https://cinemovie.tv/Text-Interviews/tron-legacy-garrett-hedlund-interview

Garrett Hedlund has played opposite Brad Pitt (Troy), Mark Wahlberg (Four Brothers), and Lindsay Lohan (Georgia Rule) in a supporting role but the Minnesota-born actor transitions to leading man status in TRON: LEGACY out December 17. 

Speaking to CineMovie from Montreal, Canada where he is currently on location for Walter Salles‘ On The Road starring Kristen Stewartand Kirsten Dunst, the TRON: LEGACY star says he doesn’t feel any pressure as the movie nears its opening weekend. “My mind is on shooting this film (On The Road). That’s all I’m focused on right now,” said the 28-year-old actor who plays Sam Flynn in the Tron Sequel.  He is anxious, however, for audiences to see the effort director Joseph Kosinski and his team at Digital Domain put into the film and hopes they “appreciate” all the hard work that went into making TRON: LEGACY.

The Friday Night Lights actor does admit that during the making of TRON: LEGACY there was pressure to deliver a good performance in scenes that were technically challenging.  He said of the heavy-effects and 3D production, “every day there was an obstacle and knowing the stakes are high, you’re wondering how are you going to survive?”

He survived the production but the following months after shooting TRON: LEGACY, he admits to a dry spell in Hollywood. When Garrett first came to Hollywood, he didn’t live the life of a struggling actor for long when he landed the role of Brad Pitt’s cousin in Troy (2003) only a month after arriving.  Since then, he’s had a steady gig with films such as Death Sentence (Kevin Bacon), Friday Night Lights (Billy Bob Thornton, Tim McGraw) and his recent work with Gwyneth Paltrow in Country Strong also opening this December. After shooting the TRON sequel and Country Strong, Garrett revealed he bought a one-way ticket back to his family’s Minnesota farm to help out his “old man” when the movie offers dwindled earlier this year. Luckily, they sought him out for the lead in the adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s novel “On The Road.” Garrett credits that trip home as inspiration for his character Dean Moriarty.

TRON: LEGACY’s leading man also credits his on-screen father Jeff Bridges as an “incredible actor” who inspired him on the set of TRON: LEGACY. He was thrilled to “work and hang” with the Academy Award-winning actor. “He’s such a great person. He’s so unique,” he said about the True Grit star. “He really sets the standard for me to continue working hard on every project.” He was surprised to see the Dude “remain true” to his craft after many years in Hollywood.

Garrett wishes he could’ve known Jeff Bridges from the original Tron film. Growing up on a farm in Roseau, Minnesota, he didn’t have much access to films let alone a ground-breaking film like 1982’s Tron.  He joked that his viewing options consisted of Roseanne and Cheers on television.  He finally got to watch Tron for the first time while shooting Troy in 2003 on the island of Malta. He was impressed with Kevin Flynn’s character. “It’s just funny to see young energetic maniacal Jeff running around explaining his visions of technology”.  I wish I could’ve hung out with that guy”, he said jokingly. “Luckily I got the wonderful, incredible, wise Jeff Bridges who he is today but he would’ve been fun to hang with him for a day then.” 

Unlike his TRON character, Garrett admits he is nothing like Sam or his on-screen tech-savvy dad.  Garrett doesn’t keep up with the latest gadgets, video games, or social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Instead he prefers to play chess and backgammon.  “I’m not the most technologically-driven person,” stated Garrett.  “It doesn’t fill any hole I’m trying to make whole.”  Being opposite of Sam Flynn’s character was the attractiion to the role. 

As TRON: LEGACY nears its December 14 release, will he be curious to read reviews on the movie? “I’m never been one to go online and search for reviews,” according to the Country Strong star. He will, however, pick a newspaper up if its in front of him but will not actively search for them.  His “pals” are more curious than he is, and  will go online researching what people are saying about him, which he finds amusing.     

Garrett Hedlund places more importance on audience enjoyment than reviews. “I hope everyone enjoys it,” he said about TRON: LEGACY.  He also wishes the same for his other film Country Strong when it opens opposite the Hollywood blockbuster this December.  

With two high-profile films under his belt, we can expect to see a lot more of of this leading man in 2011.  

TRON: LEGACY is in theaters December 17.


https://www.cinemablend.com/new/Interview-Country-Strong-Garrett-Hedlund-22491.html

In Country Strong, Garrett Hedlund plays Beau Hutton, a deep-voiced singer-songwriter trying to make his way into the world of country music. Throughout the film you can hear him singing in dive bars and on huge stadium stages; he even has a song on the film’s soundtrack. The catch? He’s never had any musical training before taking on the role. 

The last month has been an absolute whirlwind for Hedlund. Three years after his last film, Death Sentence, was released, the young actor has seen the release of Tron: Legacy; will see Country Strong expand to theaters nationwide tomorrow and has completed production for On The Road. Lucky for us, he was more than willing to talk about it. Sitting in on a roundtable interview with the actor, he talked all about it and more, including the incredible talent he got to meet and play with while working on the film. Check out the interview below. 

What made you take on this project?

I’d been sent the script and been told that if I responded to it Shana would fly up to Vancouver where I was, I was filming Tron [Legacy] at the time, and meet with me over it. I remember reading the script and having tears in my eyes by the end of it. I really wanted her to come up and have this meeting. I felt honored that she would come all the way up to Vancouver to meet with me on it. It’s tricky you know, it’s like your read a tagline or a synopsis that says “triangular love affair that takes place on a 10 city tour” Your immediate thoughts are to set it aside or else they could have explained it a little bit differently. But Shana’s just so incredibly talented and wonderful and for her to write this and direct it the way she did and it being her second film I just feel so proud to be a part of it and proud for her. 

Did you have any musical experience before this role?

No. The biggest thing is overcoming the uncoordination. I couldn’t play at the beginning. The guy Neal Casal who’s the lead guitarist for The Cardinals from Ryan Adams and The Cardinals had stopped by my place and four days a week we’d be playing all day, early Hank Senior songs and just things to play that had chord progression and we’d go to the studio and record to chart the progression. That was for four months and I moved out to Nashville a month and a half before and stayed at Tim’s [McGraw] ranch, a cabin, and it just like anything it takes time to gain the abilities. You’ve gotta fall on your face so many times and you gotta look silly in front so many people before you finally start finding the ability and finding confidence within the approvals of others. 

How does it feel to have played dive bars and stadiums?

I prefer the dive bars. It was great. I remember throughout the preparation for the guitar thinking in my mind alright, most of these guys I always see them cut in close to the fingers and obviously they have a hand double just going at it. They’re mocking chords when the camera’s further away and I was imagining this in fear that I would have to do this. Like I wanted to be able to do everything on my own. It was like these scenes are beautiful and I’ll work on these scenes and I can’t wait to do this with Gwyneth, Tim, and Leighton, these scenes. But the performing now, can we just get this over with? Our first time of performing for an audience was at The Stage [On Broadway], well the first one was “Silver Wings” but the first one we filmed was at The Stage. I just remember having so much fun up there but it also helps because I felt very great about the songs and having Hayes Carll who I admire so much as a singer-songwriter, who’s very parallel to this character, who has a real Blaze Foley kind of grit to him, so playing the songs and when you’re having fun and you’re confident and when the songs are good the audience enjoys it so it’s not hard for them to partake and just kind of really cheer and be genuine with it. 

Were you a fan of country music before making this film?

I was. I grew up on a farm where we had one radio station and it was all country. So that’s why Tim McGraw would be filling the airwaves then, and I’d be in the tractor listening to Tim’s songs and Faith’s [Hill] songs and then for him to play my father in Friday Night Lights and I got up on stage with him in 2004 and sang “I like it, I love it” but I wasn’t a country singer you know? I was like, “Can I sing don’t take the girl?” He said, “No, you’ll sing ‘I like it, I love it.’ I said, “But I don’t know the words to it.” He’s like, “You’ll catch on.” “But why can’t I sing don’t –?” “You’re not singing ‘Don’t take the girl!’” So I’m up there kind of mouthing with him [singing] I like it, I love it. But then his guidance with this was great because he just said you know “You’ve just got to live and breathe country music.” There’s thousands of people out here who are incredibly talented trying to gain success, so you need the scales that are raised to high. To really live and breathe country music. I got to work with this guitar coach out there, this guy Rob Jackson who’s kind of the best of the best in guitar training out there and then go to the studio everyday and work with this producer Frank Lidell and engineer Luke Wooten. I’ve been working with a lot of incredible people. So I was kind of taken in by these people who were trying to help me succeed the way I wanted to succeed. Once they saw a possibility we just started running for that door. 

How was going it from shooting on a Vancouver soundstage for Tron Legacy to being on location in Nashville for this?

It was close to like a 67 or 70 day shoot for Tron on stage, in the suit. You can’t even sit don’t during the day because of all the cables that divide the foam rubber and all the electrical circuits. We had these stool that were tall with a bicycle seat on them and you’re just looking at a blue screen all day. And then to being able to just wear some Levi’s jeans and a button up it, it was exactly what I wanted. It was different. 

It was more real, because you were actually out in Nashville making country music.

Yeah, I’d become a family with so many of the locals out there are well when I was there because of that month before so by the time we were filming I was going to a lot of the lower broad spots and a lot of these young musicians, or even the guys in my band like Chris Scruggs would be up at Robert’s every night. Chris Scruggs is the grandson of Earl Scruggs, who’s like the Godfather of the banjo, and Randy Scruggs. You know it’s a famous family. There was a documentary done about them in the seventies, Randy Scruggs played the guitar on my tracks for like “Chances Are” and stuff like this. I mean on You Tube there’s like black and white videos of him and Earl Scruggs and Bob Dylan all in a room playing and Randy Scruggs is just 17 and won’t take his eyes off Dylan and now he’s like 57 playing the guitar for me. 

The other band members when they’d be up at Robert’s or something I’d go up and I’d get up and sing a song. Basically, I was becoming a lot more comfortable with the auditorium scenes by just getting up on stage and doing it. One time at the Station Inn I got up and the table right in front of me, well this guy named Jim Lauderdale, he played a lot with George Jones. He was in Gwyneth’s band as a guitarist and he was playing at The Station Inn and at intermission he took me back and he said , ‘I want you to teach my band how to play chances are and get up and sing it for the audience.” I said, ‘All right.’ So there I am after six or seven months of learning how to play the guitar now I’m teaching this band how to play. We get up on stage and play it and right in front is Gwyneth and Chris Martin and Caleb the lead singer of Kings of Leon, and Faith Hill, and Dierks Bentley. It was one of the greatest nights of my life. 

What do you like about your character Beau?

I like just the soul of him. He’s kind of a young Kris Krisstoferson. Sort of poetic and tender, and just happy to be playing for a bunch of hard working people that like to have a beer while they listen to good music. This was a happy home for him. I think I like the message of what he was about at the end of the day. Choosing love over fame. That was a big one. When that line comes up in the film I think the whole audience is going to be questioning this key line and formulate what their opinion is on it. 

With all this musical training is this something that you’re going to keep doing?

Of course on my own time. It’s funny because I was on set and Terrence Howard came up to play a role in On the Road, and we’d work together on Four Brothers and we became really close and he played a lot of guitar on that and I would just sit back. He’d play and teach — show me how to play but I couldn’t. The night we wrapped in Montreal he came to my room with a bottle and a guitar, and now we got to take turns. We came up with a thing like, “You play one. I’ll play one.” We must have played 15 songs a piece. 

Have you wrapped On The Road

I just did yesterday morning 

So what was that experience like?

It was a guerrilla shoot with the most incredible family. Walter Salles directed it and he’s put so much work into this film over the last six or seven years. I’ve been attached since September of ‘07 trying to get this project made. Being on set during the first day like, “We’re fucking filming On the Road to today’s the day after we just finished it. It was unfortunate to part with a family you’ve come to love so immensely on this journey. 

Now that you’ve wrapped that film, what do you have coming up next?

Nada. I’m very fortunate to be a part of these projects and I’m very proud of them, and I’ll be able to sort of sit back and read some books that I haven’t caught up on and try to enjoy the time a little more than being tossed around.


A lot of guys dream of moving to Hollywood to make it as an actor. Most of them probably never even try, and those who do often have no idea what to expect once they arrive in Los Angeles. But Garrett Hedlund had a plan.
         From the time he started high school in Arizona — where he moved from Minnesota with his mother following his parents’ divorce — Hedlund picked up modeling gigs while taking acting classes and studying the show-biz trade papers to learn about how the industry works. He managed to get an agent and over the next two years flew to L.A. dozens of times for auditions. The more experience he acquired and knowledge he absorbed, the more impatient Hedlund became, until he finally got so antsy that he graduated a semester early to accelerate the pursuit of his dream.
         “I came out with about $600, a Tupperware container of cleaning utensils that my mom’s friends got me at Christmas and about ninety packages of ramen noodles,” he says.
         It didn’t take long for his diet to improve, because within a month of his arrival in L.A., director Wolfgang Petersen cast him in the period epic Troy. In the film, based on Homer’s Iliad, Hedlund played Patroclus, the comrade of Achilles, played by another transplanted Midwesterner, Brad Pitt.
         Soon afterward, he was cast opposite another star, Billy Bob Thornton, as a high-school football player in Friday Night Lights, which he followed with a role in the action drama Four Brothers, as one of Mark Wahlberg’s titular siblings.
         At that point, Hedlund could have easily gone off the rails with too-much-too-soon excess. Instead, he kept working, landing parts in the adventure fantasy Eragon, the dysfunctional-family comedy Georgia Rule and the gritty thriller Death Sentence.
         In all, that’s a solid resume with a number of interesting choices and an impressive list of costars. Yet even though Hedlund has built an avid fan base among younger (albeit female) audiences, he has remained below the radar to the public at large. But with two high-profile projects on the way, 2010 could be the year he goes from working actor to full-fledged star.
         He’ll join recent Oscar winner Jeff Bridges in TRON Legacy, the long-gestating sequel to the 1982 sci-fi saga that starred Bridges as Kevin Flynn, a programmer who finds himself trapped inside a computer and must fight his way out. In Legacy, filmed in 3-D, Hedlund stars as Flynn’s son, Sam, who infiltrates a computer in search of his dad.
         Bridges, who still remembers his days as an up-and-comer, took a shine to his young co-star. “I dug working with Garrett,” he says. “I admired the way he embraced the physical, emotional and mythological aspects of his role. He’s also a cool guy to hang with.”
         Later this year, Hedlund will share the screen with another Oscar winner, Gwyneth Paltrow, in Country Strong, a romantic drama set in the world of country music.
         True to his goal of always seeking out roles that are different from those he has played in the past, Hedlund is also attached to director Walter Salles’ adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s classic novel On the Road. The character he’ll be playing would be a gift to any young actor: Dean Moriarty, based on Kerouac’s brilliant but self-destructive friend, Neal Cassady, one of the major figures of the Beat movement of the 1950s.
         Hedlund is clearly enthusiastic about the project.
         “For the last three years now, [Salles and I have] been in constant communication with each other and ready to work on this project together,” he says. “It’s getting damn near time.”
         And it’s damn near time more moviegoers got to know Garrett Hedlund.

You moved to L.A. after graduating from high school in Arizona, and within a month, you landed a supporting role in Troy. Is that just how your life goes, and do people hate you for it, or were you completely blindsided by good fortune? Prior to moving out to L.A., I had been flying back and forth from Arizona for auditions for two years, and I had flown back and forth for about twenty-five auditions. The responses were all similarly crappy.
Why do you think that was? Sometimes you don’t know what you’re supposed to do within the technicalities of things, like an audition process or even the filming process. I’d been auditioning for two years, and I’d had representation. When I finally drove out to L.A. after graduating, I parted ways with all my representation, and Troy was literally the first script I had gotten.
         For all the auditions I went on, everybody in every one of the rooms looked like me, in one sense or another, and [I asked myself], “How are you going to separate yourself from all of this? I guess you have to be smarter than everyone.” So for two years I basically sat down and never really left my room. I’d turn on a pot of coffee as soon as my mom would go to bed, and read a book cover to cover, and then go straight to school and come back and rest, or go to work and stay up all night and write a whole short story for creative writing that wasn’t assigned — just something to keep me going. The creative route of things just really came on strong. I don’t know what it was, but maybe it was reading something like [Aldous Huxley’s novel] Brave New World, or reading [about] the concept of genetic engineering or something that really branched my mind off to a different place of wonderment. I started questioning the possibilities of, “If this is real…” And then I started questioning the possibilities of everything. So then my mind was going in all different directions, but all in good ways. I just wanted to learn. When I was sixteen, seventeen, I used to throw out the word “self-development” a lot because I was always trying to grow my mind. I wasn’t so concerned about what my body was.
And you attribute this to your current success and ability to break in? Understanding yourself, and knowing what you have to offer. While a lot of my friends were in theatre and spending all their time reading Shakespeare, I was reading Stanislavski, Uta Hagen and Milton Katselas and splitting that time with going to Barnes & Noble and reading Variety and Hollywood Reporter, seeing who was who in the industry, knowing who the heads of the companies were, knowing who the best agents and managers were and who they represented, and who I would aspire to be with. So when I was in Arizona, I called Endeavor to try to get Edward Norton’s agent on the phone to try to talk to him about Motherless Brooklyn, a Jonathan Lethem novel, and now I’m with Endeavor. Then I tried to get Bernie Brillstein on the phone because I thought he was probably the most respectable manager around.
         They took my number down and said they would call me back. Three years later, when I was signed with Brillstein, I went to one of his book signings and he signed my book, “Now that you’re a client, I may return your call.”

“I hope, after [Tron], I can maintain the amount of privacy I’ve been able to maintain. So when it comes to a certain role, maybe a character dealing with this or that, you can completely dive in and believe the character rather than what everybody’s photographing on the streets.”

“If you show any nerves it’s only going to take away from your audition. [On Troy], I figured if everybody was already cast, and they were all A-listers, if I want to get into a film with A-list actors, then I’d better walk into the room pretending to be one.”


What did you say when you called? They’d say, “Who is this?” And I’d say, “My name is Garrett Hedlund. I’m an aspiring actor from Arizona seeking representation and I was wondering if you’d sit down with me.” [Laughs] You know… when I got here that script [for Troy] got into my hands, and I [already] had headshots, and they said, “Well, be patient, and we’ll see if we can even get you an audition for this.” Since I had the script, and I’d read it twice, I immediately started studying it. Then I got the audition and went in with the casting director’s assistant, and then the casting director, Laura Kennedy, then with her and the producer and [director] Wolfgang [Petersen], and then with Wolfgang, the producer and Brad [Pitt], finally, on Valentine’s Day.
That’s still remarkable. Did you envision getting the role? When there’s a situation like that, where it’s really a big deal but can be kind of nerve-wracking, I always found it easier to not be nervous about everything, and be confident about that, because if you show any nerves it’s only going to take away from your audition. I figured if everybody was already cast, and they were all A-listers, if I want to get into a film with A-list actors, then I’d better walk into the room pretending to be one.
That’s hard to do — to show no fear. So it wasn’t really a month in town and, boom, you got the role of a lifetime, so fellow actors shouldn’t hate you. No. No. I got to be the struggling actor who had to pay $400 to go to an audition when these other guys got to roll out of bed and drive to it for $5 in gas money. So that’s what was always on my mind. I almost ran away to move out here a year before I actually did, just because I didn’t think I’d be able to spend another year in Arizona going to high school and lettin’ everything that goes on out here go on out here. I was really eager.
         When I got Troy it was a great validation, and then I was out filming in Malta as my class was graduating [from] high school.
Is there someone’s career that you admire or aspire to emulate? It’s never been one person’s career; it’s been more like a moment out of a lot of actors’ careers. I really admire John Malkovich. I really admire Peter Sellers. I really admire Jack Nicholson and Sean Penn for doing all the films they’ve done, and Johnny Depp for doing all the films he’s done. I admire a melting pot of about twenty different actors for about twenty different reasons. Maybe I could just try and be one of those for each film.
One thing that is notable about your work is you’re very chameleon-like. You never look the same in any film. There are actors, who shall go nameless, where you go, “Oh, there’s so-and-so.” Being so-and-so with a different name.
When you see them, they bring you out of the experience. That’s why I hope, after all this, I can maintain the amount of privacy I’ve been able to maintain. So when it comes to a certain role, maybe a character dealing with this or that, you can completely dive in and believe the character rather than what everybody’s photographing on the streets.
You’re referring to your eighth film, the big-budget studio franchise TRON Legacy, out in December? I’ll let the excitement of the film speak for itself. I’m probably just as excited as everybody else is to see the film. With TRON, it was a long shoot, but wonderful to go through working with Jeff Bridges and Olivia Wilde and to work with Joseph Kosinski on his first breakthrough into the feature world. He’s such a brilliant director. A lot of people were surprised when they hired a, technically, first-time director to work on this film, but all you have to do is look at http://www.josephkosinski.com and you go, “Of course, this is the only director capable of doing this film.” I believe everyone is able to see that now.
Jeff Bridges said he brought on a consultant to add a spiritual element. The Buddhist element. His character, more specifically, is more within that Buddhist realm. So that helped that. Stephen Lisberger’s [writer-director of the original 1982 version of TRON] approach to this has always been a mix of humanity and technology. So bringing in someone like that on Jeff’s part only helped add to the pot of diversity this actually does deal with. Instead of it just being a sci-fi film or something that’s 3-D, and cool to watch for a couple of hours, it deals with a much grander spectrum. Even in terms of the disc, it’s a circular shape, which is the circle of life.
3-D films: rip-off or renaissance? Renaissance. I know a lot of people who feel this is now going to be [part of] every film. I met a director who just told me in a meeting recently that all he wants to do from now on is 3-D films. I guess it’s more fun to watch, sort of. I don’t feel the same. I want everything to go back to film. I want everything to have the flaws and not every gate to be clean.
Country Strong has a lot of the same echoes that Crazy Heart has. The music has a lot to do with both films. Music can add in a great way to these films, and both of these films have wonderful soundtracks, but in different directions. Ours is a little more diverse because you have me singing, you have Gwyneth Paltrow singing and Leighton Meester singing.
Did you talk to your TRON costar Jeff Bridges about it while making it? I didn’t. I haven’t seen Crazy Heart yet. I didn’t want to watch it for the sole purpose of not having that in my mind. The only similarity is you’re following someone on a downward spiral, or after that’s already happened, and that’s probably the only way it’s similar. This film is so strange. I don’t even know how to explain Country Strong, really. You just have to watch the film. Because I can say I play guitar, and I sing in it, but I don’t believe myself saying it right now because I feel so different, you know?

         I saw the first twenty minutes yesterday, and I was just like, “Wow, this is great.” It looked really fantastic. I was so proud. It doesn’t feel like it was me, though.
What is your process when deciding upon your next role? How much of your representatives’ advice do you weigh? “If you’re going to play dark characters, play a light one, because we can’t even get you in the room for this unless they see something light.” I don’t know. My thing has always been doing the complete opposite of everything I’ve done.
         When I was doing Georgia Rule, [director] Garry Marshall had said [deadpan Garry Marshall voice], “I know you can play dark, but can you play a nice boy?” And I was like, “I’ll guess we’ll see.” [I went from] being on that set and having the long hair and playing this Mormon, nice-boy character [to Death Sentence]. I’d been seeking out Death Sentence for awhile. The offer was out to somebody, but then immediately they just turned around and they offered it to me. So to do Death Sentence was such a relief a month after doing Georgia Rule. I had gained about twenty-five pounds within that time, then shaved my head and formulated the look of the character. I went to a leather shop and found this great duster, watched documentaries online, added the scars to the face…
Did you go into public as your character? Oh, yeah. When I was out in South Carolina, and I’d pass a mother and her daughter on the street, the mother would pull her daughter in closer to her. I’m just a harmless guy walking thirty feet toward her, you know. Seeing that effect, you see that you really don’t have to work that hard. But then also, it’s great to find a film like Country Strong and work just as hard mentally as I did physically for TRON — to work as hard mentally, and gain the guitar ability, and be in the [recording] studio day in and day out to keep working on vocals.
Captain America. It was reported you were considered, but passed on it. Why? I met with the director last year before going to shoot Country Strong. Then, when they’d come in and talked to me about it, we’d just continually pass on it because of scheduling. Also, to be in something that had a second and a third film following it, we felt that TRON already had that, you know. To mix in another heroic character with that was not necessary. In short, we kind of always passed on it. I didn’t really think that was my gig.

“I always [felt] that I want to affect somebody the way that films affect me. I want to be the healer if I can. Be a piece of this puzzle that helps somebody through whatever they’re going through, or helps them get away from whatever they’re going through for two-and-a-half hours.”

You haven’t done any TV so far. Would you ever consider doing a great cable show? When I first started auditioning, flying in from Arizona, I would’ve taken anything. After flying out and being rejected for two years, I just knew that I really didn’t want to do TV because you get to see the same person every week on television. If I had to do the same person day in and day out I know I get bored with myself. I just wouldn’t want everybody else to, you know?
         I just knew I wanted to do film because I knew that film affected me. When I went into a theatre, it could change something that was going on with me. I always thought, when I was seventeen-eighteen, that I want to affect somebody the way that this affects me. I want to be the healer if I can. Be a piece of this puzzle that helps somebody through whatever they’re going through, or helps them get away from whatever they’re going through for two-and-a-half hours.
Are you happy with the pace your career is at right now? Yeah, I definitely enjoy the pace it’s at because people will say I’ve done a lot, but that’s not even the case. I’ll do one film, and then I won’t work for ten months. Then I’ll get another film just in the nick of time, just before I’m completely broke. Then I won’t work for another ten months. Then maybe I’ll get to do a couple of projects near each other, and that will be a little strange for once. I had two years off after Death Sentence and before TRON, because I’ve been attached to [On the Road] and I swore to the director [Walter Salles] that I wouldn’t do another film until we did this. Finally, after two years rolled around of not working, and studying and studying and studying for this role, TRON came around and this film hadn’t yet been off the ground, so I was able to do TRON.
So you’re hoping On the Road is next? It’s my dream role.
Will you look back on some of the books you’ve read and perhaps option, produce or even adapt one of them? Oh, sure. I have a couple of things in mind. It’s all about approaching the right people at the right time. But I’ve never been much on writing a screenplay. Where I live there are independent bookstores. I’d go title-shopping for books that I thought had a great title that I’d never seen made into a film before, like The Human Exile, and then another one called A God Strolling in the Cool of the Evening. [Laughs] I had completed my objective. So I went home and started reading A God Strolling in the Cool of the Evening and it was about Marcus Aurelius and all the Roman times, and I was like, “This is going to be a rough read.” I haven’t passed page twenty-five yet. I’ve been trying to read it for four years. I read everything if it catches my interest. I probably have the most books on my shelves [that are] compendiums of useless information. That’s actually what they’re called. It just tells you things, like bats only fly left out of a cave, crocodiles eat rocks so they can dive deeper.
If you had to describe your master plan, what would you say? I don’t know. I can’t really foresee it. I can’t say, “Well, I’m going to do this project and then I’m going to do that.” Because every day when you think storylines have plateaued, or it’s just all sequels now, or remakes, there’s another script that comes in completely from left field, and it’s something that you never believe could have been written, and you probably can’t believe yourself ever being involved in, but you’ll fight for it. I never foresaw that I would be involved in TRON. Then again, I never saw a sequel to TRON being made. Real surprises like these come along that sort of fill in the gaps.
Yes, but obviously you had the goal back then to come out here, and you achieved that goal. You had a goal to land feature films. You achieved that goal. So now what? My goal that I just set for now, moving forward, is to be careful. That’s the only thing that I can think of.
Be careful of what? Be careful of what you do, what you say around TRON time; all that stuff will be… I don’t know. Just be careful, I guess. Be careful so I don’t hurt myself. Be careful so I don’t say something that will make it so I don’t work ever again.
Isn’t that living in fear? No. I’ve always had a longstanding dream, ever since I was a kid, where I was running on a big lake of ice and I kept running and kept running, just about to where I was trying to get to, and I fell through the ice, and then I couldn’t find the hole where I fell through to get back out again. It was always like this certain thing where I could only get so far before everything collapses. So I guess it’s a bit of living in fear. But I don’t try to put it that way, because I feel that is going to pull everything you fear toward you. It’s about acknowledging the fear for about five percent, and then ninety-five percent goes into shrugging it all off.
Are you prepared for the caliber of fame that might ensue worldwide, and all that comes along with it — for example, the media intrusion? Everybody always asks if you’re ready for it, but I’m not sure what you would do to prepare for it. Buy some armor? Carry a shield? If so many people are asking me if I’m ready for this when I haven’t asked myself yet, then obviously I’m not ready for it. I don’t know.
Most artists claim that it’s the people around them who change. I can see that. You probably gather a lot more yes men around you. I’ve had much more of a secluded lifestyle than possibly a lot of people. When I get back to L.A. from shooting, or even when I’m on location, all I think about [is] not vacationing here or here — Tahiti or the Bahamas — all I can think about is my brown couch from IKEA [laughs] in my living room that I can get back and sit on and not move for awhile. My place here in L.A. is where I’m able to get a lot of work done, and when I’m off on location I don’t have a lot of time to express a lot of the things I like to express. So when I’m at home I’m able to read all the books that I hope will inspire me to get me through and out of this mind frame, to another mind frame, or back to myself a little more.
What’s been the best piece of advice you’ve gotten since starting in the business? Tricky one. [Laughs] I guess there’s the classic one: “Be careful who you talk shit about, and who you’re talking it to, because the person you’re talking it to may think that one day you might be talking shit about them.” It’s always funny because I have actor pals who are like, “Screw this guy, he got that role. Man, what’s this town coming to?” And then the next film that guy does is with that guy. Then he calls back and he’s like, “Oh, I’m chillin’ with so-and-so, and we’re going to the casino.” It’s like, “You were just busting his balls three months ago.” I just tell them, “Watch what you say.”
Is there one thing you’d change about your life right now if you could? I’d make L.A. a helluva lot cloudier every day.
Why? I prefer the clouds. I’m happier when it’s cloudy. I don’t know why. I can wake up on a cloudy morning and be the happiest person around. I can be in a bad mood, walk outside and go, “Dang, are you serious? All right!” Maybe it evokes more. Maybe I’m able to concentrate a little better without the sun shining so bright.


http://www.movies.com/movie-news/exclusive-interview-tron-legacys-garrett-hedlund/1131

When Tron was first on its way to science fiction cult status, Tron: Legacy’s 25-year-old star wasn’t even alive. The 1982 movie broke technical ground and wowed sci-fi fans, but for one reason or another, a sequel just didn’t seem meant to be. Now, in one of the more unlikely fan-driven sequel stories in cinematic history, Legacy’s December 17th release will mark the longest period in Hollywood history between a movie and its sequel. And if it’s as good as it looks so far, all will be forgiven.

For the third Comic-Con in a row, Tron: Legacy has a presence, but Disney is pulling out all the stops this year. They’ve debuted a new trailer and footage, held panel discussions with the cast and opened the infamous Flynn’s Arcade in San Diego’s downtown Gaslamp District featuring vintage arcade games, props from the movie and wall screens constantly running Legacy clips.

As Garrett Hedlund steps into the shoes of Sam Flynn, the son Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) hasn’t seen in a quarter century, the young actor can’t help but smile at the fearlessly loyal fan base bursting with anticipation for December. “If Comic-Con didn’t exist, Tron: Legacy wouldn’t exist,” Hedlund told us during our exclusive interview. “It’s fantastic.” We spoke with Hedlund earlier today in the soft neon glow of Flynn Arcade’s about his wild ride stepping into the machine.

Movies.com: You weren’t born yet when the Tron franchise began. What was your awareness of the first movie, the video games and the fan following over the years?

Hedlund: Well, I grew up on a farm so I definitely wasn’t around the Tron video game. We had three channels on our television so I wasn’t around the movie. I got to see it for the first time in 2003. I said, “Wow, what a trip.” Seven years later, to be a part of this film is such an incredibly unique experience.

Movies.com: Your character, Sam, hasn’t seen his father since he was a kid. What kind of relationship does that create for you with Jeff Bridges in terms of getting to know each other and rehearsing for the movie together?

Hedlund: It’s funny you ask that because we all met up several weeks before we started filming and we’d sit around a table – Me, Jeff [Bridges], Olivia [Wilde] and Joe Kosinski, the director. The writers [Adam] Horowitz and [Edward] Kitsis would be sitting on the couch along with the producers. We would improvise scenes to get that feel. All of the sudden, you’d see some of this stuff applied into the script. It was a wonderful process. Our input actually seemed to be completely accepted into something that was such a blockbuster, momentous kind of thing.

Movies.com: Take us onto the set of Tron. How much were you interacting with physical props and how much are you holding a placeholder that will be replaced digitally later?

Hedlund: It was kind of like this room [he motions to the lights around the Flynn’s Arcade bar]. The only things that were completely blue-screen were things like the disc game. I’d be on a platform and I’d have to be completely acting by myself with a camera and a screen throwing the disc. They would keep tossing about 20 discs at me and they’d just let me do what I wanted between the takes. I could jump around and say things like, “Come on! That’s all you’ve got?”

Now that I’ve seen a little bit, they didn’t just use the things we perfected, but also a lot of the mistakes, which sort of gives a nice, diverse side to the character. If they tossed a disc at me and I fumbled with it, that fumble’s in there. Everything can’t be so serious.

Movies.com: Did you have to do a lot of wirework?

Hedlund: I did so much wirework during this, having to do the flips and dropping 40 feet at 100 percent, doing a shoulder roll, a look from right to left straight into a slow stand up. Doing these things, especially at the point when gravity changes, those are some hard hits, man. I thought I was going to have a concussion. [He slaps the table] Bam! And the suit is a very tight, but once you get a full body harness under it, it becomes tighter. [Laughs]

Movies.com: What goes into Tron training school?

Hedlund: Olivia and I both had to undergo a lot of the training because we had to do the majority of our own stunts. I started at the beginning of January and we didn’t start filming until the beginning of April. We were training with this setup called 8711 in L.A. We had to do parkour and capoeira, hand to do hand-to-hand combat, physical training. It was a lot of training. There was motorcycle riding in terms of the smoothness and flow of the light cycles and the beginning sequence with the Ducati Sport 1000.

Movies.com: Do you have a favorite prop you’d like to have in your house as a memento?

Hedlund: Oh man, I’d love to have the light cycle. I wish one of them ran. It’s such a pristine, beautiful, dark, unique vehicle. If I had one of those discs and it did the damage that it does in the film, give me that thing, man!

Movies.com: Which action scene stands out as your favorite?

Hedlund: Well, now that the light jets are involved, I’d say some of that, because somebody might be man-handling a gunner.

Movies.com: If Tron succeeds like Disney’s hoping, it’s hard to imagine we won’t see more. What are your thoughts on the future of Sam Flynn?

Hedlund: They said months back that the writers are beginning their initial steps into the next of the Tron: Legacies, so that’s an exciting feel. With the vision that Joe Kosinski brings to this, it would be exciting to be involved with all of this again and to have all of the same cast back again if we could. It was the experience of a lifetime.

Movies.com: Just to confirm, you are signed on for more?

Hedlund: [Grinning and whispering quietly] Yes.

Tron: Legacy opens in theaters nationwide on December 17th, 2010


http://collider.com/garrett-hedlund-on-set-interview-tron-legacy-read-or-listen-here/

While set visits are usually embargoed until a month or two before a movie gets released, you’ve got to give Disney a lot of credit, as they’re letting us run some of our on set interviews from Tron Legacynine months before the film gets released.  But I think it’s an awesome strategy, as this way you get little “bits” of Tron Legacy throughout the year.  Also, the cast is probably going to Comic-Con this summer, and almost everything in these interviews will be old news by that point.

Anyway, last June I was invited – along with a few other online journalists – the set of Tron Legacy when the film was in the middle of production.  If you checked out my set report, you know how excited I was to be on the set and how amazing everything looked.  As I said, I grew up watching Tron.  It was one of my favorite films as a kid and never in my wildest dreams did I think Disney would make a sequel.  So getting to stand on set and watching Jeff Bridges play Kevin Flynn was a dream come true.  And while I was able to do a lot of on set interviews, Disney did two set visits and on the first one, the journalists had a lot of time with Garrett Hedlund.  Since our visit didn’t have much time with him, they’ve provided me with that interview to run in it’s place.  So if you’d like to read what Garrett Hedlund had to say about making Tron Legacy, hit the jump:

Question:  Can you talk about the character that you’re playing here?  You’re Flynn’s son and we don’t really know that much more about it.

Garrett Hedlund:  Well it’s pretty much, you know, film sort of takes place 20 years, after Flynn has sort of mysteriously disappeared.  And starts off kind of with me.  Sort of see this kid, I mean he’s the biggest shareholder in the company, you know, really at this point.  And he grew up without his father.  Lived with the grandparents, and Alan Bradley kind of always looked after him.  You know, got him out of trouble, things like that.  And then, Allen pays a visit and sort of ushers me to kind of go to Flynn’s…go to the office and check things out.  And I go there.  Me as Sam as a character is kind of a kid with a lot but sort of does a little with it, you know?  Very reclusive and sort of, you know, kind of in his own, introverted and things like that I guess.  And sort of does all these kind of extreme things just because he can.  You know, he’s very interested in base jumping and motorcycles and the container home by the water with the wonderful view.  And he grew up without his father and is now kind of going to search or find his father.  And once he gets into this world it’s, he was right all this time.  And then there’s the light bikes and the discs and the game grid and all this sort of stuff comes to play.

You get to do a lot of physical stuff too in the film?

Hedlund:  Yeah, initially when we started this, I started the first week in January.  Started with motorcycle training and getting my license and after the hour and a half of motorcycle training, I’d drive over to 8711 where the stunt coordinator David Leach, that’s his compound.  And so we’d do the fight training there; we’d do, you know, sort of exercises and jumps.  And do that for an hour and a half and a lot of hand-to-hand combat.  And then trained with the trainer Logan Hood who, you know, sort of trained all the 300 guys for Jeff Silver.  And trained with him for an hour, intensive training so.  The two months of that felt like I’d already filmed the film.  And now we come on to this and we got to continue and keep it up.  But everything is great sort of abilities to acquire.

Did you get to, I know the light cycles are CG but are you actually riding a motorcycle at some point in this?

Hedlund:  Motorcycle yeah.  The beginning sequence in the film is kind of a pseudo chase and also, yeah a big old sort of chase sequence with the motorcycle there.  And then we get onto the light bikes and I think that we’ll be doing in September back in L.A. or something, motion capture or something.

Did you do any father-son bonding with Jeff Bridges?

Hedlund:  Yeah, somewhat.  I mean, you know, very long days here and a lot of the times it can be distracting.  I mean, usually you had time between camera setups but most of us are always being fiddled with getting lights glued back on or battery packs changed and or this and that and, you know, it’s always kind of something and–

Was that part of rehearsals though?  To get a good vibe going?

Hedlund:  Within the, yeah with I’ve always been such a fan of him and his kind of self character and his charisma and everything.  And I knew I’d really get along with him and we did.  It’s kind of…he’s got a very big portion of him that’s still just a kid.  So it’s very easy for us.  I mean we just kind of play games.  I was saying yesterday, you know, he had the game, Pigs, the old fashioned one, where it’s the snout or the leading jowl or how they land.  And, you know, so it’s always funny going back and forth like that, like woo man yeah!  So but yeah I mean such long hours the weekends you’re really just trying to restore, regain, what you’ve lost over the week.  So most of us sort of flee our own ways and cocoon and then we come back to set, hopefully refreshed.

Did you pick up any of his, maybe his mannerisms at all since you’re his spawn?

Hedlund:  I think…naturally for father and son and stuff like that if he was doing something I would, you know, almost kind of mirror it a little bit.  Gestures and leaning up against something kind of had that, cause I know I have that with my dad.  I’d come back in from the field, he’d be like did you finish cultivating?  I’d be like well I went up and down, I still got to go kitty-corner and then I’d lean and then, you know, so it’s like you lean just like your father.  So it was those little things, you know?  Or hands and what you’re doing with your gestures, how you annunciate things and so it’s nice, yeah.

I don’t know the end of the movie but your character is sort of the protagonist in the same way that Jeff’s character was in the first Tron.

Tron_Legacy_movie_poster.jpg

Hedlund:  Yeah I mean–

So, did you guys compare notes?

Hedlund:  You know, it’s funny chatting to him about it.  I mean I won’t say how he referred to what he felt of his performance within that but.  Definitely, you know, trying to still have a sense of life and freedom and all of this kind of energy.  And also the wits and the smarts and always trying to sort of achieve something or always putting something together.  And figuring things out, you know?  That’s what a lot of this is, is I’m always just trying to figure something out.  And, you know, that’s, there’s a lot of tricks that kind of go on throughout this film and a lot of revealing, you know, so it’s.

Is it difficult as an actor, I mean, my assumption is that the way it sounds at least in how it’s been described is that your character sort of stumbles into this world that you’ve never really experience before.  Is it difficult as an actor shooting a movie out of sequence and to sort of track that sense of sort of wonder and amazement at everything you’re seeing, your character is seeing presumably for the first time?

Hedlund:  Mmm hmm, yeah, definitely.  Just kind of within that, you know, very sort of once you get into the world and once me and Flynn come to being together it’s sort of very impressed with everything that this man has kind of accomplished.  And at the same time, it’s all blue screen, you know, at this point.  So yeah, you got to look out.  I mean, um, I’m constantly ask what you’re seeing here, how bright is that, you know, how loud is that, how many of them are there?  And…

And how do you get the answer?  Do you have pre-viz that you look at or…

Hedlund:  Yeah they do have their, they do have a rough assembly of pre-viz of what they’re going to sort of, it’s going to kind of track to look like.  Other than that, then you also don’t want to do the same, you know, steal from your pre-viz character what he’s doing…like how he stepped there.  You know, or I like how, or that was a really good reaction just seeing that [LAUGHTER].  You know, the pre-viz doesn’t even look like me, it looks like some sort of six foot four Italian guy. So, it’s like is that what they really wanted?

Tron Legacy movie image Flynn's Arcade

Do you feel some kind of, you know, you are the protagonist and this kind of restarts a continuation of what is currently going to be a major franchise, a budding franchise for Disney.  Day to day does that feel like a big load on your shoulders? How does that manifest?

Hedlund:  Not really, I mean, I’ve always kind of felt that, you know, if you think about things that way it can only take away from you.  I mean I sort of approached this film like, you know, the last film I did was a smaller budget film.  You had the ability to be yourself; there wasn’t so much pressure on you.  It’s only what you put out there is, you know, sometimes you’re not asked for certain things.  And so it’s always trying to, I mean, within that yeah, I just try and alleviate all of the possibilities of stress whatsoever from my mind.  Because I don’t feel an extreme amount of pressure in this position.  Maybe that’s good or maybe somebody wouldn’t feel as much but, you know, each day is such a new sort of thing.  I mean a new, a new part of the story where, you know, from the solar sailor, you know, on the game grids or every day is so different to where you’re mostly just trying to focus on that day in particular.  What you’re going to do, how you’re going to make it believable.  And not about, you know, the grand sort of spectrum of things to what could be or, you know, all that.  It’s more of a fear than, you know, anything else, you know?  I have an extreme amount of curiosity to see what this is all going to look like because for now when you look at playbacks in the monitor it’s just, you know, your mug and a blue screen.  You can become critical, you’re like oh I flinched there, or I blinked there.  Man I shouldn’t blink so much and then it’s like [LAUGH] but there’s going to be all this glorious stuff back there that’s going to be taking a lot of focus off yourself as well.  So I can.

I don’t know how much of a fan you were of the original film but have you had that moment where you say to yourself oh my god I’m in Tron?

Hedlund:  Yeah from the, I mean, when we were doing the disc stuff for me because we haven’t really tackled the the light bike stuff yet or anything but, you know, a couple weeks ago we had to do the disc game platform.  And I remember watching the first one and, you know, when I must have watched, I probably watched it in 2003.  So when you’re watching that you just say you’re kind of giggling to yourself like man there’s a story around, you know, being within a sort of computer.  And all this and they’re wearing hockey helmets, and throwing, you know, a Frisbee is the weapon.  Or like, you know, and then it actually was the Frisbee and so now, you know, how many years, you know, after that point when I just watched it out of pure amusement, you know?  Now you’re throwing, I can’t even say it.  But no, you’re throwing the discs and doing the spin and, you know, saying your lines and it’s all very surreal within that, yeah.

How many discs can you hit?

Hedlund:  I hit them in the head.  Take 37 apples.

40 feet away, it was a great shot.

Hedlund:  It was funny because these guys are sitting at a monitor which, I mean, you know, where their video village was like that.  It’s so hard, if you would’ve seen the target that I had to throw at it was basi– it was literally the size of a barn.  And it stuck to my hand and flings off this way and sort of does a curve back this way and they’re all watching the monitors with the glasses on them.  And like oh I wonder where that one’s going to go.  But I’m like Claudio!  And like they all, you know, Claudio ducks out of the way, the DP.  And he ducks down and because I got this visor on it’s like wearing prescription glasses when you don’t have a prescription.  You know, so I can’t see so by the time he ducked down I thought I had killed him. [LAUGHTER] And then like Claudio, are you alright?  And then all I see is, you know, Claudio is still ducking and I see Justin come up like this. [LAUGHTER]

That’s real 3D.

Tron Legacy movie image inside Flynns Arcade.jpg

Hedlund:  Yeah, yeah.

With regard to the costumes, was, what was your reaction when you saw kind of what you were going to be in and then like how do you get comfortable in it?

Hedlund:  It was actually interesting.  Back in Los Angeles we went to a structure in Burbank called the MPCC.  And trying the suit on, I mean, you had to go through every stage of it.  You know, first maybe it just started with a rough form of the pants, you know.  None of these gravings were even in there, no lights, no cords whatsoever, just the pants.  You know, those are naturally uncomfortable.  I mean just wearing, you know, this kind of under armor form, cause we got it under here too, that’s always uncomfortable.  You can feel every single hair on your body movement, you know?  And then you try the top on and then, you know, just kept going in stages.  Then you got to come back and try it on when they got the cords going through.  Then you got to come back and try it on when they got lights to put on it.  Then you got to come back when they got boots ready.  And then you got to come back when they got a helmet they want to try on you.  And then you got to come back when they want to light you up.  And it was all these, I must have went back 29 times.  Even once I got out here, we were filming and all my weekends went to flying back because we had a month shooting real world stuff.  And so I’ve constantly have to take my weekends and fly back and go try the suit on and fly back, get back filming.  You know, so but with the suit it was always funny because for the two hours you’re in it while trying it on you’re always like, jokishly, we got to do this for how long?  You know, and then the next one you’re like, two months?  And then, you know, and so it’s and then once you have to put it on for the first day it’s just, it seems like the longest day in the world.  And, you know, your body is doing different things.  They got foot straps down here to keep the pants low enough so they don’t raise up.  You got this on and you got the boots and the top holds this one up but this has to hold the top down.  And so when I raise my right arm I’m feeling a tug on my left foot. [LAUGHTER] And it’s all these different things and your shoulders go out, I mean.  I’ve had a lot of chiropractic readjustments.  But to the point where I had, you know, both shoulders out and three ribs out, like both hips.  Like it’s all just from the, you know, when you can’t sit down and the lower back is going.

That’s why they pay you the big bucks.

Hedlund:  Yeah right. [LAUGHTER]

We were looking at the helmets, I mean–I can’t imagine having that helmet on for all day.

Hedlund:  Well that one it’s nice cause you can get that one off.  These, you know, some of the other cast members have little more technical helmets.  In cave, they have to have a cooling system within there, a fan blowing around.  Even one of our other cast members has a screen inside cause he can’t see out of anything in his helmet so there’s a camera here.  And then the night’s dark here, his vision is dark here.  But after two months in the suit, it’s miraculous how it’s just another day at work, you know?  Cause the first week it was just like, is it too late to try and resign?

Did you do any method acting?

Hedlund:  Within this?  I mean, what–

Do you try to get far away from it after hours as you can?

Hedlund:  Within this it’s trickier than I ever have to, you know, cause on certain films like the last one I did, I played the leader of a whole sort of, you know, kind of gang of thugs in any town anywhere.  And, you know, it’s a very sort of dark story, you know.  And my father’s John Goodman and I shoot him in the head, and, you know.  Kevin Bacon and Kelly Preston, and I kill them and the kid.  Both kids, I kill both kids, so, you know–

I see. So this is the same kind of role?

Hedlund:  With that, you know, the trailer time is put to a sort of unique kind of use.  Cause what’s not written on the page you’re constantly striving to sort of, you know, write some down, all these kind of ideas, options, alternates.  And, you know, and you’re in the trailer for hours so there’s this certain annoyance that can just really rise.  There’s, you can go very serious with it, I mean.  In this it’s hard because you’re want to be really serious with what you’re doing and always in track of where you want to go with this, but there’s also, it’s a strange process that in between every take, time that you would be thinking about other routes and other routes people are always constantly around you doing this and doing that.  Fanning the hov or replacing a light, oh we got 10 minutes before the next one?  Let’s replace the light, I’m like no, no let me go and think a little bit.  It’s, you know, it gets hard that way.  Very distracting but, you know, somehow we are able to make it work at the end of the day, you know?

Tron Legacy hits theaters this December.


http://www.hollywood.com/general/four-brothers-interviews-garrett-hedlund-and-andre-benjamin-57168200/

You shot in Toronto, which subs for the movie’s setting, Detroit, and it looked like you didn’t have to do much acting to look like you were freezing your butts off.

Garrett Hedlund: “All the scenes that were sort of shot towards the beginning were horrendous, because it was January in Canada. I was from Minnesota, so I was a little more adapted to that sort of weather, more than these guys, but blood thinned out as well, and it got f**king cold up there.”
Andre Benjamin: “It was scenes, like the scene on like the white area, where you didn’t see any land. We were shooting on top of a lake, it’s frozen, so it’s kind of like a human standing on a big block of ice. And there were no trees to stop the wind, and it was just so cold, that my mouth would freeze up, and I’d have to warm it up so I could say my lines. I have never been that cold in my life.”

Was the chemistry on set, the teasing brotherly vibe, immediate, or did it come to you in stages?

Benjamin: “I can say that it was a blessing, because I’m an only child, and so going into a movie called Four Brothers…We didn’t have time to rehearse–usually you have weeks to rehearse with the cast–and so we had a week and then we pretty much just did hockey practice. So a lot of bonding came from playing hockey and going out at night, but it was natural. Everybody’s personality was cool, no egos, we laughed, and joked, and we got so comfortable we could talk about each other. Even racial jokes, because we knew about it – you know how it was, the black, white, black, white, brother-type thing. So it was cool.”

What were some of the nicknames you gave each other on set?

Benjamin: “We always got on [Garrett’s] hair size. Because he had this hairdo, you know? He’d come out of the trailer in the morning with this big bouffant, type thing. So we always got him about that. They got on my clothes–they said it was too tight. Actually the line in the movie about my teeth–That was made up. After that day, I just knew…I said ‘Well, Tyrese, for the rest of my life, people are gonna talk about my teeth because of that line.’”
Hedlund: “Let’s face it, these guys–you see how much they sort of taunt [my character] when he does speak, and so he sort of goes in a world on his own, sort of sits back. He kind of separates himself from the bunch.”

Andre, you’re relatively new to the acting game. Have you taken any formal training, or is it all on-the-job experience?ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOWFOLLOW US

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Benjamin: “Even before I started in music in middle school and in high school, I was in a drama troupe, in a performing arts school, but I’ve never thought about being an actor. It was kind of just being chosen to be in stage plays like Charlotte’s Web and stuff like that. But after doing music, doing videos, I’d get calls from producers and directors and they’d tell me come hang out and try out for this role, and I started to like it. And so I moved to California because I was spending so much money on hotels and airplane tickets.”

What’s the allure for a recording artist to go into acting? Why does it seem to be a natural progression from videos?

Benjamin: “Videos and films are totally different. Because you’re hiding behind music, you know? And you pretty much just lip-sync. And in film, you know, they yell ‘Action!’ and it’s as quiet as it is in here, and you have to believe it, you know? You have to go in to it.”

On screen in this film, you seem like such a relatable Everyman, very normal. And very different from your flashy OutKast music persona.

Benjamin: “Andre 3000 is a character in itself, you know, so I’m actually closer to Jeremiah than people think, you know.”

Garrett, you arrived in L.A. and seemingly immediately got cast in a big film. Did you ever really struggle?

Hedlund: “Prior to going out there, I sort of picked up the book and started studying, reading anything I could to sort of just increase that ability to sort of analyze material and put myself in a character’s shoes. With every novel, every series, I’d see myself as that person, so when it came time to read scripts, it came a little more natural. When I was in Arizona, I started reading scripts. I’d read the scripts to the movies that I haven’t seen, and take my take on the character and pretend that I was gonna go in. Movies like ‘Five Easy Pieces,’ and things with great actors when they were still young, the movies that started them off. Then after that I’d watch the movie and see what they did, but the whole thing with that sort of study was just to show myself that there were no rules, and that I could actually follow my instincts and train my instincts.”

Did you create this back story for yourself, your character, to explain who you’d become?

Hedlund: “Yeah, you do, you write a complete back story, which will just help you answer any questions that aren’t, you know, answered in the script. Anything that’s not in the script is there in your mind, so therefore writing back story definitely helps you out. I remembered when I first started, even going in on auditions, I would write fifteen pages of back story on the character, from the beginning, from starting in this life, so like what his fears are and just sort of about him, I almost wrote it like a short story about this character, and sort of, you know, even if it wasn’t sort of almost the same as what’s on the page, but it’s already then for becoming a character in my mind.”

Andre, you’re the voice of reason, was it hard to be dramatic when you’re really so cool?

Benjamin: “No, I think humans, you look for any chance you can to do stuff like that, you know. By that time, like, the character, you know, but I think you have to know–and I don’t know if they showed it that much in the film, but growing up, we all were knuckleheads, we all did the street thing, so we were all in the same boat, but I guess they moved out of town, I stayed in Detroit. Like once you have a wife and two kids, two girls, you kind of have to slow it down. And I think I was the only voice of reason or the more responsible one because of that, I had more to lose than any other of my brothers. But at the same time, I still had pride, there were certain scenes cut out of the movie, like I think, like me and Tyrese were sitting at the table, me and Angel, I’m sorry, were sitting at the table, and I think he’s testing me, you know, because they come back into town, I have a house, and a family, so they’re trying to play like I’ve softened up, you know, and I kind of snap on him at the table, but I think they took it out.”

As a recording artist, how is it learning to let it go and really having to be emotional?

Benjamin: “It’s therapy. It’s therapy, it’s good, it’s good, I remember I was shooting My Life in Idlewild, and I’m not gonna tell you like scenes or whatever, but when I left that movie, I felt like a new person, because I had to go places that I hadn’t gone in like ten years must have been, you know, in OutKast, because you’re not supposed to show those parts. So it was like therapy it was good.”

What do you get from working with John Singleton?

Benjamin: “To always iron your clothes before you go outside. [laughs] It was a joke on the set: we called him John Wrinkleton. Because he always came wrinkled. I think the intensity. I had a conversation with him, I said ‘What’s the difference between these two directors and those two directors?’ And he always said ‘I’m an old school director. The people I study, they give the emotion out of the movie.’ He said ‘If I feel like I can make you feel something visually, that’s cool–if it looks good, that’s cool. But if I feel like I can make you laugh, if I can make you cry, if I can make you sad, if I can make you like overjoyed and happy, then I feel like I’m doing my job.’ So he looks for the emotion in it.”
Hedlund: “I came off with one good line from John [Singleton], and that was ‘If you’re gonna steal, steal from the best.’ And that’s–I think that was one of the best lines I’d hear him say.”

Benjamin: “Even before I started in music in middle school and in high school, I was in a drama troupe, in a performing arts school, but I’ve never thought about being an actor. It was kind of just being chosen to be in stage plays like Charlotte’s Web and stuff like that. But after doing music, doing videos, I’d get calls from producers and directors and they’d tell me come hang out and try out for this role, and I started to like it. And so I moved to California because I was spending so much money on hotels and airplane tickets.”

What’s the allure for a recording artist to go into acting? Why does it seem to be a natural progression from videos?

Benjamin: “Videos and films are totally different. Because you’re hiding behind music, you know? And you pretty much just lip-sync. And in film, you know, they yell ‘Action!’ and it’s as quiet as it is in here, and you have to believe it, you know? You have to go in to it.”

On screen in this film, you seem like such a relatable Everyman, very normal. And very different from your flashy OutKast music persona.

Benjamin: “Andre 3000 is a character in itself, you know, so I’m actually closer to Jeremiah than people think, you know.”

Garrett, you arrived in L.A. and seemingly immediately got cast in a big film. Did you ever really struggle?

Hedlund: “Prior to going out there, I sort of picked up the book and started studying, reading anything I could to sort of just increase that ability to sort of analyze material and put myself in a character’s shoes. With every novel, every series, I’d see myself as that person, so when it came time to read scripts, it came a little more natural. When I was in Arizona, I started reading scripts. I’d read the scripts to the movies that I haven’t seen, and take my take on the character and pretend that I was gonna go in. Movies like ‘Five Easy Pieces,’ and things with great actors when they were still young, the movies that started them off. Then after that I’d watch the movie and see what they did, but the whole thing with that sort of study was just to show myself that there were no rules, and that I could actually follow my instincts and train my instincts.”

Did you create this back story for yourself, your character, to explain who you’d become?

Hedlund: “Yeah, you do, you write a complete back story, which will just help you answer any questions that aren’t, you know, answered in the script. Anything that’s not in the script is there in your mind, so therefore writing back story definitely helps you out. I remembered when I first started, even going in on auditions, I would write fifteen pages of back story on the character, from the beginning, from starting in this life, so like what his fears are and just sort of about him, I almost wrote it like a short story about this character, and sort of, you know, even if it wasn’t sort of almost the same as what’s on the page, but it’s already then for becoming a character in my mind.”

Andre, you’re the voice of reason, was it hard to be dramatic when you’re really so cool?

Benjamin: “No, I think humans, you look for any chance you can to do stuff like that, you know. By that time, like, the character, you know, but I think you have to know–and I don’t know if they showed it that much in the film, but growing up, we all were knuckleheads, we all did the street thing, so we were all in the same boat, but I guess they moved out of town, I stayed in Detroit. Like once you have a wife and two kids, two girls, you kind of have to slow it down. And I think I was the only voice of reason or the more responsible one because of that, I had more to lose than any other of my brothers. But at the same time, I still had pride, there were certain scenes cut out of the movie, like I think, like me and Tyrese were sitting at the table, me and Angel, I’m sorry, were sitting at the table, and I think he’s testing me, you know, because they come back into town, I have a house, and a family, so they’re trying to play like I’ve softened up, you know, and I kind of snap on him at the table, but I think they took it out.”

As a recording artist, how is it learning to let it go and really having to be emotional?

Benjamin: “It’s therapy. It’s therapy, it’s good, it’s good, I remember I was shooting My Life in Idlewild, and I’m not gonna tell you like scenes or whatever, but when I left that movie, I felt like a new person, because I had to go places that I hadn’t gone in like ten years must have been, you know, in OutKast, because you’re not supposed to show those parts. So it was like therapy it was good.”

What do you get from working with John Singleton?

Benjamin: “To always iron your clothes before you go outside. [laughs] It was a joke on the set: we called him John Wrinkleton. Because he always came wrinkled. I think the intensity. I had a conversation with him, I said ‘What’s the difference between these two directors and those two directors?’ And he always said ‘I’m an old school director. The people I study, they give the emotion out of the movie.’ He said ‘If I feel like I can make you feel something visually, that’s cool–if it looks good, that’s cool. But if I feel like I can make you laugh, if I can make you cry, if I can make you sad, if I can make you like overjoyed and happy, then I feel like I’m doing my job.’ So he looks for the emotion in it.”
Hedlund: “I came off with one good line from John [Singleton], and that was ‘If you’re gonna steal, steal from the best.’ And that’s–I think that was one of the best lines I’d hear him say.”



http://www.blackfilm.com/20050805/features/benjaminhedlund.shtml

Four Brothers: An Interview with Andre Benjamin and Garrett Hedlund

By Wilson Morales

John Singleton has a flare for knowing when the time is right for musicians and rappers to be in his films. From Ice Cube (Boyz N The Hood) to Tupac (Poetic Justice) to Tyrese (Baby Boy), he has found good roles that they can be proud of, and now he’s about to do the same with Andre Benjamin of Outkast. We saw what Andre can do earlier this year in “Be Cool” and now he’s playing one of the leads in Singleton’s next film, “Four Brothers”. Another lead in the film is Garrett Hedlund. Hedlund was seen as Brad Pitt’s cousin in “Troy” and played one the football players in last year’s hit, “Friday Night Lights”. As both of these guys are just starting out in the film business, Benjamin and Hedlund spoke to blackfilm.com about their roles in the film.


Are you getting more comfortable in your acting shoes?

Andre: I think the more I do it, the more comfortable being in that uncomfortable situation, so yeah. Even with music, when I first started, I didn’t know if I was good or not, so I didn’t know if I was good until people said, “Hey! You’re good.” So, I really don’t know.


Andre, this is your third or fourth feature that we will see you in this year. How’s the transition coming in from the music world?

Andre: The transition is easy. The actual transition, but it’s not really up to me. I’d say that it’s up to the people cause they have to accept me as Andre Benjamin playing a character more than Andre 3000 so we’ll see.


Are you taking lessons?

Andre: Haven’t had time. I had taken lessons in Actor’s workshop but that was like a couple of year ago, but I’ve been shooting, so I haven’t had time to really get back in class but I plan to get back.


John mentioned that you guys didn’t have time to rehearse, so how did you do your bonding?

Garrett: Primary, we probably became closer buddies out on the ice rink. What they didn’t force was hockey practice so these guys could learn how to skate, Andre and Tyrese.

Andre: Garrett’s a professional.

Garrett: I grew up in Minnesota, out on a farm, and I learned how to skate at a young age, so that was a great part of the film for me; to put the skates back on. I hadn’t picked up a stick in about four or five years, but yeah, we never had rehearsals, and that’s definitely something I had never done in a film. You have the time to figure out all aspects of a scene and work it out and work with these guys and really play with the options and we never got the opportunity on this but we got the opportunity spur of the moment spontaneity and to see what came out was sort of half of the mystery.


Andre, when will you know that you have fully arrived in this artistic endeavor?

Andre: I guess when people say it. I feel a certain way when I’m doing it. Like when I doing it and not thinking when I’m doing it, I feel the best, so I guess once I’m accepted by the community then I’d guess that I have done it.


Can you talk about the scene where you explain to the guys about you took care of the mother while the rest of the brothers left town?

Andre: Well, I think at that point the brothers had in their minds that I had something to do with it (mom’s death), and that it was all my fault. They were sort of asking me about something so small and it kind of pissed me off so it was like, “You’re asking questioning me and beating me about some insurance bill because I paid insurance bills?” At that point it was like, “How dare you question me about insurance bills when actually I paid everything” and with that, things turned.


Can you talk about playing hockey?

Andre: We only had like four or five days to practice and I had never worn skates before so my ankles weren’t together so and I was really like a baby for like the first three days but by the third day, I started to pick up and like it and started to do tricks and skate backwards and spray ice…

Garrett: While wearing pads. (Laughs)


Garrett, you’re the baby in this. Are you the baby at home?

Garrett: I am, but this is a whole different one. This character got picked up on and I don’t know if he sort of deserved it but it’s definitely completely different from the other characters that I’ve played. The sort of mentality… I don’t even remember what I was thinking in a lot of those times.


Did your character have a music career?

Garrett: They have a scene that was cut out that was sort of a flashback scene of him up on stage rocking up on this head through speaker and stripping his shirt off and raising his guitar to the air. I think it will be put back in during the end credits but that will maybe answer some questions.


Andre, you co-wrote a movie with your partner. Are you going to branch out even more into producing other things in terms of movies?

Andre: I think you are talking about is “My Life in Idlewild”. I didn’t co-write the movie with Bryan Barber. Me and Bryan are from Atlanta, Clark University and we’ve known each other for a long time and we have always written our videos concepts together. So we wrote two video concepts and HBO got a hold of the video concepts and said, “Can you make it into a movie?” Bryan takes our video concepts and he writes the script to “My Life in Idlewild”.


Are you looking to seize more of your career by branching out anyway?

Andre: Oh yeah, most definitely. My first look deal is with Paramount and Nickelodeon and that whole MTV and I have a couple of projects that I’ll bring. I’m more of a concept writer. I haven’t gotten to the point… I haven’t taken writing classes. I don’t know anything about screenwriting that much but maybe in the future I will.


Is there a prejudice like people like yourself going from music into movies. John Singleton said that you had told him some point, “I’m interested in doing a movie” and he said, “I just blew him off” because he didn’t really take you seriously I guess until he had seen you in a couple of movies and then he realized that maybe you did have the chops. Do you feel that there that there is that sense out there?

Andre: Most definitely, but I don’t think it’s entirely prejudice. I’ve done characters all throughout my career like the “hey ya guy”. I think people get attached to that character and don’t want to see me in anything else or can’t see me in anything else and I have a problem because I can’t pull off the job playing another character. So it’s kind of like a hindrance so a lot of casting directors may feel like people may see me as the guy dancing around in the video. I think there’s a lot of pressure going into this.


But you’re working hard to overcome that obviously?

Andre: The only thing I can do is do the job and play a character to the tee. It’s not even up to me at the point; it’s up to the audience.


What are your musical tastes?

Garrett: I was a big fast Outkast before Andre joined the film and I was very excited to work with Andre on this; to work with a great cast and a great director and I feel very fortunate.


Who’s a better skater, Andre or Mark or better rapper, Andre or Mark?

Garrett: That’s good one. Better skater? Mark was practicing for about a month or earlier but you can still see the un-cordinations. Better rapper? Heck, I don’t know. I started listening to Marky Mark once I was in Canada and I started reciting lyrics to Marky Mark once I was in Canada.


How’d he feel about that?

Garrett: He would just say, “Shut up”.

Andre: He actually sang Tyrese R & B songs too.

Garrett: I was the only one that wasn’t a singer.


How was working on “Revolver” compared to this film?

Andre: I’ve only shot 5 films to date and I’ve learned that working with different directors, they work differently. With Guy Ritchie, his shooting schedule is quick because he knows in his head; he edits a lot. He wants emotion but at the same time, he will say, “Now say this line” 50 times and four different ways; so it’s not going through the whole scene. It’s just standing there saying the same thing, four different ways and he knows how he’s going to cut it. In working with John, he’s about emotion.


How are you in shooting guns?

Andre: I think people will be pleased with this film. In “Revolver”, I play a loan shark and I think Guy Ritchie fans are just going to be happy because they got on him about the “Swept Away” thing. He’s back to the shoot-em-up Guy Ritchie.


Does it take place in London?

Andre: You don’t know where it takes place. We shot in London and in other places but it’s sort of multi-racial, multi-cultural and different accents. It’s mixed up.


Will you have a cut on the soundtrack for this film?

Andre: No, I don’t think so because I think it’s too late now; maybe the Guy Ritchie movie which comes out in September. I’d love to do songs for soundtracks but I just haven’t had time.


As you make this transition, what won’t you do in the film business?

Andre: There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do right now because the challenge for is to get into character and play something that I’m totally not. That’s what I get out of it. If the story is good, then it’s a challenge to get into character. I actually had gotten a script to play a homosexual disco guy, the story of Sylvester. I have to make a decision of when to do it. I can’t just jump out and my first acting role is playing a homosexual, but as actor, you have to do it. You have to act. You can’t have any reservations about it.


Will your music suffer? Are you worried about that?

Andre: I do worry about it but honestly, it’s a blessing because the film thing came at a great time. A lot of people don’t know that we have been doing OutKast for ten years. “Hey Ya” was the first big single and it was our biggest album to date, but we had been doing it for so long, you get to the point that you start looking for new inspiration and things to do. I think I will always do music in some form or fashion.


From “Troy” to “Friday Night Lights” to this, are you having a good time getting roles?

Garrett: Yeah, I have a good time getting roles. I been fortunate enough to work with a lot of good people to sort of sit back and take from them and learn. It’s definitely different character in those films. This character takes a lot of criticism and half the time I would be looking at the screen and I don’t even recognize who that is. So that was fun.


Did you have to read for this?

Garrett: Yes, I read with John. I hadn’t met John prior to that so I went in and was able to get it that way and I’ve to read for all the films I’ve done so far and I’m proud about that. Did you meet the guys before and see how you would react with them. I met Mark after they had been considering me for the role and didn’t meet these guys until Toronto for the table read. We got out there a week before we started filming. We didn’t have time to sit back and bond and truly none of that was even forced; all of us just sort of naturally got along. Our personalities just sort of clicked and that was really fortunate for us to not force friendliness.


Sofia Vergara mentioned that it was torture being in the cold.

Garrett: The part that was torture was so big and trying to be a rock star that he didn’t concentrate on wearing any warm fucking clothes. So while all these guys are outside wearing nice warm jackets, I have this very thin leather jacket and it was freezing.


Do you have anything coming up next?

Andre: Yeah, I think I do, but we haven’t announced it yet.


Was there any significance to the tattoo you had in the film?

Garrett: Yeah. It was supposed to be the band’s name. There’s a scene that will be put back in during the end credits.


Was there anything in the script about your sexuality?

Garrett: Yeah. It was banter in the script which I don’t know. He’s a foster kid. He went from foster house to foster house so it implies an issue there. Whatever happened there definitely wasn’t spoken of.

FOUR BROTHERS opens on August 12, 2005 

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