When you think about a movie like Law Abiding Citizen, you can’t hell but be reminded of times when all one needed was a stellar cast full of huge celebrities that were credible actors, a handful of experienced character actors, a few newcomers, a young director, and a thoroughly polished script to create blockbuster. It would fill you with excitement and nothing was more genuinely exciting wen it comes to movies coming out in the Fall season than when I first heard of the combination of Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx. Of course, even in all of that excitement, my feelings towards the film were more or less unthrilled (you can read my review here), but I seem to be one of the few as the film has remained in the top 5 at the box office since its arrival Friday after last. We interviewed co-stars Bruce McGill and Regina Hall about their project which gave more insight on not just the film, but how we deal with trauma along with
Regina Hall and Jamie Foxx
What actually attracted you to this film?
Regina: I read the script and loved it. I also knew at that point that F. Gary Gray was directing it and I was always a fan of his work. I think Friday is my mother’s favorite film. That’s how deep it goes generationally. You know what I mean? I love it and my mom’s always like, â€œI wanna watch it, tooâ€.
Bruce: I wanna meet that woman.
Regina: And Jamie Foxx was attached. Certainly, we all love Jamie Foxx’s work. It was a wonderful and amazing cast.
Bruce: Also, we need jobs. We have mortgages, etc.
Regina: I didn’t do this movie for the mortgage. I got no money for this.
Bruce: They weren’t paying big time.
Bruce: Originally, I was- I worked with Gary before and I liked him and vice versa. I was originally playing the Mayor. It was a two day part.
Regina: Were you?
Bruce: Yeah. I was cast as the Mayor.
Regina: You know, this is all news to me everyone.
Bruce: They developed it a little more when they got Viola Davis, but for whatever reason Sir Michael Gambon was to play Jonas Cantrell. And for whatever reason (I was given a reason that I frankly didn’t buy). So at very short notice, I was set to go on this great cruise on a crystal cruise ship and do a little show, when suddenly they called and said, â€œInstead of two days, would you happen to have 9 1/2 weeks?â€ And my wife, who is a great wife, I came downstairs and she loves this cruise deal better than I do ’cause she doesn’t have to work at all. And I thought, â€œHow am I gonna tell her? I gotta take it. I gotta take it.â€ Then, I went down to her and I said, â€œWell, I got a dilemma.â€ And I told her what the situation was and she looked me like I was crazy. She said, â€œWhat have you been working all your life for?â€ And I went, â€œAh! Married the right gal.â€
My agent and I joke all the time about what role I may or may not get. We always say that we’re just gonna sit around until Gene Hackman sprains his ankle on the first day of shooting. And so, with Michael Gambon they said it was a work permit issue. I don’t know the real story, but a film of this quality that works on the pageâ€¦ Y’know, someone asked me: â€œSo how do you know what to do.â€ Aside from the obvious â€œI need a jobâ€, if it doesn’t work on the page, it’s got a very slim chance of working on the screen. Even if it does work on the page, it has a very good chance of not working on the screen. So, all the components were in place and I just thought [this had] good structure/ a good shape. And I like the stakes. The stakes were so high. It’s like high tragedy to me. The beginning is high tragedy and what Gerard Butler’s character takes from that is like the sequel to high tragedy.
Bruce McGill as Philadelphia DA Jonas Cantrell
Bruce: What do you mean by â€œmoralâ€? What, to you, was the moral of this picture?
CS: That’s what’s a bit ambiguous to me. I was going for Clyde Shelton (Gerard Butler’s character) for most of the story.
Bruce: Even tough he went too far.
Regina: We said something earlier that was really interesting when you talked about another character in this movie being the justice system. So what happens is, in my opinion, there are so many flaws that we see in life with the justice system and we saw it in this movie. It’s that sometimes we do wish things. Sometimes we do wish for justice to be served. What was that saying from the OJ SImpson trial?
CS: â€œIf the glove don’t fit. You must acquit.â€
Regina: That one. That saying lasted for a bit after the trial. And that’s why many people felt that, with what happened later, â€œWell, oh. Justice is finally served.â€ I think sometimes you felt, â€œYes. His family was murdered and they did take a deal. Was he wrong?â€ Well, obviously yes because murder is wrong, but was he wrong?
Bruce: He had his own morality.