AceShowbiz - Actor Topher Grace had to avoid running his lines for new movie BlacKkKlansman in front of his baby girl, because his role as a white supremacist leader was "overwhelmingly depressive".
The Spider-Man 3 star was cast as former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke in Spike Lee's real-life race drama, and although Topher was thrilled to work with the moviemaker, he knew preparing for the job wouldn't be at all fun.
Recalling the moment he landed the gig, he told breakfast show Today, "It was one of the great days of my career. You get this call from Spike Lee and he says..., 'You're my guy'. I was so excited... and then I realised, 'Oh wait, the next month is gonna be the worst month of my life because I wound up having to do the worst research ever".
Topher delved into Duke's "overwhelmingly negative" memoir, My Awakening: A Path to Racial Understanding, and watched countless TV interviews with the white nationalist in a bid to fully understand his character, and he hated every minute.
"It was so depressing...," he said, admitting it was also hard on his wife, Ashley.
"You gotta ask my wife, I was tough to live with," Topher shared. "We'd actually just had a baby, our first, and I was practising my lines around the house and she's like, 'Can you cool it on the hate speech...?' So I had to... go into the basement...".
The actor turned to film editing as a "great way to relax" to shake off Duke's persona, focusing his spare time on cutting down Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy into a single two-hour picture for his own enjoyment, but he insists filming BlacKkKlansman was actually a lot easier to process.
"When we shot it, it was really fun, it was all the research that you have to do to become the person (that was tough)," he explained. "I'm not a method actor, I don't get so into my work I take it home with me, but this one... it's just overwhelmingly depressive... Being in his head is just not a place you want to be".
BlacKkKlansman stars Denzel Washington's son John David as Ron Stallworth, the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Stallworth managed to infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan in his first assignment in the 1970s.
The movie opens in America this week, August 10.