Dredd’s Karl Urban on being true to the comic

Karl Urban on why he’s keeping the helmet on. Dredd is in cinemas from 7 September 2012.

Dredd Karl Urban interview

Dredd Karl Urban interview
Karl Urban as Judge Dredd.

Speaking exclusively to SciFiNow for the mammoth Dredd feature in the latest issue, Star Trek and Lord Of The Rings star Karl Urban reassures all fanboy fears instantly, saying, “Here’s the thing, I’m a long-term fan of Dredd, I started reading it when I was a teenager. When I heard they they were making a new version, I was immediately interested, and when I heard about who was involved – Alex Garland – I thought it was worth meeting with them.

“And my instinct proved correct, we were all on the same page. They were very clear with me and I was very clear with them – they said, ‘Are you aware that Dredd doesn’t remove the helmet in this movie?’ and I said, ‘I wouldn’t be taking this meeting if he did’.”

For most actors – and especially for Sylvester Stallone – the idea of being the lead in any movie and unable to show your face would have been intolerable. But it was a cross Urban was more than happy to bear in exchange for a more faithful big-screen take on the Lawman Of The Future.

“Yeah, it was a challenge. Obviously, an actor’s eyes are one of their most important communicative tools, and you take that away and you have to figure out pretty quickly what you’re going to use – things like body language, voice, posture and the physical action of how you do scenes becomes very, very important. I think in many ways it was a very subtle performance.

“What I didn’t want to do was deliver a posturing Dredd, you know, the old hands on the hips, shouty Dredd,” he adds, mocking the Stallone version of the character. “That’s of no interest to me whatsoever. I feel my interpretation of the character was kinda like a tightly wound spring, coiled, just ready to pounce and leap forth with great degrees of violence!”

Dredd is in cinemas from 7 September 2012. Check out our massive, super-geeky review, as well as 9 pages of Judge Dredd content in the latest issue of SciFiNow.