‘Game of Thrones’ star worked hard to get ‘Ghost in the Shell’ role

Pilou Asbaek didn’t exactly land his role in “Ghost in the Shell” so easily. In the sci fi thriller, in theaters, the 35-year-old Danish actor (pronounced “Pe-lou As-beck”) plays Batou, second in command to Scarlett Johannson’s bad-ass cyber-soldier

The “Game of Thrones” costar was in Miami on a press tour to talk about the movie, based on a famed Japanese manga, and his character, a fun loving warrior with a shock of white hair and bulging, prosthetic eyes. 

How did you get involved with “Ghost in the Shell?”

I did this film called “Woodshock” with Kirsten Dunst, and one of the producers Michael Costigan saw my work and said, ‘You know what? I think you should meet our director [for ‘Ghost’]. I’m not in a position where I can pick and choose. It’s the other way around. The studios pick and choose. I had an audition but the studio said, ‘We don’t think this guy is Batou. He’s not smiling enough.’ So I thought, ‘You know what? Beep you.’ I’m going to fly to L.A. and I’m going to show you. I had a four hour meeting with Rupert [Sanders, the director]. I did the whole scene again, smiling the whole time. I can be charming if I want to. Look!

Going in, how familiar were you with the storyline?

I saw the original film when I was a teenager. I thought it was an incredible story. It was a cartoon with a female lead. What’s not to like?

Describe Batou.

He is part of this elite task force called Section 9 and second in command to Soldier, portrayed by Scarlett. He’s a combat expert. He likes pizza, beer and has a dog named Gabriel and a pretty cool car. He likes shooting people. Only the bad people.

There is a lot of action in this flick. What was the biggest challenge of the entire experience?

Whenever you do a film, it’s always like a little miracle. So many people getting together trying to do something so that the audience can be entertained. What was difficult: Four hours of makeup, the prosthetic eyes, then you shoot for four hours. I didn’t have much private life for six months. I missed my family, my friends. But then you meet new people and create your own little family.

What’s next after this?

I may be going to do some more “Game of Thrones.” Maybe I won’t. I’ll take a break. I want to see my wife and daughter. I’ve missed them a lot.

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