DECEMBER 2012 TOTALFILM.COM ISSUE 200
TOM CRUISE HIS BIGGEST INTERVIEW!
R BESLTD’S M IE REVOIEVW S★ ★
TOTAL FILM 177 200TH ISSUE SPECIAL ● TOM CRUISE ● QUENTIN TARANTINO ● SCARLETT JOHANSSON ● CHRISTIAN BALE
Film Th Of e Gr Ou ea r L tes ife t tim e
ON JACK REACHER, TOP GUN & SUPERSTARDOM
‘Every problem ıs an opportunity’
DECEMBER 2012 • ISSUE 200
PRINTED IN THE UK £3.99
THE LORD OF THE RINGS • THE WOLVERINE • CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER JENNIFER LAWRENCE • EWAN McGREGOR • THE LONE RANGER • LIFE OF PI
10/3/12 4:49 PM
December 2012 Issue 200
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>On the cover 72 | JACK REACHER Tom Cruise gets his cool on playing a modern Man With No Name. 91 | 200TH CELEBRATIONS As TF hits 200, we look back at our finest moments, from interviews to films. 100 | TF200 ACTRESS OF OUR LIFETIME: SCARLETT JOHANSSON Scar-Jo’s our girl. She can’t believe it... 110 | TF200 DIRECTOR OF OUR LIFETIME: QUENTIN TARANTINO ... and QT’s our director. He can. 116 | TF200 ICON OF OUR LIFETIME: TOM CRUISE More Cruise. The 7.5 Billion Dollar Man is our icon. He’s had 11 TF covers, dontcha know?
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116 Tom Cruise: he’s our icon.
17 | The Wolverine First look at the new look. Insert hard as nails/ripped/cutting edge gag here.
37 | Anthony Mackie Meet ‘The Falcon’, Captain America’s new pal.
OUT NOW Paranormal Activity 4 p59 Resident Evil: Retribution p67 Skyfall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p52
18 | The Lone Ranger Monument Valley. Steam trains. Johnny Depp with a dead crow on his head. 24 | End Of Watch Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña are partners in banter. 26 | Welcome To The Punch In the edit suite of the British Heat. 28 | The Double Ayoade does Dostoyevsky. 30 | Michael Sheen Talks vampires, werewolves and Blair.
8 |8Total | Total Film Film | xxx | December 2011 2012
38 | Aftershock Eli Roth pioneers ‘disaster horror’. There will be blood. And rubble. 39 | Génesis RodrÍguez Nabbing attention off Arnie in The Last Stand. 40 | Jai Courtney Taking on Cruise in Jack Reacher then playing John McClane Jr. in A Good Day To Die Hard.
2 NOVEMBER Call Me Kuchu . . . . . . . . . . .p63 Excision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p63 For A Good Time, Call.... . p59 The Master. . . . . . . . . . .p56 Rust And Bone . . . . . . . . . . .p62 The Shining . . . . . . . . . .p66
44 | Classic Scene: Inception Joseph Gordon-Levitt gets put on spin-cycle.
7 NOVEMBER Argo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p58 The Sapphires . . . . . . . . . .p64
46 | Hero: Vic Armstrong And... action! The stunt legend who’s helped Indy and Bond look hard.
9 NOVEMBER Aurora . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p67 Grassroots . . . . . . . . . . .p61
My Brother The Devil. . . .p61 Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan. .p63 12 NOVEMBER Crawlspace. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p66 16 NOVEMBER Amour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p60 Mental . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .p59 The Pool . . . . . . . . . . . . .p61 21 NOVEMBER Silver Linings Playbook . . . . . . . . . . . . . p54 23 NOVEMBER Nativity 2: Danger In The Manger! . . . . . . . . . . . .p63 End Of Watch . . . . . . . . . . . .p59
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10/12/12 11:03 AM
One boy and his tiger: Life Of Pi on-set report, page 78.
Bradley Cooper talks Silver Linings Playbook.
We go behind the scenes on The Impossible.
> This month...
78 | Life Of Pi On set of Ang Lee’s epic. Didn’t see any crouching tigers; the hyena was hiding.
13 | Dialogue Need more proof that Jeff Bridges is a dude? Then check out our Letter Of The Month...
82 | Silver Linings Playbook Pricking the sexual tension between Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. 86 | The Impossible The making of a disaster movie. 94 | TF200 Actor Of Our LIfetime: Christan Bale This fiercely committed Brit is our man. 122 | TF200 Films Of Our Lifetime Who says they don’t make ‘em like they used to? But what’s hit the top spot? Clue: it’s not Hitman, Jumper or Speed Racer.
137 | Lounge
Depp in The Lone Ranger Ranger.
Ted The Amazing Ted, Spider-Man Spider-Man, Citizen Kane Kane; on-set of The Walking Dead Dead: S3. 166 | Competition Win a TV and Blu-ray player with Silent Hill: Revelation 3D. 3D 170 | TOTAL FILM loves... 1997-2012. It’s our lifetime, innit?
Ted hits DVD and Blu-ray.
138 December xxx 2011 2012 | Total Film | 9
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buzz Welcome to the movies!
Brothers in arms To be persuasive as LAPD partners patrolling South Central gangland, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña spent five months bonding, sparring, running and gunning. All before writer/director David Ayer shot a single frame of End Of Watch. Buzz sits down (but Gyllenhaal and Peña don’t) to talk chemistry, ride-alongs and frozen yoghurt…
JAKE GYLLENHAAL: We’re gonna stand for this... MICHAEL PEÑA: I’m serious, dude. JG: [to Peña] How about I answer his questions and then you punch me? MP: How about let’s just do the talking thing? JG: Cool. [To Total Film] Dude, we are standing.
OK, tell us about this five-month rehearsal process. MP: I’ll give you a typical day: wake up, go to sparring, then rehearsals with David, then weapons training… JG: …six hours a day, two times a week. Then two or three times a week, we’d go on ridealongs from 4pm to 4am; then we’d sleep a little and then go do fight training at a dojo in Echo Park with tough kids who just don’t give a shit; then we’d do tactical training two times a week with this SWAT guy, using live rounds and moving targets. It’s become lore that you two didn’t gel at first… MP: That was mainly me. Jake’s a really open dude and it took me a while to open up and get comfortable. It’s Hollywood, man, and it was tough for me to let my guard down. But when it happened, we were able to really communicate and not give each other PR-y stuff. It was the real deal.
JG: Me being so open can create a scepticism, like, “Is he for real?” But it was also about coming from different backgrounds. On ride-alongs, I’d be like, “Let’s go through the door!” and he’d be like, “Ah, not a great idea…” [Laughs] But eventually that out-of-sync rhythm became totally in sync. MP: N-Sync… David Ayer says you were initially reluctant to shave your head, Jake. JG: Nope, that needs a rewrite… If I’m reluctant to shave my head, then why would I spend five months on the street? How was David once you were on set? JG: His response to liking something is, “That didn’t suck.” MP: “That sucked less.” Or “Do some other shit.” In rehearsals too, he was really rough. We’d have these ‘Poison Meetings’ where he would literally…
END OF WATCH | Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña buddy up and hit the beat.
10/11/12 5:29 PM
NEW FILMS! The beat goes on: (main) Michael Peña and Jake Gyllenhaal have a serious moment and (inset) in character as LAPD partners Mike and Brian in End Of Watch.
Who is the Winter Soldier? All you need to know about Captain America’s new bionic-armed nemesis… So Marvel have confirmed that Chris Evans’ super soldier will return in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But who is the Winter Soldier and why is he crucial to the CA mythology? JG: …poison our minds… MP: …with vitriol, and they really worked, they got you motivated. They’d usually come after sparring, after we’d gone home and showered quickly or whatever. JG: I’d go get a latte and a hamburger. MP: I was literally eating grass and rocks. JG: You were trying to shed some weight. MP: Remember, dude, with your Pinkberry [frozen yoghurt], when you were like, “Mmmm! Oh my god, it’s so good!… Mike, you want some?” JG: Then I said, “You wanna go for a run later?” MP: I was like, “How can you be eating that?” And he’s like, “I’m ripped.” Something along those lines… JG: Apparently, I said a lot of things. Like I didn’t want to cut my hair. MM ETA | 23 NOVEMBER End Of Watch opens this month. For details check out totalfilm.com totalfilm.com
SOME THINGS NEVER STAY DEAD For years, Bucky Barnes, Caps’s WW2 sidekick (played by Sebastian Stan in The First Avenger), was one of the rarest things ever seen in comics – a character who stayed dead. He remained firmly un-resurrected until 2005, when long-term Cap writer Ed Brubaker brought him back as the Winter Soldier.
COLD AS ICE Bucky’s war is finished when he’s blasted out into freezing cold seas by a drone aircraft. Picked up by a Russian submarine, suffering from brain damage and missing an arm, he’s experimented on by Stalin’s scientists, given a high-tech bionic arm and swiftly transformed into Russia’s secret killing machine.
ONE-MAN ARMY Brainwashed and unaware of his former life, Bucky spends the Cold War assassinating various generals and UN chiefs, becoming a mythical figure outside of Russia. Kept on ice by the Soviets and thawed out when needed, he doesn’t age, but remains an utterly remorseless one-man black-ops team.
MODERN-DAY SMACKDOWN Manipulated by a power-hungry ex-Soviet general in the modern day, the Winter Soldier is put on a collision course with Captain America, forcing Steve Rogers to admit just how little he knows about the modern world before going toe-to-toe with his oldest friend.
SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED A slick action thriller, Brubaker’s Winter Soldier arc is far more than a game of cat-and-mouse between Cap and Bucky. Cameos come from Samuel L Jackson and Robert Downey Jr as Nick Fury and Iron Man, while Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker) co-stars as The Falcon (see page 36). RP
ETA | 4 APRIL 2014 Captain America: The Winter Soldier is currently in production. For more news check out totalfilm.com December April xxx 2011 2010 2012 | Total Film | 25
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agenda 10 details for the sharper movie fan...
8 The Classic Scene JGL’s spinning smackdown.
“Joe attacked it with such excitement and enthusiasm. He was determined to do it all himself, and it really, really pays off.” Emma Thomas, producer
Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Arthur advances on the ceiling, in a dream.
Grappling gravity INCEPTION | Christopher Nolan turns the world on its head. ll we are and all we seem is but a dream within a dream,” wrote Edgar Allan Poe, but it could have come from Christopher Nolan’s multilayered metaphysical heist flick. ‘Extractors’ Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and team steal secrets from people by “stinging” their subconscious minds in a specially constructed dreamworld. Given Nolan’s rampant cineism, the backdrop is drawn straight from the movies. The centrepiece of the story sees JGL grappling with a goon on the floor, walls and ceiling of a slick, Shining-style hotel corridor as gravity drops to zero around them. It’s a pinchyourself piece of filmmaking, calling to mind everything from The Matrix to Fred Astaire, and for 15 stunning seconds it underlines how anything the human mind can conceive is possible, whether onscreen or in dreams. “It’s the chance to build cathedrals, entire cities, things that never existed. Things that couldn’t exist...” says Cobb of the appeal of creation. Nolan would surely agree. MG
ETA | NOW Inception is available on Blu-ray and DVD.
44 | Total Film | December 2012
Setting the scene
TWO WEEKS NOTICE JGL only had a fortnight to rehearse his moves. In order to not get confused by the rotation he kept telling himself, “This is the floor. OK, now this is the floor.”
ROLL MODELS The main camera was fixed to the floor, so that it seems the actors are defying gravity rather than the camera and set spinning around them as they constantly readjust.
● Influenced by altreality flicks of the ’90s (Dark City, The Matrix), Nolan pitched the idea to Warner Bros before making his Batman films, but took 10 years to perfect the script. ● He drew from dream experiences such as the feeling of falling, which became “the kick”, and the way outside stimuli are incorporated into our slumbers – like waves crashing through Saito (Ken Watanabe’s) HQ. ● DiCaprio’s team mimics a film unit; he’s the director, Arthur’s the producer, Saito’s the studio, Eames (Tom Hardy) is the actor, Ariadne’s (Ellen Page) the production designer and Fischer (Cillian Murphy) is the intended audience.
“If you lock the camera on the ground, the audience just sees us moving all over the place. It looks like we’re jumping on the ceiling.”
“If you start looking outside, you get motion sickness... It was not easy and Joe far exceeded what [I] did.”
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, actor
Tom Struthers, stunt coordinator
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10/8/12 1:58 PM
LIBERAL ARTS Art and architecture in-jokes abound. JGL walks up M.C. Escher’s vision of the Penrose stairs, and Eames is named after the American designers who made art on an industrial scale – like Nolan.
REVOLUTIONARY ROAD Each ring was rotated using an electric motor. The speed of six revolutions per minute was chosen to give the actors enough time to scamper to the next bit of “floor”.
CIRCLE OF FRIENDS Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey span its set on a centrifuge, and 1951’s Royal Wedding has Fred Astaire dancing across the ceiling. Nolan took note.
LUCKY NUMBERS The figure 528491 is repeated throughout the narrative – in the code Fischer invents for Cobb, and the phone number Eames gives Fischer. Room 491 is on the floor below.
THE REPLACEMENTS Until the fight moves into the hotel room, where the ceiling (and therefore the drop) is much higher, JGL did all his own stunts. He got battered.
“We elected to play it in one shot, because our immediate response when you first see the footage is it just doesn’t look possible.”
“It was like some incredible torture device; we thrashed Joseph for weeks, but in the end it looks unlike anything any of us has seen before [on film].”
Lee Smith, editor
Christopher Nolan, writer/director
ILLUSTRATION BY JASON PICKERSGILL/ACUTE GRAPHICS
LORD OF THE RINGS The hotel corridor set was suspended between eight 30ftdiameter rings made of structural steel. They had to fit together exactly to prevent bumps when they moved.
December xxx 2011 2012| |Total TotalFilm Film|| 45
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he was the master of charades.
This is pTA’s first film without long-time cinematographer Robert Elswit, who was unavailable thanks to a Bourneshaped commitment. In fact, Jeremy Renner was originally set to play freddy.
SEE THIS IF YOU LIKED... ThE mAnChuRIAn CAnDIDATE 1962 The paranoid drama from John Frankenheimer was one of the first films ever to portray PTSD on the big screen. BoogIE nIghTS 1997 Mark Wahlberg’s aimless teen finds purpose and a makeshift family in the shape of Burt Reynolds’ charismatic pornographer. mARThA mARCY mAY mARlEnE 2011 A traumatised teen struggles with horrific memories of her time spent in an abusive cult. for full reviews of these films visit totalfilm.com/ cinema_reviews
56 | Total Film | December 2012
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10/11/12 2:15 PM
The Master HHHHH Out 2 November
This year’s biggest cult movie...
nyone walking into Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest expecting a thinly veiled biopic of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard as played by Philip Seymour Hoffman – a sweeping, savage character study in the vein of, say, Daniel Plainview – won’t take long to realise their error. A sliver of Joaquin Phoenix’s face monopolises the film’s first frames, his dark, darting eyes taking centre-stage. His traumatised drifter Freddy is the latest in a long line of broken, brutish Anderson men, scrabbling desperately to find connections, purpose, belonging. And if Freddy’s story were boiled down to a single word, then the word wouldn’t be Scientology, or cults, or leaders. The word would be nostalgia. Phoenix’s performance is remarkable not least in its physicality; with his half-twisted expressions and shuffling gait he looks like a man who has been chewed vigorously and spat back out, with all the parts still functionally working but slightly off-kilter. Freddy’s not an easy character to love; emerging from war with unnamed scars, he’s fixated on sex but essentially infantile, prone to violent rages and subsisting on home-brewed hooch that’s wince-inducing even to look at. After a series of jobs go sour, taking potential relationships (first with a pretty department store employee, later with a farmer who reminds him of his dad) down with them, Freddy drunkenly wanders onto a brightly lit cruise ship from a darkened dock, where he finds his purpose in charismatic cult leader Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who’s eager to lead him down the proper path.
Out of the past
Anderson took many of his cues from John Huston’s 1945 government documentary Let
There Be Light, which explored trauma and depression in soldiers after combat. There’s a scene taken wholesale from Light between Freddy and an army doctor, in which he explains that a recent ‘crying spell’ was brought on by a letter from Doris, a girl he left behind before the war: “I believe in your profession, it’s called nostalgia.” Dodd’s methods centre on the idea of past life regression – recalling memories from before birth – as a beneficial and healing process. “You seem so familiar to me,” he tells Freddy during their first meeting, seducing him with the promise of a forgotten past, while their gripping initial session of ‘processing’ delves headfirst into Freddy’s longing for his pre-war life. For a man sick with longing for a past he can’t get back, The Cause is irresistible. It’s less clear what Dodd sees in Freddy; their makeshift father-son dynamic is closely aligned with one Anderson developed in Boogie Nights, but we all know exactly what Jack Horner saw in Dirk Diggler. The development of their codependent, intensely intimate connection is endlessly fascinating to watch, and expertly written in how much it reveals about both men as the plot unravels. We see Freddy as savagely devoted, defending Dodd from his detractors like a barely-domesticated guard dog; and while Dodd scolds him, he shows himself to be no less animalistic than his protégé when provoked. Anderson’s absolute mastery of his camera, which lives and breathes alongside his characters, should be no surprise, but he’s working without his long-time DoP Roger Elswit for the first time here. Far from the visuals suffering, new cinematographer Mihai Malaimare Jr. creates what might be the director’s most mesmerisingly beautiful canvas yet, while Jonny Greenwood’s staccato score injects unease into even the stillest of shots.
predicted interest curve™ “You seem so familiar”
Thrilled Entertained Nodding Off Zzzzzzzzz... running Time
Lines in the sand 0
Back to the fold
Slow Boat To China
82 110 137
Dodd is a distinctly big character, with his grandiose metaphors, his speeches about love and dragons and his penchant for spontaneous song (to name just a few of his unique qualities) but
Hoffman doesn’t make the mistake of giving a big performance. Instead, he’s composed and jovial and self-possessed, and some of the film’s most startling moments come when his potential for vicious explosion spills over the placid surface. This is the most compelling performance of Phoenix’s career to date by some margin. It’s easy to get distracted by the physical trappings of what he’s doing – the stiff gait, the wrenched-up mouth and subtly sickly pallor – but he creates an exactingly specific arc for a character who could feel aimless. It’s true, as some US naysayers have pointed out, that the plot isn’t driven by events, and it’s even true on one level to say that not much happens. But Freddy’s progression from drifter to disciple to disillusionment, his love for Dodd, his blind rages and curiously inert sexual compulsion, his gradual realisation that the past is a foreign country, are played with vigorous commitment by Phoenix in a performance that will not be forgotten quickly. The Master is far from flawless. As is often the case with Anderson, the third act widens to become scattershot with one or two strands left under-explored. Freddy’s disillusionment with Dodd comes a shade too abruptly, as though something were lost in the edit, while we get only intriguing glimpses of the possibility that Amy Adams’ Peggy, far from being the meekly supportive wife, is really the Machiavellian driving force behind Dodd. But The Master is a breathtaking, singular, technically audacious film, white-hot with emotion, and boasting a few scenes so individually powerful that they’ll stay with you like a physical presence for days. And Phoenix? As ill-advised as that Casey Affleck mockumentary might have been, it turns out that he is, in fact, very much still here. Emma Dibdin
THE VERDICT With potent performers and poetic visuals, Anderson has made the boldest American picture of the year. Its strangeness can be hard to process, but this is a shattering study of the impossibility of recovering the past. › Certificate 15 TBC Director Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Laura Dern, Jesse Plemons, Ambyr Childers Screenplay Paul Thomas Anderson Distributor Entertainment Running time 137 mins
December 2012 | Total Film | 57
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wo-thirds of the way through Christopher McQuarrie’s dynamic adaptation of Lee Child’s bestseller One Shot, now titled Jack Reacher after its enigmatic protagonist, there’s a car chase. Not just any old car chase, mind. This tyre-squealing, fender-bending, pedal-to-metal car chase eschews CGI as it revs, smokes and smashes its way up into the grill of any iconic pursuit you care to mention: Bullitt, The French Connection, To Live And Die In LA, Ronin, Bad Boys II… Surprised? You shouldn’t be. It is, after all, renowned stuntman Tom Cruise behind one of the wheels, as his former Army Military Police Major Jack Reacher – now a drifter and a mysterious, near-mythical P.I. who’s turned up from out of nowhere to dig into a sniper killspree – chases Jai Courtney’s bad guy while being chased, in turn, by David Oyelowo’s cop. The streets are slicked in rain, soaked in streetlights. Vehicles streak and screech. And Cruise, unbelievably, wrenches his wheel to slam >> into a parallel car at alarmingly high speed.
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WORDS JAMIE GRAHAM
Playing ex-Army private investigator Jack Reacher, an ice-cool Tom Cruise might just have found his next big franchiseâ€Ś
10/11/12 3:30 PM
Men on a mission: (main) Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher with Robert Duvall as Cash and (inset) with Richard Jenkins as Alex Rodin and David Oyelowo as Emerson.
‘If Lee Child had said no, I wouldn’t have taken the role’ TOM CRUISE
“It was steel on steel,” says an unperturbed Cruise. He’s now at Leavesden, Watford, hard at work on sci-fi war movie All You Need Is Kill. “The only thing I had was a locked-down racing seat, and I worked out a five-point harness that I hid underneath my jacket. We were constantly trying to adjust the shocks, work with tyre temperatures, get to know the personalities of the nine Chevelles we used. I hit those police cars at 65mph. I had to pick out points. Like the cop car, you don’t want to hit the axle; it had to be about 6in behind the axle. I had two or three bail-out points, but if it was all looking good, I kept on going. It’s not like we had endless cars. I knew each hit would total both cars. It’s intense.” “I was meant to have a week off to do Lincoln,” winces Oyelowo, recalling the chase from the comfort of Beverly Hills’ Four Seasons Hotel. “I’m on set in Richmond, Virginia, with Daniel Day-Lewis and Steven Spielberg, and I get a call from the line producer. He says, ‘Tom is really excited about the car chase. He needs you back tonight.’ ‘What are you talking about? I’m not going to go to Steven Spielberg to say, “Can I go back…”’ ‘Tom’s really excited.’ Before I know it, I’m on a private jet back to Pittsburgh. Tom crashed into me twice that night and I was back in Virginia the next morning.” 74 | Total Film | December 2012
McQuarrie also winces when asked to recount the chase. “I love the Chevelle, and they bought nine. I thought I’d get to take one home. They said, ‘You’ve got to understand, there’s not going to be anything left...’ It was horrible to watch. Heartbreaking.” But also thrilling, yes? “You’re playing with a rigged deck,” says McQuarrie. “You’ve got Cruise behind the wheel. Steve McQueen did what he did in Bullitt because he knew how to drive. But McQueen’s in 10 per cent of the shots in that car chase. Cruise in is 90 per cent.” McQuarrie takes a sip of water. “Every single shot we did, we designed it so it was likely the camera would get wasted.” But Cruise was never in danger, right? “It was the middle of the night, we were bleary eyed. Paul Jennings [stunt coordinator] looked at me and said, ‘We’re doing some edgy shit right here.’ I knew when Paul was scared that we were going to be OK. If you do a car chase, there are high expectations…” hile McQuarrie is still primarily thought of as the writer of The Usual Suspects, Jack Reacher is his sophomore directorial effort, coming a full 12 years after the underrated The Way Of The
Gun. That film’s box-office flop, married with McQuarrie’s tendency to be drawn to projects that “are not easy to make”, led to years in the wilderness. It was an “unfulfilling time of servitude”, McQuarrie paying the bills by doctoring other people’s scripts while his own languished. “I had reached the end of my rope… I was ready to try another career,” he says, deadly serious. Then Bryan Singer rang. He wanted to turn one of McQuarrie’s scripts, Valkyrie, into a feature, and it would star Tom Cruise. Leap forward a couple of years and Cruise was developing Jack Reacher, or One Shot as it was then called. McQuarrie was asked to rewrite Josh Olson’s script. Cruise read it, loved it and, according to McQuarrie, said, “I don’t know who you have in mind for this, but I’d love to do it.” (Cruise tells a different version, saying: “I always loved the character, loved the books. Chris and Don [Granger, producer] came to me and went, Subscribe at www.totalfilm.com/subs
10/11/12 3:30 PM
Jack Reacher 101
Your bootcamp on Lee Child’s detective… NAME Jack (None) Reacher D.O.B 29 October HEIGHT 6ft5 WEIGHT 220-250lbs HAIR COLOUR Dirty blond EYE COLOUR Ice blue ‘Look, we’ve been thinking about it and we can’t think of anyone else to play it…’”). One problem, though: the Jack Reacher in Lee Child’s (real name: Jim Grant) 17-novel series is 6ft5, dirty blonde, with ice-blue eyes, weighing in close to 250lbs. “There was no guy to play it,” shrugs McQuarrie. “I’m not going to try and fit that paradigm. What I could do, and felt obligated to do, was preserve the tone of not just the character, but the books themselves, with their approach to violence, humour and procedure.” Cruise was similarly unflustered by trying to fill Reacher’s shoes. “When I read the books, I felt, personally, ‘That’s a characteristic, not the character’,” he says. “I thought I had something to bring to it, but I also wanted to hear from Lee. If Lee had said “no”, I absolutely would not have taken the role. He was really excited and very supportive of it, so that’s when I did it.” Of course, it helped that Cruise is a veteran of screen action, with 30 years’ worth of training and stunts to his name. When the script called for him to take out five thugs outside a bar, he knew he could do it, Child knew he could do it, we all know he can do it. Cruise laughs self-deprecatingly. “Movie magic, man, movie magic…” On the face of it, the juxtaposition of Cruise and McQuarrie seems like an odd one. McQuarrie’s taste favours unconventional movies, dark and dangerous; Cruise, though more diverse than he’s often given credit for, is synonymous with mainstream entertainment. “You couldn’t find two people who are more diametrically opposed,” concedes McQuarrie. But it emerged that they had one factor in common: a love of storytelling. Cruise is the actor equivalent of Spielberg in his innate ability to shape a narrative and conjure spectacle; McQuarrie wrote The Usual Suspects, a propulsive, mesmerising story about the nature of storytelling. “We really bonded in storytelling,” nods the writer/director. “The way in which you totalfilm.com
FAMILY Father: Stan Reacher, ex-Marine, deceased; Mother: Josephine Moutier Reacher, ex-French Resistance, deceased; Brother: Joe Reacher, ex-Army military intelligence, Treasury Department, deceased. DEFINING FEATURES Scar to the abdomen; intersecting scar from knife fight; .38 bullet wound to the chest; teardrop scar from close range gunshot; scar to arm from his brother hitting him with a chisel during childhood. PREVIOUS EMPLOYMENT 13 years service as US Army Military Police Major. Demoted from Captain to Major. TRAINING Highly skilled fighter, fights using physics and scientific calculation, rarely becomes visibly angry. CONTENTS OF POCKETS Foldable toothbrush, money, an expired passport and ATM card. PHOBIAS Agoraphobia (fear of crowds). He prefers to be alone. TRADEMARK SAYING “That’s for damned sure.” DIET Fast food and coffee. FIRST STORY Killing Floor (1997): arrested and charged with murder, Reacher finds out he’s been framed for murdering his own brother, Joe. MOST RECENT STORY A Wanted Man (2012): Hitching a life to Virginia, Reacher gets tangled in a massive conspiracy involving his ride and the FBI, in the 17th book in the series.
construct a scene, construct a story, what’s important in terms of engaging an audience...” Given that One Shot is the actually the ninth of the Reacher books, this ability to set the scene, position the pieces and build momentum to a satisfying conclusion while suggesting a bigger world at play, is vital. Opening with a scene of literally hair-trigger tension as a sniper takes out five pedestrians, willy-nilly, the movie builds with economy and urgency. But here’s the thing. Though set in a modern milieu and feeling as fresh and vibrant as any franchisestarter should, Jack Reacher nonetheless belongs to a storytelling tradition stretching back to Chester Himes, Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammet. “I remember seeing Farewell, My Lovely as a kid; I loved detective stories. I haven’t seen them in a while. They’re hard to write and hard to find,” says Cruise. “I grew up on that stuff,” adds McQuarrie. “I love film noir. What I especially love about the Reacher novels is that they’re detective fiction but they’re not really noirs. There isn’t a blackness and a hopelessness to it. There’s a searching and a longing, and what Lee has done is create the modern-day Man With No Name.” ow, the great thing about having Tom Cruise sign up to star in your movie – other than having Tom Cruise sign up to star in your movie – is that it gives you the muscle to fill all of the supporting roles with whoever the hell you want. “Casting, for me, is the worst part of the process,” sighs McQuarrie. “It’s long and insufferable and you’re constantly getting jerked around. You think you have a cast, then you don’t. With Tom, you draw up a list of actors and they all show up! We had such an impeccable cast. And a lot of them are lesserknown actors, but all great. They’re discoveries. It makes the movie feel that much more real.” And so we have Oyelowo as chief cop Emerson, Courtney (next up: Jack McClane in A Good Day To Die Hard) as a nameless but unforgettable villain, Rosamund Pike as attorney Helen Rodin, Robert Duvall as gun-range owner Cash, the incomparable Richard Jenkins as Helen’s dad/law-firm bigwig Alex Rodin, and… wait for it… Werner Herzog as criminal kingpin The Zec. Presumably he didn’t have to audition? “I was invited,” confirms Herzog, drinking coffee and looking immaculate in a crisp charcoal suit. “I read the script. It was very well-written. I’m always good when it comes to violent, debased and hostile characters.” So how was it to act opposite Cruise? “He’s very easy to work with because he’s so professional, very respectful to everyone,” says Herzog. “Not just to me. He speaks in the same respectful tone to an extra that is 150 feet in the background. He has an enormous intensity.” Courtney, a naturally athletic Aussie who did audition for the role and was then trained in firearms, cars and fighting, got to mix it with >> Cruise. “For the fight, we started the December 2012 | Total Film | 75
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Backseat driver: Christopher McQuarrie directs Cruise; (inset) Rosamund Pike as Helen Rodin.
Coming to America
Werner Herzog on Hollywood, amputation and Cruise… How many days shooting did you do on Jack Reacher? Five or six. It’s not a big deal. Nobody should make a fuss about it.
choreography months in advance. But there were moments of, ‘Sorry about that…’ Those things happen, you just hope it’s not a big right hook, you’re not knocking out teeth. He’s not going to be too fond of me if I land one on him! But Tom’s pretty hard. He can hang with it. He’s certainly no pussy, that’s for sure!” Pike got considerably less action (though she was the best shot at the practice range). Her lawyer is on Reacher’s side, and it’s through her eyes that we try to fathom what makes this man tick. “She’s constantly sizing him up, puzzling him out,” Pike agrees. “She says, ‘For all I know, you were standing at an intersection with a cardboard sign three days ago.’ And maybe he was. Maybe he’s just one of those guys who’s lost his mind.” Pike tells of how the cast and crew watched vintage thrillers before shooting – Three Days Of The Condor and The Thomas Crown Affair get name checks – and how Hitchcock’s Notorious was used as an example of how a man and a woman could share screen space, and chemistry, without getting it on. “They [Reacher and Rodin] are compatible, but the plot gets in the way!” Story, story, story – it always comes back to story. Even the action scenes, and the violence, are there to serve the story. “The choreography 76 | Total Film | December 2012
ith 16 more novels to plunder, plus two short stories, Jack Reacher invites sequels. For while we know from McQuarrie’s film that Reacher buys new sets of clothes rather than bother with laundry, say, or that he’s fond of an elbow strike and a headbutt, we don’t yet know that he has a fascination with mathematics, a disdain for religion and a love of blues music. This is a character that demands exploring, and there will always be more puzzlebox crimes that need solving. “We had a great time making this movie,” attests McQuarrie. “I would just keep making these movies for the rest of my life.” Cruise is also delighted by the experience and the result. “I really hope people enjoy the movie and we can come back to it,” he says. “There are so many different places we can take that character. He’s such a rich character – an analogue character living in a digital age.” The booming laugh is again in evidence. “To make a bunch of movies with Chris McQuarrie would be a lot of fun.” TF Jack Reacher opens on 26 December. For more, go to totalfilm.com
How big was the crew on your Bad Lieutenant remake? Fairly large, but my way of working with them was fast because I shot only what I needed for the screen. No coverage. Normally my days were over by 2, 3pm. I had not one single hour of overtime. And I did something unprecedented in Hollywood – I delivered the film $2.6m under budget. Your character in Jack Reacher tells someone to bite off their own fingers. Is such a thing possible? Yes, it is possible. We’ve been baffled by the case of a young mountain climber in Utah [Aron Ralston, as played by James Franco in 127 Hours] whose arm was caught between two rocks. He fractured his arm and he cut it off. I met the man, and I shook the stump. Why do you think there are so many ridiculous stories about Tom Cruise? It’s nonsense. But please try to understand the laws of the internet. If a film has fantastic reviews and is loved by audiences, one single rant throwing invectives and dirt floats up to number one of what you will see. To use a vulgar expression – excuse my French – the shit always floats to the top of the internet.
is propelling the character,” notes Cruise. “It’s the nature of who Reacher is.” Take the scene where he scraps a couple of heavies in a bathroom. Caught unawares, Reacher is momentarily pole-axed and would certainly get his ass handed to him were it not for the cramped interior blocking his nemeses’ blows. The result brings Child’s bleak humour to the screen and demonstrates that Reacher, an off-the-grid-ghost who’s whispered about in a way that recalls Keyser Soze, is indeed human. Was it important to show he’s not a superhero? “Yeah,” replies Cruise. That he’s fallible? “Yeah.” But good at his job? He grins. “Good at his job. Very.”
How did you find the scale compared to your own films? It’s only the machinery that is bigger. I have made bigger films than Jack Reacher. Fitzcarraldo and Nosferatu were bigger in value of what you see on the screen. Much bigger. But don’t ask me how much less they cost. Ultimately, filmmaking is very primitive. Lights, cameras, costumes, actors, somebody who directs it. Like making children, the procedure is the same all over the world.
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