It was the “crazy” script that drew Sturgess to the project. He admitted that he did not quite understand the idea until he met with writer and director Juan Solanas, and was completely taken in by Solanas’s larger-than-life, energetic personality. Sturgess realized that Upside Down is “not futuristic, it’s not sci-fi…it’s just an alternate reality, another possibility of life. It’s a fairytale.” He described the film as a really fun, exciting, and challenging film to work on. He liked his role because although the character of Adam is romantic, there is more to him and there is a comedic side to the movie. As well as acting upside down, another challenge that the film presented for Sturgess was the task of speaking with an American accent. Sturgess, who is originally from England, had used an American accent in one of his previous films but he discovered a trick while filming Upside Down. As well as using a dialect coach for the film, he decided to use an American accent throughout the entire filming process. Previously, he had switched between accents, but found that it was confusing. “After week two or three, you can convince yourself that that’s the way you talk,” Sturgess explained, then saying that it became an automatic thing that he no longer had to think about.
Sturgess’s advice for young actors is to really get involved and develop a passion for acting. If you view each role you get as something you are really excited about, rather than just a stepping-stone to a larger one, then “you can’t go wrong, because you’re doing what you love doing.” He also said that you have to “create your own work.” Sturgess never attended drama school, but after he wrote his own play and putting it on in small theater, he found a way into the world of drama. His love for music also helped him because he was able to play his breakout role in the highly popular movie Across the Universe, which featured Beatles music. Although Sturgess feels that luck played some role in his career, he believes that it was truly the result of all his hard work.
Upside Down opened March 15th in Bay area theatres. Check it out; it’s a film worth seeing!