Now playing in theaters is director Pierre Morel’s new action thriller, The Gunman. In the film, Sean Penn plays an ex-Special Forces government contractor suffering from PTSD who discovers the organization he once worked for in the troubled Congo has put a price on his head. When he attempts to track down those responsible for targeting him, he finds himself caught up in a relentless game of cat and mouse across two continents. Penn stars opposite an impressive supporting cast that includes Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, Javier Bardem, Mark Rylance, Peter Franzén,and Jasmine Trinca. The movie is based on the novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette and was shot on location in Barcelona, London and South Africa.
At the Los Angeles press day I landed an exclusive video interview with Pierre Morel. He talked about the experience of working with Sean Penn on the actor’s first big action film, his first cut of the movie, what he learned from friends and family screenings, what it was like operating the steadicam on Richard Linklater’s Before Sunset, and a lot more.
Here’s the interview followed by a list of what we talked about.
- What was it like doing steadicam on Before Sunset?
- Does he have any strong memory from making the film?
- What was it like working with Sean Penn on his first big action film?
- Did having Penn as the lead help land the rest of the cast?
- How long was his first cut?
- Did he have a longer version of the film that he almost released?
- Is he a fan of extended cuts?
- What did he learn from test screenings and friends and family screenings?
- How did the script change when Sean Penn got involved?
- Filming the gritty action scenes.
- What is he doing next?