Interviews

BAD SAMARITAN – What you need to know

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(L-R) Writer Brandon Boyce, Robert Sheehan, David Tennant and Director Dean Devlin at BAD SAMARITAN press conference.

The new thriller BAD SAMARITAN, directed by Dean Devlin, hits theaters on May 4. The film is a terrifying cautionary tale of two thieves uncovering more than what they bargained for when breaking into a house they thought would be an easy score. After making a shocking discovery, they must choose to run and hide, or face the killer whose dark secrets they have exposed. BAD SAMARITAN stars David Tennant, Robert Sheehan, Carlito Olivero, Kerry Condon, and more.

I had the opportunity to be at the film’s press conference, which happened during the press day in Beverly Hills, on April 28. Director Dean Devlin, actors David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, and writer Brandon Boyce were on the panel. Below are ‘what do you need to know before watching this thriller’:

  • David Tennant jumped at the chance to play Cale Erendreich because it was an amazing story, and an amazing set up, and a bonkers character. He wasn’t looking to play another psychotic character, but he couldn’t pass on the chance to tackle Cale, and to explore those darker sides of the human psyche.
  • David also said that you must try to find the empathy of the character that you’re playing, which can be very hard for a character like Cale, who has none in his life.
  • Writer Brandon Boyce said the idea started with current technology, and how we spend so much time giving our cars to valets, especially in Los Angeles where it’s an everyday occurrence for those who live in this city. But then he took that idea of what if the valet stole the car and broke into the customer’s house, only to find that the person’s house they broke into has his own set of secrets.
David Tennant em Bad Samaritan

David Tennant in Bad Samaritan. (Courtesy by Electric Entertainment)

  • Director Dean Devlin said that he was a huge fan of both David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, both from their time on Doctor Whoand Misfits respectively, and that he was dying to work with them. Both were his first choice for their roles in Bad Samaritan.
  • Boyce said that originally made up a lot of the technology for the film, but was surprised that technology seems to be catching up to what he had set up within this film.
  • Tennant said he had no problem going between his character and then himself between takes in the film, which he joked may have been a bit worrying. But to dabble in a character has no guilt in a safe environment like a movie set, it’s a bit of a giddy experience.
  • Sheehan followed up that there’s something almost cathartic about dabbling in the dark side of the human psyche in a film like this, calling it almost therapeutic in nature.
  • Both Tennant and Sheehan find that their characters both see something in each other, even though that their lives are so different, that almost intoxicates them. Sheehan related it to the relationship between Batman and the Joker.
  • The film’s big finale in a snowy landscape was a happy accident, as the production had been hit with five separate snow storms during the shoot. Tennant joked that it they could never afford that on their budget, so it gave the film a great place to end.
  • Tennant said that he sees Cale’s biggest wound and weakness in his life is probably his lack of self-awareness of what he’s become. Cale’s his past has left him incredibly broken and damaged, fatefully so, but he doesn’t believe that he is, and that it’s actually everyone around him who is.
  • When asked if there was ever a villain that scared him growing up, and if he used it in his performance, Tennant said the villain that scared him the most growing up was the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He says that the character utterly terrified him growing up, but then joked he’ll leave it up to the audience to see if it influenced his performance in any way.
  • Dean Devlin said that David’s first day on set was his favorite day of the film, because it was just so special to have him on set that night. He also said that his wife and kids are also in the film, so the whole production just felt personal for him.
  • Sheehan and Tennant both said that their favorite time on set was shooting the film’s finale, because it was when they got to spend the most time on set together. Their stories are connected, but it isn’t until the third act they really get to act off each other, so it ended up being the most fun for them.
Robert Sheehan em Bad Samaritan

Robert Sheehan in Bad Samaritan. (Courtesy by Electric Entertainment)

  • Devlin followed up that if people are curious about his past though, they’ve done their job, because it means the character was intriguing. He said it was a balance to try and keep him mysterious, while also trying to give you just enough information that you understand the character.
  • When asked about the film’s production, and how it felt very much like a labor of love, Devlin said that this film is the one that means the most to him compared to anything else he’s done in his career. To shoot, finance, and distribute it one hundred percent independently was a remarkable and incredibly experience. He compared it to a grassroots political campaign, as they’ve gone across country to different conventions to build word and awareness for the project.
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