Don’t be afraid of Stanley Tucci. He’s really a nice guy. It’s only acting when he plays the serial child killer George Harvey in the movie of The Lovely Bones. Even Tucci had a hard time with it.
The Lovely Bones' Killer
“It was hard in every respect,” Tucci said. “I was very reticent to take the part at first. I have kids and I can’t really read anything or watch anything with kids getting harmed. I don’t like things about serial killers. There’s so much serial killer information out there in documentaries constantly. A lot of it’s just sort of gratuitous or it’s almost like pornographic really. There’s no reason for it being shown. This was not that.”
Luckily, in director Peter Jackson’s hands, the Alice Sebold novel about a murdered girl’s observations from heaven could become even more comforting than the book’s handling of the material. “This was a beautiful story about an exploration of loss. Pete and Fran [Walsh] and Philippa [Boyens], in the long conversations we had before we started working together, I felt very safe with them. I felt that there would be nothing here that would be gratuitous and that we were going to create a person together in Mr. Harvey that was a real person.”
The Lovely Bones
See, that’s the scary part. Harvey is the guy you hear about after the fact, who nobody suspected because he was just so normal. “The more real he was, the more subtle he is, the more terrifying he is. The more banal he is, the more terrifying he is.”
You can even see it in his eyes, even though Tucci wore contact lenses. “I didn’t think that my eyes were the eyes that should be the eyes of this guy. And also, he needed to be more of, I suppose, quintessentially American, so the skin tone was changed and hair was added. The eyes seemed to be appropriate for him. I think that if you look at the scenes, let’s see the scene with Mike Imperioli, when he comes in and starts asking questions. I think that the eyes there, what I’m hoping is that they looked sort of normal. I think in those close-ups, in certain close-ups like the reflection in the mirror when he’s sitting in his car, I think then the eyes take on a different quality because of the way it’s lit and because of my horrible thoughts behind them.”
The Lovely Bones opens to theaters on December 11th.