Actor/director/writer/producer

proof; https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10151792566712369&id=108950282368

THANKS FOR THE QUESTIONS GUYS. GOT TO GO, DUTY CALLS.

Comments: 2082 • Responses: 49  • Date: 

inkypinkyblinkyclyde1931 karma

What's the scoop on a District 9 sequel? I'd love to visit that world again. Neill Blomkamp made that world seem so real. (As did you).

SharltoCopley2510 karma

I'd love to go back. Neill would too. There's no scoop - theres' an amazing story outline from terri and neill and I think it's just a matter of when it happens and not if.

samh3ll1343 karma

"Hello little guy, it's the sweety man coming!"

SharltoCopley2192 karma

do you know where that comes from? The infamous very first test i did for pete jackson that ended up accidentally winning me the wikus role. We shot wikus pretending to evict human shack dwellers from their shacks so we could build homes for the alien prawns. in the townships, they often sell sweets on the street corners, so while shooting i saw these real human kids and thought wikus would try and sort of "bond" with the children in a lame uncomfortable way... so i bought some sweets and tried to give them to the kids. most kids took them, one started crying like mad and ran away...

goatsgreetings1202 karma

Hi Sharlto! I recall Neill Blomkamp saying in an interview that you improvised all your dialogue for District 9. Was this your choice or his? And how much of a challenge did it present in the context of being your first professional acting role?

SharltoCopley2047 karma

it was neill's choice. he made the call i think after seeing me doing the improvised test i did for pete. i don't think it was always his plan for the lead to improvise, but in my specific case i think it began to make more and more sense to him that we go that route.

it wasn't actually much of a challenge - i had been fortunate enough to write scripts, make films etc. before so i had a good idea of what is needed in improvisation to ensure that you are improvising around the main issues/beats in the scene. neill and i would start by essentially saying "WHY IS THE SCENE IN THE FILM?" usually there are 2-4 fundamental reasons why the scene is important to the film and to driving the story forward and i would focus the improv around those.

ruthlesssymphony31949 karma

Not here to ask a question... Just wanted to say I thought you were sexy in A-team acting like a lunatic military officer :)

SharltoCopley1609 karma

;) what about wikus, wikus is sooooooo sexy.... hahahahahha

Stenis17731 karma

Hi Sharlto! Big fan and I am really looking forward to Elysium. District 9 was amazing.

Who did you enjoy playing more, Wikus or Kruger? How was it to start acting professionally so late and then getting such high praise for your first performance?

SharltoCopley1064 karma

wikus was more enjoyable as a character but the schedule on d9 was insane - i worked everyday, often only sleeping 3 hours a night so i pushed myself mentally and physically as much as i could. kruger was a supporting character and i didn't have to work all the time so the schedule was easier on me.

tastysecksman704 karma

Is 'Sharlto' a common name in South Africa?

SharltoCopley1364 karma

no. doesn't appear to be common name anywhere. if you track it down please let me know... my mom heard it on a british radio play when she was pregnant with me.

billytheinvisibledog674 karma

Hey Sharlto, first of all I loved you in The A-Team, I thought you were very true to Murdock's character. :) I was wondering if you're planning on releasing any more of your Murdock 'hotel room' audition tapes? I'm sure a lot of people would love to see them.

SharltoCopley1244 karma

billytheinvisibledog, i'm gonna put more murdock up just cause you have that name. so awesome.

oldirtybrandon665 karma

Big fan. Loved you in District 9. I'm glad Neill Blomkamp got so many nominations for it. My question: How psyched were you when you found out you were going to be the lead in District 9? Were you always supposed to be when Neill turned it into a feature? Thanks again and can't wait for Elysium tonight!

SharltoCopley1334 karma

it was a very surreal moment when neill offered me the lead in D9. i was meant to produce that film and i only did a little test to show peter jackson what a stereotypically "afrikaans bureaucrat" was. the phone call where neill offered me the role will be etched into my mind for ever. it may sound strange but i knew my life would change. it was one of those moments where you feel the stars have lined up...

liamquane648 karma

do you still think about Christopher Johnson? :~)

SharltoCopley2196 karma

no, BUT WIKUS DOES. constantly wondering - "WHERE THE FOK IS HE? HE SAID THREE FOKKEN YEARS MAN"

eastendthug440 karma

Sharlto it's not my birthday today but i'd still like you to reply to my message by saying "Fooking Prawns!"

SharltoCopley1312 karma

fokken prawns!

a woman on the street once stopped me out of the blue - she didn't even say excuse me, or hi or anything... she grabbed my shoulder and said... "call me a fokken prawn." hahah i still think it's odd

SteamBending333 karma

Hey Sharlto, I have been a fan of yours ever since I saw District 9 and I have a couple questions to ask you:

  • Recently you have been casted in two films: Hardcore and Chappie. In Hardcore everything is literally filmed in your point of view and in Chappie you are playing a robot through motion capture. What is your approach to these non-traditional styles of acting?

  • And would you be willing to do voice acting in the near future whether it is with animation or video games?

Thank you for doing this AMA and I'm looking forward to seeing Elysium tonight!

SharltoCopley503 karma

hardcore is probably the most original film I have ever attempted - there are many challenges both for the director and me as an actor - probably the biggest acting challenge thus far has been that either the director or a camera or stunt guy is wearing the go pro helmet. I need to always play into the camera lens of course, but i can see the operators eyes right above the lens and naturally you get drawn to the human eye. It's a small thing but extremely tricky. The other thing is that you are usually in a wider frame, so you need to sometimes exaggerate some actions and motions a little more than when using traditional tighter lens.

i would LOVE to do voices for animation.

operation_hennessey274 karma

Did you watch A-Team growing up?

SharltoCopley556 karma

yes it was my favourite show as a kid

SharltoCopley308 karma

yes was my fav show as a kid

Mcnutty_J247 karma

Hello there Mr.Copley What's something every aspiring writer should hear? thanks in advance, A Fan.

SharltoCopley832 karma

don't stop when the hell comes.

Rob_Saget246 karma

Sharlto,

Thank you for this AMA!

  • What got you into acting?
  • Moment in your career that made you go "Wow, I never would have dreamed I'd get to do this"
  • What was your favorite part of filming Elysium?
  • I cohost a podcast where we have celebrity guests nerd out about TV, games, music, etc (Yes, even food!). Long shot, but would either of you be interested in being on an episode and nerd out with us?

Thanks again for this AMA and look forward to your responses!

SharltoCopley470 karma

  1. i started acting when i was 6 years old at school in the "nativity play". I was one of the shepherds - two years in row with NO SPEAKING PART. haha but i loved it from then when i was about 9 started making little videos with my friends.

  2. kissing angelina jolie. would have been inconceivable even in my biggest dreams.

  3. being able to improvise dialogue and many moments in scenes. probably being able to sing and AFRIKAANS NURSERY RHYME in a hollywood film. love that that is in the film.

  4. it depends, i'm running like a headless chicken but always up for stuff if i have time.

Frajer226 karma

When doing Oldboy did you just read the script or did you also see the original film and/or read the manga?

SharltoCopley419 karma

i had seen the original film before i read the new script. i thought the new version of the script was interesting and figured if i was ever gonna try be truly "dark" as an actor, oldboy villain was way to go haha

Stoplivi226 karma

First off, I am a huge fan, so thank you for taking the opportunity to do this!

What is it like to be playing a villain? I’ve often heard they can be fun but sometimes challenging roles, like it’s tough to try and justify the character’s actions. And would you ever play a villain again? (After Oldboy, of course.)

SharltoCopley455 karma

For me playing villains is NOT MORE FUN. haha I guess coming from a violent country I don't really care much for violence. Also Wikus and Murdock were such fun characters for more to play. Kruger and especially Oldboy villain are the characters that are the furthest removed from base personality. It was interesting as an acting challenge for me but I don't plan on doing any more villains anytime soon.

JudahMaccabee213 karma

Will you make another African-centric film again?

SharltoCopley449 karma

yes, probably several in my life.

PrincessXanax205 karma

What's it like to live in Johannesburg? I've been curious about life in South Africa for some time.

SharltoCopley580 karma

you gotta man up...

StegroD_Whatchusay156 karma

Hiya Sharlto! Keep up the superb work! Time to watch you steal the show once more in "Elysium!"

As for a question it's my father's birthday today 8/8/2013 would you mind being the first one to "Cut some Cake?"

SharltoCopley264 karma

happy birthday and CUT SOME CAKE dad...

Alex12345678910134 karma

Hi Sharlto Copley big fan of your work on District 9 and The A-Team. My question is what was your experience working on The A-Team and Elysium?

SharltoCopley336 karma

Well interestingly both A-Team and Elysium shot mostly in Vancouver, so I ended up working with a lot of the same crew which was very cool. I love vancouver so felt blessed to be working there, especially after the slums of jo burg where we shot D9. Those bigger budget films that you mention where very a different experience from D9 as with D9 i was playing the lead in the film and was way more involved in the creative process. on the bigger films, in a smaller role, all you can really do is focus on making your character and scenes as cool as possible and hope they don't cut you out of the film too much haha

operation_hennessey121 karma

My boyfriend and I were crazy about District 9. We thought your performance was outstanding. Who inspires you as a performer? What have been some of your favourite roles over the years?

SharltoCopley219 karma

There are many people I find inspiring to watch as an actor - I would say people like Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, Geoffrey Rush, Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy, Jim Carey, Dustin Hoffman to name a few

Malicious_Koala116 karma

Than you for the AMA! What was your favorite movie to take part in (whether it be because of the people you worked with, the plot, or your role).

SharltoCopley227 karma

D9

spacecowboy007101 karma

Do you think we are not alone? And could they already be here?

SharltoCopley275 karma

i think we almost certainly are not alone but they probably not already here.

liamquane98 karma

ABSOLUTELY HUGE FAN, Been watching you since Alive in Johburg. SNIPER! Can I ask...what is Niell Blomkamp like as a director/writer and would you ever consider directing a full feature one day?

SharltoCopley155 karma

thanks man. i think neill is one of the most inspiring writer/directors in the world and feel privileged every time i go back out to shoot with him. yes, i will for certain be directing a film at some point.

tenoclockrobot89 karma

Thanks for doing this ama. Love all your work. Question: what do you feel like is your role as an ambassador of South Africa if anything?

SharltoCopley318 karma

i think this is a very tricky issue - i am really a satirical entertainer at heart and i am more interested in understanding human nature than i am in getting involved or supporting political issues. i do not particularly want to see myself as an ambassador for SA but i recognise that by the nature of what i do, there is a responsibility of sorts towards my country and my people and that this pressure will probably grow if my profile continues to grow. I am prepared for that as i feel that we have a serious lack of current leaders in South Africa and the world in general. Madiba's current medical condition is a stark reminder of the quality of leadership I wish more people would aspire to. However as an actor i feel i am probably better equipped to have valuable views and insights into the human condition than i am in getting involved in political issues.

elysefires85 karma

Hi Sharlto!
I completely lucked out and won tickets to the Sydney premiere of Elysium on Monday, so if you see someone bugging out on the red carpet, that'll probably be me. Sorry in advance!
My questions for you are regarding your website where you have an open invitation for people to submit movie ideas to you and your company. Since the inception, have you and your production company developed any of the pitches/scripts that have been submitted?
When it comes to aspiring film-makers, what's the one common mistake you see time and time again that you wish people were more aware of?
(By the way, I haven't submitted anything because I'm a ridiculously slow writer, haha).
See you at the premiere!

SharltoCopley134 karma

can't tell you how excited i am about coming to Sydney. I missed it both times with D9 and A-Team where we almost came on both films but there was always a reason it got cancelled. Matt and I on the plane friday night - no stopping us now...

we haven't developed anything from my site yet but we monitor it constantly. i'm super fussy when it comes to something i will develop as that takes years out of your life so looking for the right stuff.

maclaumo76 karma

Hi Sharlto! I'm a big big fan, building a fansite for you! http://www.sharltocopleyfans.com/ I love your Facebook updates, are you going to use more twitter to our delight?

SharltoCopley144 karma

i'm trying to use facebook a bit more... not sure if i'm a "twitter" but maybe the bug will bite at some point

bengalgt75 karma

Sharlto,

First, thank you for doing this! Second, my question is - what genre of movies would you consider your favorite to act in? Meaning, what would appeal to you more? Many thanks! :) Huge fan of yours!

SharltoCopley159 karma

i guess i like sci-fi but also fantasy - would love to do more fantasy stuff. what always appeals to me more than genre is if there is the chance to make a character that is entertaining to the audience.

working3575 karma

will you guys be back to do a sequal to A TEAM...the first one was awesome!

SharltoCopley120 karma

i don't think it will ever happen.

Mysteriouspaul70 karma

What was working with the other actors in A Team like? Who's your favorite character?

SharltoCopley143 karma

it was awesome - my favourite scenes in the film where anytime the four guys where together. i wish we had more of that actually - we had a great chemistry. my fav characters were always murdock and ba.

sinception69 karma

I watched D9 again last night, I'm so pumped about tonight. what' ur fav sci fi? r u gonna be in Nolan's new film?

SharltoCopley210 karma

it's a tie with aliens, T2 and bladerunner.

not in nolans film... maybe wikus needs to visit his house like he did with charlize, try get hired...

landl0rd67 karma

Hey Sharlto, I'm really glad you're doing this AMA. Your performance in District 9 was utterly captivating, and that movie has been a favorite of mine since then. My question is considering you were in the A-Team movie, which came from a pretty popular TV show, what's another franchise that you would love to work on the reboot on, whether it was a show, a movie series, book series, anything like that?

SharltoCopley139 karma

none come to mind to be honest. would love to be able to do more original materal.

SaturnCat64 karma

Hello Sharlto! Loved your performance in District 9 very much-- you totally made that film. Brilliant job, thank you! I drove about 140 miles round trip to see Europa Report in DC last Sun. & enjoyed that. And this weekend will see Elysium! I think everyone is wondering what your next project will be. Is District 10 going to happen-- what's the status of that? Much respect, sir!

SharltoCopley122 karma

WOW. thats an insane drive. Thank you so much for your support - hope you knew i'm only a small role in europa right haha did it to try and support something original and different. see comments above re. d10 but yes, i think it will happen.

liamquane54 karma

what is your Oldboy villain Like? love the accent :~)

SharltoCopley155 karma

he is creepy. he has long nails. i GREW THE NAILS for real. they were worse to have for months than the beard for kruger. haha

monikandrew53 karma

my brother and I loved the movie District 9, is there gonna be a sequel?

SharltoCopley135 karma

i hope so

Aluminothermic50 karma

In one sentence, how would you describe your experience working with Sebastian Cordero in Europa Report?

SharltoCopley79 karma

very unique director making a unique film.

goldenrod47 karma

It's been three years, so where's Christopher?

SharltoCopley183 karma

fokken prawns. knew i shouldn't have trusted that bladdy guy. Wikus

Chris_Bischoff45 karma

Hey Sharlto, fellow South African here.

Wanted to say that I love how you have kept your 'South Africanisms' when doing all of your roles. I laughed out loud when you switched to the accent during The A Team!

I heard that KRUGER is a former SANDF member. Is this something that was decided before you started, or is his 'rekkie' nature something that came about from you exploring the character?

Also, I know this is absolutely shameless, but before this gets completely buried, please check out my own creative project over at www.stasisgame.com . Just knowing you saw the page will be enough gratification. :D

Elysium only comes out here in 2 weeks, but I know you and Neill are going to hit it out of the park again!

SharltoCopley77 karma

thanks boet. kruger was inspired by okes from the south and 3-2 battalion right from the start of his invention. i hope they forgive me that he had to be a villian in this one. if he could have been the good guy i would have prefered that as his character certainly isn't how i see my friends from "the south" or in fact 3-2 battalion.

WesterosHobbit37 karma

[deleted]

SharltoCopley101 karma

hey steve - see notes about kruger's inspiration in answer to other questions here. one interesting story i haven't told anybody is that me and brandon auret (one of the sa actors who play my henchman) went and hung out in our characters amongst junkies and drug dealers in the drug areas of vancouver. one of the most unique experiences of my life.

maclaumo35 karma

I'll be watching Elysium tonight! Any scene you're proud of and would like to highlight for me, so I pay EXTRA attention to the details?

SharltoCopley65 karma

on of my favourite scenes is when kruger goes in to interrogate frey (max's love interest) - big fight with matt is also insane.

bennocide30 karma

Hello Mr. Copley, firstly want to say that A-Team being one of my favorite recent action films that I watch repeatedly, your performance always manages to brighten my day.

Secondly, I'm very much looking forward to Oldboy. Knowing the nature of your role, did it take a lot of work in performing a different kind of villain compared to the traditional "bad guy".

SharltoCopley59 karma

thank you.

yes, kruger was harder to play than wikus or murdock and adrian, my villain in oldboy was hardest of all so far. i went to a dark place that i'd prefer to never visit again in my life haha

sabbyrod25 karma

Sharlto my names Sabrina,I think your such a wonderful actor so talented, i'm looking forward to watching more movies you are in. I knew after district 9 you would blow up. Sabrina Rodriguez from south Texas loves you!

SharltoCopley86 karma

texas rocks. people from south in usa are the most like south african's i know and i love you guys... xx

uberlad17 karma

[deleted]

SharltoCopley106 karma

before you ask for the advice, know what it is you seek.

ReflexEight17 karma

What's your favorite food? Also, I'm working to get in the movie industry, it would be cool to make a movie with you in the future.

SharltoCopley47 karma

green smoothies - i'm always looking for work, you never know...

johnnyboyyy2310 karma

Hey Sharlto, big fan! I was wondering what is your favorite role that you have starred as so far? Also, who do you want to play in a movie?

SharltoCopley26 karma

wikus. i'm more interested in creating new characters if the chance arises

Ryknow6 karma

Amazing looking movie! I can't wait to see it. If you had to pick a favorite line or scene or I guess anything from the movie what would it be?

SharltoCopley15 karma

the afrikaans nursery rhyme kruger sings to frey.

liamquane5 karma

do you have any writing/directing advice?

SharltoCopley11 karma

don't stop when the hell comes

TheCovenantMan3 karma

This is about the Oldboy remake. I was just curious as to why you said the film is following the original manga when it's clear from the trailer and casting information that the film is following plot elements found only in the Korean film.

SharltoCopley7 karma

no it's INSPIRED BY original manga.