\Vorsc. This is a toncd down \crsion ol what was

happcning. liycn whcn l was thcrc. thc wil'c oi an ol'liccr was arrcstcd l'or smuggling cocainc. and hc was part ol' thc anti—drug moycmcnt in this country I hcard so many storics ol corruption.

So not much has changed over the years.

\thn I got to (icrmany. l talkcd to somc ol thc soldicrs. ‘lt‘s tucking boring hcrcf thcy said. 'l‘hc idca that you wcrc so tucking horcd was conlirmcd.

You seem very close to the character in Buffalo Soldiers.

liycry moyic I do. I mcct rcsistancc going into it. and by thc timc it comcs out. cycryonc says: ‘\\'cll. you w crc thc ohyious choicc.~ and that thc charactcr is \cry much likc inc. which is grcat. lt incans that it makcs scnsc that I did thc rolc. I'm happy on cycry moyic. but I'm alway s

rcluctant to lind parallels with myscll’ and the character: Last thing I think of is how I’d react with thcsc pcoplc.

Do you do a lot of research for your roles? My middle name is research. You get to learn so many things making lilms: it‘s so great.

Filming in Germany, I understand the cast and crew created its own American base there. Ycah. We did all the filming on an abandoned army hasc and that environment made it real for the actors. It was casy for rcscarch. We were ll) guys and Anna lPaquin. his co- starl staying in this little hotel in this little small town in (icrmany. There was that genuine sense of frustration and horcdotn. ()ur hotcl hccamc thc harracks.

Wasn’t it during the Buffan Soldiers shoot that you received news of your Oscar-nomination for Gladiator?

ch. and I didn’t lct myscll'cnjoy it and have fun with it. I l‘clt likc Miss America; Iikc I'd start wccping. .-\n ()scat‘ nomination ~ it‘s the thing!

You dated Liv Tyler for a time. Do you have a girlfriend now? I'm singlc [a long pause]. I actually do hayc a girllricnd. It

just took me a while to rcmcmhcr.

Is it easy for you to go in front of the camera? No. I'm vomiting days hcl‘orc I start shooting a new moyic.

What kind of films are you interested in doing? (icncrally hig hudgct lilms aren‘t as inICI‘Csliltg to mc. hccausc inorc oltcn than not thc charactcrs arcn't very complex. 'l'hcy stay thc samc all the way through the ntoyic. Smaller films rcllcct hcttcr thc cxpcricnccs we have as human hcings. But things arc changing. .\'cw audicnccs arc rcady l‘or llawcd hcrocs.

Clearly. You made quite an impression playing Commodus in Gladiator.

I thought hc was complcx. You don’t cxpcct to lind a charactcr dcaling with issucs likc parcntal ncglcct and paranoia in moyics likc that.

Your characters all have some darkness to them. But Hollywood wants to label. It’s casicr to typccast hccausc so tnuch is at stakc. So tnuch moncy. \cry l‘cw lilms hayc thc insight to challcngc you and cycryonc sull‘crs lrom hcing lahcllcd in one way.

Playing an animated character in The Bears must have been one of your strangest roles? To hc in a Disncy lilm was the grcatcst. I play a natiyc ;\mcrican translormcd into a hcar. Don't call mc lcading man. I‘m a lcading hcar. l atn contcnt!

What’s next for you?

l‘yc donc thc sci-ti drama [I 's .I// About /.Ul'(’. dircctcd by Thomas Vintcrhcrg in Denmark. 1 play a Polish litcraturc Drol’cssor about to hc diyorccd l'roni (‘lairc [)ancs. It's a loyc story and rcally complcs.

Then you’re Mel Gibson’s brother in M Night Shyamalan’s supernatural thriller, Signs.

1 l'ctch watcr l‘or .\lcl (iihson. It’s about l'armcrs who discoycr inystci‘ious crop circlcs in thcir licld. That’s all I can diyulgc.

In other words; two big new films. .\'o. .'\l'tcr (i/ur/iulrn‘ cycrything is small.

.-\nd with that. thc intcryicw at an cnd. Phocnis linally gcts to light up his smokc.

Buffalo Soldiers, UGC, 23 Aug, 9.30pm; GFT, 24 Aug, 6.30pm, £7 (£4.50).

‘I turn down so many’

DAVID HOLMES is back in Edinburgh to talk about his score for Buffalo Soldiers.

I It's one thing having a movie that's as slick as an oil spill. but if you want that movie to ooze creative cool, you‘d best have David Holmes to score the sound- track. It's a tactic that's served young American filmmaker Steven Soderbergh particularly well, first with Out of Sig/it and then with OCcali '3 Eleven.

Now Australian director Gregor Jordon's got in on the act by securing the Belfast- born DJ to bring some instant cool to Buffa/o Soldiers. Which is no mean feat: Holmes has been offered over 30 soundtracks since the Success of Out of Sight he's accepted only three. ‘I turn down so many.‘ he says. ‘that when you actually do one. you're doing it because you love the stOry. you love the vibe and y0u want it to be the best it possibly can.‘

Talking to The List in February. Holmes was gushed with enthusiasm about Buffa/o Soldiers and his setindtrack. which he describes as ‘hard. electronic hip hop'. At that time he was working on his fourth film score. to drinking buddy George Clooney's directorial debut Confessmns of a Dangerous I ind. Audiences at the Reel Life event at this year's Film Festival can expect the former techno DJ turned SOundtraCk supremo to talk about what sheer hell that must have been in a wider discussion about the craft he so clearly enjoys and excels at. (Catherine Bromley)

David Holmes Reel Life, UGC, 23 Aug, 6pm, £10 (£4.50).