Welcome back for the third time! It’s amazing to have you back! Congratulations on the release of Detective Knight: Rogue. Was this movie written with Bruce in mind for Knight?
Jeff! Thank you, dude. Action Reloaded is one of my favorite sites.
Yes, the film was written for Bruce. The fun was finding a new cadence for the character which differentiates him from past performances as a law enforcement officer. Was Knight’s acerbic wit was informed by Bruce’s legacy roles? Absolutely. However, there’s more to any character than sharp one-liners. Knight is a cowboy cop in a modern world where police are being hyper-scrutinized for their behavior. He’s learning actions have consequences, and the badge will not shield him from the legal repercussions of his vendettas anymore.
This movie is an amazing follow-up to your previous movie Gasoline Alley. Are you going through a gritty, crime-thriller phase?
“In these fast-paced shoots: it’s okay to take risks“
Gasoline set a fire in me, I was so lucky to work with Devon Sawa and Luke Wilson. They reminded me of something often lost in these fast-paced shoots: it’s okay to take risks. I grew up reading detective novels, I read all the Hard Case Crime books I can get my hands on. The ideas of justice and morality are atavistic to the crime genre. My hope is the Knight character can be a comment on the arrogance of Bruce’s earlier memorable characters and the delusional bravado of the bank robbers. Crime is the perfect genre for this story.
This genre you hit right on the head. We need someone to take notice and give you a bigger budget! How long did it take to film Rogue?
Eight days in Vancouver, B.C., with the most fantastic crew a director could ask for.
Was it shot on location? KNIGHT is 100% A-Grade authentic “Vancouver-doubling-for-Los-Angeles-and-New-York”.
This movie is the first of a trilogy, how did you manage to get Bruce for three movies!?
Seeing out Bruce’s Legendary career
I’m sure tail-ending his career was a huge highlight for you?
It has been my greatest professional honor to work with Mr. Willis over the past few years. He’s a kind, great man who is quick to laugh and always had his friends back. To be able to work with Mr. Willis over multiple films, to create a knowing dialogue between his audiences and the films, has been a spectacularly rewarding challenge.
I read the synopsis for the second instalment, it sounds very Die Hard in a prison, and it’s set at Christmas! Would this possibly be one of Bruce’s more action heavy movies? (As of recent)
I’ll let the films speak for itself. However, the esprit of Die Hard: With A Vengeance (the best Die-Hard film) does run through it. Paul Johansson’s performance is a wonderfully demented sight to behold.
Back to, Rogue. What inspired the story for this entry? It has a familiar Michael Mann vibe to it.
I found a striking parallel between ex-professional athletes and cops who have devoted their lives in service of others, only to be chewed up and spat out by the system which reaped the rewards of their hard work. The Michael Mann comparison is too kind, to be in the same sentence as the Chicago Legend is a special thing. A few characters throughout the series have onomatopoeic names which nod to HEAT, MIAMI VICE, and of course, the great TV show Mann produced, LUCK.
The character of Casey is very relatable, he’s a good guy, doing bad things for the good of his family. Was Beau always your first choice to play him?
Beau was phenomenal. He’s got a movie star glint in his eye that shines like a young Steve McQueen. He made Casey Rhodes his own.
Challenges of filming
What was the most challenging part filming Rogue?
Eight. Freaking. Days. I was promised 20, Jeff, 20! Doubling Vancouver in the winter for Los Angeles in the summer was a fun hurdle. All joking aside, we had a blast and I have the best job in the world. There are no “bad days” when you remember every day is a gift.
The movie also stars Lochlyn Munro and Johnny Messner, what’s it like working with these guys?
If I could only make one more film, Lochlyn Munro would be the star. He elevates every set he’s on and is so wicked smart about production. Since the day we met on BROIL, I told the man he has to direct again soon. And Johnny Messner? If you need a light, he’s there with two. If you need help moving a sandbag, he’s the guy who volunteers first Johnny Messner is a special human.
Favourite Bruce movie you have shot?
If we include the Knight movies, what is your favourite Bruce movie you have done?
They’re good films, Brent. (10 points to whomever gets that reference).
After the Knight trilogy what can we expect next from you?
I had the pleasure of working on a documentary with two incredible filmmakers, Francis Cronin and Laffrey Witbrod, chronicling the inspirational living superhero, Mandy Horvath: MANDY’S MOUNTAIN. A big shout out to Laffrey. I believe he did his best work on these films. We were on the side of Mr. Kilimanjaro when the KNIGHT films were greenlit by Lionsgate. I turned to Laffrey and asked if he would be down to jump on this wild ride. Without missing a beat, Laffrey said yes then offered me a block of artisanal chocolate (that’s not a euphemism. There are three guarantees in life: death, taxes, and the fact that Laffrey Witbrod never goes anywhere without chocolate). What a life. I’m so blessed to have good friends and people.
Until the next time
As always, Edward it has been great having you back and it’s even greater having a new movie from you! Bring on Detective Knight: Redemption.
Thanks, Jeff. A pleasure!