Colin Farrell teams up with Noomi Rapace for the neo-crime thriller Dead Man Down, which comes to us from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo director Niels Arden Oplev and hits theatres this Friday.
In the film, Farrell plays Victor, an enforcer for New York City mob boss Alphonse Hoyt (Terrence Howard), and we soon learn that he is seeking revenge for a terrible crime that was committed against his family. Things get complicated, however, when he gets involved with Beatrice (Noomi Rapace), a beautician whose face has been forever scarred by a nasty car accident. When she makes clear what she wants from Victor, they both find themselves in mortal danger as they are forced to make choices that will forever change the course of their lives.
Recently, we met up with Farrell during the Dead Man Down press conference which was held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles. While there he discussed what attracted him to the role, what it was like working with co-star Noomi Rapace and a bit about his upcoming film Winter’s Tale.
Check it out below.
We Got This Covered: What did you like about this movie that made you want to do it, and what did you get to explore in the role of Victor that you haven’t explored previously as an actor?
Colin Farrell: Well I can’t say guilt or redemption. I don’t know cleanly one thing that I got to explore that I haven’t explored before. You’re always exploring some version of the great panoply of human emotion. Certain emotions are accentuated or magnified in a character and diminished in another and vice versa. You’re always kind of modulating. I know situationally I’ve never played a character who has gone through what this guy has gone through and who had decided on a path of revenge and violence as clearly and dogmatically as this guy had decided.
But the thing that demarked this for me as kind of a more unique film then maybe the genre its part of usually produces, certainly in script form, was the relationship between him and her (Beatrice). There was a kind of sweetness and tenderness to that. It’s not this wonderful blossoming romance and they never fuck in the film. There’s a kiss in the very last frame maybe or something, but they are two fractured and very lonely and very broken and very rage filled characters who are both hell bent for particular reasons on revenge, and who both in each other find a sense of salvation and a kind of a path out of the darkness. That was a cool thing about it, and it was really well paced and was very tender. They had these two people working for such anger and such rage and such a desire for retribution, and yet such a kind of tenderness and concern for the well-being of each other. It’s just a nice dichotomy to play around with. So it’s a little bit like (I’m not comparing the films but) True Romance and Bonnie & Clyde.
We Got This Covered: Do you believe in second chances? Is there life after a tragedy?
Colin Farrell: I’ve been very fortunate enough to not have experienced that stage of great tragedy in my life, but I have met people who have been through things that have rendered me incapable of understanding how they could deal with those things with such dignity and such resilience. I’ve seen people come out the other side of great loss and do it with dignity and with warmth and with generosity. We see parents create charities in honor of their children who have passed away so that they can help others, and they do it not in a somber or a morbid fashion. So sure, it’s possible. Easy? Would I be able to? I have no idea.
We Got This Covered: Your performance reminds people of your work in London Boulevard.
Colin Farrell: Yeah, a little bit. The biggest reason why I wasn’t gonna do Dead Man Down was because of that film.
We Got This Covered: They’re both crime movies and they’re both action films, but they both center on these relationships and are really character studies. When you’re doing a film in this genre is that something you’re looking for?
Colin Farrell: I think so. You always have to care about somebody in a film. You really have to give a fuck about whether James Caan is going to come around and accept Will Ferrell as his son (laughs). You do or the filmdoesn’t work. You can only say “congratulations you’ve done it” or “that’s the best cup of coffee in the world” so many times. The jokes work, but you kind of have to care. That’s why I got the thriller aspect of it, the twist and turns and I enjoyed all that stuff, and the violence was all fine and very relevant to what was going on. But fundamentally the most important thing for me was the character study, the study of loss and pain and the study of what they can do to a person; how it can shut them down, and how a sense of compassion and love from somebody else can help to reawaken that which has been rendered dormant.
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