BY Duane Wells
September 25 2009 5:00 PM ET
Was Liam Macklin the most wicked character you’ve ever portrayed on film?
interesting because I did a film for here! called In Her Line of Fire
with Mariel Hemingway and David Keith. In that particular film I played
a psychotic ex-marine mercenary ... [and] for that character I had tats on
and a shaved head ... the whole jarhead haircut and everything. That
character was more visibly psychotic. With this character [Macklin] I
had to sit on everything, which is actually more menacing because you
don’t know what my character is going to come up with.
Indeed. In fact, it’s the unknown depth of your character’s sort of psychotic nature that makes him most compelling to watch.
think we’re most fearful of the people who don’t show anything at all.
My character is not a raving lunatic -- he’s just silent the entire time. Ron Oliver, the director, wanted [Macklin], this hired
assassin [who is] employed by the Margot Kidder character, to not be
quite up with technology and how younger people were communicating.
[He] wanted him to be not quite with it, which I thought was
interesting as well. All he knows how to do is kill and follow orders
with no sense of self at all.
How did you prepare to be so deliciously bad in this role, and what were you thinking about as you did?
think all of us have a lot of inner rage, and whether it is allowed to
come out or not is what defines whether you’re sane or not. An actor
can take some of that inner rage that we all have and make it translate
to camera and get it out. It’s like the whole primal scream thing.
allowed as a person because of what I do to get it out, and I think you
just tap into that as an artist. You just tap into what ticks oneself
off, and once you do that, then when the right moment comes on-screen
you can just let it out and it comes from a very real place. That’s
joyous for an actor. That’s joy to be able to tap into real things and
go through with it.
Did you make any special concessions to your character on the set while you were shooting the film?
a Method actor, so I consciously did not want to become friends with the
cast. I’m a really friendly guy, but it’s hard to be on a set and be
like, "Oh, yeah, great car" and "Oh, you did this last night" and then go
into a murderous rage. It comes off fake. So I did keep myself
separate from most of the ensemble cast and I found that was great
because my character didn’t know them and there was a sense of
discovery throughout the movie ... of discovering who these young people
Again, being Method, I didn’t want to know a lot about [the
cast] personally because it didn’t service the piece. So it was a very
lonely shoot in a way. I didn’t fraternize with the cast in between
takes because I was basically in character and I didn’t want to have