Jason Statham returns to kick some more ass in his new film Homefront, where he stars as DEA agent Phil Broker who, after a drug bust gone bad, resigns and moves with his daughter (Izabela Vidovic) to a quiet town in Louisiana. But what looks on the surface to be a peaceful place soon turns out to be anything but after Broker’s daughter beats up the school bully, whose mother (Kate Bosworth) happens to be the sister of meth kingpin Gator Bodine (James Franco). A chain of events ends up forcing Broker to confront his past as Gator and his associates wreak havoc on his life, forcing him to protect himself and his daughter the only way he knows how.
Last week in Los Angeles, a press conference was held for the film and we were on hand to cover the event. Attending were Jason Statham, James Franco, Winona Ryder, Izabela Vidovic, Kate Bosworth and director Gary Fleder. Among many other things, the cast spoke about creating their characters, the amount of input that Sylvester Stallone (who wrote the script) had on the film, how James felt about going toe to toe with Jason and much more.
Check it out below and enjoy!
James, you did something we don’t see too often in films, you play a character that is very unpredictable and on the dark side, but at the same time he has a great humanity and some redemptive qualities to him. How did you find that emotional tone and that balance in creating Gator?
James Franco: Thank you very much. When I got the script I was very interested in the project. I knew Gary a little bit before that, I was interested in working with Jason and it’s a treat that Sly wrote it. When I read it, I saw that it was a well-constructed movie and that there was a good villain that I could have a lot of fun with.
I think in the original script that I read, but he didn’t really care about his sister. She was addicted to drugs and he would kind of just hold it over her head, and I went to the book and Gary and I looked at the book and realized that in fact, there’s a much more complex relationship to be had. He actually loves his sister and cares about her and probably likes her more than she likes him. And she is really, and Kate can maybe speak to this more, kind of using him so he can give her drugs. So he wants to give her everything that he can, and it kills him that the thing she wants is what he knows is killing her. So I thought that that would help humanize this character.
With Winona’s character, it was kind of written like I was the boss of the relationship. There’s this sex scene in there and it came at the end of laying out the plan to her, so the sex scene was kind of like the punctuation and like, “Yeah let’s do my plan and then we’ll have sex.” And I think it’s more interesting if he’s kind of insecure about this relationship, and it turns out she was seeing one of the other gangsters before and it upsets Gator. I thought it would make it just a little bit more unusual that he could be insecure in this relationship and that she’s the boss of this relationship until the end.
Winona Ryder: I too was interested in looking at my character not as just a drug addict but who this girl was ultimately. I’m from a small town and I just thought how heartbreaking it is to sit in your room at 15 and 16 and have these dreams for yourself and think, “I want to get out of this town one day. I wanna meet that guy one day. I want to do the things I want to do” and then flash to a point where you haven’t done them and it’s painful. You’re living in this pain, and how then do you cope? So that’s ultimately when she decided to do meth and started to abuse herself that way. So for me, the interest in playing this character was connecting to the humanity and to also not strip her of her dignity. That was always very important to me.
Your character is a diabolical victim actually.
Winona Ryder: I thought what was very interesting was the fact that she was actually not doing meth. She had done it, but she was part of this operation and was dealing it. To me, that is as diabolical as you can get. She knows what happens because it happened to her, and she knows how bad it gets and she knows that it can destroy a lot of lives, yet she’s sober and she’s enabling Gator. But of course, that comes from damage and severe pain.
Gary and I talked a lot about the backstory and a lot about what these women had to go through, which is pretty horrific actually and very degrading, and you can’t do something like that and not be an incredibly damaged person. There’s a great quote: “Damaged people are the most complicated because they know how to survive.” I thought that was very interesting to play somebody very damaged. I loved what James brought and I loved that whole idea that he brought, but I think she’s on the other end of it kind of waiting for him to call, waiting to get brought in.