Peter Stormare Talks To CBM About "Lockout"
Peter Stormare Talks to CBM Via roundtable about "Lockout" The new Sci-Fi action thriller!
Peter Stormare Talks to CBM Via roundtable about "Lockout" The new Sci-Fi action thriller!
Audio Version: (Turn the volume up, we had audio boost issues)
Q: You play a classic role in this film.
Peter Stormare: Yeah.
Q: We’re not sure what you’re all about. You hide that nicely.
PS: Oh cool. It was a really great script. I got it in my hand, I got an offer, and then I just talked to this crazy Irish guy… *laughs* But then I got a call from [Luc] Basson’s office saying that he’s producing and would like to see me in the movie and I took that as a really great invitation. I was supposed to work with Basson in another movie and ever since that day, I hoped there was going to be a second chance. This is sort of a second chance and the whole concept was great. It’s just a little bit different than…I haven’t seen the final product. I’m busy doing movies so I don’t have time for the movie theaters. But it’s always nice, sometimes, with the European mind in the American action drama. It becomes a little bit different. Not always better, but sometimes. It’s not the same ‘paint by numbers’ stuff.
Q: Room for tone.
PS: Yeah. More room for characters. Not just one guy in the middle and a lot of ‘shoot 'em up’ on the sides. It’s more like a gallery of different personalities.
Q: The opening kind of tells us this is going to be a different movie, though.
PS: Yeah it is. I’ve seen the opening. It’s a little bit of old film noir…Raymond Chandler, Mickey Spillane. It’s a little bit flirting with the good ole movie making front.
Q: Is that what you saw in the script? The mix of the…
PS: Yeah, yeah. I saw a bit of flirting with genres. I think that sometimes Luc Basson incorporates genres in a very, very talented way. The whole opening…it could be Humphrey Bogart sitting there…Raymond Chandler…The Big Easy or something.
Q: Your guy’s more of a bureaucrat than one of the soldiers. That’s kind of different for you.
PS: Yeah, it’s nice. Maybe it’s the coming of age. Also, I think I’ve done a lot of bad guys, so sometimes it’s an honor to work with a director who wants to do a little different twist on me and not just doing a regular bad guy because there’s a lot of people who can do that. I tried to make him a little bit different than now. It’s supposed to be in the future, it’s not supposed to be ‘The United States of America.’ It’s ‘The United States.’ I don’t know how many different nationalities there are in the movie but we’re supposed to come from all over the world. It’s just nice to be dressed in a nice suit and have a nice hair do and not be shooting up people all the time or be drenched in blood. *laughs*
Q: I know you haven’t seen the final product, but do you feel like the script changed from when you first received it?
PS: No, absolutely not. I think that’s, maybe, the personality of Basson. Sometimes in Europe – I know because you can get money from the film commission, you can get money from…whether you’re doing a movie in Holland or France or England or Scandinavia, where I’m from – you can get money from the government and sometimes you can pitch a movie on a piece of paper and you can get a grant because you have a couple of people saying ‘I’m interested in the project.’ You get money and when they start, the script is not worth that. Then you spend so much time sitting up after shooting, with the director and with the other actors, trying to solve tomorrow’s scenes. I think Basson is wise enough. He wants a script that is perfect for shooting and I know that he was really on top of everything. He saw dailies as much as he could and was on top of the script. I think he would not have agreed with the project without saying ‘this script would fit. This is really, really good.’ So there were not a lot of changes. Not for me, anyway.
Q: I hear he’s really involved in the editing.
PS: Yeah most talented directors know they can use the editing and ADR as a tool.
Q: ADR is additional dialogue recording.
PS: Yeah, he’s like looping the calling [sic] sometimes, he puts voices on…As an actor, I love it because you can add to your character, you can twist your character, you can be off camera, you can add a line and stuff like that. You can expand your character, add more depth.
Q: Do you see this guy as not really a bad guy?
PS: I don’t know. If you work for a president, you can blame it on the president, I guess. *laughs* You’re like a soldier, but more up there. You’re like a soldier with a good salary and a nice suit. I don’t know if he’s necessarily a bad guy, but it depends on how you see the president. He sort of represents CIA. In the future, there will be…we already have it. It’s very strange when you look at the Middle East, where they shoot each other up now and there’s a lot of destruction going on, but at the same time, they play soccer tournaments. It’s crazy. It’s Syria meets Lebanon in soccer…The world’s becoming very, very strange with this peace in some secluded areas. Then there’s war and peace and war. In the future, I think it would be nice to have a place to shoot up criminals to. *laughs* To shoot them away somewhere. I’m against the death penalty, but sometimes I have a hard time seeing somebody that has done horrendous things do…I don’t know. I don’t know if there’s justice in the afterlife, but I think my character represents people that exist today and they will exist in the future. I try to see them as ‘good guys’ because without them, bad guys would take over completely. They are trying to protect human beings like us – trying to do a decent living and trying to be decent human beings. They are trying to
protect those people. I see him as a good guy; as a guy who does his duty. I don’t think his conscious is a hundred percent clean. I think he’s done things he didn’t want to do, but it’s part of his job. It’s sort of being a soldier in a way. Some people have to go and some people have to stay. I think he’s done the best for his country and for the people he represents.
Q: Did you make up a back-story with Basson?
PS: A little bit. It’s hard when you do a movie in the future. I’m sorry, I don’t even know if they just say ‘in the future.’
Q: Near future.
PS: Near future, which is good, because when they say, ‘2001,’ you know? *laughs* When George Orwell…1984 seemed like a million years, now we’re way past 1984. It’s very hard when you do a movie in the future, [figuring out] what you’ve done in the past. It’s easier when it’s about today or a historic thing. It’s easy to make up a back-story together. We have a past together, but we try not to reveal t to the audience because it’s supposed to be a secret thing. We’ve worked together before. But it’s not there in the script and to plant the mold in there would just make it confusing for the audience.
Q: Did you discuss anything with Guy?
PS: Yeah a little bit, as you do as an actor. I like him a lot and we’ve gotten along really good, so we spent some time and we had beautiful green rooms there. Absolutely brand new, in Serbia of all places. It’s so polluted and so dirty so poor, but they had a beautiful newly built studio. Everything was IKEA, but it was beautiful. *laughs*
Q: Being Scandinavian, you knew all about that!
PS: Yeah, I hate putting them together, but…But yeah, we talked. It also makes in the chemistry of when you act together. But not necessarily what we did together. It’s nice when you click with another actor. We have a lot of scenes. It’s boring if you don’t get along, but I usually get along with everybody. He was really nice and we had a lot of really good conversations and we went over the lines and everything. We changed here and there, but we got everything approved, so that’s cool.
Q: International cast, Irish directors, Swedish, Aussie…
PS: I’m American, really. I was born and raised in Sweden. After the EU invention, I’m double, which is kind of a betrayal to SAG. In Europe, sometimes when they do a movie – not this one – sometimes they want you to work on your European passport.
Q: Is it cheaper? Tax benefits?
PS: Yeah they get some [funds] from the Film Funds of Europe, but sometimes it’s confusing to the movies in Europe because sometimes you have to work with people who don’t understand English and usually everybody speaks English in the movie. A lot of movies never shown here, but for the European audiences…they become big movies in Europe and mainly everybody talks English. Of course it’s nice to work with an international cast. It’s always great to have people from different countries come together. It’s not boring to go to New Mexico to shoot a movie with only Americans, not boring at all, but it’s a special flavor to go to a European country.
Q: how does an actor maintain a sense of self when you’re being uprooted all the time? It’s like you’re gypsies.
PS: Yeah. *laughs* It is a strange kind of life, but on and off, you have the feeling of, ‘gee, I wish I worked nine to five and had Saturdays and Sundays off.’ And when it happens, you get the jitters. I love my twelve hours and then sit in a trailer for six. I’m busy in the trailer too. I do a lot of music, I write, I’ll see a movie once in a while, I’ll listen to radio…You know, you have ipads, iphones, and computers today.
Q: So you’re connected.
PS: Yeah, always. The luxury of being on the set the last two, three years is that they always have wireless Internet. You do all of your office work and email. You prep for the next day, you read scenes.
Q: So if anything, you can be distracted.
PS: Yeah, but I was born with too much curiosity. I love to visit other countries to find out what they’re eating, what their habits are. I like to walk, I like to meet regular people. As an actor, you’re sometimes…privileged. Sometimes you work a six day week and you have Sunday off and maybe the next week, you only work two days and get four days off and then you can always…
Q: …go see Serbia.
PS: Yeah, you can take a rental car and go to a small little place somewhere. I had the luxury in Serbia to have my wife and kid with me so we had a nice time. Not the first week. We stayed in a hotel suite and everything, but everybody was smoking. Everyone was smoking. They smoked pipes and they smoked cigars and the pollution of the cars was horrible. You couldn’t go out, you’d throw up. It was just so polluted. We had to move the family to this beautiful apartment away. Then we were in the middle of a ban. There ‘s no more smoking in restaurants and open places.
Q: Did they follow it?
PS: Well, they didn’t follow the rules. *laughs* You know, were we were, here was a big hotel with a couple of suites. The main area had a bar, open buffet 24 hours, hot food and breakfast and ice you can get into your suite. But it’s very hard to tell someone, ‘sir, we’ve got a kid here, can you stop smoking the cigar?’ [with Serbian accent] ‘Vhy?’ ‘Well, this kid..’ [Serbian accent] ‘Kids love cigars.’ *laughs* Then you just walk out of there. ‘We’ll downstairs to the restaurant where there’s no smoking at two tables. It’s like on airplanes before – smoke on one side and not on the other. *laughs* But it’s exotic to see…Now I’ve seen Serbia, I’ve seen the plus and minus of Communism and how it’s run today. It’s a luxury. I’m sure there are people who think it’s very, very boring but I am full of energy and curious.
Q: How old is your kid?
PS: Three years soon.
Q: So he probably won’t remember this then.
PS: No, we’ve got a lot of this [gestures to phone and takes an imaginary picture]. *chuckles* But it’s nice to see just…coming to other countries because you come…as you must come as a journalist to see real people, you don’t come as a tourist being by a beach or being by the hotel and people say ‘follow me.’ It’s like you’re there. You become Serbian for six weeks or you become what country you’re in. you become one of theirs. Go to the markets – it’s just great fun to go to a farmer’s market and find exotic stuff. My wife is a great cook, I’m a good cook – I’m an EXCELLENT cook. *laughs* But she is a fantastic cook, so we buy a lot of local food and we try them out.
Q: What do you think the future holds?
PS: Unfortunately, we don’t have people in prisons circling the earth. I’m a very optimistic guy. I try to stay away from all the negativity and the whole thing about the world ending in the year 2000 or the world ending 2012. I don’t know what to say. If the world ends on the 21st of 2012, there’s nothing I can do about it. The only thing I’m going to make sure of is I’m going to die happy. I’m going to die happy. I’m not going to start the day having anxiety for something that’s going to happen the 21st of December. If that happens, it will happen. But up to the last minute, I’m going to be a happy human being trying to work for the good things in life. I think by staying positive, you can help so much more and with just some prayers…To just send compassion to other people in the world who are really fighting to stay alive sometimes brings more energy to the light. Instead of just giving ten dollars and forgetting about it. It’s a real way of living that I really like. I don’t know what’s going to happen to me tonight. Some people die in their sleep. More people die in their sleep than in traffic accidents. Life is so brittle and it’s pretty short, so I try to
enjoy life to the fullest every moment like this. You have a press junket and a lot of people are like, ‘oh no.’ I say, ‘well, I’m gonna meet a lot of cool people.’
Q: You’ll meet them in the next room.
Q: Thank you!
PS: Thank you for having me.
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