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 video can’t be embedded so poke Krug -> to go to the site.
And if you live in the L.A. area, there will be a free screening of The Last House on the Left on Thursday at 7:30 pm at the Los Angeles Film School, followed by a Q&A with writers Adam Alleca and Carl Ellsworth. Click here for details.
Finally, MovieWeb.com was at the same press junket and has interviews with the same bunch. Video below. Good stuff.
With The Last House on the Left premiering this week, Movie Geeks United interviewed Garret yesterday. Among other things, he talks about seeing the film at the first screenings, how he landed the part, how he got cast in Burning Bright, what he talked about with David Hess, what some of his favourite 1970s movies are, what he read (possibly something like this) while preparing for Last House, and a bunch of other stuff.
Hit play below to listen to the podcast:
The Geeks also talked to Riki Lindhome and they’ll have David Hess on their show tomorrow.
MoviesOnline.ca has a new interview with Last House director Dennis Iliadis and producer Wes Craven. Quotes below.
MoviesOnline: When you were considering Garret for this role, did you know that he had played Jesus?
ILIADIS: Actually I hadn’t seen that, I had seen the other stuff he did and Jesse James and all that. He’s a phenomenal actor and he managed to bring all the subtleties and ambiguities that I wanted. We were casting for Krug and everyone was coming and doing the squinty eyes and (he growls) and Garret brought this intensity, this evil which is not premeditated, and when that evil emerges it’s even stronger because it comes from a real human being who’s very angry. It doesn’t come from someone who has just decided to be bad.
MoviesOnline: Did you encourage the cast not to go out and socialize or have dinner together so that the actors playing the bad guys would be more menacing?
ILIADIS: You mean keeping the cast separate? No, actually my biggest focus was to rehearse with them and to really get them into character, and we did one very intensive week of rehearsals where we really went deep. After that, it was very important to let them decompress in any way they wanted, and believe me, they gave so much of themselves that they could have dinner wherever they wanted after the scenes.
CRAVEN: Sara said something very interesting, that when she heard Garret was doing the [role of Krug], [she thought] oh it’s a friend, so there was this sense I think of mutual trust among them, where they felt like no matter how horrible what they were acting was, they were in the hands of somebody that in some tiny part of their brain they could go and say I’m here with a friend, so it made it bearable.
MoviesOnline: How hard was it to shoot the assault scenes in the house, particularly the one in the kitchen?
ILIADIS: I really enjoy choreographing scenes like that, and also it’s very much about rehearsal. You rehearse all the basic and physical stuff so that performance can shine through. You don’t want your actors to be worried about the technical bits. You want the characters to shine through whatever is happening. So it was really rehearsing and we had a great stunt coordinator, his name was Mo in South Africa, and the actors were really willing to get into it and get dirty and painful and all that, and they did most of the fights. There’s very little stunt double work. You get good actors who are willing to get into it, and you work hard. You rehearse enough so that they can still act while they’re doing all this complex stuff, and that’s what you get. [MoviesOnline.ca]