Danny Glover

I recently got the chance to have a quick chat with Hollywood veteran actor Danny Glover (2012, Lethal Weapon) about his recent role in the SyFy original movie Age of Dragons, a bold retelling of the Herman Melville novel “Moby Dick”.

Aaron M.K.: In the movie [Age of Dragons] the writer’s saw fit to give an explanation as to why your character Captain Ahab was chasing his ‘white whale’, the dragon, in the form of flashbacks. This is somewhat in contrast to the original telling of the tale in which Herman Melville never gave the reader a reason for Ahab’s incessant lust for revenge. Do you feel that these flashbacks helped the movie-goer connect with Captain Ahab on an emotional level, perhaps shedding a whole new light on the old classic?

Danny Glover: Well, I would think so. Often human behavior is demystified through knowing something about what a person has been through. I don’t care what it is; you can look at a hardened criminal, man, and he can tell you a story about what had happened to him as a child that can bring you to tears. Only then will you understand wholly why he is who he is, you know? So we can flash back on the experiences of a man who is doing life in a state prison and have it tell you the story, and when you know the story you can have some sort of empathy for him. You can only have empathy for people- despite how you think they are or what you think that you see they are- by knowing their story. So I think the flashbacks were good because from that vantage point, the viewer can understand who Ahab was- more than just this vile, deformed, angry human being.

Aaron M.K.: There have been several movies released over the years that have tried to reinvent the tale of Moby Dick in wildly different ways; How well, in your mind, did ‘Age of Dragons’ reinvent the classic tale of Moby Dick and in which ways did it succeed and in which ways do you think it failed?

Danny Glover: I don’t know really, that’s something for the viewers to judge- I’m just an actor in it! *chuckle* My purpose [as an actor] was to find a center [in the story], and be that. I didn’t try to retell the story of Moby Dick, of course I was influenced by it- you can’t get away from the fact that the physical and emotional deformity you find in the original character is still there- but the idea that it’s a classic story is because it lends itself to so many different interpretations. The classic story, in some sense, captures a particular point in time not only revolving around this man’s obsession, but what is happening at that point in time in the whaling
industry. An industry where men come from all around the world who become a part of this experience; the bounty [of the hunt] and the value of what they do. The value of the job in this point of time- the whale oil- is what it’s about, that treasure. You can put this story at any point in time as long as you can lend those same values to the story, and only then will you fall into the frames of doing justice to the original novel.

Aaron M.K.: It was a pleasure talking with you! Thank you for your time and best of luck!

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