Revenge thrillers have become some of Hollywood's most interesting premises for action movies. Between films like John Wick and Oldboy, the genre has proven time and time again that it knows how to wow. That said, none of this means that the actors who star in these movies have to agree with their characters, which Jennifer Garner recently revealed to me during an interview for her new film Peppermint. When I asked about her take on her badass heroine, Garner said:
I view this very much as a fantasy. You know, when Pierre and I first met, I said to him, 'Do you believe in revenge in any way?' He said, 'No, do you?' And I said, 'Absolutely not. I think you have to go high.' Then he and I came together and made a movie that nothing but about a very satisfying kind of revenge. I do believe in the fantasy of it. It goes back to Greek tragedies. It makes you want to cheer.
So, you don't necessarily have to agree with revenge as a concept to indulge in the fantasy. As Jennifer Garner explained in our interview, she enjoyed the fantasy element of Peppermint (which focuses on a woman who takes up arms against a drug cartel that murders her husband and daughter), but she never personally agreed with the methods or results that her character would get. Similar to classic Greek tragedies, it just makes for good drama to tell these types of tales.
This quote feels like a fascinating revelation to dissect because it really hammers home how fans can enjoy certain stories without necessarily buying into a character's entire ideology. In the same way that we can love something as dark and visceral as The Punisher (which seems to share a lot of DNA with Peppermint), we still don't have to want to be these characters.
Of course, it's also simply interesting to note that Pierre Morell similarly does not agree with the concept of revenge, especially when we consider the nature of his work as a filmmaker. Making a name for himself as a standout action director, Morel has proven time and time again that he knows how to craft exciting revenge stories with his work on films like Taken and The Transporter.
Check out a clip from my Peppermint interview with Jennifer Garner, below, if you want to hear everything that the Alias star had to say about her take on her character and the concept of revenge!