With Amazon Studios and STX Films dark comedy Gringo opening in theaters this weekend, I recently sat down with director Nash Edgerton for an exclusive video interview. During our wide-ranging conversation, he talked about how the project came together, if it was tough to get financing for a movie without lightsabers and superheroes, what David Oyelowo and Sharlto Copley brought to their roles, how he balanced the different tones, what he learned from early screenings, and so much more. In addition, if you didn’t know, Edgerton has done a ton of stunt work on films like The Matrix, the Star Wars prequels, and too many films to mention, so I asked what he learned on those sets that helped him as a filmmaker. Finally, we talked about why he geeked out on the set of Straight Outta Compton, his upcoming TV series Mr InBetween and what it’s about (a hitman looking after his daughter and dealing with his ex-wife while trying to date a girl he met at a dog park), and more.
If you aren’t familiar with Gringo, the film is scripted by Anthony Tambakis and Matthew Stone and stars David Oyelowo as a mild-mannered American businessman facing crushing debt who ventures to Mexico to hand-deliver a formula for a revolutionary new weed pill. But along the way, he tangles with volatile business partners, Mexican drug lords, mercenaries, and the DEA, all while trying to keep his cool. Charlize Theron and Joel Edgerton co-star in the film as the heads of the business that is running the operation, and Theron absolutely delights in delivering filthy and politically incorrect dialogue with glee. Gringo also stars Amanda Seyfried, Yul Vazquez, Thandie Newton, and Sharlto Copley.
Check out what Nash Edgerton had to say in the player above and a list of what we talked about below. Finally, Gringo is a blast and I’m giving it a strong recommendation.
- How tough was it to get financing since the film has no lightsabers and superheroes?
- How tough was it to get the cast?
- How did the script change once he put together the cast?
- Talks about what David Oyelowo and Sharlto Copley brought to their roles.
- When did he realize what David was going to bring to the role would be so special?
How did he balance the different tones?
- What did he learn from friends and family screenings that impacted the finished film?
- Did he make any changes as a result of the test screenings?
- How long was his first cut compared to the finished film?
- He’s done a lot of stunt work on films like Star Wars, The Matrix, etc. What did he learn on those sets that helped him as a filmmaker?
- When was the last time he geeked out being on a movie set?
- Reminisces about working on the first Matrix movie.
- Talks about Mr InBetween and what it’s about (a hitman looking after his daughter and dealing with his ex-wife while trying to date a girl he met at a dog park).
- What took him so long to make another film after The Square in 2008?