Interview: Boondock Saints II's Sean Patrick Flanery
Who would have thought weíd see a sequel to The Boondock Saints? First of all, the film didnít have much of a theatrical run and even after it attained cult status via DVD, the hope to make a second film was an on again, off again concept. Well, the time has come. The film is complete and weíre less than two months away from its release.
Its obvious there are tons of fans out there psyched about seeing the McManus brothers back in action in The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, but itís Conner McManus himself, Sean Patrick Flanery, that is especially thrilled about the October 30th release. Yes, in Hollywood when you have a film as successful as The Boondock Saints, a sequel is likely in the future, but All Saints Day is far from a mere effort to capitalize on the success of the original film. Itís particularly special for the fans and the cast as well. Eleven years later, thereís nothing Sean would rather do than bring back Conner McManus.
The Boondocks Saints was only initially released on five screens in the entire county. Did you ever think it would amass such a large cult following?
I never knew. You never know. I knew a lot of people dug it. I knew it was kind of a cult film but you never know. The industry is so weird, you never know. I mean, you absolutely never know so I never count on anything.
What do you think it was about that movie that drew people in?
Realistically I think itís because itís what everybody wants to happen in life. For example that cat on the news that raped that 4-year-old girl and he got a year in prison. I donít think thereís a person in the United States that doesnít think that thatís a fairly lenient punishment. And probably the majority of the people would like to see him get his brains blown out. Even the most adamant Iím-against-the death-penalty people on the globe, if it happened to their child, wow, you know? Suddenly they want somebody out there to take care of business. I think they saw someone doing what they wanted to be done.
I bet you never thought youíd have the chance to reprise your role as Conner McManus. Howíd you feel when you found out a sequel was actually going to be made?
Well, I thought killer. I thought it was great. I dug the first one and had a ball making the first one with everybody. Weíre still buddies. Itís one of those few films where even after the filming you still hang out with the people. That doesnít happen very often in L.A. and in Hollywood. It was just a bunch of guys getting back together again. It was really cool.
So, what was it like when the time came to actually reunite on the set?
It was like we didnít even miss a beat. Seriously, it was like we didnít miss a beat.
Can you tell me a little about the plot?
Well, I donít want to give too much away but something happens that brings us back to Boston and something happens that leads the public to believe that we did something wrong so we kind of have to come back and sort that out. And we do; we do just that.
What about the new characters? Where do they come in?
Clifton Collinsí character, Romeo, we meet him on a cargo ship coming to the United States. Heís a really humorous injection into the story, just a really funny character. Great dude to work with and I think itís a breakout role too. I think his role is going to be really memorable.
What about Julie Benz?
Everyone knows her from Dexter, so this is a complete departure from what she plays. She plays this southern belle investigator, this homicide investigator. The two breakout characters are Julie Benzís character and Cliftonís character Romeo. I think theyíre great, great roles.
Why didnít Willem Dafoe return to reprise his role as Paul Smecker?
Realistically we had one version for him a few years ago when we were going to make it, but then litigation prevented it and then he was booked up so we had to write him out and by the time it got around to making it he was available again, but we didnít have time to rewrite the script again.
I hear you have a black belt. Do Conner and Murphy stick with firearms as their weapons of choice or do you get to show off any of your martial arts skills?
Itís pretty much, you know, just street fighting and guns, weapons. Itís not a Jackie Chan film. As much as Iíd love to do some fighting in it, there is some fighting, but street fight stuff.
Did you get into that as a kid?
Yeah, I got into Taekwondo when I was nine and I started training Muay Thai and Brazilian Jujitsu later in life. For the last years now Iíve had my own academy where I train Brazilian Jujitsu and Tae boxing, Muay Thai everyday.
All Saints Day has a lot to live up to. Do you think the fans will be pleased?
Yes. I absolutely do. I think we made a killer film. I think itís a really good film. I think itís engaging, I think itís exciting. I think itís all of those things. I think if you liked the first one youíre going to like this one.
Whenís the release?
Do you think anyone is going to dress up as the McManus brothers for Halloween?
Thatís an excellent question. I donít know. I would be very flattered if they did though. That would be really funny. I would actually love to see that.
Before Boondocks Saints II hits theaters you have another movie coming out. Citizen Jane will premiere on the Hallmark Channel Saturday night. Whatís that film about?
Citizen Jane was a pretty popular story, they had a 48 Hours on it and everything. Itís about this cat that marries this lady and kills sort of her mother - it wasnít her mother, it was her aunt, but it was really like her mother Ė because she was left in the will and itís one of these bizarre stories where you find out that the guy is not really who you thought he was. Itís a true story and Iím looking forward to seeing that as well, it should be really good.
What is Sunshine Superman?
Sunshine Superman is a piece that I wrote. It was an article originally that I wrote for Jane magazine and Iíve set it up a few times as a film and one thing or another kept getting in the way of getting it made and now Iím on my fourth venture. Hopefully the fourth time is the charm to actually get it off the ground and running.
Whatís it about?
Itís a love story about two 10-year-old kids. No violence, no sex; itís a pretty clean love story. Itís a first love story. Itís a very different script and itís about one of the most monumental moments in my life.
Youíre working a lot with Robert Kurtzman. How is everything going with To Live and Die and Bump?
Bump was something that we talked about doing years ago. I still think thatís on the burner, but To Live and Die is a film we did. Itís an MGM film we did in Albuquerque. It should come out I think right after The New Year.
Youíve got a list of over 60 films youíve been in. Is there a particular way you go about choosing your projects?
Sometimes you do a film because the script is amazing, sometimes you do it because you get to work with amazing people and sometimes you do a film because they pay you money. Thereís all three of those and thereís different combinations of each. Itís like I always tell people, you get offered films not that you donít want to do but you donít want to do as much as the ones you have to read for. The best films in the world, youíve got to beg and plead and try your best to get.
Which category did The Boondock Saints fall in?
I thought it was a killer script. Realistically itís a script that a lot of people in Hollywood wanted to do and I think a lot of people would have done it for free. You know, you donít get an opportunity to do scripts that you really, really like a lot.
To learn more about Sean check out his website by clicking here.
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