The new film stars Anna Gunn (‘Breaking Bad’) as Darlene Hagen, a recovering alcoholic making ready for a household Christmas celebration, twenty-years after the disappearance of her daughter.
On Christmas Eve, Darlene is unexpectedly visited by her estranged ex-brother-in-law, Jack (Linus Roache), who has been conserving a darkish secret for many years. When the reality is revealed, and the 2 are trapped collectively by a harmful storm, Darlene should struggle for her life to outlive.
British actor Linus Roache might be finest identified for his position as ADA Michael Cutter on NBC’s ‘Law & Order’ and ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,’ in addition to enjoying Thomas Wayne in Christopher Nolan’s ‘Batman Begins.’
Most not too long ago the actor has appeared in such critically acclaimed films as ‘Mandy’ reverse Oscar-winner Nicolas Cage and ‘My Policeman,’ the place he performed the older model of Harry Styles’ character.
Moviefone not too long ago had the pleasure of talking with Linus Roache about his work on ‘The Apology,’ his intense character, why he felt like rehearsing a play, and dealing with Anna Gunn, in addition to making ‘My Policeman’ and sharing a job with Harry Styles.
You can learn the total interview beneath or click on on the video participant above to look at our interview with Linus Roache.
Moviefone: To start with, how did you become involved with this undertaking and what was your first response to the screenplay?
Linus Roache: Well, initially, I bought it as a direct provide with an attractive letter from Alison Star Locke, the author and director. I feel she’d seen my work, and knew my work manner again from the early days of a film I did known as ‘Priest,’ but in addition fairly not too long ago from ‘Mandy.’ I feel she thought with that vary of character that I would be capable to do the job.
I used to be very honored that she got here to me with it, truly. When I learn it, I used to be in a little bit of shock. I used to be simply sort of like, “Oh my God, this is very intense. What’s it going to be like to take this on?’ Then I just talked with her and I realized what a great person she is, and what a gifted writer she is. I felt this sense of trust and I thought, “Well, I’ve all the time favored to push the sting with what I do, strive new issues and go locations I have not been. I’m on board.” So, I signed up. That’s why I did it.
MF: Can you talk about your approach to playing the character, and since it is such an intense role, were you ever exhausted on set?
LR: That’s a great question and I think there was a lot of anticipation around it. There was a lot of talking. We had a lot of Zoom rehearsals and conversations, and really understood the world that we were in and the dynamics of it. For a while I was chewing on Jack and just dealing with the darkness of his actions. There’s not a thing that you can condone about him as a person, but something broke.
It was actually my wife who helped me see his pathology, he can only see himself as a good guy. He actually can’t take responsibility. So, the level of denial is so strong that for him, everything is just turned into, “I’m not a nasty man, I’m not a nasty man.”
What happened is it was an accident. So, he’s reinterpreted the past. Once I understood that, it gave me a through line and a key to how to play the role. It kind of kept me steady. Then I think that’s the theme of the movie, isn’t it? What it takes to get someone to be accountable and take responsibility, and she’s doubled down on that idea. It’s a brilliant idea, I think, for a movie.
MF: Can you talk about Jack and Darlene’s dynamic at the beginning of the movie, and how that changes once he reveals his secret?
LR: Well, I haven’t seen the movie by the way. I just work and I don’t watch what I do. But based on what we did and what was written, I always thought it should feel a little bit like Jude Law in ‘The Holiday’ turning up. It’s like, Christmas Eve, this nice guy walks in the door and they have this history, and anything could happen kind of feeling.
It’s just this complex history that Alison did a beautiful job of layering into the script. We have all these touchstones of being an ex-brother-in-law and our children being connected. So, there’s just these layers and the two characters are very much dancing around each other. He’s in such avoidance that he’s willing to sleep with her again and she almost falls for it. So, it’s nicely sort of set up. Then of course, he didn’t come there for that really. He came for a different motive. So, that’s really the setup, I suppose.
MF: Most of the film features just you and Anna Gunn on screen. What was it like working with her and did it ever feel like you were rehearsing for a play rather than making a movie?
LR: It was very much like a play. In fact, I think it would make a wonderful play, actually. We rehearsed as much as we could because it was pandemic times. We did a lot of working on Zoom and just making sure we were comfortable understanding the world where we’re coming from. Interestingly enough, when it came to shoot it, you never quite know how things are going to go.
We very much instinctually just left each other alone, which was actually very cool, because that meant that all the drama, everything just happens on camera. We’re not over talking it, we’re not overthinking it. We’re not trying to look after each other. You know what I mean? It was very much everything we did was on camera and it was happening there, and then we just left it and walked away, which actually is a great way to work. I like working like that.
MF: Have you worked like that a lot? Is that common or uncommon?
LR: No. It completely depends who your scene partner is, and what the dynamics are. I remember with Nicolas Cage in ‘Mandy,’ we chatted early on about the two roles. Then very quickly Nic said, “I feel possibly it might be higher if we did not hang around and speak an excessive amount of.” It was just such a relief that we would literally sit on set six feet apart from each other and not say a word, and then we’d just go on camera and do it. It brings something. So, I’m actually a fan of that, but only if someone else is too. It depends who you’re working with.
MF: Can you talk about working with director Alison Star Locke on her debut feature film?
LR: Ally, I think she’s an incredibly gifted writer, so she’d written something that was so strong. Its foundation was very firm. Then, this is low budget filmmaking and sometimes I think we felt like we could have had a bit more time to do some of the action oriented things, they got cut down.
That’s always a painful part of movie making sometimes. But nevertheless, again, I haven’t seen it, but I felt like Ally was smart and she had wonderful producers around us, supporting her to make sure that what she’d written could be translated and shot in the time that we had. So, I believe we did that.
MF: Finally, I really enjoyed your performance in ‘My Policeman.’ What was it like for you working on that project, and did you have to study Harry Styles, since you were playing the older version of his character?
LR: Well, thanks for that question. Yes, I was very proud to be part of that project and very happy when Michael (Grandage) asked me to do it. We did talk a little bit about how we were going to connect these two worlds of the 1990s and the ’50s? Was I going to imitate Harry Styles? Michael made a very astute and really valid point that when 40 years have passed, are we really the same person 40 years later? No, we’re not.
So, it kind of released us of the burden of trying to imitate the younger person, which would’ve been hard. But because they shot mostly in sequence, Michael shot the 1950s stuff first. I got to watch some of Harry’s stuff. What I learned from what Harry was doing was he was just very honest. He’s very simple, very interested and open. I thought, “Well, despite the fact that I’m enjoying the person who’s trapped and shut down for 40 years, I’m enjoying the results of what occurs within the ’50s.”
I just wanted to bring my own simplicity and honesty to the role. I think it works. It’s interesting. Otherwise, Michael would’ve aged Emma Corrin, Harry Stiles and David Dawson, and they would’ve put lots of latex on them and aged them up. It’s quite nice that you see they’re different people 40 years later.
“Revenge is a mom.”