Troy Duffy is the director of “The Boondock Saints” and “The Boondock Saints II: All Saint’s Day”. Both films proved that making movies is not easy but once you have fans behind you anything is possible. Troy has become a major Hollywood player and he is going to make more great films down the line, as he is only getting started. MovieMikes has the opportunity to talks to Troy and discuss “Boondock” and the future.
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Mike Gencarelli: How did you come up with the idea originally to make the film “The Boondock Saints”?
Troy Duffy: My brother and I were living in a real shit hole in California. The story came from a natural concern from crime. I think everyone that watches the news and sees something truly disgusting, a kid getting killed or home invasion where they kill the family. People get that gut reaction that whoever did that deserves to die, even if they do not talk about it, there is that one second when they think it and feels it. I think that is the kind of fantasy that “Boondock” was playing on.
Mike Gencarelli: Your brother and you wrote the scripts on both films?
Troy Duffy: I wrote the script on the first movie and the second one. Taylor (Duffy) worked on the story on the second one and I bounced stuff off of him.
Mike Gencarelli: I remember seeing “The Boondock Saints” as a Blockbuster Exclusive on VHS tape, How did you feel when the film was finally given a proper release?
Troy Duffy: It was actually kind of depressing, when you do an independent film like that you want it to go theatrical. Because of the Columbine incident we were blacklisted from US screens. So when it went to video, it was like a real blow. We were forced to do a video deal, and thank God for Blockbuster. They gave us a much better video deal than normally, they thought it was hard that the film was blacklisted. They also thought that the film was a lot bigger than that and they gave us the title Blockbuster Exclusive. They put a lot of copies per store and that was great.
MG: What were some of challenges you faced in order to bring the sequel to life?
TD: Some of the challenges we faced were that it was for a fan base now. First one we made we didn’t have a fan base. The second one we knew who we were making it for. It was a big responsibility, you have millions of people counting on you to make a great sequel. It was a bit of pressure and also we had the same amount of money to make this one as the first one. It was a much bigger story. In terms of hard work and stretching a dollars, it was pretty daunting but we got it done.
MG: Well you have honestly done your job, the way the fans have reacted to “Boondocks II” is amazing.
TD: The way fans have embraced it, tells me that we did a good job. Sequels themselves almost always suck. We happened to make one of the good ones.
MG: What was it like to reunite with the cast for “All Saints Day”? Did everyone seem to pick up right where they left off 10 years ago?
TD: It was like not a day has passed man, these guys were ready to go from the second they showed up. The funny thing was reporters and friends of mine were like “How did you get Sean (Patrick Flanery), Norman (Reedus) and Billy (Connolly) back?” I was like they never went anywhere. These guys were there the whole time, calling me every couple of months asking “Where do we stand” or “How’s the deal coming”. They waited for those ten years in order to be able to do it. As soon as we got the deal done, they were like “Great! Send me a plane ticket” and it was like a family reunion after that.
MG: “Boondock II” grossed over $10M and only in 524 theaters at its widest release, How do you feel about the films success?
TD: We were in an extremely small amount of theaters and the movie was allowed to platform. It started out in only 67 theaters. Based on the fan base showing up and the amount of money it was making on its own, then platformed out into more and more theaters every week until it was in 524. It is up to I think actually $11M right now, and that is a really remarkable thing. Most theatricals run where the company puts a lot of advertisement and money behind the film and puts in a minimum of 2,000 theaters to start. They go from there and often these movies do not perform that well. “Boondocks” didn’t get any of those luxuries. It got a bare bones release at best and for it to perform like that is out of the box.
MG: Tell me about “The Prayer” used in the films? What made you choose that specific one?
TD: The prayer was made up by me and my father. My dad has a real knowledge of the Bible. I gave him the prayer I wrote. He added to it and took some excerpts from the Bible that he knew. We ended up with this long 36 line prayer that was thrown together from the two of us. I edited it to what it is now and I always thought it was something I would come back to and fix later on more. The brothers (Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus) said “You can’t change a word of it”. The fan base has really picked up on that prayer and have it memorized and it has seemed to hit home with them.
MG: Besides making films, what else are your passionate for?
TD: I play my guitar every now and then, I am a biker. I ride my motorcycle quite a bit, I’ve got a big old hog. I am also a bit of a wood worker. I got a wood shop in my garage. I made little things for me and my family, like furniture.
MG: What can we expect from the upcoming comic book series of “Boondocks”?
TD: J.B. Love is co-writing them but I am extremely serious about being involved with them. Some people have like a vanity thing and they say you can use my name, I am not doing that. When I looked at the comics, they look really good and I have never been a comic book guy. I think that me not being a comic book guy, actually helps out. It gives a different perspective. But I saw them today and they are going to be really cool.
MG: Now that the pressure is gone to make an amazing sequel, the obvious question, “The Boondock Saints 3”?
TD: Yes, I will make “Boondocks 3”, and it won’t take me another ten years. I would like to get a couple of other films under my belt first. For two reasons: I like to do a movie that is not “The Boondock Saints” that I have written and also part threes are very rarely done well. It is usually the kiss of death, look what happened to “The Godfather Part III”. It is definitely something I am thinking about.
MG: What are some of these other projects you would like to work on?
TD: There are two, the first is a buddy comedy that takes place in the 1500’s that I have written, called “The Good King”. The other one is a serial killer thriller called “The Blood Spoon Council”.
MG: You have developed a heck of a loyal fan base over the years, anything you want to say to the fans?
TD: Thanks a million! I can’t hardly think of a writer/director that is more beholding to his fan base that me. I am standing on a porch in Los Angeles and “Boondocks” has bought me this house. There was a point when my reputation was mud in this town. “Boondock Saints” has put a roof over my head and food in my mouth for a long time. I will keep making good movies and they will keep coming as far as I am concerned.
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