Bob Anderson, who worked on sagas like ‘Star Wars’ and James Bond, choreographed the sword fights in the film by Agustín Díaz Yanes, and its protagonist tells us the whole story.
Maybe you didn’t know, but Bob Anderson has choreographed your favorite fight scenes. The British fencing master was for decades an essential figure in any big-budget film production that required epic sword-wielding fights, including lightsabers. Curiously, his career ended in our country with the filming of ‘Alatriste‘, which he joined at the request of Viggo Mortensen (with whom he had worked on ‘The Lord of the Rings’) and where, at over 80 years of age, he said goodbye to an impressive film career. But, How was Anderson’s participation in Agustín Díaz Yanes’ film conceived?
In a meeting with FOTOGRAMAS on the occasion of the celebration of our 75th Anniversary, Mortensen has told us the complete story. “As this type of film had not been made in Spain, at this level, I asked Yanes: who is going to be the master of swords? Who is going to choreograph these fights? He asked me if I had any suggestions. And I proposed Bob Anderson. He has retired already, I told him, but he could be asked“recalls the actor. As we pointed out, both met on the set of the trilogy of Peter Jackson in New Zealand, where Anderson oversaw all the fight scenes, especially those involving Mortensen’s character Aragorn’s Narsil sword. Before this job, the Briton had already worked on such successful productions as ‘The Mask of Zorro’ with Antonio Banderas and movies of the saga of james-bond like ‘Die another day’ and ‘From Russia with love’. Furthermore, he put his skills at the service of Darth Vader in ‘Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back’ and ‘Star Wars: Return of the Jedi’, wearing the suit and starring in his best fight scenes.
Of course, Bob Anderson’s reputation preceded him, and having him in ‘Alatriste’ was a tremendous luxury. “I think this type of film, from this time, interested him a lot. He told me about this time, how people fought back then and how they were never really done in the movies.Mortensen recounts.He liked the dirty, the real, of the time. If the visual, places, clothing and language are respected, it should also be done with the fight, right?“, adds the actor, who managed to convince the teacher to temporarily put aside his retirement and join the film team. And so it became his last job, from which he left in tears and to a standing ovation, as Mortensen recalls. The last Tribute to a great action movie star who passed away a few years later, in January 2012.
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