Review: ‘The Fall Guy’ (2024), starring Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt

April 30, 2024

by Carla Hay

Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt in “The Fall Guy” (Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures)

“The Fall Guy” (2024)

Directed by David Leitch

Culture Representation: Taking place in Sydney and briefly in Los Angeles, the action comedy film “The Fall Guy” (based loosely on the 1981 to 1986 TV series of the same name) features a predominantly white cast of characters (with a few African Americans and Asians) representing the working-class, middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: A stunt double gets involved in a crime mystery while he tries to rekindle a romance that he had with the director of his current movie. 

Culture Audience: “The Fall Guy” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of the movie’s headliners and over-the-top action comedies that are predictable but have entertaining performances.

Teresa Palmer and Aaron Taylor-Johnson in “The Fall Guy” (Photo by Eric Laciste/Universal Pictures)

Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt are a great comedic duo and should have had more scenes together in “The Fall Guy.” Their collaborative scenes are the best parts of this uneven action comedy that is over-the-top but doesn’t take itself too seriously. The movie has a crime mystery that often gets overshadowed by the silly and bombastic stunt scenes in the film that don’t have much suspense. However, “The Fall Guy” doesn’t pretend to be anything but breezy entertainment with cartoonish violence and a little bit of an amusing romance.

Directed by David Leitch and written by Drew Pearce, “The Fall Guy” is based loosely on the 1981 to 1986 TV series of the same name. The TV series was an action drama, starring Lee Majors as the title character: a heroic stuntman. “The Fall Guy” movie released in 2024 is very much a tongue-in-cheek comedy that pokes fun at the movie industry and celebrity culture. “The Fall Guy” had its world premiere at the 2024 SXSW Film and TV Festival.

The movie’s title character is Colt Seavers (played by Gosling), an insecure and sensitive stuntman. For years, Colt has worked as a stunt double for an arrogant actor named Tom Ryder (played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson), who takes Colt for granted. Colt’s career and personal life become derailed after a stunt he was responsible for went very wrong on a movie starring Tom. An ashamed Colt then quit the movie business and then went to work as a parking valet at a restaurant in his hometown of Los Angeles.

Colt has another reason to be miserable: He is sad because of the end of an intense fling he had on the movie set with a sarcastically witty camera operator named Jody Moreno (played by Blunt), who seemed to have strong romantic feelings for him too. However, after Colt’s embarrassing stunt mishap that resulted in Colt quitting the movie business, he abruptly cut off contact with Jody. She interpreted it as Colt harshly dumping her.

One day, Colt gets an urgent call from fast-talking movie producer Gail Meyer (played by Hannah Waddingham), who insists that Colt go back to work as a stuntman for a sci-fi action movie called “Metalstorm,” starring Tom as a character named Space Cowboy. Tom’s real-life lover Iggy Starr (played by Teresa Palmer) has the role of Space Cowboy’s love interest in the movie. “Metalstorm” (which is being filmed in Sydney, Australia) also happens to be Jody’s feature-film directorial debut.

Gail says that Jody requested Colt for this job. But when Colt arrives on the “Metalstorm” movie set, he finds out that this request was a lie. Needless to say, Jody is very upset that Colt will be Tom’s stunt double for “Metalstorm.” Jody huffs to Gail about Colt: “I didn’t approve him!” Jody demands that they find someone else to replace Colt. Gail responds, “We literally have no one else.”

Also on the “Metalstorm” movie set is Dan Tucker (played by Winston Duke), who is Colt’s stunt coordinator and best friend. Dan becomes Colt’s sidekick in a lot of shenanigans that happen in the movie. When Tom goes missing, Colt is ordered by Gail to find Tom. Stephanie Hsu has a small and somewhat thankless role as Tom’s personal assistant Alma Milan. Colt also meets Tom’s drug dealer Doone (played by Matuse), who gives an unwitting Colt a drink spiked with a hallucinogenic drug. Colt hallucinates unicorns in a comedy gag that goes on for a bit too long.

During the search for Tom, Colt goes to Tom’s hotel room and finds a dead man in an ice-filled bathtub, The rest of “The Fall Guy” is a combination of a crime mystery and exaggerated action scenes, with plenty of explosions, car chases and violent fights. Colt and Jody have the expected love/hate banter, where they both don’t want to fully admit how much their breakup hurt them. Their relationship goes exactly where you expect it to go. (Watch the end credits for some “surprise” cameos.)

“The Fall Guy” can get a bit annoying at how it seems to be a little too enamored with its stunt scenes, at the expense of developing the more interesting relationship between Colt and Jody. Colt and Jody trade snappy quips, but the movie isn’t completely convincing when it comes to showing how this would-be couple’s feelings are supposed to evolve over time. The jokes in “The Fall Guy” are hit and miss and elevated by the headlining stars’ comedic talent. It’s the type of movie that could have been better but also could have been a whole lot worse.

Universal Pictures will release “The Fall Guy” in U.S. cinemas on May 3, 2024.

Review: ‘Bullet Train’ (2022), starring Brad Pitt

August 2, 2022

by Carla Hay

Brad Pitt and Benito A Martínez Ocasio (also known as Bad Bunny) in “Bullet Train” (Photo by Scott Garfield/Columbia Pictures)

“Bullet Train” (2022)

Directed by David Leitch

Some language in Japanese, Spanish and Russian with subtitles

Culture Representation: Taking place primarily in Japan, the action film “Bullet Train” features a racially diverse cast of characters (white, black, Asian and Latino) representing the working-class, middle-class, wealthy and the criminal underground.

Culture Clash: A down-on-his luck American assassin has conflicts with international criminals during a ride on a fast-moving train traveling through Japan. 

Culture Audience: “Bullet Train” will appeal primarily to people who are fans of star Brad Pitt; the novel on which the movie is based; and movies that give more importance to loud violence instead of an interesting and innovative story.

Brian Tyree Henry and Aaron Taylor-Johnson in “Bullet Train” (Photo by Scott Garfield/Columbia Pictures)

The jumbled and repetitive “Bullet Train” is just a fast-moving train wreck. The movie has plenty of famous co-stars but ultimately has little substance or imagination as an action comedy. “Bullet Train” over-relies on too many similar gags until it all becomes very dull and obnoxious. After a while, the action starts to look stale and formulaic. With few exceptions, the movie’s characters are no better than soulless, computer-generated characters in a video game.

Directed by David Leitch and written by Zak Olkewicz, “Bullet Train” is based on Kōtarō Isaka’s 2010 Japanese novel “MariaBeetle,” which was translated in English and renamed “Bullet Train” in 2021. In the book, all the characters are Japanese. The “Bullet Train” movie has a cast of international characters, with characters from the United States and the United Kingdom getting most of the screen time. Characters from Japan, Russia and Mexico are secondary characters. “Bullet Train” takes place primarily in Japan but the movie was filmed at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California.

Prior to directing “Bullet Train,” Leitch directed the action feature films “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” (released in 2019) “Deadpool 2” (released in 2018) and “Atomic Blonde,” released in 2017. What all of these movies have in common is that they bit off more than they can chew. They’re very energetic when it comes to action scenes, but they’re very cluttered with sloppily edited characters and plot tangents that don’t necessarily serve the story very well. “Bullet Train” follows that same pattern. A better director would bring more finesse and charm to these movies instead of trying to make audiences think that violent action scenes are enough to make a good action flick.

People don’t really need to read the “Bullet Train”/”MariaBeetle” novel before seeing the “Bullet Train” movie. In fact, people who don’t know anything about the novel might be less disappointed in the “Bullet Train” movie, which dumbs down a lot of things about the novel. The “Bullet Train” movie removes a lot of the intrigue and personality that can be found in the novel, and substitutes it with an emphasis on staging scenes that are supposed to be outrageously violent.

In the “Bullet Train” movie, seven people on board the Nippon Speedline train going from Tokyo to Kyoto find their lives colliding and interwined because of various criminal activities:

  • Ladybug (played by Brad Pitt) is a cynical and unlucky American assassin, whose current mission is to steal a briefcase full of ransom money.
  • Tangerine (played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is a smooth-talking British assassin who likes to wear suits and gold jewelry but sometimes loses his seemingly suave cool with his hair-trigger temper.
  • Lemon (played by Brian Tyree Henry) is Tangerine’s more even-tempered adoptive bother/partner in crime, who takes a more philosophical view of their assassin work and who is fixated on the children’s book/cartoon character Thomas the Tank Engine.
  • The Prince (played by Joey King) is a sociopathic killer who disguises her evil by looking like an innocent teenage schoolgirl. (The character of the Prince was male in the “Bullet Train” novel.)
  • Kimura (played by Andrew Koji) is a quiet, low-level criminal from Japan who’s out for revenge against the Prince for a heinous act committed against Kimura’s son.
  • The Hornet (played by Zazie Beetz) is a sneaky assassin who usually goes undercover in disguise.
  • The Wolf (played by Benito A Martínez Ocasio, also known as Bad Bunny) is a ruthless assassin/gang leader from Mexico.

Ladybug is in constant communication through earpieces with his no-nonsense boss/handler Maria (played by Sandra Bullock), who inexplicably seems to know and see everything on the train. (And no, Ladybug isn’t wearing a secret hidden camera.) Maria is ultimately a character that doesn’t add much to the story except to make Ladybug look even more bungling and foolish than he needed to be.

But in some ways, this odd-couple pairing of Maria and Ladybug would have made a better movie if focused on these two characters, because Bullock (in the limited time that she has in “Bullet Train”) brings a certain charisma to the role that “Bullet Train” lacks overall. Unfortunately, only Maria’s voice is heard for most of “Bullet Train,” which lessens the impact of Bullock’s talent for physical comedy (facial expressions and other body language) that would have benefited “Bullet Train.” It isn’t until toward the end of the movie that Maria appears on screen.

The only interesting trivia note about “Bullet Train” is that cast members Pitt, Bullock and Channing Tatum (who has a useless cameo in “Bullet Train”) were co-stars in another 2022 movie: the romantic comedy “The Lost City.” Neither movie is award-worthy, but at least the comedy in “The Lost City” was depicted in a more skillful way. “Bullet Train” has some sporadic moments where the jokes land as intended, but the rest of the comedy falls very flat. Tatum and “Deadpool” movie franchise star Ryan Reynolds have “Bullet Train” cameos that are quick and underwhelming.

The messy plot of “Bullet Train” involves the kidnapped, unnamed son (played by Logan Lerman) of a Russian mob boss called the White Death (played by Michael Shannon), with Tangerine and Lemon having the responsibility of guarding the son on the train and carrying a briefcase full of ransom money. Ladybug’s job is to steal the money. A running gag in the movie is that Ladybug has encountered some of these criminals before in assassin assignments that he botched, but he has forgotten about these experiences until he’s reminded of them.

Lots of shootouts, explosions, and bloody fights ensue. There’s also a recurring plot device involving snake poison and a Taiwanese Blue Beauty snake. Masi Oka (as the Conductor) and Karen Fukuhara (as Kayda Izumi Concession Girl) have utterly thankless and forgettable roles in this schlockfest.

Except for the wisecracking Ladybug and Kimura’s humble florist father The Elder (played by Hiroyuki Sanada), the characters in “Bullet Train” come across as very hollow, and viewers will have a hard time connecting with most of these characters. There’s no clever mystery in this story that will keep viewers guessing. “Bullet Train” certainly delivers if people want lackluster jokes and cartoonish violence, but it just adds up to a lot of mindless hot air.

Columbia Pictures will release “Bullet Train” in U.S. cinemas on August 5, 2022.

2018 Toronto International Film Festival: ‘Outlaw King’ is opening film; ‘Jeremiah Terminator Leroy’ is closing film; more gala, special presentations films announced

August 14, 2018

The following are press releases from the Toronto International Film Festival:

TIFF announced today that the World Premiere of “Outlaw King,” David Mackenzie’s anticipated  period drama chronicling the rise of 14th-century Scottish hero Robert the Bruce, will be the Opening Night  Gala Presentation for the 43rd Toronto International Film Festival ®  on Thursday, September 6, at Roy Thomson  Hall.

This epic David-versus-Goliath tale reunites award-winning director David Mackenzie ( “Starred Up,” “Young  Adam”) with his “Hell or High Water” actor Chris Pine, who takes on the starring role of the legendary Scottish  king who leads a band of outlaws to reclaim the throne from the clutches of the English crown and its army.  The film also stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Florence Pugh, and Billy Howle.

“TIFF’s Opening Night Film,  ‘Outlaw King,’ tells a powerful story that is rich in drama, excitement, romance, and  adventure,”  said Piers Handling, Director & CEO of TIFF. “Audiences are promised a thrilling journey back in  time, as David Mackenzie masterfully unwraps history with taut dramatic flare and brings to life the true story  of Scottish hero Robert the Bruce. Gripping performances led by Chris Pine and Aaron Taylor-Johnson make  this a classic, entertaining, and action-packed Festival opener.

“Thank you, TIFF , for welcoming our film into the world. The Festival is the perfect launch pad for our realistic  epic, and we are delighted to be the first Scottish film ever to open Toronto,” said director David Mackenzie. “I  cannot imagine a better place to have our World Premiere. Scotland and Canada’s histories are bound  together, forged in the crucible of the struggles of history, bringing this day an affinity and sensibility that I  hope will translate to a profound, visceral, and riotously entertaining experience. We have an amazing cast and  crew working at the top of their game, and we are really looking forward to spreading some Scottish goodwill  on the great city of Toronto.”

“Outlaw King” follows the untold, true story of Robert the Bruce, who transforms from defeated nobleman to  outlaw hero during the oppressive occupation of medieval Scotland by Edward I of England. Despite grave  consequences, Robert seizes the Scottish crown and rallies an impassioned group of men to fight back against the mighty army of the tyrannical King and his volatile son, the Prince of Wales.

Filmed in Scotland, the project was made with the full support of Creative Scotland and the Scottish  government. The film opens in select theatres and launches globally on Netflix November 9, 2018.

The 43rd Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 to 16, 2018.

For film synopses, cast lists, images, and more information, see  tiff.net/galas.

Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy
Laura Dern and Kristen Stewart in “Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy” (Photo courtesy of TIFF)

The Toronto International Festival announced today that the World Premiere of “Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy” will close this year’s Festival. From director Justin Kelly,  “Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy” is based on one of the most  famous literary gambits in American history. Adapted from the memoir  “Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT LeRoy” by Savannah Knoop,  the film  promises a boundary-breaking Closing Night Gala bursting with intrigue.

“With  ‘Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy,’  Justin Kelly brings to the screen a truly unbelievable story that captivated a  nation,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of TIFF. “The storytelling is powerful and the characters are vivid,  really evoking the idea that you have to see it to believe it.”

“I am beyond honored that my film ‘Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy’ will premiere at TIFF as the Closing Night Film,”  said Justin Kelly, director of “Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy.” “I can’t wait for people to see the fascinating true  story behind JT LeRoy, brought to life via incredible performances by a total dream cast.”

This captivating true story goes beyond the headlines to reveal the most compelling literary hoax of our  generation. Laura Albert (Laura Dern) is an author who writes under a fictionalized persona, a disenfranchised  young queer man named JT LeRoy. When her debut novel becomes a bestseller and JT becomes the darling  of the literary world, she comes up with a unique solution to preserve her anonymity while giving life to her nom-de-plume. Enter her boyfriend’s androgynous sister, Savannah Knoop (Kristen Stewart), who connects  with Laura’s punk, feminist, outsider universe and agrees to be JT in the public eye. Together, they embark on a  wild ride of double lives, infiltrating the Hollywood and literary elite — and discovering who they are in the  process.

“Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy” is a film by Elevated Films, The Fyzz Facility, Ingenious Media, Aquarius Content,  Fortitude International, Sobini Films, Thirty Three Productions, LBI Entertainment, and Buffalo Gal Pictures. It  is produced by Patrick Walmsley, Julie Yorn, Thor Bradwell, Gary Pearl, Cassian Elwes, Giri Tharan, Mark Amin,  and Dave Hansen. It stars Kristen Stewart, Laura Dern, Diane Kruger, Jim Sturgess, Kelvin Harrison Jr.,  Courtney Love, James Jagger, and Dave Brown.

The 43rd Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 to 16, 2018.

For film synopses, cast lists, images, and more information, see tiff.net/galas.

The Toronto International Film Festival ®  today unveiled its second batch of titles premiering in the  Gala and Special Presentations programmes in September. Four Gala Presentations and 22 Special  Presentations have been added to the selection of titles already announced.     “We’re rounding out the lineup of Galas and Special Presentations with some of the most exciting films of the  year,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of TIFF. “Audiences won’t want to miss these premieres from a mix of  newcomers and global heavyweights.”    This second announcement brings the total for Galas and Special Presentations to 44 World Premieres, 9  International Premieres, 12 North American Premieres and 11 Canadian Premieres.

The 43rd Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 to 16, 2018.

The Toronto International Film Festival ® today unveiled its second batch of titles premiering in the  Gala and Special Presentations programmes in September. Four Gala Presentations and 22 Special  Presentations have been added to the selection of titles already announced.     “We’re rounding out the lineup of Galas and Special Presentations with some of the most exciting films of the  year,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of TIFF. “Audiences won’t want to miss these premieres from a mix of  newcomers and global heavyweights.”

This second announcement brings the total for Galas and Special Presentations to 44 World Premieres, 9  International Premieres, 12 North American Premieres and 11 Canadian Premieres.

The 43rd Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 to 16, 2018.

GALAS 2018  

Green Book
Peter Farrelly | USA
World Premiere

* Closing Night Film *
Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy
Justin Kelly | Canada/USA/United Kingdom
World Premiere

The Lie
Veena Sud | Canada
World Premiere

*Opening Night Film *
Outlaw King
David Mackenzie | USA/United Kingdom
World Premiere

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS 2018

22 July
Paul Greengrass | Norway/Iceland
North American Premiere

American Woman
Jake Scott | USA
World Premiere

Baby ( Bao Bei Er )
Liu Jie | China
World Premiere

Boy Erased
Joel Edgerton | USA
International Premiere

Driven
Nick Hamm | Puerto Rico/United Kingdom/USA
North American Premiere

Duelles (Mothers’ Instinct)
Olivier Masset-Depasse | Belgium/France
World Premiere

A Faithful Man ( L ‘homme fidèle )
Louis Garrel | France
World Premiere

Gloria Bell
Sebastián Lelio | USA/Chile
World Premiere

Hold the Dark
Jeremy Saulnier | USA
World Premiere

Kursk
Thomas Vinterberg | Belgium/Luxembourg
World Premiere

Legend of the Demon Cat – Director’s Cut
Chen Kaige | China/Japan
World Premiere

Mid90s
Jonah Hill | USA
World Premiere

A Million Little Pieces
Sam Taylor-Johnson | USA
World Premiere

Never Look Away ( Werk ohne Autor )
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck | Germany
North American Premiere

The Quietude ( La Quietud )
Pablo Trapero | Argentina
North American Premiere

Skin
Guy Nattiv | USA
World Premiere

Teen Spirit
Max Minghella | USA
World Premiere

Tell It to the Bees
Annabel Jankel | United Kingdom
World Premiere

Viper Club
Maryam Keshavarz | USA
World Premiere

Vision
Naomi Kawase | Japan/France
International Premiere

Vita & Virginia
Chanya Button | United Kingdom/Ireland
World Premiere

Wild Rose
Tom Harper | United Kingdom
World Premiere

For film synopses, cast lists, images, and more information, see tiff.net/galas and tiff.net/specialpresentations

Festival tickets go on sale September 3 at 10am (TIFF Member pre-sale September 1 from 10am to 4pm). Buy  tickets online at tiff.net , by phone at 416.599.TIFF or 1.888.599.8433, or in person at a box office. See box  office locations and hours at tiff.net/tickets .

TIFF prefers Visa.

Social Media:

@TIFF_NET

#TIFF18

Facebook.com/TIFF

About TIFF

TIFF is a charitable cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through  film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival  in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, major exhibitions, and learning and  entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates  an annual economic impact of $189 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors  including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the  Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC. For more information, visit tiff.net.

The Toronto International Film Festival is generously supported by Lead Sponsor Bell, Major Sponsors RBC,  L ’Oréal Paris, and Visa, and our Major Supporters the Government of Ontario, Telefilm Canada, and the City  of Toronto.

This film is eligible for the Grolsch People’s Choice Award. Vote for your favourite films at tiff.net/vote .

The Gala programme is made possible through the generous   sponsorship of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts .

August 21, 2018 UPDATE: 

The Toronto International Film Festival ® today announced two new films that will premiere as part  of the Special Presentations programme in September. The World Premiere of Neil Jordan’s “Greta” and the North  American Premiere of Brady Corbet’s “Vox Lux” will cap off the Festival’s Special Presentations and bring the total  for the programme up to 24 titles.

“These are two films that explore nuanced narratives with exceptional leading women,” said Kerri Craddock,  Director of Festival Programming at TIFF. “‘Greta’ and ‘Vox Lux’ both offer strong directorial visions, rich  performances, and engaging stories. They complete the package of the Special Presentations programme.”

Neil Jordan’s “Greta” tells the story of a young New York woman named Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz) who strikes  up an unlikely friendship with an enigmatic widow named Greta (Isabelle Huppert). The older woman’s motives  are gradually revealed to be sinister and the film quickly descends into an exploration of loneliness, obsession,  and manipulation. “Greta,” co-written by Jordan and Ray Wright, also stars Colm Feore, Maika Monroe, and Stephen Rea.

In musical drama “Vox Lux,” Brady Corbet’s second feature as writer-director tracks its heroine’s path from  childhood tragedy to a life of fame and fortune. Starring Natalie Portman and Jude Law, the film begins with teenage sisters Celeste (Raffey Cassidy) and Eleanor (Stacy Martin) who survive a violent incident that changes  their lives. The film is both a riveting character study and a perceptive survey of the cultural shifts that have  shaped a generation.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson backstage at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards

January 9, 2017

by Carla Hay

The 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards took place on January 8, 2017, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.

AARON TAYLOR-JOHNSON

Golden Globe win:

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

(“Nocturnal Animals”)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H15PPd6BWG0

Here is what this Golden Globe winner said backstage in the Golden Globe Awards press room.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards
Aaron Taylor-Johnson at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on January 8, 2017. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

BACKSTAGE INTERVIEW

What was the most challenging part of your role in “Nocturnal Animals”?

You know, every day was pretty intense and grueling. I think maybe the first day of shooting the big car sequence. Jake Gyllenhaal is a talented actor, and my role was to provoke and manipulate him and trying to get a reaction. And I think that was my challenge to give him as much material to work from, so I wanted to be as giving as possible.

What is your dream passion project?

To be working with people I enjoy working with. I love different characters, and I love to explore different genres, but it’s such a luxury to do what we do. You want to just work with the people that are also passionate and enjoy it too.

You got to briefly thank your parents in your acceptance speech right at the end. Do you want to expound on that at all?

Well yeah, I guess if I could … I started acting when I was 6 years old, so they gave me that opportunity, and I ran with it. I found my passion, and if it wasn’t for that and the fact that they … kind of encouraged me to do what I enjoy doing that I wouldn’t be here.

They just encouraged me to do what I enjoy doing. My mother would take me up and down from [where] I lived outside the city and I would get trained take about an hour and a half to get in. If I had an audition when I was young, she was there to support me and be by my side. She gave up her job to really help me do what I’m doing.

Are you wearing Tom Ford tonight? What did your parents say when they saw you play this role in “Nocturnal Animals”?

Yes, this is a Tom Ford tux. And my parents—shout out to them actually to see me because they got up at 4 a.m. They’re living in Qatar, so they’re watching on their TV screen right now, and I know they’re just extremely proud … I think they saw [“Nocturnal Animals”] at the London Film Festival, and they were just I don’t know … This is a really hard movie to watch. I think they were pulled in by the thriller, so they were moved.

The character is an extreme type of guy. A lot of people know you for starring in “Kick-Ass,” where you played a very moral character. Your character in “Nocturnal Animals” is the opposite. So how do you prepare for that?

I’m grateful for the opportunity from Tom Ford. I was perplexed why he chose me for a role like this because this is definitely something out of my comfort zone and a challenge. It was intense and grueling, and I spent three months prior to making the movie watching documentaries on serial killers or psychopaths.

And this guy was set in West Texas, so I would listen to characters from there, dialect-wise, and we kind of went from there. You know I had a lot of sleepless nights watching this material. Psychologically, it’s hard.

You sported some very serious facial hair in this role. Can you tell us the story behind that and how it affected your performance?

I remember Tom offering the job in summertime and it was about three months prior to making the movie. And he just said, “Grow your hair out, grow your beard, grow your fingernails out so that I have enough to play with. I don’t even know what I’m going to do yet but I just need to kind of be out to see what I can play with.” And that’s what he did. He got a razor out and he personally like gave me muttonchops. He took the chin off and played around, and they straightened my hair, and we started to mold this character.

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