(NEW YORK) — Mark Rylance won an Academy Award earlier this year for playing a Soviet spy. His latest role, however, has him playing a very different part – that of a big, friendly giant in the Disney film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s book, The BFG.
The 56-year-old Brit had been a theater actor for years, and snagged a best supporting actor Oscar last February for his first Hollywood role, playing Rudolf Abel in Bridge of Spies, directed by The BFG director Steven Spielberg.
“It means the world to me, that the stories I’m telling are making people laugh, or moving people, or just … distracting themselves from the troubles of the world for a day and giving them a bit of strength to carry on,” Rylance told ABC News.
The BFG – the story of what Rylance calls “a very loving friendship” between the giant and a young human girl – hits some of those themes, including finding the strength to overcome differences.
The movie even includes a special language, which Rylance was happy to demonstrate.
The BFG premieres July 1.
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