Ben Barnes, one of the stars of the film Killing Bono, glances at his laptop which I’m tapping away on, trying to find some mood music for the morning. Aside from the entire Beatles catalog, , his music taste veers between the soulful tones of John Legend to the warbling of Christina Aguilera. It’s a friendly tussle over what to play and we settle on a compromise, Justin Timberlake. It strikes me afterward that I didn’t even look to see if he had U2 on his iTunes.
Having chopped off his trademark long hair into a clean cut short back and sides, it scuppers the dirty rock and roll vibe we were going for today. He’s looking more ready to model for Hugo Boss perfume than roll around the bed in skinny jeans with a fag clenched between his teeth but since he spent the best part of January doing that in a freezing Belfast last year for his latest film, we’ll let him off.
Although not quite a bestseller, Neil McCormick’s book, ‘I was Bono’s Doppelganger’ has been loosely transformed into this edgy celluloid treat, which Ben, sprawled across the hotel bed in his jeans and socks, thinks he has the power to pull fans and non-fans alike. “Hopefully it will appeal to hardcore U2 fans because at the start of the film it might be a bit of a biopic, like Walk The Line, but without so many drugs and adultery, but people who also like the idea of killing Bono.”
He grins, “People tend to be in one camp or the other, but he came up with the title. They were going to release the book in the States, and Bono said to Neil, ‘You should call it Killing Bono, cos I’d wear that t-shirt, I know a lot of people would.’ He slips into an Irish accent to imitate the singer and, to be fair, its more than passable. Even the Irish press, the most vicious of critics when it comes to actors impersonating the brogue, were satisfyingly convinced. – Words by Taylor Glasby.
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