Director Dean Devlin, along with his stars David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, as well as writer Brandon Boyce, are out in full force this week to promote their new film, Bad Samaritan, which is opening this week on May 4, 2018. The film follows Sean Falco(Robert Sheehan), young valet who while running a clever home robbery scam, discovers a woman being held captive in the house of a psychopath (David Tennant). After a moment of panic causes him to leave her behind, the valet must find a way to rescue her while enduring the wrath of the kidnapper. One the press day for the film in Los Angeles, we got to sit down and talk to Devlin, Tennant, Sheehan, and Boyce about the upcoming film in a very entertaining and informative panel about the film and its production. Below are some of the big highlights that we learned during the press day:
- David Tennant jumped at the chance to play Cale Erendreich because it was an amazing story, and an amazing set up, and a really bonkers character. He wasn’t looking to play another psychotic character, but he couldn’t pass on the chance to tackle Cale, and to explore those darker sides of the human psyche.
- David also said that you have to try to find the empathy of the character that you’re playing, which can be very hard for a character like Cale, who has none in his life.
- Writer Brandon Boyce said the idea started with current technology, and how we spend so much time giving our cars to valets, especially in Los Angeles where it’s an everyday occurrence for those who live in this city. But then he took that idea of what if the valet stole the car and broke into the customer’s house, only to find that the person’s house they broke into has his own set of secrets.
- Director Dean Devlin said that he was a huge fan of both David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, both from their time on Doctor Who and Misfits respectively, and that he was dying to work with them. Both were his first choice for their roles in Bad Samaritan.
- Boyce said that originally made up a lot of the technology for the film, but was surprised that technology seems to actually be catching up to what he had set up within this film.
- Tennant said he had no problem going between his character and then himself between takes in the film, which he joked may have been a bit worrying. But to dabble in a character has no guilt in a safe environment like a movie set, it’s a bit of a giddy experience.
- Sheehan followed up that there’s something almost cathartic about dabbling in the dark side of the human psyche in a film like this, calling it almost therapeutic in nature.
- Both Tennant and Sheehan find that their characters both see something in each other, even though that their lives are so different, that almost intoxicates them. Sheehan related it to the relationship between Batman and the Joker.
- The film’s big finale in a snowy landscape was a happy accident, as the production had been hit with five separate snow storms during the shoot. Tennant joked that it they could never afford that on their budget, so it gave the film a great place to end.
- Tennant said that he sees Cale’s biggest wound and weakness in his life is probably his lack of self awareness of what he’s become. Cale’s his past has left him incredibly broken and damaged, fatefully so, but he doesn’t believe that he is, and that it’s actually everyone around him who is.
- When asked if there was ever a villain that scared him growing up, and if he used it in his performance, Tennant said the villain that scared him the most growing up was the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He says that the character utterly terrified him growing up, but then joked he’ll leave it up to the audience to see if it influenced his performance in any way.
- Dean Devlin said that David’s first day on set was his favorite day of the film, because it was just so special to have him on set that night. He also said that his wife and kids are also in the film, so the whole production just felt personal for him.
- Sheehan and Tennant both said that their favorite time on set was shooting the film’s finale, because it was when they got to spend the most time on set together. Their stories are connected, but it isn’t until the third act they really get to act off each other, so it ended up being the most fun for them.
- When asked if building Cale’s character and where he came from, they didn’t feel the need to explain his past to the audience. Boyce said that you don’t need to explain a shark is a shark, and the hints at his past was enough to fill in the gaps of who he was and where he came from.
- Devlin followed up that if people are curious about his past though, they’ve done their job, because it means the character was intriguing. He said it was a balance to try and keep him mysterious, while also trying to give you just enough information that you understand the character.
- When asked about the film’s production, and how it felt very much like a labor of love, Devlin said that this film is the one that means the most to him compared to anything else he’s done in his career. To shoot, finance, and distribute it one hundred percent independently was a remarkable and incredibly experience. He compared it to a grassroots political campaign, as they’ve gone across country to different conventions to build word and awareness for the project.
Bad Samaritan, starring David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, and directed by Dean Devlin, opens on May 4, 2018 nationwide.