The Last House on the Left

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

MoviesOnline.ca 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.”

Last House press junket: Craven, Iliadis, Paxton, Potter, Dillahunt

garret dillahunt,last house on the left,krugHorror.com has new interviews with producer Wes Craven, director Dennis Iliadis, and cast members Sara Paxton, Monica Potter and Garret.

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.