“Politics are not on its sleeve,” Russell told Access Hollywood’s Nancy O’Dell. “It may allude to current world events and situations, but at it’s core, this is just an espionage film. This is a film about betrayal and it’s a film about seduction [and] it’s a film about deception.”
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For the part of Ed Hoffman, a CIA veteran who is enlisted to help out Leonardo’s character, Roger Ferris, investigate a possible terrorist cell in Jordan, Russell revealed he had to pack on the pounds, bulking up to 257 lbs. for the role.
“It just felt right for the character and it’s what Ridley wanted as well,” Russell told Nancy. “He wanted the image of Ed to feel like a retired football player whose knees didn’t allow him to train anymore or something like that. He wanted him to have, even though he did feel that there should be some grace about him, he just wanted him to be heavy. And he wanted to show that this is a guy that actually spends most of his time sitting down.”
To put on the weight, Russell stuck to a high fat diet.
“Bring on the burgers, baby!” he said.
And it wasn’t hard to add to his frame.
“If you want to put on weight, you just elect to live a sedentary life style,” he said. “Just as soon as you stop actually being active and decide to eat what ever you want, then these two things will combine very quickly.”
And Russell’s wife, Australian actress Danielle Spencer, didn’t mind seeing her husband changing shape.
“We’ve known each other for a long time so she’s seen a whole lot of different hair ‘dos — long hair, no hair, fat, skinny, muscles, no muscles, with a limp. One eye squinting — she’s seen it all,” he said.
Though he’s now promoting the film and noticeably slimmer, Russell said it wasn’t as easy to lose as it was to put on in the first place.