Sam Worthington Interview For ‘The Debt’
The espionage thriller begins in 1997, as shocking news reaches retired Mossad secret agents Rachel (Helen Mirren) and Stefan (Tom Wilkinson) about their former colleague David (Ciaran Hinds). All three have been venerated for decades by their country because of the mission that they undertook back in 1966, when the trio (portrayed, respectively, by Jessica Chastain, Marton Csokas, and Sam Worthington tracked down Nazi war criminal Vogel (Jesper Christensen ) in East Berlin. At great risk, and at considerable personal cost, the team’s mission was accomplished – or was it? The suspense builds in and across two different time periods, with startling action and surprising revelations. ‘The Debt’ is set for release August 31st in the US, and September 30th in the UK.
Can you tell us about the story of ‘The Debt’?
Sam Worthington: Yeah, ‘The Debt’ is a movie in two parts. In 1966 three young Mossad agents are trying to take down a Nazi war criminal, the problem is the plan goes south. The way they react to that situation has a ripple effect thirty years down the track, where people like Tom Wilkinson, Helen Mirren and Ciarán Hinds play the older version of us, we see the after affect it has on them and what they need to do to make life right. The driving force in the movie is how these three people deal with living with a monster, and what the monster does to these three people. He knows how to push their buttons.
What interested you in playing this part? The three of you have an interesting arc.
Sam Worthington: Director John Madden wanted me to be the character that was kind of the introvert of the three. There’s a great balance between me and Jessica Chastain, who’s the character the audience sees the movie through, Marton Csokas is the extrovert, then there’s my character. You try to keep that balance flowing, you’re trying to not let my character get too passive, get the emotions in check. That dynamic really works well when they’re stuck in the house and things are going wrong. That house is like a Molotov cocktail, bubbling, ready to erupt – that really interested me.
What was the rehearsal process like between you, Marton and Jessica? Things get real intense.
Sam Worthington: It was good with all three of us, we never really separated and said, ‘this is me and Jessica’s scene.’ I don’t like rehearsing that way, I think it’s more use the three of us sitting down and discuss where we want to see these characters going, the emotional arcs they’ve got. Then you go in and play. When work with the caliber of Marton Csokas and Jessica it’s an easy day. The three of us know what the objectives are. Also, we got lucky, shooting in that house, we were shooting in sequence, it starts off as a family, then when the Nazi gets there it gets really intense, you do want to get out of there. The three of us found that a really unique experience.
Marton Csokas I’d known for years in Australia, he’s a great Theatre actor in Australia. He’s a force to be reckoned with that’s for sure, the amount of research he does, he gets right into the part. Jessica is an absolute joy to work with, I poached her again for another movie straight away, I’d keep doing it for the rest of my life (laughs), she makes you better, she’s what you want from an actress. She isn’t vain about the work, she creates the character, gets lost in the world, it’s always about the work with Jessica.
Did you get to speak to Ciarán Hinds about David?
Sam Worthington: We talked for about an hour, me and Ciarán Hinds. I pinpointed emotionally where I thought the character was going. I know the others talked a lot longer, but I think when you’ve got Tom Wilkinson, Helen Mirren and Ciarán Hinds, all Oscar nominated, or Oscar winning actors portraying these roles, you know that side of the movie is going to be great. What it does is that it raises the bar for us.
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