"They go for safe bets"

After leaping around in front of a giant green screen for months on end, Adrien Brody can be rightly proud of his work on King Kong – amidst the snarling beasts and sweat-drenched action, Brody showed himself to be an actor who can make the complex seem oh-so simple. When TF caught up with him recently he told us that the sheer size of the movie was a factor in him going after a role in Peter Jackson’s ape epic.

“It’s true that King Kong should provide me with access to more roles,” the softly spoken star says. “I think when I was younger I wasn’t necessarily right for certain roles and especially in studio films. They want to protect their investment and you have to be in the movies that do well for them to hire you so it’s a catch 22.”

Having nabbed an Oscar in 2003 for his breathtaking performance in Roman Polanski’s The Pianist, you would imagine the studios were lining up to throw leading roles at the New Yorker.

“Unfortunately, it’s not about your ability or even your looks so much, although those things do come into play. They go for safe bets and at times I may not fit the mould in the studio’s perspective.”

Far from being resentful, Brody is the epitome of a happy-camper having already signed up to two movies that very obviously flick his switch. The first, Truth Justice And The American Way is about the investigation into the death of TV Superman George Reeves.

“It’s based on events of the original Superman’s death and I play a detective. It’s not clear if he was murdered or not in real life and it kind of was closed, shut down. Hollywood in the ‘50s is an amazing cool, dark time so it was really exciting.”

After that, Ade is fulfilling an acting dream by starring in romantic drama Manolete – the tale of a hugely famous Spanish bullfighter - but it’s not the character that’s got Brody clawing the ceiling. “I’d always thought that I’d like to play a really wonderful love story which is largely set against myself and a great actress and that be the story. That would be wonderful.”

With a script by Max helmer/scriber Menno Meyjes and a leading lady in the shape of the delectable Penelope Cruz – does that tick all the boxes? “It’s a beautiful love story with Penelope Cruz,” he states with a grin. “I’m counting my blessings, believe me.”