Brendan Gleeson turns in another memorable, must-see performance in The Guard as Sergeant Gerry Boyle, an eccentric small-town cop with a confrontational and crass personality who reluctantly partners with FBI agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle) to track down elusive drug traffickers. A longtime policeman in County Galway, Boyle’s a maverick with his own moral code, a jaundiced outlook and a subversive sense of humor. He’s indifferent to what others think of him and he enjoys keeping them guessing as to his intelligence.
We sat down with Gleeson at a roundtable interview to talk about his new comedy crime film, a darkly funny fish-out-of-water tale of murder, blackmail, drug trafficking and rural police corruption written and directed by John Michael McDonagh. Gleeson also discussed his upcoming projects including the recently completed CIA thriller Safe House starring Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington and At Swim-Two-Birds, a project he’s adapted from Flann O’Brien’s acclaimed 1938 novel and hopes to direct next Spring. Hit the jump for more.
As you may have noticed, we’ve been a bit flooded with content for the past week thanks in no small part to Comic-Con 2011. We’ve been posting our full-scale coverage from the convention (I’m still trying to catch up on sleep), which has included a large number of interviews. We know some of you might have missed a few of these interviews, so we’ve compiled a sort of “catch up” list of 10 that we thought you might enjoy.
Not all of the interviews are Comic-Con related, but we’ve got conversations with Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, Damon Lindelof, Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Marc Webb, Steve Carell, Patrick Stewart, Don Cheadle, Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays, Nicolas Winding Refn, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, Don Cheadle and Kate Beckinsale. Hit the jump for some quick recaps and links to the full interviews.
John Michael McDonagh, noted screenwriter (Ned Kelly) and brother to playwright Martin McDonagh, makes his directorial debut today with the action-comedy The Guard. On surface, The Guard could easily be viewed as just a fun-rollicking buddy action comedy but delving deeper the film ably tackles issues of xenophobia – in particular: how a little joshing around can affix seemingly unbridgeable cultural divides. Each character within the film is quick to decry and mock another’s nationality, ethnicity, appearance, accent, language… But instead of becoming a source of tension between characters, these insults unite and at times help bond the wayward inhabits of County Galway. See the burgeoning friendship of Brendan Gleeson’s fiercely Irish Sgt. Boyle and Don Cheadle’s city-boy American Agent Everett as proof.
In the following interview with McDonagh, he discusses developing The Guard for the big screen, basing the character of Sgt. Gerry Boyle on himself and tackling xenophobia in the film. For more on The Guard (opening in select cities today), see (i.e. click) on the previous interviews with Don Cheadle and Brendan Gleeson. For McDonagh’s full interview, hit the jump.
Hamish. Liam Tobin. “Mad Eye” Moody. “Ken”. Menelaus. Walter ‘Monk’ McGinn. Martin Cahill. All roles under the repertory of the inestimable character actor Brendan Gleeson. Gleeson, with his sunken eyes and brogue dialect, able to interject even the smallest of roles with undeniable pathos and weight. With his new film The Guard set for limited release tomorrow, Gleeson steps up to the limelight as the titular guard Sgt. Gerry Boyle. Boyle, as protector of the small Irish County Galway, must fend off rampant police corruption, murderous thugs and a secret drug trade. Of course – he would rather just have a good old-fashioned pint instead.
In lesser hands, Sgt. Boyle could easily have become an outlandish caricature of sorts – a buffoon with a gun, not so far removed from Paul Blart. But Gleeson is able to imbue the boorishness of the character with an unexpected undercurrent of loneliness and more surprisingly, hidden competence. Sgt. Boyle mat not be as ill suited to saving the day as appearances would suggest and Gleeson with nary a word, just a look, perfectly conveys the adroitness behind each calculated stumble. In the following interview with Brendan Gleeson, he speaks about his portrayal of Sgt. Boyle, how he balanced the comedy with the drama of the script and what it was like working with both McDonagh brothers (John Michael on The Guard and Martin on In Bruges/Six Shooter). For the full interview, hit the jump.
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.
In his new film, The Guard, Don Cheadle plays humorless FBI agent Wendell Everett in this comedic fish-out-of-water tale of murder, blackmail, drug trafficking and rural police corruption written and directed by John Michael McDonagh. We sat down with Cheadle at a roundtable interview today to talk about The Guard and while we were at it we also asked him about his upcoming projects like Iron Man 3, Showtime’s House of Lies, his Miles Davis project, and The Avengers.
The big news for Marvel fans is that Cheadle says Iron Man 3 will probably shoot in February and “there’s talk of a War Machine spinoff.” With Iron Man 3 hitting theaters May 3, 2013, a February start date makes a lot of sense. In addition, Cheadle says that even though his contract had an option to appear in The Avengers, Marvel hasn’t “exercised that option yet.” With filming underway in New Mexico, it’s looking like Tony Stark won’t have his pal Rhodey around. Hit the jump for what he said and look for the full interview very soon.
Sony Pictures Classics has released the domestic trailer for John Michael McDonagh’s The Guard. A couple weeks ago, we showed you the international trailer for the film and at the time I speculated that the US trailer would dial back the racial humor. But it actually included more! Hooray! This new trailer does a good job of delivering laughs and hopefully it will entice people to check out this solid small flick that features a winning performance from Brendan Gleeson.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The Guard opens in limited release on July 29th.
An international trailer for John Michael McDonagh’s comedy-crime flick The Guard has gone online. I caught the film at Sundance and thought it was a lot of fun with a must-see starring performance from Brendan Gleeson. The story centers on a cop (Gleeson) in Ireland who ends up assisting an FBI agent (Don Cheadle) in his hunt for drug traffickers. What makes Gleeson’s performance so great is that he keeps you guessing as to his character’s intelligence while keeping the character’s indifference towards what other people think of him. This trailer hints at that and I doubt the American trailer will include Gleeson’s remark “I thought only blacks lads were drug dealers. And Mexicans.”
Click over to RTE Ten to check out the trailer [via The Playlist]. We’ll have an embeddable version as soon as its available. Sony Pictures Classics acquired the US and Latin American distribution rights to the film, but no US release date has been announced.
If you don’t know who Brendan Gleeson is, then you’re missing out. You may be a perfectly nice person and I’m not asking you to know every actor, but John Michael McDonagh’s The Guard is yet more proof that it’s time for Gleeson to become a guy you recognize based off name alone. Not “Mad-Eye Moody”. Not “Colin Farrell’s friend in In Bruges.” Not “the kind father in 28 Days Later.” Not “One of the bad guys in Troy.” (Although that last one is simply because no one should use Troy as a frame of reference for anything). People need to know that Gleeson is one of the finest actors today and if they go see The Guard, they’ll understand why. The plot relies a little too heavily on coincidence, but it’s a fun flick filled with sharp dialogue, an aggressive style, and yet another phenomenal performance from Gleeson.
Quite a few more acquisitions to report from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival today. Two star-studded films found distributors at the festival, with The Weinstein Company picking up worldwide rights to the dark comedy The Details starring Tobey Maguire and Elizabeth Banks, and Magnolia Pictures grabbing the US rights to the polarizingly dark drama I Melt With You starring Rob Lowe, Thomas Jane and Jeremy Piven. IFC Films acquired North American rights to the Ewan McGregor and Eva Green romantic thriller Perfect Sense, Sony Pictures Classics acquired the action comedy The Guard starring Don Cheadle and Brendan Gleeson, and Fox Searchlight snatched up the sci-fi drama Another Earth starring William Mapother and Brit Marling. Magnolia SVP Tom Quinn had this to say about acquiring I Melt With You:
“Mark Pellington has made a maverick, stylish and powerful film that resonates for days after viewing. Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe, Jeremy Piven and Christian McKay give some of the best performances of their entire careers and attention must be paid.”
Hit the jump to read the full press releases of all of the aforementioned films. Be sure to check out all of our Sundance coverage (including interviews, reviews and acquisitions) here.
About a week ago, I got to speak to an actor whose work I really admire: Mark Strong (IMDb resume). While many of you might not know his name, if you ever saw Body of Lies, he played a character named Hani Salaam and he was the best performance in the film. Since then, Strong has booked a ton of very high profile gigs in some of Hollywood’s biggest movies. Clearly people noticed his work and as a fan, I’m excited to see him in more movies.
Anyway, the reason I got to speak with him is he plays the villainous Lord Blackwood in director Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes. During out conversation we discussed the promotional process for Sherlock Holmes and what he’s had to do, working for Guy Ritchie again, what he did to prepare for the role, and so much more.
And for fans of Peter Weir, since Strong is in Weir’s latest film The Way Back, he talked about making that film and why he wanted to be in it. He also talked about John Michael McDonagh’s The Guard and Kevin McDonald’s Eagle of the Ninth.
Trust me, it’s a fantastic interview that’s well worth your time. Hit the jump to read it.