‘The Equalizer 2′: Melissa Leo on Shooting An Emotional Death Scene

     July 20, 2018

Sony Pictures’ The Equalizer 2 welcomes back a few people from The Equalizer including director Antoine Fuqua, writer Richard Wenk, and Denzel Washington as Robert McCall. But one of the brightest lights returning to the sequel is the character of Susan Plummer played by Melissa Leo. In the first film, Leo’s Susan (along with Bill Pullman‘s Brian Plummer) seem to be the only friends McCall has in his life. The interactions between Susan and McCall serve as a respite from all the violence occurring in his life and in the film. Their exchanges also hint at a deeper backstory to McCall that gets explored in the sequel at greater length.


The Equalizer 2 includes some overarching themes about redemption and how even fragments of larger memories can lead you back home. It also features more of the refreshingly tender exchanges between Washington and Leo that give this franchise its emotional depth. Melissa Leo has been rightfully lauded in her career for playing a number of tender yet extremely tough, uncompromising characters. So seeing her as Susan Plummer in this film is a smile-inducing change of direction for the Oscar winning actress. Everyone needs a Susan Plummer in their life.

At the press day for the movie, I sat down with Melissa Leo to ask her how it felt to slide back into the shoes of Susan Plummer and to work with Washington and Fuqua again, what the differences were between Edward Woodward’s McCall and Denzel’s McCall, and how she prepared for her physically demanding and emotionally challenging death scene in the movie.

Check out what Melissa had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about followed by a few images.

Melissa Leo:

  • What was it like to step back into the shoes of Susan Plummer?
  • What the difference was between Edward Woodward‘s interpretation of the character of Robert McCall on the TV series and Denzel’s interpretation on film?
  • How she prepares for an emotionally terrifying death scene like the one she suffers in the movie?

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