The Road

New interview – Terminator, Last House, The Road

There’s a relatively recent interview with Garret at Some quotes below.

About the big death of season 2.0 on Terminator:

First question is how did you feel when it turned out to be you?

Garret Dillahunt: I was nervous at first. None of us knew at Comic Con. We were all being really cool about our new show and then they were like, “One of these people will die.” And you were like, “What?” It was like the last supper all of a sudden. Is it I? Is it I, lord? Then it was me but then they told me also right away that I’d be this different thing which hadn’t completely evolved yet. I was kind of sad because I liked Cromartie. I liked playing Cromartie. I liked the simplicity and the directness of him and getting to do all those cool things, but John Henry’s going to be pretty cool.

Garret Dillahunt,John Henry,Terminator,The Sarah Connor ChroniclesSo did it occur to you, as it did me, that you were the one character who could still be alive via his exterior?

Garret Dillahunt: Exactly, really could it be killed? Was he ever alive? But I’m happy about it. Now I get to be this sort of super powered baby turned loose in the world.

How is this totally new character for you?

Garret Dillahunt: Well, I’m getting anxious to get out of that computer room. They clip this thing into my head, this chord and you feel very limited but I understand the necessity for it. He’s got to learn so much he’s sucking all this information out of the internet and the world and television, just cramming his head full of this stuff and trying to understand what it is to be human. So I think the opportunity is kind of limitless. It’s an interesting way for the writers to explore what it is to be a human almost.

Do you know what kind of big finale we can expect this season?

Garret Dillahunt: I don’t. I wish they’d tell me. They just handed me some talking points. I think it changes too. I think they have an idea of what they wanna do and then it’ll evolve into something slightly different by the time we get there. It’s kind of like how Deadwood was because I remember David would come up to me like, “Yeah, then your character and the Doc are going to have this whole relationship and you’re going to talk about Catullus.” I’m like, “What happened to that? I never saw that.” Oh, well, it didn’t work out. It’s a little bit like that. They have so many things they’re trying to tie up that some things fall by the wayside.

About The Road:

What do you play in The Road?

Garret Dillahunt: Well, no one has names. I don’t know if you read the book. I loved it. Some of the scenes are harrowing but it was so beautiful too. In a way, the world has been so pared down, it’s a very simple story and it raises a lot of questions about what you would do in that situation. It’s kind of like Terminator in a way. But no one has names. Viggo Mortensen plays The Man. Cody Smit-McPhee plays The Boy. So it’s The Man and The Boy moving through the world and they meet The Old Man, The Thief, The Woman. No one has names, no one uses them. I played The Gang Member. We meet up sort of in the first quarter of the novel. I make some decisions about Viggo and I decide that he’s weak and I can take from him what I want and we have a fight about that.

So we’ll see you and Viggo with supplies?

Garret Dillahunt:
Oh yeah, that’s what the whole story’s about. You’ll see. It’s just like an endless search. It’s like we’re animals who are pawing through the snow for some grass. The search for food never stops. The search for food motivates all actions in the movie from the bad guys and the good guys.

And about The Last House on the Left:

That’s the question. Is it as hardcore as the original?

Garret Dillahunt,The Last House on the Left,screencap,KrugGarret Dillahunt: I don’t know if it’ll be seen as being as hardcore because that was something new at the time. There’s something about that story that’s also very primal. I think people f*cking with your family is a real primal thing that happens to all of us. The most mild mannered of us can vision real violence if someone threatens our families or people we love. It’s like what am I capable of? Maybe I’ve never been in a fight in my life but I’m not going to rest until I’m dead to try to stop you from doing something to my family. It thrusts this normal group of people into that very situation. I think there’s a lot of sympathy for Krug in a way. You can see how life has frustrated him but he’s taken it out the wrong way. But the end result, which I think is rare in a horror movie, I really cared about the victims, but you really care about this family which is odd. I didn’t know that it was odd until it happened when I saw it. It left me feeling mugged and beat up. I felt tired after I’d seen it. It’s just relentless cruelty and tension, just relentless tension. It went by really fast and it’s tested really well. The audience has been skeptical too because there’s been a lot of people who are fans of the original that thought this was a horrible idea. I don’t think they’ll be disappointed.

Sounds like they went for it.

Garret Dillahunt,The Last House on the LeftGarret Dillahunt: Yeah, boy, ugh. There are some scenes you’re just like why? What’s the purpose of that?

You weren’t sure how it would go over now, since we’ve seen so much. Did they have to up it, because that rape scene is still so awful you feel bad for watching it.

Garret Dillahunt: Well, I think that’s the most important thing. You’ll see a lot more blood in Saw movies or something like that than you will in either of the Last House movies. I kind of think it owes more to The Virgin Spring which is the original source material, the Bergman movie. There’s a scene in there where these shepherds have raped this girl and then they’re sort of horrified by what they’ve done. One of them kicks some dirt, like he can’t take the face. He sort of shovels some dirt and there’s just this dirt on her face. She’s in this awkward position and it’s just so pale, and half under a bush. There’s an emptiness about the movie that’s different. I don’t even know if it’s a horror movie is what you should call it. I don’t know what it is.

Two new interviews – SCI FI Wire, AICN

The first one is with the cast of The Last House on the Left, from SCI FI Wire:

The second one is just Garret and AICN’s Capone. It includes some Sarah Connor spoilers and finally the info about the character he plays in Winter’s Bone. Snippets below:

In many ways, the character you’re playing in LAST HOUSE, especially in the way he was played by David Hess in the original, marked a turning point in the way evil was depicted on screen, and the evil that men do. Where is the starting point for you in bringing a character like that to life?

Garret Dillahunt: I guess it’s different for every part. Some you kind of know. Sometimes you’re like, “I’ve met this guy.” I’ve certainly never met this guy. I did read a lot. I got one of the Amazon Kindle things, which I thought I would hate, but I really love, and I packed it with 15 or 20 books I thought would be of interest, about serial killers and spree killers. There’s one in particular, and I can’t remember which one it was now, that kind of detailed a whole bunch of different killers. I think I was looking for little clue to explain why he was the way he was. I do think he’s a spree killer, not a serial killer–I learned the difference in that. Do you remember Andrew Cunanan?

The guy who died in Florida, sure.

GD: Yeah, the guy who killer Versace. I never would have thought that I’d find a lot for my guy in him, but I did, because there was this one story, really horrible. I guess I didn’t really know about all of the other people he’d killed on his way to Florida. There was one in particular that was a home invasion–I think he needed a new car–and he must have surprised someone at home. It was an older gentleman who had a military background, and they said he killed him so viciously and it was odd because that kind of cruelty is usually reserved for people that know the victim.

Did having worked with her before help at all in staging that horrific rape scene?

GD: It was helpful. But it was both, I think. Because you don’t want to do that to your friend, and I considered her my friend. I kept saying how nervous I was and that I was more nervous that she was, and she misunderstood my nerves. It wasn’t that I was nervous that I could do it; I was nervous that she wouldn’t like me after I did. Because I like her. She was 15 when we worked together the first time, and she was 19 or 20 now, and I like her and feel protective of her. So in the end, I think that it was helpful. That scene has to be about her. She’s going to go to a real dark place all day long, and I’m going to grind her in the dirt. There’s no room for joking around between takes. Let’s just be focused and not to this 100 times. We’ll do a good job, and between takes, I’ll help her up and put a blanket around her and make sure she’s safe. I think we made it the least weird we could. She was real nice to me and grateful.

That’s especially good to hear because, if you believe the stories, the actress to played the role in the original essentially lost her mind because of those scenes.

GD: Yeah, there are different philosophies about how to act. I personally don’t think it should be psychologically damaging. There’s no money in that. [laughs] That’s not acting. I prefer a little more craft than that. I don’t see why I would be needed if I actually had to become that thing.

I’m also a fan of “The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” so I have to ask about John Henry. There’s so much being made about how the shift to Fridays is a bad sign for the show’s future and the rating, and they’re kind of missing the point that the show has never been better, especially those scenes with you and Shirley Manson.

GD: I guess I like to be different with each character if I can, and I’ve been fortunate to have some options that way. Krug was certainly a departure from the last thing I did. And since I got to do something like four characters to play on “Terminator“–John Henry, Cromartie, George Laszlo, and that Beastwizard character–I just wanted John Henry to be very different. I thought, he’s going to be so much smarter because he’d plugged into this supercomputer, and he seems interested and curious in humans, so it seemed like a great opportunity to explore human emotions and learning and what I don’t know at times. And I like Shirley a lot, really fun, very well read and articulate, and everything just sounds cool with a Scottish accent.

So where does John Henry go from here. Does he finally get to leave that room?

GD: He does get to leave the room. I wish it had been a little earlier, but I will eventually get to leave that room. There are big fingers crossed for next season where I’ll be going, but I don’t know; we’ll see where that goes.

Is there still more learning to do for that character?

GD: I don’t even know what episode we’re on. I play with lots of toys. Later I get in a fight, a computer fight, that is quite traumatic for him. He loses his innocence a little bit. I’m sorry I’m being so vague.

Speaking of being in a separate story from the main plot, you and Tommy Lee Jones had your own little movie going on in NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN.

GD: Javier [Bardem] was talking about how wild it was that we won this ensemble award at the SAG Awards and we barely got to work with each other. Each of us had our own movie. That’s not really what ensemble means but it was interesting. I never crossed paths with Javier or Josh [Brolin].

Being a part of that film had to mean so much to you…

GD: Yeah, I was just happy to be a part of it. I’m a big fan of Cormac McCarthy’s work, and I was determined to be in every Cormac McCarthy movie there every was. So far two! It was actually “Deadwood” that made me just want to do stuff I was proud of.

And with “Deadwood,” they loved you so much, they couldn’t let you go even after your character died.

GD: I know. Thank God, right? That’s my niche. I’m dying for a niche.

Who do you play in THE ROAD?

GD: Well, it’s weird because it’s really about The Boy and The Man. No one has names in the book. Viggo Mortensen plays The Man, and Kodi Smit plays The Boy. I play The Gang Member. We all had two days if we’re not Kodi or Viggo, and it’s a great group of people who are willing to do that. Robert Duvall is in it, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce is great. Molly Parker from “Deadwood” is in it as well. It was just cool to be a part of. I’m a big fan of THE PROPOSITION.

I sat down with Viggo in October right after they’d announced that THE ROAD was not coming out at the end of last year as originally intended. He just really wanted to see it because he hadn’t at that time.

GD: I think it deserves awards. I’m sure he’s seen it by now. I saw a screening here about three weeks ago, here in L.A. I think it’s pretty beautiful. If you’re a fan of the book, you’ll be a fan of the movie.

Aside from THE ROAD, what is next for you?

GD: I’m filming a movie right now called WINTER’S BONE, based on a book of the same name by this guy named Daniel Woodrell. He wrote the book RIDE WITH THE DEVIL was based on. Do you remember that?

The Ang Lee film?

GD: I think that film is kind of underrated. I like that. Same author, but it’s a little more contemporary. It’s about hillbillies cooking meth in the Ozarks. I’m a sheriff in that one, back to playing good guys again. I’m not always bad guys.

Well, you did play Jesus.

GD: Can’t get much better than that. You played him, you can play as many bad guys as you want.

Why do you think guys like [“Deadwood” creator] David Milch or [“Terminator” creator] Josh Friedman or Wes Craven see you as the bad guy? Are you giving off some vibe?

GD: I don’t know. I just like interesting role and good stories. And often, the villain is the most interesting role. Maybe they understand that no one is just good and just bad. It’s always surprising.

You tend to alter your facial hair for each part, does that inform you into the character’s state of mind in any way?

GD: [laughs] I guess I do. I don’t know if it specifically it does, but it is like any other part of your costume. I need the right shoes. I remember reading about Michael Caine. If his feet aren’t in a short, he’s going to wear his old comfy tennis shoes, even if he’s wearing a suit or something. That’s the kind of thing that throws me off completely. I need my heavy boots on for Krug. [Ain’t It Cool News]

New Last House interview with Garret has a lengthy new interview, mostly about The Last House on the Left. Some quotes below, click here to read the rest.

Q: How do you go about playing such a dark, twisted character without dehumanizing him? As an actor, how do you approach that?

Garret: I guess you can’t think of him as that. I thought he was just a guy who’s had some bad luck in his life and it really makes him angry, the way the world has treated him. He’s just not responding to that bad luck, in a healthy way. He’s not seeking therapy or retraining. He’s blaming everyone else, and he really can’t let it go. He’s physically incapable. It’s everyone else’s fault, and he gets obsessed with punishing them. He’s mete-ing out his own twisted justice.

Q: Does the material tell you when it’s important to bring that characterization, as opposed to just letting him be the monster?

Garret: Maybe sometimes I should do that, but I feel like that’s easier. I have to be careful how I sound because it sounds like I’m good at doing it, but what I want to do is bring humanity to things. I feel like it’s more interesting if there’s a little complexity and, in a way, more monstrous because it could exist in the world, like Ted Bundy or the BTK killer or the Green River killer, where you’re just like, “What? How can you have that stamina, to do this over decades, and still wake up and dress yourself, or think you’re all right?” I don’t think Krug is a serial killer. I think he’s a spree killer. He’s just got some wrong ideas about how to exist.

Q: Did you do an entire backstory for this character?

Garret: I think it’s helpful to. I don’t think it matters, if the audience knows what it is. It’s probably better, in this case. You can be that monster. It doesn’t really matter, does it? He’s come to your door, for whatever reason. But, it was helpful for me, yes.

Q: On Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, you play this guy who is a machine and he’s detached. And, there is a little bit of that in this character that makes him a monster. Do they have anything in common?

Garret: I was hoping to be completely different from that. It was refreshing for me to play someone that’s so emotional. The machine doesn’t care. He’s almost not a bad guy. He’s just doing what he’s programmed to do. He doesn’t hate the Connors. He doesn’t have any feelings for them, whatsoever, which is what makes him scary. “I’m going to do this thing ‘cause it’s what I’m programmed to do, and I can’t be reasoned with.” But, this guy has rage and feels some kind of release from what he does. He needs to feel like the leader from the pack, and powerful. That’s what rape is. It’s a power game, and Mari won’t give him that. She keeps trying to escape. She wrecks the car and she burns Sadie. Those girls are something else. They do not stop fighting. From the moment we come into that motel room, they’re trying to get out. It’s pretty impressive. They’re impressive girls.

Q: What was the hardest thing, emotionally, for you to do in this?

Garret: I suppose it would have to be the assault. I would almost feel bad, saying anything else. But, it was oddly focusing as well. It was one of the most focused days I had because I was determined to do it right and do it on time, and bundle Sara off to a hot bath.

Q: How was working with Dennis?

Garret: I liked Dennis very much. He’s only done Hardcore, which was a really good movie. He handled the sexual stuff in that really well. It’s about teenage prostitutes in Greece, who go mad and go on a killing spree. But, it’s so sensitively handled and so believable, I thought he could do this well. I had absolute faith in him, in short order, because we have similar tastes. We like things messy, and we like things believable. He wasn’t going to let anything cheesy, on screen, and that’s a really freeing feeling, especially doing a horror movie, although I don’t know if it is pure horror. That he wouldn’t put anything dopey up there was great. How many times have you screamed at the screen, “Don’t go there! Why? That’s stupid. Now, I’m out of this movie.”

Q: Are there feelings that you’ll get a Season 3 (T:SCC), or is there disappointment because of the Friday night ratings?

Garret: I don’t know. I always feel like shows are going to be canceled. That’s probably a knee-jerk response as well. I prepare for the worst and start looking for another job, just in case.

Q: Do you have a satisfying resolution for John Henry, if this is it?

Garret: It’s never satisfying, is it? I’m usually dead when series end, so this will be my first time living.

Q: Have you seen a cut of The Road yet?

Garret: I did. I saw one about three weeks ago. I think it looks great. I’m a big fan of Cormac McCarthy, so I might be an easy audience. But, I think that kid is something else. Kodi Smit-McPhee is his name. He’s an Australian kid. Talk about clicking in and out of character. He was like, “It’s fun, I reckon,” and then they’d call action and he’d be a little American kid, all intense and sad. They called him “the alien” on set because he was so good. It’s annoying, really. I was like, “I’ve studied for years. You can’t just show up and be good.”

The Road: Garret talks to SCI FI Wire

Garret talked to SCI FI Wire last week. The article is here, quotes below:

About The Road:

“No one writes better stories than Cormac McCarthy. I think Cormac had just had his son [when he wrote The Road]. He had his son fairly late in life, and there was a fire on the hill, and he was watching it from his back door, and his mind just started to wander (…) I think he thought because of these feelings of protectiveness for his son, he just started thinking about what he would do. That fire made him think about what if that was the end coming. What if that was a meteor shower that disrupted the whole atmosphere? This story started to develop about this boy who would then grow up never knowing anything but that [bleak] world. It’s heartbreaking and beautiful. He started to see the world again, and its magic and mystery through the eyes of this boy, and that’s what the book’s about. “

About his character in Burning Bright:

“A hurricane is coming, and I need some insurance money. Again, I’m a bad father.”

About the science fiction genre in general:

“That’s my whole job. I ask ‘What if?’ all the time. What if I was this guy? What if I was that? I just like good stories. I am a science fiction fan. I have 11 boxes of comic books at home. I read Isaac Asimov when I was in eighth grade, and all these incredible, mind-bending kinds of things. I think it’s an excellent way to think outside the box. The most intelligent people I know are science fiction fans and writers.” [SCI FI Wire]

More about The Road, from Garret

While promoting The Last House on the Left, Garret talked to ShockTillYouDrop and had a few things to say about The Road. Quotes below.

About the November 2008 release date:

“There wasn’t time. I think it was very ambitious for them to think they could get it edited together and out for the Oscar season. I think they realized – and I say this because I have a very small part in it – Viggo and the kid are fantastic, but I think they realized they have a very special thing on their hands. They wanted to do it right, so why not hang onto it?”

About the shoot:

“I only had to be there for a few days and it was exhausting. They have incredible stamina, those two. Viggo’s a horse.”

On the subject of hope in the film:

“[The Road carries] more hope than No Country for Old Men. That film was, ‘Look, this is what the world is today. There’s a new crime out there and if you can’t handle it, you better retire. Go hide in the woods, old man.’ And he does. The Road actually ends quite hopeful. This little boy… there’s a phrase they say, ‘You have to carry the fire.’ The fire means this hope, this belief in goodness, we’re the good guys. That’s what [the father and son] say as they try to live fighting off cannibals and stuff. In the end you feel like it’ll bloom again, man will find a way. It’s heartbreaking and beautiful.” []