinci Code Movie Page.
Stay tuned for updates.