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Tucci digs deep in new role

Stanley Tucci has turned up in so many big movies lately -- everything from "The Hunger Games" series to the upcoming "Transformers: Age of Extinction" -- that it's a pleasure to see him return to his theatrical roots in "Some Velvet Morning," the new film from Neil LaBute that is available on VOD and iTunes and opening at the Village East tomorrow.

A two-hander set entirely within a New York townhouse, the film consists of a conversation between Tucci, playing a man who drops in on his former mistress, and Alice Eve as the latter.

The 53-year-old actor embraced the chance to trade the showy Caesar Flickerman of the "Hunger" movies for this small-scale morality play.

"I've always liked to go back and forth between independent film and larger studio movies. A steady diet of either of those things wouldn't make for a very interesting career or life," Tucci says.

In terms of the comparative acting challenges, "they both take a tremendous amount of energy," Tucci adds. "But this is very different. This is on a human scale. Caesar Flickerman is on a hyper-human scale. There's a persona on top of a persona on top of a persona, where this guy's raw, even though the piece raises questions of identity."

"Some Velvet Morning" feels like a filmed play; Tucci says the actors performed up to a taxing 10 pages per day of what he calls "intense, emotional scenes."

That immersive approach "allows you real spontaneity and there's something about those intensive circumstances that force you to dig deeper," Tucci says.

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