Send in the Clones

Emil Hostina, who plays Slim Clone in The Zero Theorem talks to Dreams


Emil Hostina appears in “The Zero Theorem”, occupying the role of Slim Clone. Always to be seen with his partner Chubs Clone, they together look after wunderkind Bob, the son of Management.

Emil Hostina dressed up as Slim Clone on the set of The Zero Theorem

Phil Stubbs: Could you tell me about your character within this picture?
Emil Hostina: My character is a clone: we are two clones. I can’t remember who is who. It is very hard to be a clone – because only the clone knows how to be a clone.

There are two clones, there’s a Slim one and a Chubs one.
The Chubs one is a very strange clone, he keeps sending me thoughts, and that’s very, very disturbing.

What kind of thoughts?
I don’t know. I’m just feeling them. I don’t understand them.

Trying to make sense of them…
I’m trying, but it’s not working!

Could you tell me a bit about the look that’s been created for you? The costume and make up?
The costume is terrific, it’s brilliant. I love it – it’s the costume of a gentleman, it’s a bit dandy. I have a problem with my skin, because being a clone, I was suddenly burst into my skin after achieving a high level of handsomeness. I have to live with that. I have a very beautiful hat, but I hate it. I hate my hat.

What material is your jacket made of? It’s a lovely cut by the way…
I’m not quite sure… because you cannot touch it. Nobody will touch it from the other side of the camera. I will say it is Italian silk.

Very dashing
Indeed, it’s lovely to live in an Italian silk costume.

What do you do within the picture?
Mostly dealing with my partner, the other clone. It’s taken a lot of time to do that. We barely notice what’s happening around us. But we are part of the plot of the movie, an interesting plot. We are escorting Bob, the wonderboy.

You are a gentleman in this picture?
Yes, we are. I am behaving as a gentleman in this picture and I try to behave as a gentleman. Most of the time, I succeed in doing that. We have a vintage car: a wonderful Citroen from 1935. You can’t imagine the power of that. As a clone, you can’t want anything more. It’s the best that you can get. What more could a clone ask for?

How is working with Terry on this picture?
Brilliant, I love it. He has so many ideas, it is wonderful to grab at least one, to hold it and follow it. For me as an actor, there is a wonderful rhythm. He is open for gags and contrast all the time. The speed of changing emotions and colours: it’s wonderful.

You worked on Dr Parnassus in London & Vancouver
I was working one day in London with Heath Ledger and Christopher Plummer and in Vancouver with Jude Law. We were in the Imaginarium of somebody. That was crazy – it was a wonderful two weeks’ experience.

Is it enjoyable here, working in Bucharest?
It’s very fast, from time to time hard… but good. I love the way the Set Designer, the DoP and Mr Gilliam are dragging the city into their fantasy… and that is wonderful. I cannot wait to see the movie in that perspective because Bucharest is mostly – in the historical parts – in the late 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Throwing that into this fiction, it’s wonderful.

Where do you see Bucharest & Romania in this project?
The future is with no boundaries or frontiers. It is interesting to see how the old Bucharest can be put in that futuristic, comic depiction of another world. It’s strange because I tend to think Bucharest is mostly in the past.

What challenges have been asked of you?
The challenge is to figure out how the couples of Mr Gilliam are working. In all of his movies you can see that it is a rhyme. It will be interesting to find how I and my partner fit in with the rest of the movie, especially with Mr Waltz.

How has it been working with Christoph?
Brilliant. It’s very subtle, you have to watch him very carefully. He’s very subtle he’s changing the tone and his thoughts very fast. You have to be aware of his speed. I love it, he’s wonderful.

More to explore

Films in depth

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
The Zero Theorem
The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus
The Brothers Grimm
Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas
12 Monkeys
The Fisher King
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
Time Bandits