Burning Bright

Garret on BlogTalkRadio.com – The Last House on the Left

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.

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]

Burning Bright – more info, from Briana Evigan

Briana Evigan talked to Bloody-Disgusting.com about her role in Burning Bright. A few snippets below.

About the setup:

“She can’t go outside, and the tiger’s in the house, how long can she hide from it? She [also has] the autistic brother that’s just as bad as the tiger. He doesn’t respond to her, he makes noise, he yells, he wants to pet the tiger. She has three major obstacles to get around, it’s like, how can it be worse? It’s such a simple concept and that’s what I really loved about it when I read it.”

About the film’s rating:

“It is very suspenseful, it’s not gory. There are a couple of little things that happen with myself and the tiger…but nothing extreme. It’s definitely not a gory movie. I think they’re actually going for a PG-13.”

About the step dad (Garret’s character):

“The step dad has a ranch of animals. It’s a beautiful house they chose to film out and he has other animals there like alligators and orangutans, all different types of animals . He gets the tiger as an investment. The whole family is miserable, the step dad has the responsibility of my character and my brother, and that is because the mom has killed herself. It puts a damper on the family; it’s a whole new way of living. I would say from my perspective of my character that the step dad is trying to kill us so he has nothing else to worry about. He can move on, be done and blame it on the animal – blame it on whatever he wants, move on and get his life back.”

New Last House interview with Garret, Winter’s Bone confirmed

Garret talked to Bloody-Disgusting.com recently and apparently he is already filming Winter’s Bone in Branson, Missouri. The film is directed by Debra Granik, with Jennifer Lawrence and John Hawkes (Deadwood’s Sol Star) starring. Here is the synopsis, taken from this article:

“Winter’s Bone” centers on 16-year-old Ree Dolly, who hails from a large family of Ozark meth cookers. When her no-good father goes missing — after using the family home as collateral to post bond — Ree must either bring him back alive or prove that he’s dead. Otherwise the authorities will seize the family’s house, throwing Ree, her two younger brothers and their mentally ill mother out into the cold.

And here is what Garret said about filming The Last House on the Left:

Bloody-Disgusting: How did you land the role in Last House?

Garret Dillahunt: The director, Dennis Iliadis (although I like calling him by his proper Greek name, Dionisius) had seen ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES, apparently, and called me in for a meeting. I don’t know what he saw in Ed Miller that made him think I could pull off Krug, but I’m glad he did. I had to meet with Wes’ approval after that, and then we were done.

BD: Were you familiar with the original before you took the role? When did you see the original film?

Garret: I wasn’t familiar with the original prior to shooting. Particularly surprising since I like so many films from the ’70s. BADLANDS, ELECTRA GLIDE IN BLUE, SCARECROW… always on my favorites list. Film is a lot like literature in the sense that I feel like I’m always reading yet there are these great, unexplainable holes in my library. Not much Faulkner, for example. It’s the same with film. There are just so many I haven’t gotten around to, and yet I see a shitload of movies. We all watched THE VIRGIN SPRING together, though. And I thought that was pretty amazing and ahead of its time. In some ways we owe more to that film. I watched the original LHOTL later, after I was free from the fear of being improperly influenced by it.

BD: The original is pretty brutal and hard to watch, do you feel that was the goal of the remake too? What do you think they were trying to accomplish and what were your goals?

Garret: Was that the goal of the original? To be brutal and hard to watch? I’m not sure, I guess, what our goal was other than to tell the story in our hands well and true and complete. The result is certainly brutal…relentlessly so. I felt like I’d been mugged after the first screening. I’ll say I think it is certainly a timely film (again). People are angry right now in this country. Good, hard working people feel like, through no fault of their own, outside forces have come into their lives and torn them apart. They feel violated and disrespected and powerless. Those forces are given a face with Krug and Co., and this normal, American family decides to take some power back. That decision is not without cost–psychic and otherwise.

BD: Can you talk about the dynamics of the father and son relationship you have with your son? And maybe talk about if you see some connection to the Collingwood family’s relationship.

Garret: Well, Krug and Mr. Collingwood (Tony Goldwyn) have both fathered children. There the similarity ends, pretty much. Heh. I really appreciated the inclusion of this storyline in the script. It fleshes out the character so much and, actually, made it easier to play him as I felt sorry for him. I think he is a guy who’d benefit from LOTS of psychotherapy. He loves his son, but doesn’t know how to raise him properly. He has twisted ideas about what being a man is. He’s quite intelligent, yet makes horrible decisions. He has been beaten up by life and has responded to those setbacks in the most unhealthy of ways. Everything is a slight..a personal attack that he cannot get around. When we meet Krug, he is already lost. He just doesn’t know it yet.

Read the rest of the interview at Bloody-Disgusting.com.

More about Burning Bright, from the writers

Burning Bright writers Julie Prendiville Roux and Christine Coyle talked to Ryan Rotten at ShockTillYourDrop.com about how the movie came to be…

Roux: The way this all happened is that we had a screenplay out there called Chance and it was Altman-esque because it was different storylines intersecting. A producer read it, David Higgins, and he asked our agent to send us over so we went. I’ll never forget the call because our agent said Higgins had this thriller idea, two kids trapped in a house with a tiger. We thought that was random.

… the tone of the film…

Roux: We all had the like mind of making it as tense, taut and real as possible. You know in Das Boot where you feel like you’re in the boat? We have that similar situation in Burning Bright because you’re trapped in this house, the windows are all boarded up and it’s dark and scary because there’s a wild animal in the house. It’s starting to feel like it’s going in that direction. As you know, through editing it could change. Miklos Wright, the editor, is making it very Hitchcockian which I’m thrilled about.

… Garret’s character…

Roux: They have a stepfather, and he’s evil, of course.

Coyle: He’s the kind of guy who has had a million ideas, none of which have ever really worked out. So his latest idea is he’s going to have a bed and breakfast and a safari park together. Her mother had really bad choices in men, Johnny is at the top of her list in bad choices. Kelly is supposed to be leaving for college and what happens is she can’t because of circumstance. She winds up in the house, it’s boarded up and she can’t get out. Part of the question is: Who put the tiger in the house? Was it Tommy her brother? Kelly, in some suicidal way? Johnny the stepfather?

… the tigers…

Roux: Which they did do. The tigers were really on set with Briana.

Coyle: And they were just gorgeous. There were three tigers to play one. Huge paws. When we went to the set up at Magic Mountain where they did some of the tiger stuff, there were rules. Every body had to stand in a group, if you’re not in a group you’re potentially dinner. No sudden movements. No children.

Roux: The tigers will train their eyes, it was fascinating.

Coyle: David brought his little kids, five and six, to the set. The tigers were in a cage. The little girl said something like “Wow, this is neat!” and the tiger just fixated on her. At that point, the trainer told everyone no kids under 18 when the tigers are out. And like I said, there were three tigers. One was a pouncer, one runs better…

Roux: One was for beauty shots.

… and the way casting could have gone.

Coyle: They were talking about some other actors for the part like Jeff Bridges.

Roux: Bill Pullman.

Coyle: Jeff Daniels. But there are certain expectations you have when you see them on the screen. Garret, certainly from Deadwood and Terminator, he’s got a cult following, but you buy him as this stepfather with a rather antagonistic relationship with this 18-year-old girl.

For the full interview, go here.