Danny Dyer is set to return to the big screen this week with his new movie Deviation, which sees him team up with actress Anna Walton.
I caught up with the actor to talk about the movie, working with Anna as well as his time away from acting.
- You are about to star in Deviation so can you tell me a little bit about the movie?
I play a serial killer called Frankie Norton and I have just escaped from prison and I am looking for my next victim basically. I was sent to prison for killing women so I am looking for a woman, who I find in the first five minutes of the film.
I carjack her and tie her to the passenger seat and the whole film is about me driving her to her death. The idea of two people in a car who a complete strangers, one a victim the other a predator, that really did appeal to me because it is clever writing.
- Well you have touched on my next question really you take on the role of Frankie in the movie so what was it about the character and the script that drew you to the project?
I just thought that it was really brave filmmaking to just rely on two actors to keep the story going and keep it interesting with no gimmicks, there are not set pieces or stunts; it would make a really good play.
I just loved the idea of it because it is such a rare thing. I also just wanted to get back to basics and get back to acting really because it’s what I love to do.
- And he is quite an interesting bloke one minute he is nice as pie, the he is slitting someone's throat over to cry afterwards so how much was the dramatic switch in personality a draw?
Have you seen the movie?
- Yeah I saw it last night
What did you think of it then?
- I liked it; it wasn’t what I was expecting
This is the thing, it’s not obvious and I didn’t want to play him as obvious. He obviously has a serve problem with women, something has happened to him in his child hood, and the clever thing is is she realises this early on; by the end of the film she has got the power.
It was just fun to play because I could be as nutty and weird as I wanted to be - you can’t be accused of overacting with a role like that because he is a schizophrenic and you can go where you want with it.
The whole stuff with me freaking out after killing someone it’s like I have this inner pain because I know that I have done something terribly nasty and wrong, when I read the script and it says ‘Frankie makes weird animal noises’ and I was like ‘what the f**k am I going to do there?’
So I thought just go for it because if you hold back with stuff like that it makes it a lot harder - I went for it and I hope I have done it justice.
- He is a schizophrenic so I was wondering if you did any particular research into this kind of behaviour?
No not really because I didn’t want to be too obvious with it. I am quite an instinctive actor and I like to just trust myself - it was all on the page for me really.
The key for me was whether I was going to get on well with Anna Walton, who plays Amber, because I am really nasty to her throughout the movie and it could have become a case of actor against actor. But it didn’t work out like that as we just clicked and we both wanted to make the film work.
We just trusted each other and we went for it, it was quite an organic thing and we didn’t have to think about it too much.
- You star alongside Anna Walton in the movie so what was it like working with her?
She is lovely; she is a really lovely girl. It’s weird because J.K. (director) wanted me and he wanted Anna, I didn’t know who Anna was and she didn’t know who I was. When she first walked into the room I couldn’t believe it she is taller than me and I was like ‘wow’ I wasn’t expecting that.
It wasn’t an obvious choice and I think that that was the clever thing about it - she is such a good actress as well. It’s really weird because she is not well know yet but she has had a really good run in America with Hellboy 2 and The Vampire Diaries; she is a really successful actress and I hope she starts to crack on over here now.
- As you mentioned earlier you and Anna are in virtually every scene in the movie so what challenges did that pose as an actor?
It was tough because it is all set in real time, it’s set over one night, so it was all night shoots and that is so hard just to live your life normally; my Mrs and kids were getting up for school as I was finishing work.
Then I would be sleeping all day and when I got up they would be coming home from school so your home-life becomes really effected and it puts a strain on your relationships; not only have you got to deal with dialogue and playing a lunatic but you have also got to do with your Mrs bollocking you when you get home.
She didn’t really ask too many questions about what I was doing because I didn’t want to freak her out too much ‘oh yeah babe I’m playing a serial killer who loves killing women’.
So it was a nice moment when she finally sat down and watched the movie and went ‘oh right, now I know why you were such a f***ing weirdo’, bless her.
- And J.K. Amalou is in the director's chair for Deviation so how did you find him as a filmmaker?
He was great as he has a really great energy and vision. We made this film for literally no money; we did cut every corner that could be cut.
We were giving young people to part of a film without really being paid and stuff so the make up department were apprentices - but I like that he gave people a try as it is all about experience.
But I liked him from the moment that I met him and I always feel very touched and blessed that someone wants to work with me having seen my past work - he really trusted me with that and I was really touched.
- You are also set to star in Freerunner so can you tell me about that?
I haven’t seen that yet so I am not sure whether that is any good or not. I sort of took a year out because I got a little bit lost and I was thinking about the pay check more than the actual film and I really need to stop doing that; I know I have lost a little bit of credibility along the way.
That was a movie that I did because it was in America, my daughter had always wanted to go so I thought that I could take her out there for a little holiday and do a movie at the same time. But, like I said, I haven’t seen it yet and the whole film is a little tongue in cheek so hopefully it’s not going to be that bad.
- So are you working on anything at the moment?
In April I start shooting a movie called Deceit, with J.K. again; he wants to make three movies with me. I have got four movies lined up this year so I am really excited about it - hopefully they are all going to be quality.
- You say that you took a year out so how does it feel to be back? Has the break done you good?
Yes it has done me the world of good because I have got my passion back and I am hungry again; that’s why I think this film’s a good thing for me to come out because it’s different and it’s purely about me acting.
I just want to show that I am a serious actor and I take it very seriously and I love what I do instead of being a celebrity mockney or whatever some people think that I am. I just want to go’ I am an actor and I love it, enjoy the film’.
- You have enjoyed a career that has spanned almost twenty years so how has the way that you choose movie projects changed as you have got more experienced?
I think you look at the directors a little bit more, I never even thought about who the director was I just got a script and if I liked it I would go and audition.
But now I like to get to know the director, see what he wants to do with it and what it will be like working with them It’s a team effort at the end of the day but they are the leader of the pack and you need a good leader, someone who has something about them and gets everyone up in the morning and excited.
I am just trying to do things differently and I am looking for stuff that people would never expect me to do; it’s getting the opportunities to do that obviously.
- And how have you seen the industry change in the time that you have been working in it?
It is really tough at the moment as the current climate that we are living in at the moment there is not a lot of money around. I make low budget movies and investors don’t really want to put their hand in their pocket because they want to see a return on their money and you are not always guaranteed that with a movie, it’s the risk that you take.
So people are making movies for seventy or eighty grand, in a Hollywood movie that doesn’t even cover the catering budget, so money is tight. Also getting people into cinemas is the toughest job ever because the money is with DVD’s at the moment so people don’t want to take a risk.
You have loads of money and the only way you can get people to the cinema is to make a 3D movie because that is the only way that you can have that experience, which is a real shame. Also cinema is expensive I can’t lie; it’s not a cheap experience anymore. It will get better though.
- We are seeing more and more actors move behind the camera so how much does directing and producing appeal to you?
Oh yeah for sure. I have gone through my whole career going ‘I would never do that it’s too much stress’ but as you get older you chance. It’s nice to just be an actor, turn up, do you job, f**k off home and get paid but if you are the producer you have to deal with everything and all the departments.
But if it was something close to my heart then I would love to get involved in producing and directing, maybe later on in life.
- Finally what's coming up for you in the rest of 2012?
I have got another movie coming out in the summer called Run To Your Wife, which is a West End production, it’s a comedy and it’s got some amazing people in it including Sarah Harding, Denise Van Outen, Neil Morrissey, Cliff Richard and Judi Dench. I am excited about it and I am really proud of it.
“Danny Dyer stars in Deviation, in cinemas on 24th February and available to own on DVD 27th February through Revolver Entertainment”
FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw
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