Norman Reedus is most known for his role as Murphy McManus in “The Boondock Saints” series. He is also a director and is very involved with art and photography. He recently was featured in “Meskada” which just premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. MovieMikes had the chance to talk to Norman about his career and what he has planned for the future.
Mike Gencarelli: Do you enjoy playing the character Murphy McManus in “The Boondock Saints” series?
Norman Reedus: Oh man, I would do ten “Boondock Saints”. They are the most fun you can imagine. You head to the airport with your bags and go straight to a gun range. It was like doing a movie with all my friends, it was a blast.
Mike Gencarelli: Out of both films in the series, any cool stories that happened on set?
Norman Reedus: In the first film, in the police station when we are being interrogated by (Willem) Dafoe. The camera goes around in 360 degrees around all of our backs, in a continual motion. I had to do Russian, German, Spanish and all these things but with an Irish accent. I kept messing up my lines. Every time the camera would go behind Willem’s head he would make these funny faces at me and screw me up on purpose. He thought it was hysterical. We were there forever. If you look really closely you can see during one of my lines, I glance up at the ceiling when I am talking. That is because I was reading the line on a cue card above the wall on his head. It was a blast. Billy (Connelly) was hysterical. Sean (Patrick Flanery) was a total crack up. Everyday is fun. There are many stories.
Mike Gencarelli: How have you been affected by the films success? Are you surprised by the fan base following?
Norman Reedus: It blows me away all the time. I get stopped everyday from at least ten people screaming “Boondock Saints” quotes from across the street. People have my face tattooed on them. It’s wild. I am mostly excited for Troy (Duffy), he got the blunt end of the stick. We all worked very hard on this film. I know a lot of people wanted to do this film in the beginning and we got a lot of backlash. It is nice to have a kind of sweet revenge in the end.
MG: We recently interviewed Troy Duffy and he mentioned he wanted to continue the “Boondock” series, are you excited to play the role again?
NR: Of course, absolutely! I will be there with bells on.
MG: What was your most challenging production that you have worked on?
NR: Actually when we were doing “Boondock II”, I was doing “Pandorum” at the same time. I tore a ligament in my right shoulder. I was flying from Berlin back to Toronto doing both films simultaneously. One movie, I am upside down covered in oil and the other one I am screaming and shooting guns, which weighed like thirty pounds a piece. I was in a lot of pain on both sets. It was pretty grueling. “Six Ways to Sunday” was more psychologically challenging. You are going back and forth everyday shooting out of sequence. One minute your are acting like a little kid and then the next minute you are savagely slashing people with machetes. “Floating” was my first movie. My dad became really sick and wheelchair bound during that film. That holds a pretty special place in my heart. Some are harder than others for different reasons. “Boondock” is tough but fun. It is like going to camp, you can have fun but you are still making a movie.
MG: You started your career with “Mimic” and were featured in various horror genre movies (“The Messengers 2”, “Blade II”, “Masters of Horror: Cigarette Burns”), would you consider this one of your favorite genres?
NR: There is this scene in Jim Jarmusch’s “Mystery Train”, when the Japanese couple are sitting there and the guy is smoking and the girl is putting lipstick on him. He is starring forward and she goes “Why do you look so sad?”, he just goes “I am not, it is just how my face is”. I think I just have a face for that genre, playing killers or something. I think I am actually kind of funny [laughs]. My mom has said “Can’t you just do something nice and sweet; like a love story on a beach?” I would love to but people do not see me in those films. I just have the face for it.
MG: Can you tell us about your interest in photography and art?
NR: I have a website, http://www.bigbaldhead.com. I sell photographs on there. I also sell “3 Films”, which includes shorts that I wrote and directed. I had made about $2,500 dollars recently for Haiti because I posted I was doing that. There is a film I am directing later this year called “I Was a White Slave in Harlem”, based on the book of the same name. It is by Margo Howard-Howard. It is about a person that is kept as a sex slave in Harlem. It is a wild story. I also do photo shows through Europe and New York. I recently had a show in Los Angeles. I mostly do portrait photography. I’ve done shows with my paintings also. The last sculpture show was here in New York. I did a statue of myself out of eight pounds of polyurethane foam. I put it in a giant plexiglass box and filled it full of rats. I am always doing some kind of weird crap like that. With movies you are always going to great places and meeting all these different people. Photography has developed into something I really got into. I have a lady in Germany that has become sort of a benefactor and she organizes shows for me in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Berlin.
MG: Tell us about the film that you are directing a segment of, “Promiscuous Stories”?
NR: The writer Jonathan Lethem who did “Motherless Brooklyn”, is a really great writer. He did these series of short stories and sold them to a company called Ovie Entertainment. They got a bunch of different directors to do each story. The story I am doing is called “Forever, Said The Duck”. It is a weird sort of mind trip where people are taking hallucinogenics and seeing things coming in and out of different worlds. There is a character that turns into a duck, and one that turns into a deputy dog. There is a sexual but intelligent way that this group is thrown together. It is pretty wild. I am trying to get Udo Kier to play the main guy, who is the curator of the party.
MG: What else do you have planned for the future?
NR: I just had a film at Tribeca Film Festival called “Meskada”. It is sort of a dark thriller about two towns competing for work and covering up a murder. I also just wrapped on Robert Redford’s newest film “The Conspirator”. I am just working and doing my thing!