The Sandman: What Becoming the Lord of Dreams Was Like for Tom Sturridge

Den of Geek: What appealed to you about the material?

Tom Sturridge: For me, The Dreaming is Middle-earth, Narnia, our favorite parts of Hogwarts—everything that I’ve cared about in fantasy and literature rolled into one. And just to have the opportunity to step into that world as fully realized as possible, it was thrilling. As far as the character itself, it’s difficult to say. I suppose it was a fear. I was afraid of doing it because I was aware of how beloved Morpheus is and also how much I loved him.

The pressure must be daunting?

It is daunting, and it comes with an enormous responsibility. But the small comfort I took is that as it got into my blood and as I began to become aware of the responsibility, I started to also realize that, actually, one of the key components of Morpheus as a character is the burden of his own responsibility. It’s the responsibility he has for the subconscious of the universe, which is, I suppose, like the responsibility you have for the dreams of fans. It’s not quite the same as the universe, but it’s still a way to start thinking about how he feels about the world.

How does Morpheus change?

Well, I think by necessity, he’s kept himself at a distance from humanity and human beings because I think when you are responsible for anything, you try to separate yourself from it so you can have an overview. It’s like a bodyguard—you don’t fall in love with the client. And the thing that happens very early on in our story is that he is imprisoned, and for the first time in his life or in his existence, his power is taken away from him. His tools of office are stolen from him, and he is suddenly, bizarrely, quite close to human because he doesn’t have any of the powers that he’s had before, and he’s vulnerable.

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