Thomas Haden Church plays Ansel Smith in the film, Killer Joe. The film is based on the play by Tracy Letts who also wrote the screenplay. Oscar winning director William “Bill” Friedkin directed the film.
On July 30th, after a screening of the film, Thomas Haden Church did a Q & A after the film. It is honestly one of the best Q & A’s I have ever attended. I was laughing a lot with all the tales Thomas Haden Church was telling the crowd about Killer Joe. I knew then that my interview with him the next day would probably be just as great.
Rather than transcribing my interview with him, I have the full audio of the interview below. This was in a round table format so you will hear up to four voices besides Thomas Haden Church, who has a loud booming voice (not unlike my loud voice). You can also hear my annoying laugh. We were able to get Thomas retell some of the funnier tales from the Q & A the night before. While this interview is about twenty five minutes long, it is worth listening to as it will make you laugh a lot. One of the funniest stories Thomas tells is of the first day Matthew McConaughey is on set and his attempt at deviating from his given lines. Director William Friedkin was not having any of that. Thomas runs and lives at a working ranch in Texas and he came to his Killer Joe press duties in his big ranch truck with huge wheels with dirt all over them. He also wore his ranch boots. Mind you this is at one of the nicest hotels in Dallas. Thomas is not one of those jaded Hollywood actors. This guy is the real deal. He loves to talk, and it was quite an honor to be able to speak with him about Killer Joe.
Cool things I heard at the film’s Q & A:
Michael Shannon was a homeless man until meeting playwright Tracy Letts. He cast him in the play Killer Joe and that was his start at acting.
A couple of great actresses wanted to play Gina Gershon’s character, Sharla Smith, but they would not do the required nudity that was not optional. One of those actresses: Reese Witherspoon.
There were a number of young startlets who wanted to play Juno Temple’s character, Dottie Smith. They would not do the nudity, but Juno was willing to. She did a great job at her part.
The play and film are set entirely in Dallas, Texas, but the whole film was made in Louisiana. So anything you may recognize from Dallas is not possible.
by Sarah Ksiazek