Sharlto Copley could've been Wikus van der Merwe forever. But like those sneaky fookin' prawns in Neil Blomkamp's game changing sci-fi debut, District 9, he refuses to be stuck in one place. From the movie adaptation of The A-Team, the sci-fi sleeper Europa Report, and his role as King Stefan in the upcoming [Maleficent](movie:39352), Copley's proven he's more than a one hit wonder. If anything, he's shown that his transformations as an actor are more dramatic than Wikus' own metamorphosis. Still, fans want what fans want, which is why it's so exciting that Copley is reuniting with Blomkamp for a third time, following last summer's [Elysium](movie:44956), in Chappie, a movie where he plays a robot. I recently met up with Copley in Los Angeles where he talked about what to expect from his latest collaboration with Blomkamp. Get excited:
Sharlto Copley: I really loved the whole process of Chappie in that playing the character - I got to play a child, essentially. Emotionally, this is a robot that is very child-like and that was a relief to play after all of this [his dark take on King Stefan in Maleficent]. I was very curious to see how much of me doing the performance - because it first just came out that I was only doing the voice, which was completely incorrect - it was very much going to be a motion-based performance that I couldn't rely as heavily on my ability to improv and come up with lines. A lot of Chappie is about reacting to things, creating emotion through behavior in movement, and not speaking. He does speak, of course, but it's been astounding to play a role and watch how much of me as I see now with the animation - because they're animating over me - how much of it is me and what I did with the character is still there when the robot is fully animated. It's amazing. It's an incredible creative process because it's me, but not me. We've literally created something when you do that. Like, I've created a performance that is totally unique. It's absolutely me, but then it's not. It's such an amazing, creative experience to do that. What's really cool about that is that it's pure art. It's like, I don't care. You don't have to see my face. It's not like, "Look at me! I'm a movie star!" It's about bringing life, emotion, and heart without any concern - which is so nice. It's just about being the essence of this thing.
Something tells me that Copley's child-like robot will get a heavy dose of what the real world is like when this movie is released March 6, 2015. I'm imagining it as Pinocchio with grenade launchers. In case you haven't seen the short that [Chappie](movie:466720) is based on, check it out here: