When people approach “The Age of Adaline” star Michiel Huisman and say, “Are you the guy from …?” he enjoys that moment before the question is finished.
“I have a beat to think, ‘Is she going to say ‘Nashville’ or ‘Orphan Black’ or whatever,’” says the 33-year-old Dutch actor, who’s also been seen on “Treme” and currently stars as Daario Naharis on “Game of Thrones,” at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. “And I turn out to be wrong almost all the time. I guess it shows that I really can’t tell who’s watching what. ‘Game of Thrones’ is obviously the biggest show and the most popular show I’ve worked on, so you’d think that that’s always going to be the one. It’s not necessarily always the one.”
On Friday, viewers finally can see him starring on the big screen (Huisman also appeared in “Wild” last year and previously in several shows and movies in his home country) as a highlight of “The Age of Adaline.” He plays Ellis, the man who makes Adaline (Blake Lively) question her usual policy of running away from almost everyone she encounters—a result of not wanting anyone to do experiments on her if they found out she’s 107 years old and doesn’t age.
If it’s better not to age or to age backwards like Benjamin Button[Laughs.] Yeah, you’d think that not aging is better. Maybe between the two it actually is. But obviously in our movie not aging turns out to be a burden, a curse … I thought “Benjamin Button” was quite a sad story. It’s kind of sad to age backwards. [Laughs.]
The best use of time for someone who wakes up and realizes they don’t age
I don’t know, but I know what I would do: I would try to live on every continent of the world for an extended amount of time. Let’s say 10 years.
Yeah. You have all the time in the world. Just do everything.
What he’d want to do there
I don’t know. Just, uh, you know, think. [Laughs.] Explore and be cold.
The alternate version of “Adaline,” where she’s frozen at 12[Laughs.] Yeah, that would be a great movie too. Then I couldn’t have played the romantic man opposite Blake Lively.
Something magical he wanted to happen to him at any time in his life
I think I always wished I could play guitar as well as Jimi Hendrix. That would be pretty magical if it still happens. But I worked on that [ability] too. I just think I will never get there. Let me rephrase that: I know that I will never get there. But that would be magic, man.
How many times in his life he’s written a song or sung for a love interest
Um, yeah, maybe a couple times. But there’s one time that I was really successful. It turned out to be a song for the girl that became my wife. So talk about being persistent, my character in the movie is persistent in pursuing Adaline. It wasn’t so much of a stretch for me. I went after my wife for like five years. We would go on dates and had very romantic evenings but nothing would happen, and at some point I wrote a song about that. And then when I told her about that, this was in Amsterdam, so she was sitting on the back of my bicycle; I was riding the bike through the city. We were going somewhere, and I told her, “You know what? I wrote this song about that one night that we went to the beach.” She was like, “Oh, OK.” So I sang this song. It was very much about how I wished that I had the guts to tell her what I felt for her, and what I blah blah blah. She goes, “Oh, really?” That night we shared our first kiss, and we’ve been together for 10 years.
How he’d respond to Anna Kendrick’s tweet if she were in the room[Laughs.] I would not really respond to that. I would be like, “OK.”
A seemingly edited assessment of comments he gets from friends about being the love interest for Connie Britton, Blake Lively and more
People think I’m a very lucky man. And rightfully so. I’ve been very fortunate to work with a bunch of amazing actresses over the last two years.
Another show he’d like to make an appearance on, and one it wouldn’t make sense for him to join
I was obsessed with “Breaking Bad,” and it doesn’t really make sense for me to join that show right now at this point.
If the actor, who’s very versatile with accents, could knock out five accents in a row[Laughs.] No, because I don’t really consider myself an accent expert. If I just think of my dad, [in Dutch accent], “He would sound a little bit like this because he’s Dutch.” So this is what I used to sound like before I started working with my dialect coach. (without accent) It’s kind of cool to realize. When I’m having a conversation like this, it’s harder for me to stick with whatever general American sound I try to achieve at some point. It’s one of the cool things for me about crossing the pond and starting over in English. At first it was very alienating. When I started working on “Treme,” which was my first job in the U.S., I felt like there was always a little bit of a distance between myself and my thoughts and the actual words that came out. Just because probably they weren’t the words that I used as a kid or my mom used. It took me a couple of years before I—not only working on the dialect with a coach but also before I started thinking in English and dreaming in English.
The solution to that
For me, time. Constantly working on it, which trains your ear. And spending time in the U.S. That really helped.
I know that James Brown recording where he sings about Chicago. I think he sings like, “Chicago, my hometown!” That’s what I think of when I think of Chicago. And I think of Chicago Bulls.
His dinner at Blackbird
I started with seared scallops and foie gras. And that was just to start. The duck. Pretty awesome.
His favorite movie
“The Bicycle Thief.” “It’s just such a simple, linear story. To me it has everything that a good movie should have.
A movie that recently “rocked his world”
Why he pretends no one will see the work he does
It just kind of takes you out of the world that you’re trying to be in when you’re playing a scene. It’s hard work to think away all those 200 people or 40 people, whatever the crew is, that are around behind the camera. To also think about, “Whatever I’m doing now is going to be seen by a million people,” it doesn’t really help my performance. A movie, that’s easier to a certain extent because you’re still shooting something, there’s the promise that it might turn out to be a good movie, but you never know and it takes a year before it comes out. When you’re working on a show like “Game of Thrones,” it’s kind of obvious by now that people are going to be seeing what you’re doing. [Laughs.] So it takes more effort to let that go.
How he’d summarize “Game of Thrones” in 10 words or less, since I’ve never seen it
Are you kidding me? [Me: I’m not. I’m the one guy.] That’s almost impossible [to summarize], you know that right? [Me: Of course.] Are you kidding? You have seen the show, right? [Me: No.] All right, OK, well, I think it’s an epic story that takes place in a fantasy, medieval Europe I’d say, and it’s about … power … If there ever was a show you cannot summarize in 10 words, it’s probably “Game of Thrones.”