Friday, March 8, 2013

David Barrett discusses 'Fire With Fire'...

This is part of an interview with David Barrett who directed 'Fire With Fire' and I especially thought the comments about Vincent were interesting reading.  'Fire With Fire' will be released in theatres in the UK today.

So, tell us a little about Fire With Fire...
Fire With Fire was tough because I had done a lot of second unit on movies, I'd done a lot of second unit action on TV shows, and directed probably 75 TV shows, produced shows, I produced Orphan, I shot second unit on that movie... So to have my first movie be Fire With Fire, where I had had to shoot something in 20 days, was really tough. It was probably just shy of half of what I have to shoot a television show. To have personalities like Bruce Willis, to have a crew that doesn't know each other, to have no standing sets was a very, very difficult shoot, but thank God I had some terrific actors like Rosario Dawson and Josh Duhamel and Vincent D'Onofrio to help pull it off. The script had been around a little while and the tough part about it was really trying to find the right actor for that role, and Josh really fit the bill because he is a guy who is devoid of ego, he is one of the most kind individuals I have ever met. In order for some of the moments or scenarios that were in the script at the very beginning, in order for the audience to go on that right I had to make him as vulnerable and relatable as I could possibly make him or else it just wouldn't work, and I felt like he was the right choice, and he was.

There is a fantastic cast on-board, in particular Bruce Willis, you must have been thrilled when he signed up for the project?
I was. I had done movies with him before as a stuntman when I did his movie Striking Distance, and I'd met him a few times. My dad was Burt Reynolds and Paul Newman's stunt double, so Paul was my Godfather, so some of these race car races we would end up seeing Bruce, so I had met him before. Of course he didn't remember, but when he signed on, I mean, are you kidding me? I knew I had the movie. I was ecstatic. He's not in the movie a ton, but he does drive the story forward.

For me the stand-out performance was Vincent D'Onofrio – I think I've said that right...
Yes you did, good job! [laughs] I got it wrong a lot of the time.

He plays a really harrowing villain and has a really chilling presence to him. But I read there was a time he seemed unlikely to get involved because of scheduling issues?
I wanted him, and he didn't want to do the movie. So, I put pressure on everyone in the biggest way and said “I have to talk to him”, so I got him on the phone and I told him who his character is, from the age of seven years old up until the time the script starts. I went into this big, back story of who his character is and how he was just a kid, and a kid who had hopes of running his father's congregation, and the defining moment that turned him. By the time I was three quarters of the way into my pitch about the character, he said, “I see it. I'm doing your movie. We'll figure out the scheduling, I don't care how, but we're gonna figure it out”. The first take, I mean I had an incredibly tough first two days of the movie as I was having to shoot nine pages those days in six different locations with Bruce Willis. So I got to Vincent and the very first take I looked to the producers and I said, “We have a real movie.” It's important to have a lead, but your villain needs to be credible and relatable and he gave a performance that just... I mean, put it this way, he intimidated everyone in the cast, and I mean everyone. And the crew. He inspired everyone around him.


judith said...

I don't think I'd like to be around Vincent when he's in character..he would scare me..LOL.

Anonymous said...

He's awesome on that movie. Too bad the movie had too much villain and too little lead. Bruce Willis was just decoration, and Josh Duhamel and Rosario Dawson oouldn't really carry that movie.

Yay, VDO!

Nantz said...

His portrayal was so chilling that it caused Bruce Willis to remark, 'Wow'.