Every good action movie needs a villain. Despite not being the main protagonist, it's often the villain that gets the plot moving, and informs the actions by all the rest of the characters. There's a certain amount of pressure to playing a villain, giving the character enough color and interesting backstory to properly capture the attention of moviegoers. And the stake are all the much higher when facing off against Liam Neeson.
Just ask Murder on the Orient Express actor Tom Bateman, who is squaring off against Liam Neeson in the upcoming black comedy/revenge flick Cold Pursuit. Bateman plays Viking, a psychopathic but surprisingly hilarious drug boss who sets the film's plot in motion after being responsible for killing the son of Neeson's character Nels Coxman. I recently spoke to Bateman about his character's fate, and when I asked if he was disappointed over not meeting the end of Coxman's signature snow plow, he told me:
That would have been kind of fun. But I kind of liked the way Liam gets me. I’ve never seen that in a film. The tree going through the car is amazing. It’s sort of spinning around, and they actually let me do that stunt.
While it would have been cool to be killed off via snow plow (something that surprisingly doesn't happen much in the film), Tom Bateman was still very happy with how his villain ultimately fell. Because it involved an extensive stunt sequence with machinery and cars, the actor was psyched about jumping in and getting his hands dirty.
Cold Pursuit has been billed as a typical Liam Neeson revenge flick, but with a slightly more irreverent tone. That, and it has the 66 year-old action driving a massive snow plow, and presumably mowing down his enemies with it. But the plow isn't used much as a weapon, as Nels dispatches of his enemies in a variety of grisly ways.
In my same conversation with Tom Bateman, he admitted being taken down via plow would have been awesome, saying:
So I quite liked the way I went. But yeah, looking at that snowplow now, it would have been quite fun to be crushed.
I won't spoil exactly how the conflict between Viking and Nels does down, but you can be rest assured that it's not a boring or tepid finale. Much like the final film itself, Cold Pursuit's climax is full of unexpected twists and turns-- even if its lacking in snow plows.
You can check out my conversation with Tom Bateman below, although beware spoilers!
You can judge Viking's death for yourself in just a few days, as Cold Pursuit is about to arrive in theaters, bringing in yet another blockbuster starring Liam Neeson as a revenge-fueled everyman.
Cold Pursuit hits theaters on February 8th. Be sure to check out 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.