(Credit: Netflix)

Series

How Tom Sturridge transformed into 'The Sandman's Dream

The American fantasy drama television series ‘The Sandman’ is based on a comic book written from the years 1989 to 1996 and was released on Netflix on 5th August this year. The series broke the internet with a whopping 15 million US dollars production budget for each episode. Maintaining DC’s dim and grim themes, the show has been co-produced by DC and Warner Bros.

The comics that the show is based on were originally published by DC comics. Author Neil Gaiman waited over 30 years to make a live-action series, a very successful one starring Tom Sturridge. Not only did the purists who devotedly followed the original comics, but also the viewers getting to know the story for the first time were immediately hooked. 

The show follows the story of Morpheus, played by Tom Sturridge, one of the seven siblings with powers who is the personification of dreams. He is also known as the Endless. While visiting the realms of Earth, he gets trapped by a mortal and remains imprisoned for over a hundred years. Once he escapes, he travels back to his kingdom which he finds in ruins.

However, without his tools that is the pouch of sand, the ruby he wore on his neck, and his helm, he cannot rebuild his kingdom and take proper control over the world of dreams. From crazy production sets to a star-studded cast, the show made a real effort to create a generous representation of the comics. However, what the fans most appreciated was Sturridge’s rather compelling performance as the Endless or as we know him, Dream. 

How did Sturridge land the role? 

Recently, Sturridge had an interview with CBR about the entire process of becoming the Dream to transforming into it. The long audition process to get the role to finally land an outstanding performance and win over the hearts of several viewers across the globe. He mentioned how he had to spend a long time going over the literature repeatedly to really ‘subsume’ who Sandman was and how he as an actor resonated with him.

Auditions went on for as long as nine months till he finally knew that he was cast as the protagonist of this fresh new drama series. Tom elaborated on how he prepared himself for the role by committing to realising the world in which Morpheus operated. To really understand how the lord of collective unconsciousness, the guardian, was in charge of creating this whole other world. Sturridge adds, ‘I felt like I was the guardian of the collective dreams of the fans of who he might be. That burden was helpful to think about.’

Morpheus’s physical appearance on Tom Sturridge

When it came to portraying the vivid image of Sandman from the comics, Sturridge expresses that he had quite a journey achieving what he had in mind. He elaborates on his extensive thinking procedure, where he took on Neil’s idea of how The Sandman should look very passionately. He tried to convey the personification of the Endless as accurately as he could by deeply focusing on the aspect of physicality and trying to mimic the comic’s icon on himself. To do that, he even had to starve himself for long periods but, in the end, was ecstatic with the results.

Sturridge adds to this, “The other thing is, obviously, for the first hour of our season — as is the case in the first series of comics — he is naked inside a glass sphere. It was very important to me because Morpheus doesn’t speak, to find the physicality to convey this is not a human but an Endless. That was months in the gym because I thought his body, rather than being built, should be as if you shaved a panther, that pure sinew and bone.”

Tom Sturridge transforming into a Dream

When being interviewed further into the specifics of his performance, Tom emphasises what Neil Gaiman mentioned to him prior to the shooting began. The fact that Morpheus indeed has been through everything one could have possibly imagined as he has been there forever.

Not only has the Endless been through all kinds of confrontations, he knows exactly what to say when and with no doubt in his mind. He speaks what needs to be said and nothing beyond. He does not need to think or hesitate before speaking, but the character’s rhythmic language and carefully chosen words reflect his true character on screen. Not a man of many words, but the ones he did use could be carved on a stone. 

If you have not watched this show already, you know what to binge through the next weekend. Not only has Tom Sturridge stirred the comic book fandom with his eerily accurate resemblance to the Sandman, but he has managed to empathise, resonate, and find himself within the character. Do not miss out on this audio-visual and out-of-this-world treat. Watch the Endless embark on this intense journey to take back what was his. The show is available to stream on Netflix, but begin with the trailer now!