February 21, 2014

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje: “Tortured” Into Shape For “Pompeii”

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Pompeii

The 3-D film “Pompeii” is an action-packed drama that chronicles the events leading up to the disastrous eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D.

This volcano epic is also the story of gladiators and one in particular who falls in love.

The visually tantalizing Paul W.S. Anderson-directed adventure stars Kit Harington (“Game of Thrones”), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (“Thor: The Dark World”), Emily Browning (“The Uninvited”) and Kiefer Sutherland (“24”). spoke to Akinnuoye-Agbaje about getting his body in fighting shape for his character Bridgageous in “Pompeii” – a process that the director said was like “torture!”

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje in “Pompeii”

“We went to gladiator boot camp to learn to do things like this,” he shared, during our interview at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.

The 46-year-old actor said the boot camp was a long, rigorous one but necessary for their character’s development.

“We spent four weeks before principal photography getting ready. The producer set up this structure for Kit and I and the rest of the cast to get into this Adonis kind of shape and the zone of a gladiator,” he revealed, before adding: “Its rare now that you get this privilege actually in Hollywood where the production puts the energy into getting the cast to look like the specimens that you expect.”

The British-bred star of TV series like “Oz” and “Lost” confessed that the training for this film required 24 hours of working out while on a strict diet.

“We spent four hours in the gym six days a week for four weeks. There was two hours training with weaponry, an hour of weight training and an hour of running. Then there was a nutrition diet we were put on and that really helped sculpt our bodies,” he recalled of the preparation.

Starring alongside Harrington (who played a slave turned gladiator named Milo); Akinnuoye-Agbaje said training for “Pompeii” helped them develop their chemistry.

“It was good to do it with Kit because we were egging each other on, we were crying and talking. It also helped us bond. The brotherhood and support we have in the movie was organically created,” he said.

You can check out this big budget 3-D film when it hits theaters on Friday, Feb. 21.

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje & Kit Harington in “Pompeii”

VIDEO: Watch the trailer for “Pompeii” below.



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