Lost in Reviews was given the opportunity to talk to Clifton Collins Jr about his role in the upcoming sequel to the 1999 cult classic, Boondock Saints. In Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day, Clifton plays Romeo, a fan of the Saints that wants to get in on the action.
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Ryan: Since I have not seen Boondock 2, can you tell me about the role that you are playing?
Clifton: Yeah, I play Romeo. I think I’m kinda the fans’ opportunity to get into the shoes of a saint, and somebody that tries really hard to be excepted by them I work really hard to make that happen. Once that happens I get to more or less go on the journey with them.
Ryan: Would you say that your obsessed with the saints and following them around?
Clifton: Yeah a little bit.
Ryan: Ok, so you’re the crazy stalker fan.
Clifton: He’s pretty crazy, he loves the saints and he knows all about them. He’s been following them, he knows every little thing they’ve done so he just wants to get in with that.
R: Nice. So is that kind of Troy Duffy’s throw back to the fans?
C: I believe it is a throw back to the fans and a way to push his boy into this movie, because he wrote it for me(laughs).
R: I know that you have been friends with everybody forever, do you have any crazy, old school, Boondock drinking stories?
C: Man! do I?! I was trying to think about that yesterday actually. We have had so much(laughs), a lot of drunken nights man. It was so different 10 years ago. It was late night binge drinking, singing songs and just laughing your ass off all night, you know that kind of stuff. I was just thinking about the tapes I have and the different things that I shot of all of us hanging out. It’s just really beautiful that he’s got this opportunity to do this film and that it can come out the way that it did and I’m really excited for him.
R: We are all really excited too. I’m a huge Boondock 1 fan to the extreme and I’m really really excited for this one.
C: Your gonna Dig it!
R: Man, I hope so.
C: No you will! I’m the first one to come out and tell you that if something I did sucks or if somethings great.
R: In the first Boodock Saints film they asked regular people how they felt about the saints and vigilantes. How do you feel? Would you join the saints if it happened in real life?
C: Well you know it’s all ‘what are you fighting for is it the right cause the right reason. You know all these people going off to Iraq too, makes me think of all the soldiers that went off believing that they were fighting for the right cause-weapons of mass destruction and all these other things at least in this case its not a government conspiracy or whatever the hell it is. These guys are going out with the best intentions its just like they’re soldiers but they are here to get rid of the filth and vermin right here in America which there is so much of.
R: Right, the regular old day, going out, cowboy type thing.
C: You know, right? Its been around in cinema forever even before Clint Eastwood or Charlie Bronson or any of these people. Just go back to some of the earlier days of vigilantes, whether it was a cowboy vigilante or even the Steve McQueen show Wanted Dead or Alive in the 60s. I mean, he is a bounty hunter had it just has all these great things and it just keeps coming up, I mean we love good vigilante movies. Especially when they are done right and this is a common thing, Especially in independent film, Troy played a heavy part in just having it be a Troy Duffy piece I believe it’s really important to it’s success in that you don’t have, you know, these studio people weighing in on him telling people who should be doing what and how they should be doing it. It’s really a Troy Duffy world and in that respect I think the fact that it was independent has really allowed him to see it to it’s complete potential in a way that wouldn’t be tampered with by studio heads.
R: I just re-watched the film last night and I came at it at a different angle, seeing him and the way he shoots things and just kinda beautiful his eye is, and I just looked at it in a different way a more critical way and it still holds up.
C: Awesome! your going to love the second one.
R: Man, I can’t wait.
R: So what was it like working with Duffy?
C: It was just different. I mean you have to understand Troy never went to film school or anything so you know if you’re going to work with directors for a long time that have all this film experience they are going to address things in a different fashion but, you know Troy’s a go-getter he knows what he wants he’s very specific. He’s created all these characters and he created this world. He’s not someone that doesn’t know what he wants and that’s certainly refreshing because a lot of either first time directors or sophomore directors they I think a lot of times are lost for what I think they want and Troy is very very very clear.
R: Did it make it easier that you guys are friends?
C: It made it easier to really attempt and adapt to a different style of film making whether it’s a style of just not knowing how to really do it or what the fundamental steps are to reach an emotion and just throwing it out the window and “that’s my friend, that’s my boy” and I just want to make these characters come to life as quickly as possible so we don’t run out of time because we only got like two takes in us. You know what I mean? But because he’s my friend and if he wasn’t my friend I don’t know if I would have been as tolerant, you know?
R: Right, you want to give your best work because you want to help him out.
C: Absolutely, I’m so proud of him and he did it, he freaking did it.
R: I’m so glad that he finally did it after waiting all these years and hearing him say, “I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it” I’m so glad that he finally did it.
R: How does it feel coming into a new role in one of the biggest cult movies in years?
C: I wasn’t really a part of that whole fan fair, certainly I was aware of it. I mean in the nature of just being friends I know that the fans are crazy and all this other stuff which is a beautiful blessing so you know I don’t like to think about those things. Even going into Star Trek, I wasn’t really thinking about those things really it’s kinda, you want to focus on your job and your an actor trying to the best job you try to do you don’t really want to distract yourself with the so many of these other unnecessary things unless your gonna help your performance you know.
R: Yeah, speaking of Star Trek, that was one of my favorite movies of the year and last year you were in one of my favorite movies Sunshine Cleaning, and man, your range as an actor is just very impressive and I was just wondering what your acting process is?
C: Thank you man! You know every film is different, I’ve really got to factor in who’s directing it and I have to factor in what the pace is and what’s the over all tone of it and then just sneak in there under that radar and then decide if I’m going to approach it emotionally or from an external point of view as opposed to internal there is so many different things I don’t really have any… I guess my only real consistent habit in getting in preparation is to sit down with the screen play and my two different colored highlighters and start breaking it down and basically disassembling the screen play. I think that pretty much where I always start from
R: OK, You have a lot of stuff coming up what are you most excited about?
C: Well I’m certainly excited about this one. I got Jim Sheridan’s Brothers coming out and I got Paul Scheuring’s The Experiment with Adrien Brody and Forest Whitaker, two old friends of mine.
R: I’m excited about that one.
C: It was great working with them it was good it was fantastic and I have this music video that I directed out for Betty Jean for The Soul of John Black check that’s out on iTunes, and I’m wrapping up the color correcting on Jamie Johnson video.
R: Man, so your just working, working, working.
C: Yeah, I got too… you know Zach Brown really gave me a strong footing into that world and an introduction in that world via a connection at roar and roar introduced me to us and got us together and you know we had two number one hits and his third single which I didn’t direct just went to number one toes and Jamie and their both nominated for four C.M.A.s so I’m really proud of both of them.
R: Ok, so I wanted to ask you a little more about Brothers because its getting all this Oscar buzz for Jim Sheridan and Jake Gyllenhaal can you just tell me a little bit more about your role in the film?
C: Yeah I play a commanding officer I more or less send Tobey [Maguire] out into the field and I kinda watch over him and I debrief him and of that nature you know the stuff that an officer would have to deal with in regards sending a soldier out and having to find out what his state of mind is. It’s and important film I think these military films, for me personally, they just rank so close to home in that my whole family was in Vietnam. All the males in my family my grandfather was in a different war but you know I grew up around it so I’ve always got this strong connection and I just think in apathy for all the great men and women that are out there fighting today.
R: That’s nice man that really really good to hear. The trailer for the movie just looks incredibly passionate and really deep. So, I’m really excited about it.
C: As am I. The trailer is pretty heavy. I mean working with Sheridan is a freaking blast. I mean he’s Jim Sheridan! I mean wow, it’s just hard when your, like, a big fan of somebody you can’t just be the fan and you have to just try and be the actor, you know, but when you love what you do it’s kinda hard not to do a little of both.
R: It’s hard to not really geek out.
C: It’s good to kinda geek out a little, I think its the biggest form of flattery when you working with someone and they’re a huge fan of there its fine when you keep it at the right level.(laughs)
R: (laughs) Are you ready to be the focus of tattoos and to constantly get asked” When is Boondock 3 coming out?”
C: No I’m not so let’s just see what happens but uhh, I’m here to support so…
R: I appreciate you doing the interview and I am excited to see Boondock Saints 2 and am stoked to see anything else you work on.
C: Oh, thank you Ryan, I really appreciate that man!
R: No problem, have a good day man.
C: You too man, have a rockin’ day today.
R: Alright, later.
C: Alright brother.