After Collin Farrell’s latest flick, In Bruges, opened the Sundance Film Festival last month, he took a little time to talk about the comedic gangster movie with UVSC and other college campuses all over the country.
In In Bruges , Farrell plays one of two hitmen sent to lay low after accidentally killing a young boy during a hit-turned-wrong on a priest in London. After arriving in Bruges, Farrell’s character can’t sit still in the all-too-pleasant, easygoing town.
There’s laughter, action, romance, violence and even midget violence – a little something for everyone.
Q: Where exactly is Bruges?
Colin Farrell: It’s in Belgium.
Q: Your first time there?
A: First time in Belgium. First time in Bruges. Yeah, absolutely.
Q: Your character hates Bruges.
A: He doesn’t like Bruges. He doesn’t like anything. The character’s just so tortured by transgression; he’s just looking for distraction anywhere. Chaos, noise, you know. Any silence is a bad thing, because within the silence, you know, the images of the reality of what just happened in London will inevitably screw him up. … Don’t shoot – don’t kill priests. If you do, check outside the confessionals first. … So, yeah, Bruges is a good kind of point of resistance for him, you know. The fancy buildings and the lack of energy and the f—ing museums and all that s—, he can’t handle it at all. It’s far too quaint and far too beautiful for him. Plus there is a gothic, eerie feel all over the place. You know, where it wouldn’t be out of keeping with the kind of energy of the place. Certainly, when we arrived in winter, it was half four in the afternoon, but it wouldn’t be out of keeping with the energy of the place to start thinking about purgatory and hell.
Q: Personally, did you enjoy Bruges?
A: I did. I had a great time. People were all great, and as I said, when I arrived in the winter it was half four in the afternoon, and it was dark, and the streets were kind of desolate, and it was just very, very eerie. Because of what I was going through in the script and what I was playing it probably bled into reality a bit. … But I liked it, and I enjoyed it. I’d go back some day, I’m sure.
Q: What was it about Martin (McDonagh’s) screenwriting that interested you?
A: It was the most original script I’d ever read. I’d never read anything like it. It had an unusual and really beautiful mix of comedy and tragedy, which people are talking about in those terms as well. I mean Martin blended the line between these incredibly despairing moments that are based on what the characters have been through and then mixed in with this hilarious dialogue. I met Martin and I tried to convince him not to hire me. I told him, I thought it should be actors that nobody had a relationship with. The stuff was that good. I thought that the audience should come in and not have any kind of relationship with anyone who’s portraying any of the characters. But thank God he told me that was hogwash and talked me out of it. But, yeah, really unique and really fresh voice.
Q: There are some very dark moments. What do you expect audiences to walk away with?
Farrell: It’s a great journey and a good story. It’s a good rip for an hour and a half, and I think it works on many different levels. People can see it as a crime caper and a movie about two hit men that were on the run. But it also works on a more profound level. I mean there’s very large questions that are drawn. If they come at it as an hour and a half that wasn’t wasted, that’s good enough.
In Bruges opens in Utah on Friday, Feb. 15.