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Author Topic: 27 Feb interview about "Outpost"  (Read 2587 times)
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« on: February 27, 2008, 03:09:28 PM »

The Punisher Talks Outpost
We sit down with actor Ray Stevenson about his latest project!

Source: IGN DVD
27 February 2007

February 27, 2008 - Ray Stevenson may best be known as Titus Pullo on HBO's hit series Rome, but he's about to take up his most high-profile starring role as the iconic Punisher. While comic-fans wait for Frank Castle to take on the world's most notorious villains, Stevenson will next appear in the low-budget horror film Outpost hitting DVD on March 11, 2008. We had a chance to chat with Stevenson about his upcoming projects, as well as score a few words about Punisher, as well.


IGN: You've very slowly becoming the go-to guy for characters who are both intensely fierce yet incredibly complex. That must be very rewarding as an actor, to walk that line.

STEVENSON: I must admit, I'm a little overwrought, but I'm absolutely delighted. One thing that I try to do with these characters is not to play the hard man, the dick-swinger. I've always looked hard for the internal workings and try to make them real and discover what makes them tick. In my experience, the hardest men I've ever met were the most gentle guys you could ever be around. The worst ones are the ones who are always posturing and dick-swinging – the ones who couldn't punch their way out of a paper bag. I'm just really thrilled that people are seeing what I'm bringing to these roles…There's always a lot more to people than meets the eye, no matter how much you'd like to pigeon-hole them.

IGN: Certainly the brutality of Titus in Rome was made more effective by all of the other character elements you'd brought him.

STEVENSON: In the early stages, he was written as the big, dopey, friendly doorman, but that wasn't how I wanted to play him at all. And I was fortunate to have the support of the producers. Nor did I have to change the lines; I just had to give him real depth. He's never going to stand up and say, "My sword is bigger than your sword." He'd rather eat his chicken and drink his wine and when he's called to action, he'll kill you.

IGN: You've got a horror film ready to hit DVD -- Outpost. How did that project come about?

STEVENSON: The thing about Outpost was that it came to me as I was just finishing Rome…I read it and I thought that I really hangs together. I'm not horror fan, or a zombie fan, so I didn't know the world. I didn't know the rules. But I'm aware that they do have very, very keen followings. So reading the script was about looking at the characters. It's a great ensemble piece. It flies. And when I met with the director in London, his enthusiasm was boundless – his knowledge, his passion. You don't go into anything with a guarantee, but you can guarantee when you feel that somebody is worth working with and when you feel you can bring something to a project. A friend gave me a fantastic book – the Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks – which really gave me a sense that you can't treat a subject like this lightly. You can't be dismissive and play hardy with it…You have a responsibility to the audience – that you're not going to cheat them.

IGN: How was the experience of filming?

STEVENSON: It was a five-week shoot, so you can imagine the pressures. The cast was terrific; they really put together a great bunch of people. Everybody was so committed. We knew that the budget was tight. We were blessed by the film-gods for weather. There were days we'd be shooting and we'd know that we had only one take for something and, as they say, fear focuses the mind. The energy was incredible…We just tried to do such a good job that we'll all be allowed to do it again!

IGN: Speaking of being allowed to do something again, you're about to embark on what I'm sure many people hope will be the first of several great Punisher films. What was it like tackling the character?

STEVENSON: It was fantastic. It was beyond any of my expectations. I didn't watch the Thomas Jane film beforehand. We were taking a completely new slant. We weren't doing numbers. It's not Punisher 3; it's Punisher: Warzone. We're going exclusively for the MAX series with Garth Ennis writing and Tim Bradstreet doing the cover illustrations. That was the look – the New York, night-time predator, with all the incredible, dark psyche that goes along with him. Certainly not a superhero, but an anti-hero.

IGN: And again – a strong character with legitimate depth.

STEVENSON: This guy is really on a trajectory. Things have happened in his life; he's a vigilante. Some people are beyond redemption and it doesn't matter how many criminal dollars you have to buy the very best criminal lawyers – if you're beyond redemption, that's it. One of the lines from Garth: "If you work for the devil, you better be prepared to die for him." When you really get behind and underneath that, it's a very dark place to be. It's a very human feeling, but to actually systematically go about it as a mission – as a job of work – you know that you're damned. Every choice you make only damns you deeper. There's no light at the end of your tunnel, but you're doing it so that other people can live in that light.

IGN: And you'd be ready to dawn the trench-coat and t-shirt again?

STEVENSON: Hopefully, we'll get a franchise. I'd be delighted to play Frank again. We've opened him with this one; we've opened up wounds. It was a very interesting journey as an actor because it really does raise some quite severe moral and social issues. The state can still kill people, but we can't license individuals to kill people. We've advanced, as it were. Yet if somebody harmed my son, I would absolutely stop their seed. I don't think I'd be big enough, or magnanimous enough, to allow due process. And if they got off, how would I feel then? But where is the advancement if we constantly revert back to eye-for-an-eye, to the ancient law of retribution? Are you happy that he's out there, knowing full well that you'll never be a target? But what if you transgress? Where does he draw his line?

IGN: Jigsaw is obviously the villain with this film, but what other Punisher villains would you like to go up against?

STEVENSON: There's obviously Barracuda. He's indestructible. It's that old paradox – the unstoppable force meets the immovable object. But I think that the most interesting thing for me is that Frank is constantly coming up against Frank. He's always his own greatest adversary. Hopefully, it doesn't sound too patsy. It's not meant to be diversionary. Jigsaw has been an amazing adversary, but in the long scheme of things, Frank still has a core of what it really means to be human. It's just a question of what constitutes a soul – of what is good and what is bad – and so his greatest adversary of all time with always be himself.

IGN: So what's next?

STEVENSON: I'm just about to go up to New Orleans to start a movie called Cirque Du Freak with Selma Hayek, John C. Riley and Ken Wantanabe. I'm playing the lead vampire – the lead bad-guy…This will be great fun. Here I get a chance to play a bourgeoning Stalin or Hitler. It should be such a romp. It's creature, it's carnival, it's traveling street show. It should be a hell of a ride!

TP icon
"I like to kill my enemy, take their gold, and enjoy their women."
Rayligious Fanatic
Posts: 1562

« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2008, 03:18:12 PM »

Thank you TP. :peck: :hugtwo:

Still one question:  where on earth is Ray if New Orleans is "up"?  Of is he just bad at geography?

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