Before taking on the role of a killer in “The Lovely Bones” Stanley Tucci hesitated.
As an actor who has been careful about choosing challenging material throughout the bulk of his career, Tucci felt it was important that a story involving this kind of violence wasn’t simply gratuitous. If the film had been just another story about a multiple murderer who evades police for an act and a half and then starts to slip up and gets arrested, he wouldn’t have been interested in the project at all, Tucci says.
“I can’t stand stories like that,” he says. “But this was a story about what happens to all these characters after something horrible occurs, and it really couldn’t happen without the character that I play taking some monstrous action.”
Tucci was also compelled to make George Harvey seem ordinary and familiar onscreen. It’s by acting normal that the character is able to continue doing what he does.
“This is about the banality of evil,” Tucci says. “Someone like this doesn’t run around screaming because he’d give himself away. He looks like someone who lives next door. Most of us have a conscience that stops us from doing the things he does.”
This isn’t Tucci’s first time slipping on the shoes of a character who does unthinkable things and then goes about his everyday life. He also portrayed the infamous Nazi Adolf Eichmann in the telepic “Conspiracy.”
“The scary thing is people who do these things are human and sometimes live next to us,” says Tucci. “I learned so much doing this part, but I wouldn’t want to have this character around again.”