The Gray Man Press Conference: Cast and Directors Talk Making Netflix Blockbuster
The gray man was released on Netflix and last week we attended the virtual The gray man press conference with star actors and directors, Anthony and Joe Russo. Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Régé-Jean Page, Billy Bob Thornton, Julia Butters, Alfre Woodard and Jessica Henwick answered questions from the press for half an hour and discussed the making of Netflix’s summer blockbuster, based on Mark Greeny’s novel of the same name.
Gosling plays CIA agent Sierra 6, who is about to uncover some very dark government secrets. He becomes the number one target of former CIA agent Lloyd Hansen, known for his sociopathic tendencies and barbaric methods and played by Chris Evans.
The Gray Man’s Press Conference
While spy and action films are always a hit with audiences, Joe Russo explained how The gray man becomes unique in its kind The gray man press conference:
“Tit is a modern story. I think, you know, Bond is around 60 at this point and Bourne around 20, and that movie ties in in a lot of ways to some of the issues that are going on in the world right now. The character is extremely existential, quite funny, and we just think he fits our sense of humor (…) And, you know, it’s the kind of movie that, you know, would work well with the audience of ‘today.
With The gray man, Gosling is back in action, and he talked about his training and what it took to become a CIA agent. The actor was helped by a former member of the Delta Force who gave him some incredible advice which, thankfully, made it to the final edit. To The gray man press conference, he said the following:
“There was, as you can imagine, a lot of training for the film. But, yeah, I had, you know, incredible help. There was an incredible stunt team. You know, in the beginning , they kind of went through all these different styles of martial arts and kind of tried to organize it for you and the character and then we had this amazing adviser named Chili Palmer, who’s a former member of the Delta Strength. I tried to join at the hip with him. He had all these, you know, amazing tactical advice, but also these really amazing ideas (…) Like, you know, you should always have bowling pins on you You know?(…) Or, you know, if you’re going to sleep, tie your shoelace at the door because if someone comes in, you’ll know.
As for Chris Evans, he’s a villain again in The gray man, Lloyd Hansen, who is capable of the worst atrocities and will say the most horrible things to his victims, but always with a smile on his face. To The gray man press conference, he explained.
“Playing a villain is always a little more fun, you have a little more freedom, you get a lot more jokes, but working with the Russos is what gives that feeling of confidence and freedom. You know, when you trust to the filmmakers, you’re more willing to take risks, and certainly a character like that requires risk, so without the Russos and the relationship and rapport that we have, I don’t know if I would have had an experience so rewarding.
Ana de Armas, who plays Agent Dani Miranda, got help from a former CIA agent, who was key in building her character. In the movie, she always has Agent Sierra 6’s back and she saves his life more than once.
The actress explained to The gray man press conference how, even though she has already portrayed a “wife in high heels kicking ass in bond movie“, in The gray manthe “is something really refreshing» in the fact that “the emphasis is not on it.” She continued:
“I’m not Ryan’s lover. We did too. We went. So, you know, it’s about his power in a different way, you know? And that’s really cool. And it’s important to put women in action films from this angle, you know, and to have this vision of it, and, you know, to accentuate this part of badass women.
As for Régé-Jean Page, his role as Carmichael made him want to “bring a little flavor to the underhandedness.
He explained why portraying a villain is as interesting as it is fascinating to watch, stating that portraying one is “extremely liberating. He said the following to The gray man press conference:
“The difference between villains and heroes, in general, is that villains aren’t charged with a conscience the way heroes are. So they just don’t have any barriers between them and their goals, or at least not the same barriers. And I think my job was just to bring some fun to being unbridled. There’s something about… My favorite villain in literature is Iago in Othello. People like to watch him having fun [being] wrong. And I feel like Denny and Lloyd are kind of cut from a similar fabric that way. They have fun, but in different ways.
As for the Prague sequence of The gray man (which involves a lot of running, fighting, chasing, shooting and exploding), it took a lot of preparation and patience to pull it off, Anthony Russo explained to The gray man press conference:
“We needed a big city square, and it goes on through a chase all over the city, so it was very complex. (…) We built a bus that was designed to look exactly like a tram but ran on wheels because sometimes we needed to make the tram go faster than the tram could actually go, or we needed to drive down streets that had no rails, etc. And then we also had a tram that was located on land in Prague that was at a standstill that we were kind of shaking, and we had a blue screen around it. So you build the sequence through all these different places, we shoot with our main cast, we shoot with stunt people for the parts that are too dangerous, and it was a very complex process to build that.
The gray man is now available on Netflix, let us know your thoughts in the comments!
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