Actor and filmmaker Ed Burns returns to the screen as Tyler Perry’s partner in Alex Cross. In the film, Burns plays Detective Tommy Kane, a friend of Cross’ since childhood who now works alongside him in the same police department.
Recently, I had the opportunity to talk one on one with Ed while he was at the Alex Cross press junket in Los Angeles. We discussed his role in the film, a couple of the projects that he has in development, his views on the independent film scene, why he shies away from studio movies and more.
Check it out below.
We Got This Covered: Alex Cross was a really cool film.
Ed Burns: Yeah it’s a fun flick, isn’t it?
We Got This Covered: It is a fun flick. There are a lot of cop chasing serial killer movies like that and you get the impression that the filmmakers had to work hard at making it unique to that genre. Was there anything that you wanted to bring to this movie that wasn’t brought to other movies in this genre?
Ed Burns: For me as an actor, that’s really more of the filmmaker’s role. I think what they did which was really great, and you got to have something that’s a little different, was that we had Matthew Fox. He got to play a fun, crazy, badass character who is a nut job.
I think the other thing is that you’ve got the revenge, vigilante element to it. The fun part of the movie is the chase, the kills and that kind of stuff, but this has real emotion in it too. There’s a scene between Alex Cross and his daughter and that’s a real scene and that gets you. And then even the final moment with Cicely Tyson, I have to admit I knew how the movie ended and I still got a little misty in the theater when I saw that, those are two elements that I think will help the film stand out.
The third thing is people are very curious to see Tyler (Perry) in this kind of role. I knew the minute I met him that he was going to nail it. I never met him before and I didn’t know what kind of guy he was but you sit down with him and he is a formidable presence. He’s a big dude and a smart guy and a serious guy, and if anybody had any questions on whether or not he could play Alex Cross then get a load of this.
We Got This Covered: Yeah he was great in the film. I noticed that your dad was a police sergeant. I was wondering if you went to him for any research or if he gave you any pointers on playing a cop.
Ed Burns: Not really. I grew up in a big cop family so I’ve been surrounded by cops my entire life. Three of my childhood best friends have become cops so I don’t need to do anymore research about hanging out with cops, and I’ve played cops in a couple of movies. That’s why I have to admit that anytime I get a script where I’m required to have a gun in my hand and a shield, I jump at the chance. I love playing cops, it’s fun and I think there was a chance that I could have become a cop. So this is the way I get to step into their shoes without having to do it for real.
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