sábado, mayo 12, 2007

Entrevista a Robert Knepper

Después de varios días sin apenas ninguna noticia reseñable de Prison Break, Robert Knepper ha decidido romper este periodo de inactividad del blog concediendo una entrevista a la web de Devoted to Prison Break en la que habla de la película en la que está trabajando ahora mismo, Hitman, y de su personaje en Prison Break.

Q: Tell me something about your character in Hitman.

A: He is an interesting character because he doesn't show what's really going on, he's a poker face, a dichotomy of a character because on the surface he just looks like he's just doing his job - chief agent of FSB, of going after the bad guy - this man who tried to assassinate Balakov, who's running for president. What's going on underneath it is that he's in on this whole plot. A man comes to him and says I have this plan for Russia, I want to turn Russia back to the way it was in the old communist days. And I know I shouldn't talk to you, because you work for Putin, you work for the establishment, but don't you want something better for your children.

Normally someone like Yury would have this man arrested, say you are a traitor, going against the government but this man, who is pretending to be Balakov, knows, feels of me that I have the same restless feelings about where the country is right now and that Yuri is vulnerable and will wanna help. Which is very very risky because if the man gets caught, he'll go to jail but if I get caught I would not only go to jail, because this is simply something I shouldn't be doing since I am working for the government. And there's all these CIA - FSB connections so I have to hide my true feelings.

Q: Seems like the character is going through a serious struggle with himself.

A: If he was just a simple bad guy, that's how he'd end, getting caught, but the climax for Yury is when he is kidnapped by the man he is trying to kill because he knows this is a cover up. As Yuri, I know the real Balakov, the real man who's running for president, who might have won the election I know is not as smart as the man who's going to ave plastic surgery and turn himself into Balakov. He is much more dangerous than the real Balakov. I know that this new man is more dangerous, and he also
going to be a better president and if he does become president, he will make me the head of FSB and then I will end up like Putin, for, if my memory is right, that's how he got started. I think he was head of KGB, or at least a top officer there and then moved up the ladder. And I think Yuri thinks "yeah, this is my stepping stone to get where I wanna be and this is my chance to serve this one goal of serving my country and my children and at the same time whoa, I could be president one day.

Q: What happens to him?

A: At the climax of the movie Yuri gets kidnapped by this assassin that I know was hired to kill the real Balakov, and then I and people in the organization will change the footage, to make it look like he just got his head scraped. And so I want to kill this man, who is Agent 47, and he kidnaps Yuri and sticks him in a bathtub and sticks all these electrical wires in the bathtub and says "listen you have fifteen seconds after I give the signal on this radio, while the Balakov pretender is eulogizing his brother at his funeral. You have 15 seconds to give your people the signal to kill the impostor. If you don't give the signal in 15 seconds I will push this button and you will fry a horrible, horrible death and I know where your family lives.

Q: That's one serious dilemma...

A: Yuri has to decide if he wants to go down the path he has been going, because he is being selfish and self centered, or he can go the path of redemption and say "I care more about my family. Not the future of my family in Russia but the future of my family right now, so that they will have a father and they will live." And it's great because he doesn't just wave off the offer and no I am going to stick with this, you are wrong and I'm gonna go to my grave believing that I'm right, instead of admitting what I already know, that I'm wrong. But in the final 2 seconds he gives the signal and he himself finds redemption.

Q: Is redemption a central theme to the movie?

A: It runs through it, with Agent 47 also wanting to change his life and get redemption for what he has done and get out of this organization. So it's an interesting character that sort of feeds that whole metaphor through the movie.

Q: Did you get a chance to see the game before you started filming?

A: I haven't seen the game but I'm just using my imagination. I don't know if it would have helped me to see it. I am working on Prison Break so I have no time to really prepare, plus if I was doing a character that was from England, or France, or a Southern guy from the US, than that's one thing, but to actually know that in a couple of days I am going to play a Russian, my focus was only on questions like "what is the text, what are the words, how can I sound as Russian as possible? And I couldn't change my hair, because Season 3 of Prison Break will pick up right where Season 2 left off and I'm blond and I have to play a Russian and I just thought - I'm gonna model this guy after Putin. I didn't even have any time to find any pictures or anything, so when I got here I called production and said, can you find me some pictures of Putin, because I wanna take them to hair and make up and see if I can look like that.

Q: So Russia's president was the type of person you saw in that role?

A: I don't know the man, I only go by my memory of what I saw on the news back when he first came into power, but as a kid I remember seeing, you know, Brezhnev, and these big sweaty men, they weren't in shape, they were just kind of bureaucrats, the typical stereotype of a Russian ruler. And then Putin came along, he's athletic, he keeps in shape, he's handsome, seems like a real guy's guy, all that "Hey how are you doing, Bush is my friend, you know". He wasn't like Yeltsin, who was known as a drinker, he was very very vital. And I thought that's this guy. And as somebody who's so vital he really has something to say, he has this vision for his country.

To me it's like if I'm honest, if I tell the truth if I can speak Russian, if I sound Russian than everything else should have been taken care of before. It's the writer's job to say: Do I honour this video game, do I not honour it, am I gonna take it into another direction. For the time I had I was just trying to make this Russian sound as Russian as possible. It'll be interesting when I do see the video game if I go "Oh, why didn't I think of doing this that way."

But in the same way people ask me, when you were cast as T-Bag, did you go to prison, did you study prisoners, did you see what the life was like on the inside. And the more I played T-Bag, the more episodes I did, I was just using my imagination and I decided that the reality of prison life could get in my way. Because the imagination is much more powerful than reality. And if I had gone to a prison four or five episodes into the show I could ruin it and say "I could never play T-bag, who am I kidding." But in my head I was T-Bag. In my head now I am Yury Markov.

Q: Speaking of T-Bag, his character is quite negative. Was it hard to accept the role, did you have any doubts about it?

A: First of all I needed a job. If I was in my career, the way I am right now I might have said, Urgh, I don't wanna play this guy, he is a racist pedophile, evil person. But I am an actor and I needed a job, I have a family to support. I learned something a long time ago in acting, see you say I play a negative role. I personally don't think I play a negative character, it may be perceived that way. But in acting classes when you're a kid, you learn to play the opposite of what you are. Like you don't play a bad guy like a bad guy, you play a bad guy like the hero, It's always reverse. So there's something different so the audience goes, in this case, I know I hate this guy so much and yet there's something about him that I feel for him.

So I don't think T-Bag is negative, I think he is a man, who's again in a way protecting his family. In the first season in the prison he's like If you held my pocket than I protected you. Yeah, you see it like "he's gonna torture this poor boy," but Teddy thinks "don't **** with this guy, he's mine and you know what I can do and what I am capable of if you mess with him. Now I can mess with him anyway I want, but that's besides the point. You just can't mess with him." Again, there was no time to prepare for this role, I had to go on a lot of instincts.

Q: Your character is one of the most popular in the show, so it seems that the instincts have worked?

A: The word that kept coming to me, when I was interpreting what the writers wrote was "be charming, just be very charming." And when I did talk to some prison guards who were technical advisers on the show, who were working guards in these other prisons in Chicago, they said "that's the guy. That's the guy you always have to watch out for in prison, because he can charm the pants off of you, he can charm you out of anything and all of a sudden you realize, hey, my wallet's gone."

You can tell when somebody is being a little devious with you that they want something. Guys like T-Bag in prison, and they're there a lot, they are 24/7 trying to figure out how to break out of there, because they know they are in there for life. Or they are gonna make that life in that prison, the most beautiful life they have ever imagined. They are gonna be a prince in a castle. And I was lucky because the prison we shot at was such an amazing character in itself, the way it was built, the history of the prison. You walk into that gate of the prison and you can't help but feel - this is my kingdom. So all these negative words about the character I never really allowed myself to think about them.

Fuente: DevotedtoPrisonBreak

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