Rory Kinnear on Playing the Villain with a Thousand Faces in ‘Men’

I was reading a story in Screenrant and they said: “As is almost always the case with Kinnear, he manages to create a man who is at the same time deeply unpleasant but almost impossible to look away …”

What a tombstone!

Well, you’ve played a lot of horrible guys in your career. What do you think is what makes casting directors and even spectators look at you and say, “This guy is awful.”

I think with some of the rotters I’ve played, I had to have, or at least wanted to ask for, an ambivalence response from an audience, where their feelings are complicated, even though I maintain that I’m very nice.

I don’t know why you broke up with me, basically, but I think it’s often out of kindness rather than unpleasantness. Words do real evil, but maybe my cherub soul makes it more complicated for an audience.

You always prefer to work with the good soul who can do bad versus the bad person who is just a terrible actor.

Certainly, on set, it’s easier.

There’s a scene near the beginning of the film that is almost completely silent, and we only see Harper exploring the natural world and then coming to fear his surroundings. Without revealing too much, I will say that you appear in this scene, but you are also present. What did that scene mean to you?

We’re very lucky to see Jessie playing the role because I think she could bring a whole movie of silence. Having those 12 minutes without lines, I think allows us to really absorb ourselves in Harper and his story and who he is, in addition to seeing it against the elements.

The film is a kind of gradual accretion of events and interpretations. The way she becomes more hallucinogenic and crazy towards the end is this feeling of the impetus of these interactions she has. Therefore, you need to give her space to breathe and try to remember before she sees the provocations or the way she is forced to react to protect herself.

As a woman who watched the movie — and I saw that echoed the reviews written by women — I felt the terror of Harper on a very specific level because I know what it means or feels like being alone in a house or having to look at. behind you as you walk alone. I can understand why it would be viscerally frightening to realize that you are the only woman for miles.

How did you try to understand this feeling, and how do you think Alex understood it?

It was there in the script, and we knew the feeling Alex was writing about, but we also had two weeks of chatting basically before filming, most of which was just me, Alex and Jessie sitting in the living room. of his father. talking about our personal experiences. There were many things that were drawn from the script and what it provoked in us and the themes that inspired it.

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