And you mentioned the kind of innocence in him, and frankly your performance reminded me a great deal of Anthony Perkins in Psycho...just kind of the cold stoicism, but also like that seeming innocence, “you wouldn’t hurt a fly.” So, was that an inspiration for you?
Never seen Psycho! I haven’t seen Psycho. I’ve never seen Shadow of Doubt. And it’s funny because there was something written in a press pack saying Director Park had seen it – I could see what people talk about. I’m really glad I haven’t seen the film, because I’d be worried that I’d subconsciously be leaking in with gestures or whatever, so thank you. That’s a very nice compliment as that’s kind of an iconic performance from Anthony Perkins.
But they share similar strains. I mean, I don’t dress up and you know... It’s funny, it’s the only bit of Psycho I’ve seen is the end, because they were going to do Hitchcock and James D’Arcy did it and actually he looks far more like him and he’s brilliant. I was going to have the, before I was going to get on the line with the director, who’s a lovely English guy, and he’s like, “Just see a little bit,” and I saw the excerpt the mom dressed up with the skirt…Fuck! I fucking hate horror films! [laughs]
Why do you hate horror films?
I don’t like to be scared! I don’t like it! And this isn’t really, it’s not a quintessential horror film. So yeah, I think I could probably make one, but I’d hate watching it. Fuck! I remember almost choking on popcorn in Madrid, when I was shooting a film over there. We watched The Ring or something, and the first time that girl’s face comes up with the tongue out and I went [pretends to jump back in fright] And I started choking with a piece of popcorn and the whole fucking audience is laughing and I’m like, “I can’t breathe and you’re laughing their ass off, alright!” Jesus!
And I do want to dive into the psychology of this character, because it’s so fascinating. This is a character who’s not only hiding a secret, he’s hiding a secret obsession - he is completely obsessed with India. Even when you’re doing scenes that aren’t necessarily bringing up that obsession, is that always there in your mind?
Well, he’s been living with it for years. He has a birthday each year. He’s obviously found out, since he’s been locked up that... I’m sorry...we can’t mention that really. He’s been on holiday! But from Mrs. McGarrick. She’s the person that helps him. So, that’s intrigued him. And I suppose in some sense you kind of go, “Someone like me.” It’s like kindred spirits and it’s not a sexual thing or anything at that point. I think it’s just, he wants to go out into the world together and do some fucking dark shit [laughs]. Really! So, it’s an obsession, and yet, at the same time it’s a timeline on it. He can leave that place anytime he wants, for quite a long time. For the past few years, he’s decided to stay there. And it’s a shame, actually. There was some more footage, that was shot at the institution. I was meant to be mounted with a camera, there was meant to be another bit when I die at the end. You can’t reveal that!
I’ll have plenty of spoiler warnings, don’t worry [laughs].
So yeah, it’s always in his mind. It is obsessive, about someone he’s never met, so, who knows what he’s expecting when he turns up and that’s all part of the fun of it. I don’t know. It’s a very unhealthy obsession. It is very much about her becoming...he’s waited in like a fair way for her to come of age. I don’t want to corrupt her before, but once she’s 18 fair is fair! [laughs] It’s like, she’s allowed to drive a car, she’s allowed to murder people now.
I’ve talked to actors before who’ve played killers and they always tell me that on some level they have to have a justification for the character. The character can’t just be pure evil. There has to be an understanding within themselves, even if it’s not necessarily explained in the film. But Charlie is such a monster, and has such this awful demon within him. I’m curious, do you have a justification for him?
Well, I don’t think, he doesn’t come back just to kill. I think in his way, he’s like, I can come back. I can be close to India. I’ll be in my brother’s house. You know? That’s what he wants. But every step of the way, the super objective is to get back with India, this person he’s obsessed with. And people get in the way of that. Mrs. McGarrick gets in the way of that. His brother gets in the way of that. Also his brother does that... You know, he was in love with his brother. He’s jealous of his younger brother. So, that’s the reason that he... [dances around spoiler]
I understand! It’s a hard movie not to spoil!
It really is, because it’s not a whodunit. You know pretty early on...
Something’s fucked up with this dude.
He’s mental! But, it’s true. There’s got to be some sort of a justification there and also, there’s some stuff, when you film stuff, things can be interpreted, that you hadn’t even planned for, just cause you blinked and someone might read into that. And so, conversely, sometimes people think you’ve done something and I don’t know. You still get your happy accidents, which always happens when you’ve got cameras on you. It’s just a really interesting exercise.
No. it’s fascinating.
There’s something so heightened about trying to be real with it.