Frank Langella talks about Richard Kelly’s BOX

     October 30, 2007

The other day I was able to participate in an interview with Frank Langella about his new movie “Starting Out in the Evening.” In the next week or so I’ll have a transcript up with the entire interview, but for now, I wanted to post his comments about his next role – Richard Kelly’s “The Box.”

If you didn’t know, Richard Kelly has started working on his next project and it’s based on a Richard Matheson “Twilight Zone” episode called “Button, Button”. The film is about a young couple who are offered a lot of money…but of course… there is a catch. But rather than having me explain it, I’ll let Frank.

Also, this weekend Richard Kelly is promoting his new movie “Southland Tales,” so you can expect a lot more info on “The Box” quite soon.

As always, you can either read the transcript below or listen to the entire interview by clicking here. It’s an MP3.

The language is fantastic in this movie. Are you able to find that in some of the bigger projects you get to do also?

Frank Langella: Well, certainly Frost/Nixon is brilliantly written and that was a lucky break. The movie I’m starting on Monday for Rich Kelly called “The Box” is equally brilliant. I’m having an extraordinary year. Great role and a great cast and I’m thrilled with what I have to say in that film.

Kelly can be pretty out there.

Frank Langella: Yeah, I can’t wait.

Any weird, challenging things that are hard to get your lips around?

Frank Langella: Well, in language no, not at all. There certainly will be physically in how I’m going to appear physically because that’s what Rich specializes in, but it’s so different than “Starting Out” and so different than “Frost/Nixon”. I’m jumping into a whole other genre certainly with a much younger cast, a younger—Cameron Diaz and James Marsden are the hot young actors and it puts me in a new world. I met Rich Kelly and his producing partner Sean McKittrick the other day having had long conversations on the phone, and I didn’t know they were the director and producer. I thought there were like AD assistants. I met a much older woman who was doing the clothes and these 2 young guys kept talking and interrupting her and I finally said “What do you do in the movie?” and he said “I’m the director.” I said “Oh, okay. You’re my boss!”

I was going to ask you what was it about that project that got you? Was it the quality of the script–?

Frank Langella: Oh, the script is wonderful. It’s just wonderful. You know, this is a movie that starts out with Cameron and Jimmy in the morning waking up and the doorbell rings after Jimmy goes away to work and a mysterious man in a suit and a top coat and a hat is carrying a box and she says to him “Are you a salesman?”. He says I’m offering you something. There’s a key there in an envelope. You have to talk to your husband if you break the seal of the key; you put it in the box. The box will open and there will be a button in it. You are free to press that button. If you press the button you’ll be given—its 1970—you’ll be given $400,000 in cash tax free and no questions asked. However someone you don’t know—have never met, will never know—will die the moment you press the button. Make up your mind. And of course the movie then goes from there. It’s wonderful. Based on a Richard Matheson “Twilight Zone” episode called “Button, Button”.

And can I ask what character you play in the film?

Frank Langella: I play the man who brings the box of course. Arlington Stewart is his name.

Is that a long shoot for you?

Frank Langella: Yeah, 7 weeks starting in a couple of weeks.

So you don’t just leave them alone after you deliver the package?

Frank Langella: Oh no. Believe I’m there for the duration. I’m there and it’s a remarkable script. Every actor I know says to me “How did you get that part!” I’m thrilled.

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