Earlier today, we got Idris Elba talking about his hero in The Dark Tower, Gunslinger Roland Deschain, and now we have Matthew McConaughey talking about the film’s villain, Walter a.k.a. The Man in Black. However, McConaughey doesn’t see Walter as an outright baddie. Speaking to EW, he says:
“Well, he is a man, actually,” McConaughey says during a break between scenes, sitting on a ruined couch on the rooftop of an abandoned shopping center in Cape Town, South Africa. “They wanted to go very human and grounded with this. Obviously there are mythical proportions of good and evil in Walter. But we didn’t want to go overly fantastic. That would drop the humanity. So Walter, for me, is a man who exposes hypocrisies.”
That’s not to say that Walter is a misunderstood good guy. “You know, he’s not literally the Devil,” says McConaughey, “but I sure as hell think about him like the Devil. I think like the Devil would.”
Roland has a vendetta against the Man in Black, and holds him responsible for the loss of everything he cares about. But while Roland may have nothing but contempt for Walter, Walter has an odd admiration for his pursuer:
“I revere him,” the actor says. “He’s really the only true adversary I have. I expose hypocrisies, and he’s the closest to pure there is. It’s his persistent, resilience to be good and altruistic. He’s very precious to me. I almost don’t want to see him go.”
McConaughey talks about how he interacts with Roland, which is through the use of “dark, crystal orbs in The Dark Tower tales that serve as windows between different times and places”:
“So many times I’m just pumping him up, through sorcery, almost like the man in the corner of the ring for a boxer,” McConaughey says, breaking into a whisper: “’Come on … you can do this … stay in the game,’ because I want to keep him, I want to keep his vengeance to find me. I want to keep that very vital, you know? My want, my need, my mission is to bring down the Tower. My love, my adoration, my muse, my shadow, is Roland.”
However, his master is The Crimson King, “an insane, god-like entity who will be resurrected to rule the chaos of these collapsed worlds if The Man in Black can successfully shatter the Tower. You can see the king’s sigul – a glowering red eye – in the sign just above McConaughey’s head” in this new image from the film.
But in order to serve the Crimson King and bring about the end of all worlds, Walter needs Jake (Tom Taylor), “who has a power known as ‘The Shine,’ which can be harnessed to break down the trans-dimensional beams that keep the Tower standing strong.” McConaughey says of needing Jake:
“One, this is what I need to get the job done. Two, it’s a field trip for me. I haven’t been down there in a long time. The Devil likes New York. Let’s go sing and dance and do some detective work and find the boy with The Shine and bring him back and use him!”
The Dark Tower opens February 17, 2017.