Ahead of the Inferno release, TNT catches up with Jon Donahue to discuss his character Richard Savage, what it’s like hanging out with Tom Hanks and the plot of the third movie written by Dan Brown
Are you a fan of THE DA VINCI CODE and ANGELS & DEMONS?
Yes, absolutely! I’m even a fan of Tom’s hair.
Can you tell us about the plot to the new movie INFERNO?
Dan Brown really raised the stakes in this one! Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Dr. Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), and together they must race across Europe against the clock to foil a deadly global plot! It really is a fast-paced movie, with a lot of twists and turns that’ll definitely keep audiences guessing as the mystery unfolds! It’s pretty exciting.
And your character Richard Savage?
Richard is an aid to Dr. Elizabeth Sinskey (Sidse Babett Knudsen), who is the head of the World Health Organization. Together, they are hot on the trail of Langdon and Brooks as the clock keeps ticking away. It was a fun character to play, because Richard is a serious, no-nonsense guy…and in real life, I am not. So, as an actor, to have the opportunity to play a character that is the complete opposite of yourself is always welcome and exciting!
Filmed in Venice, Florence and Budapest. Did you get time to explore the cities?
Oh yes I did! But don’t forget Istanbul! I loved it there, too! I also sampled all the food in every location. Luckily my character does a lot of running, so I burned off those calories pretty quickly. Robert Langdon’s adventures takes him all over Europe, and fortunately for the audience, and film crew, we get to come along for the ride and it’s just so much more authentic and exciting than shooting on a soundstage in Hollywood, running on a treadmill in front of a green screen!
What was it like working with Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones?
I’ve worked with Tom a few times over the years, and it’s always a learning experience. The guy is such an amazing actor, and I consider it a free acting class every time I’m on set with him. Between takes we chat and have a laugh…he’s great! This was my first time working with Felicity, and she’s such a sweetheart. She nails her role as Sienna Brooks, and you’re gonna love her in this one! I also can’t wait to see her in “Rogue One”, I’m a big “Star Wars” fan even though she wouldn’t reveal any spoilers while we were shooting “Inferno”.
Did you socialize with them at the end of the working day?
I hang out with Tom a lot when we are on location. We go out to eat or catch a movie. It’s fun talking about films with him. Ron Howard loves movies, too! When we are all together, it’s always a good time. I have such great memories shooting “Inferno” last year…I’m ready to shoot another Langdon adventure right now! I jokingly asked Dan Brown if he’d consider writing a Richard Savage spin-off series of books…let’s hope he took me seriously and is brainstorming ideas as we speak.
There are a few projects in the hat right now, I don’t want to jinx anything by talking about them…so you’ll have to wait and see. I’m going to stay spoiler-free!
What are your travel plans for 2017?
Hopefully, I’ll be visiting Europe again? Only time will tell!
We can’t wait for Inferno to reach the cinemas, release date 28 October (UK).