The Guard, opening Friday in limited release, stars Brendan Gleeson as the hard drinking, dope swilling yet loyal-to-a-fault titular guard – Sergeant Gerry Boyle. After discovering a John Doe with a bullet in the head, Boyle soon finds his small Irish town of County Galway infested with drug dealers, sociopaths, ruthless killers, blackmailers and maybe worst of all – The FBI. With the unwanted assistance of a straight-laced FBI agent (Don Cheadle), Boyle attempts to rid Galway of all it’s corruption and restore some facade of order.
Don Cheadle potentially has the most difficult role in the film: the “straight man”. While Brendan Gleeson, Mark Strong, Liam Cunningham and David Wilmot can play as broad and crazy as possible, it’s up to Cheadle – as FBI agent Wendell Everett – to ground the film in some semblance of reality. He’s very much the audience surrogate of the film – acting with equal parts bemusement and chagrin as these various characters and the plot itself grow crazier and crazier. In the following interview with Cheadle, he spoke about the challenges of playing the “straight man”, the difficulties (or lack thereof) of acting as producer and star on set and his plans for directing in the future, among many other topics of conversation. For the interview, hit the jump.
- What are the challenges of playing the straight man
- Did he know when he first read the script he’d be playing the character
- Talks about being producer and his responsibilities on set
- How does he pick the projects he’ll produce and how they’re all different genres
- Will he producing more and acting less?
- 2:30 – Will he be directing soon
- What kind of directors is he inspired by
- What has he learned from the great directors he’s worked for
- 4:15 – What was the transition from theater to film acting like and what are the differences
- 5:00 – Miles Davis biopic update
- What’s the return to TV like