UP CLOSE: GABRIEL MACHT
‘The Spirit’ star speaks of honoring Eisner and getting punchy with Frank Miller
By Jake Rossen
Like the titular character in his upcoming “The Spirit,” Gabriel Macht has been a bit of an ethereal presence in recent years: The 36-year-old actor has appeared in a string of films, some noteworthy (“The Good Shepherd”), some not (“Grand Theft Parsons”).
If the track record of comic-to-film adaptations is any indication, that semi-anonymity is about to be blown to bits with the Christmas Day release of Frank Miller’s first solo directing effort, “The Spirit,” based on Will Eisner’s iconic creation. Macht dished on playing the undead Denny Colt, the parade of femme fatales and a peculiar way of decorating his set trailer.
WIZARD: “The Spirit” co-stars Scarlett Johansson, Sarah Paulson and Eva Mendes, among other knockouts. Some people might think your job was to hang out with beautiful women all day. Tell me if I’m over-simplifying things.
MACHT: Of course, it was a lot of fun. All the girls were lovely. Eva would come in for two and a half or three weeks, and then Sarah would come in for a week or two, [and then] Scarlett would come in for a little bit. It was nice to have a variety of great actresses to work with.
Did Miller advise you to go and read some Eisner, or were you already a fan?
I actually didn’t know about the Spirit until the audition. I bought the “best of” Spirit collections. When I got to set, Frank said, “Listen, I don’t want you to look at those. I’m not crazy about the coloring.” He wasn’t a fan. He liked the black and white. So he gave me his best picks, and I read through all of those Spirit comics and put them up in my trailer. You couldn’t see any wall. It was all comics.