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Matt Dillon Talks About ‘Armored’

Academy Award nominee Matt Dillon got set on fire, but it was all part of the script. On the set of Armored, Dillon plays a security guard trying to rob his own money truck. After things go wrong, there’s fire all over the place. The director tried a take with Dillon’s leg on fire, and one without. Surprisingly, he liked it flameless better.


Matt Dillon Armored Set Visit Interview

It smells like you’ve got gasoline all over you.

Matt Dillon: “I know they’ve got fire gel all over me under this thing.”

You’ve had a tough day.

Matt Dillon: “Yeah, this is the first movie I’ve been set on fire. These guys are amazing at what they do. But this is fun. I think this rolling around in the dirt doing this stuff, it’s like being a kid again, you know? It’s just a lot of fun.”

It looks like you just went through a war.

Matt Dillon: “It is like a war, this movie. You know that’s what it’s like in…I mean, not in real life! I’m saying that these characters, it’s really funny, I was laughing about the movie really goes through – the characters don’t, but the movie goes through major arcs and the audience will get taken on this ride because it starts out they’re all like friends. They’re like it’s a brotherhood of these guys working for Eagle Shield Security, they sort of come up together. I mean, it’s like a fraternity in a way that the police and firemen are. And in the end it all sort of becomes unglued and greed sort of gets the better of everybody. Or not the better of everybody, almost everybody.”

“It’s kind of fun; my character is very fun. My character is very manipulative and he’s very charming in the beginning, and in the end he kind of turns. He kind of goes south. He turns into a monster. And I like that. I like that because it is who he is, but all is not what it seems with Cochrane. That’s, I think, what I like about this film is you’ve got a really good cast, really interesting actors and each one of them is distinctive. Although it is an action movie, for sure, I think you have to categorize. It’s character-driven. Jean Reno is very specific and Fishburne is very, very specific and everybody’s got their own sort of thing.”

When you have to light your leg on fire and they re-shoot it without your leg on fire, how does that feel?

Matt Dillon: “They like it better than with the leg on fire? Well, I don’t care. I want them to use the best thing and I really trust Nimrod [Antal]. I think he’s got a great eye. He’s got really good instincts. But, look, you gotta go for it. These guys have stunt men around and they might be able to use something.”

What exactly is your role at Eagle Shield Security?

Matt Dillon: “Well, I’m kind of a veteran with the company. I’m the, I guess, captain of his truck. I guess each truck has a team of three and I’m sort of the leader. Laurence Fishburne is sort of the wingman and then in the jumpseat in the back is the young guy, the newcomer, the rookie, which is Columbus [Short]. Jean Reno has that same role in his truck. And he’s a guy that’s been on for a long time, he’s a little disillusioned, trying to make ends meet. He’s got domestic problems at home and he uses that as part of his whole manipulative scheme. He uses the fact that Columbus’ character also is struggling. He uses that and manipulates him and says, ‘Is this the way you want to live your life forever?’ So, that’s what they do. He’s an officer at this security company and that’s his role, his job.”

What other stunts are they having you do yourself?

Matt Dillon: “You know, minor stuff. But you always get banged up a little bit when you’re doing stunt stuff – tackles, bruised rib, kicked in the knee – stuff like that. It’s nothing serious. I’m not doing any like rolling any cars over or jumping off any cliffs. You know, nothing like that.”

How rare is it for a young director to be a good actor’s director? So many of the young directors are visualists who came up working in commercials and videos.

Matt Dillon: “Make no mistake about it, Nimrod [Antal] is a real visual filmmaker. I mean, he’s real visual and he’s really talented and creative. But I think it’s his instincts about performance more than anything else, you know? His eye, his taste… I think so much of it comes down to instincts and tastes with filmmakers because they’re relying on other people to do very specific jobs and they have to trust their gut. He’s got great instincts, great passion. That’s really, really important. I mean, I came on board because I really loved his first film that I saw, Control, and he’s just got so much passion and real creativity. I can’t imagine him doing anything else but being a filmmaker.”


December 4, 2009 - Posted by | 1

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