Mark Rylance says he based ‘Don’t Look Up’ character on ‘dangerous’ Elon Musk

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·TV Reporter, Yahoo Entertainment UK
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LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 12: Mark Rylance attends
Mark Rylance says he looked to Elon Musk for character inspiration. (Lia Toby/Getty Images for BFI)

Mark Rylance has admitted his Don't Look Up billionaire tech entrepreneur character was based on Tesla boss Elon Musk, who he thinks is "dangerous".

The Netflix film is a cautionary tale of ignoring threats to the planet, featuring Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio as scientists who discover a world-destroying meteor is on a collision course with Earth, but are ignored by the President (played by Meryl Streep).

Read more: Grimes says she was in hospital with panic attack after Elon Musk's SNL debut

Rylance's character Peter Isherwell is a hugely wealthy inventor and businessman who manages to convince the President of his scheme to break up the meteor and harness its power for his tech company, leading to disaster for the whole of humankind.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 13: Elon Musk attends TIME Person of the Year on December 13, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for TIME)
Elon Musk was one of the real-life entrepreneurs that prompted the character. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images for TIME)

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he addressed speculation about who the real-life inspiration behind his character, known for motivational but meaningless speeches, was.

Asked whether it was "Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and/or Jeff Bezos", he said: "I looked at all those fellas."

He said that he had read "about half of" SpaceX founder Musk's book and thought a lot about the view of technology as the most important thing in the universe.

DON'T LOOK UP (L to R) JONAH HILL as JASON ORLEAN, PAUL GUILFOYLE as GENERAL THEMES, MARK RYLANCE as PETER ISHERWELL, MERYL STREEP as PRESIDENT JANIE ORLEAN. Cr. NIKO TAVERNISE/NETFLIX © 2021
Mark Rylance as Peter Isherwell in 'Don't Look Up'. (Netflix)

Rylance's character Isherwell views himself as a philanthropist, much to the frustration of the scientists whose warnings about imminent destruction of the planet he chooses to ignore.

Read more: Everything new streaming on Netflix this February

The actor said: "They’re thinking they’re doing good — so there’s that scene where he gets upset when Leonardo’s character thinks he’s just a businessman. These people have very high-minded ideas about of what they’re doing. They don’t think they’re bad people, quite the contrary.

"You get that impression from Elon Musk. They think they’re going to save humanity. I think they’re dangerous."

Meryl Streep stars as the President who backs Peter Isherwell's (Mark Rylance) madcap plan. (Netflix)
Meryl Streep stars as the President who backs Peter Isherwell's (Mark Rylance) madcap plan. (Netflix)

Rylance also answered questions on what Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's advisor who he played in a TV adaptation of Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall, would think of Boris Johnson.

He said that he though Cromwell would tell the Prime Minister he was "probably rather lucky he’s not going to get beheaded" and should "count your blessings and walk away".

Watch: Jennifer Lawrence explains everything in the Don't Look Up trailer

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