Interview with Norman Reedus about Boondock Saints II

normanLost in Reviews was given the opportunity to talk to Norman Reedus about his role in the upcoming sequel to the 1999 cult classic, Boondock Saints. This is a second outing for Reedus in the role that has made him a cult hero among millions of Boondock Saints fans. Reedus plays Murphy, and if you have seen the first Boondock Saints film you know him as one of the Saints.

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Listen to or download the interview above.

Norman: Hey Ryan.

Ryan: Hey, what’s going on man?

Norman: How’s it going dude?

Ryan: I’m good, I’m totally excited about Boondock 2.

Norman: Nice! Me too. There is a lot of electricity around this fucker.

R: Yeah, man. For ten years I’ve been waiting.

N: Me too.

R: After the struggle with the first film, with what it went through, did you ever think that you would be doing Boondock 2, did you ever think that ten years later, you would be in the pea coat again?

N: Yeah, you know, I did. I mean, when I was making the first one I knew it was cool, but its like me and Sean [Patrick Flanery] and whoever else has been involved, have been dealing with Boondock fans almost every day for ten years. I knew it had to happen, you know? So, I was just waiting, biding my time and I remember the first day we started shooting, I saw Sean again and he says to me, “Are we really finally doing this? Is this really happening?” You know, yeah, I get stopped like ten times a day by Boondock Saints fans more so than anything else I’ve done combined.

R: So, did you know that it was going to be special after you guys finished wrapping up on the first one?

N: Yeah, I did. You know, I didn’t know to this extent, you know, but it’s like, I’m getting letters from the troops and specific letters around events and I’m seeing the t-shirts everywhere and people are walking up to me quoting the prayer and its just everywhere I go, and I just didn’t realize it would have such a huge cult following. But, it’s pretty cool being a cult guy, you know what I’m saying? It’s pretty cool

R: Yeah, It’s really like the biggest cult film in the last almost twenty years.

N: Yeah, it’s nuts right?

R: There really hasn’t been anything since like Evil Dead or…

N: It’s like Rocky Horror [Picture Show] or something.

R: Yeah, totally. When you guys did bring it [Boondock 1] back to the theatres, and you did that showing, it was nuts to sit in there with the fans. People just quoting it.

N: Yeah, (surprised) Oh, really?

R: Oh man, yeah. Every word just screaming it out… just a theater full of Boondock fans.

N: So, in New York, the NYPD showed up and had to turn away 1500 kids that didn’t get in (to Boondock 2 premiere). It was in Union Square and the line went around the block and then around the next block. We pulled up and Troy [Duffy] goes, “Oh this must be for the Michael Jackson movie.” We were like shocked! (laughs) It was nuts man, really really nuts.

R: Yeah, I can’t wait to see it man. I really can’t.

N: It’s good. It’s really good. There’s a lot of the, you know, the rope comes back, the cat comes back in like weird ways that you don’t see them coming, you know what I mean?

R: Oh, nice man.

N: And every time that happens, people just flip out, you know. It’s really cool.

R: After watching the trailer, Boondock looks more polished and cleaner than the first film, can fans expect any more differences?

N: Umm, you know there is obviously the new characters and stuff like that, but it’s the same vibe as the first one. It has all of the elements that the first one had that people loved and you know, they’re all there. So, it won’t let Boondock fans down at all, it will flip them out. You know, I’ve met a lot of people, well not a lot of people, just during this press junket. I’ve met people who have seen the second one who haven’t seen the first one and they love it. And I’m like, “You have to see the first one if you loved the second one,” because there is a lot of little things in there that are funny to people who have watched the first one, you know. They’re not the full story points, ya know? Like the second one explains Il Duce (Billy Connolly), and his history and his nemesis and there’s all this cool shit, like fucking Billy comes into the film like, like a super hero. Like his entrance into the film, you’re like, “whoa!” It’s like…

R: Epic?

N: Epic, yeah, totally!

R: So can we expect more insight into the past of the brothers and Billy?

N: Yeah, you can. What happens is there is a copycat killing that it’s made to look like we did it and we’re in Russia, I mean not Russia, we’re in Ireland hanging out with our Dad, you know, sort of on the lamb, and we come back to avenge our name, basically. And we do that, in a big way.

R: Nice. So the new character, the one that Clifton Collins is playing, is he a fan, is he stalking you guys?

N: He’s not stalking us but he is a fan. Everyone knows who we are and that we’re back. There’s been a murder and trying to figure out who’s killed these bad guys and he knows it, and he runs into us by accident and he notices out tattoos and sees us boiling pennies and he comes in and we play a joke on him. I don’t know if he is a third saint, but he, you know, he doesn’t have the tattoos and the pea coats himself, but he’s like on our team now. So there is three of us and it’s hysterical. He’s really funny in the film. Troy has a sense of humor that is very uniquely Troy, that people relate to and Cliff found it and just did it. Cliff was really good in the film.

R: So Troy did the music for the first film, did he come back and do contributions this time around?

N: Yeah he does. Yeah, he has a song in it, a really good song. Also, Troy’s brother Taylor has a song called Plastic Jesus that’s in it that’s in a scene with Julie [Benz]that is just amazing. And the song is great.

R: Yeah, you’re just getting me even more pumped up man. (laughs)

N: Yeahhh!

R: What is it like coming back after ten years and with Troy again?

N: It feels good. I mean he’s kinda like your quarterback. He’s a quarterback that you trust. So, to come back in a work with him again, it’s like you know you are safe. I know he fought really hard to put me in the first one and he’s always been there for me as a director. He works things out with you and with all of us. He has a very distinct vision, but if you just totally hate something, you know, you can say, “Troy that sounds retarded, I’m not gonna do that” and then he’s like, “Well, ok. Well what do you have?” Then he’ll just say, “OK, we will do it this way.” He works with you, but he’s also… You know, I’ve worked with directors and they’re like, “Oh, what are you going to do?” and I say, I don’t know and they’re like, “Ok, cool, well lets try it on the camera and see what you are going to do.” It gives you the freedom to do what you want, you walk away going, “Was that the right choice? ” With Troy, he wants it like “this” and you fine tune how he wants it. So you feel very safe working with Troy. It’s a great environment for any actor to work in.

R: So what are your expectations for Boondock 2?

N: (Sighs) I just hope… I don’t know, it’s like the first time we get an actual chance, you know what I mean? Like we get a real shot here. We didn’t go to the theatres for the first one and there’s nothing working against us here, like [Bowling for] Columbine or anything. We finally have a shot. If the first one had had a shot like this, it would have been huge. You know?

R: Oh yeah, I totally agree.

N: Gigantic. Now we have a real shot to come back with the sequel and there is a lot of pressure off of us. You would think there would be more pressure on us, but it’s not an uphill battle with the second one. There is a bit of enthusiasm, people want to see the movie, there is already a following. It’s not a fresh off the bat thing, we have a fan base already and the film hasn’t even come out. It’s a very unique situation, you know?

R: Yeah, you know I have the Boondock Saints shirts and if I just wear them out in public, it becomes a conversation starter.

N: Yeah.

R: It’s unexpected people too, that you see that are just into this movie and they just love it.

N: Yeah, it’s such a cool thing, ya know. I get stopped all the time for this, and not one person has ever said a negative thing. They are all like, (screaming) “Oh My God, YES!” It’s not Oh My God, yes you Norman, its Oh My God, yes Murphy. It’s like a thing, I love it.

R: I’ve heard about fans coming up to you and showing you their Boondock tattoos and stuff, are you guys gonna get Boondock tattoos?

N: You know I have a bunch of tattoos already, (laughs) I’m sort of overloaded, but uh, never say never. I’ve seen huge tattoos and I always say, “I hope you were drunk” and they always say, (screaming)”Yes I was! Yeah!” So, it’s all positive, it’s all love.

R: Ok, so I have a fan question for you.

N: Cool.

R: We put this out on the site and this was the question I liked the most. So they want to know, what are your views if a real life vigilante did the same thing as the Saints, like a copycat?

N: Well it depends on the situation. There are definite situations that an eye for an eye, I think, is the way to go. The thing is, the brothers didn’t just hunt out anyone, they hunted out people who were murderers, you know. I mean if somebody hurt my son, I would go ballistic. I wouldn’t even wait for a court date, I would go ballistic and I’m sure a lot of parents would. So, I’m not opposed to having people like that. I feel like they are watching two brothers do what they think of doing themselves, so I understand the connection, ya know. I really do. I’m not opposed to it, and I guess it depends on the situation, ya know. I don’t want to start something right now, or say anything other than that but there are people who could take that to a whole other level and I’m not saying that’s a good thing, I’m just… there are certain situations for an eye for an eye. I believe in sticking up for people. I believe in people having each other’s backs. I believe in people doing the right thing and we all know what the right thing is. Everybody knows what’s right, you know, some little kid is getting beat up, you stand up for him, and everybody should stand up for him. You see hero stories on the news, and it’s like, “oh, I can’t believe he did that!” Well everybody should be doing that. You know what I mean? It’s a no brainer.

R: Right, yeah. So do you plan on working with Troy again in the future?

N: He’s got another script that’s uh..

R: That’s the medieval script, right?

N: Yeah, but that one’s not me. He is talking to Billy about doing that one. Me, mine is another one about a serial killer. (laughs) Of course. Yeah, my Mom is like, “Why can’t you do a nice little romantic comedy with Jennifer Love Hewitt or something?” I’m like, “Mom, they don’t even think of me for those parts.” Then my Mom says, “Well you’re a very sweet boy! You need to tell them that you’re a very sweet boy.” Then I’m like, (softly)”I do, Mom.” (laughs)

R: (laughs) Are you ready to start hearing from fans, “When is Boondock 3 coming out?”

N: (laughs) A lot of people are already asking me that question. I’m like, let’s let 2 come out first.

R: So, it’s already starting? (laughs)

N: Oh, God yeah. I mean I hope there is a 3, I could do ten of these. It’s like, I’m doing Robert Redford’s film, The Conspirator right now in Georgia and about half that set is like, “Oh my god, what’s up with Boondock 3, you gonna do a 3?” and I say, “We haven’t even done 2, 2 hasn’t come out yet.” The whole crew are fans, ya know.

R: So how are things going with your photography?

N: Really good. I just had a show in Berlin, I just had a show in LA, I have a show in Mallorca in December. Yeah, plug my site: BigBaldHead.com

There is three short films that I have directed, shot and edited on there as well. They’re all very artsy-fartsy weird things and they are all totally different.

R: Those are the best kind.

N: Yeah, dude, their cool. There is one called The Rub, there’s one called The Filthy Little Fruit and one called A Thought Of You about being inside the head of Miles Davis. They’re cool, they’re really cool, you can also go on and I have photos on there as well. I just did The Blessed event show in LA. I have two shows in Berlin and right when I was doing Pandorum and finishing I was starting Boondock and I was going back and forth and back and forth and then the last week of Berlin, I came back up here for the last time, I had a show in Berlin and then I have the one coming up in Mallorca in December.

R: Nice man, well thanks for the time man.

N: Yeah.

R: I’m really looking forward to the movie and I hope it does phenomenally well for you guys.

N: Aww, thanks so much man. Yeah, it was really nice talking to you.

R: You too man, thanks.

N: Your Cool. Alright buddy,

R: Talk to you later…

N: Alright, bye.

by Ryan Davis

About Ryan Davis

Ryan is the Founder of Lost in Reviews, a member of The Kansas City Film Critic's Circle, and a key component in the movement to digitally restore the 1986 classic film The Gate. Ryan is also the co-host of Blu Monday a DVD and Blu Ray review show which Lost in Reviews co-founder Angela Davis also appears. While he may be a film and music snob, that doesn't mean you can't be friends. Well it could if you don't like the same bands or films he does, overall it might be best to avoid the subject all together.

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