Karl Urban is a true action star with such diverse filmography under his belt.
With The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek and Dredd, Urban took on a different action film called Bent that also starred Sofia Vergara and Andy Garcia. In this movie, Urban plays Danny Gallagher, an ex-cop who was accused to be bent towards criminal activity. After his stint in jail, he investigates on his own a murder case that lead him to a wider government conspiracy.
LRM had a telephone interview earlier this month with Karl Urban in promotion of this crime thriller. He spoke with us on various subjects about the film and speculation on other activities.
Bent is currently playing in limited release in select theaters and On Demand today.
Read our interview transcript below and check out our exclusive clip from the film above. The clip is with Karl Urban and Andy Garcia discussing
LRM: Let me start off with the simple question on why you were attracted to this project called Bent?
Karl Urban: It was a good read on the page. I found I had a good understanding of the character. Through my discussions with Bobby Moresco, the writer and director, we discovered we had a mutual love for classic noir films. Bent is definitely inspired by. Beyond that, it was a great opportunity to play a good guy doing bad things.
LRM: What are your attraction towards noir films?
Karl Urban: My attraction towards noir films are on multitude of levels. They have leading men that are smart and use their brains over the brawn. I also loved the snappiness of the dialogue. They have those sexuality about the films whether in innuendo or direct sexualization of the materials. Femme fatales characters are also appealing to me. Those elements are all in Bent.
LRM: Speaking of femme fatales, how was working with Sofia Vergara on Bent?
Karl Urban: In two words—utterly brilliant. She is extraordinary. She’ll blow a lot of people away with this. We commonly known her great work on Modern Family. She plays this smoking hot femme fatale in the movie. She manages to infuse the character with a wonderful vulnerability. She was so great to work with.
LRM: How was your overall experience filming overseas? I believe a lot of the shots were filmed in Italy?
Karl Urban: The entire film was shot in Italy. It was funny that we were in the middle of Rome surrounded by the Coliseum, Pantheon, and all these architectural works of genius. Yet, we were shooting beneath freeways, rivers and the scungiest parts of Rome to replicate America. [Laughs]
LRM: Did you have a chance to visit exquisite places in Rome? It was probably a nice work vacation, right?
Karl Urban: Well, yeah. I was number one on the call sheet. I didn’t have too many days off. I certainly took the opportunity to explore that city and have the infinity for one of my favorite cities in the world. I’ve never been there before. To go there for several weeks, I just wanted to soak it up. Lovely people. Fantastic food. I didn’t really partake as I was watching on what I ate for the movie. [Laughs] But, it was a lot of fun.
LRM: How was working with Bobby Moresco as a director?
Karl Urban: Bobby is a fantastic director. He’s specific. He’s very clear. He knows what he wants. As the captain of the ship, you feel very confident that he’ll steer away from any reef. Like I said before, we both have a mutual love for classic noir films. When I read the script, it was very clear to me on what this piece exactly was going to be. It was a really good opportunity to contemporize the genre. At the same, it was to throw in wonderful nods to the great movies of the past.
LRM: How do you choose your projects nowadays? I know you’ve done a lot, a lot of action films in the past under your belt.
Karl Urban: I’ve done a multitude of stuff. I really have done from action to science fiction to westerns. This movie was certainly a great addition. What I really enjoy doing is working on projects that are different to things I’ve done in the past. Bent was a great opportunity to play a consequential good guy doing bad things. That was a huge treasure for me.
I choose my projects virtually on what’s on the page. Then secondly, it’s on who I’m working with. Maybe location. That’s about it.
LRM: Do you attend a lot of these geek/nerd conventions?
Karl Urban: [Laughs] Do I attend geek/nerd conventions? [Laughs]
LRM: Sorry. You do so much sci-fi and fantasy stuff.
Karl Urban: If you’re referring to comic book/entertainment conventions—I’ve done a few of those. Yeah.
LRM: When you attend those conventions and meet fans, what is the most recognizable character that people know about you playing?
Karl Urban: It’s pretty evenly split between Lord of the Rings, Star Trek and Dredd.
LRM: Which of these characters you’ve adored the most and had the most fun playing?
Karl Urban: They’re all fun in their own regard. When we were shooting Dredd, I had a fantastic time on that set. I loved working with Alex Garland to inhabiting that character. I probably laughed the most on shooting Star Trek. They’re really funny bunch of guys. We had a blast shooting that. That’s probably the most amount of fun I had.
LRM: You probably heard some rumors about the next Star Trek movie maybe helmed by Quentin Tarantino. What do you think about that?
Karl Urban: I think it is a really exciting idea. He is a dynamic filmmaker. Even if I wasn’t in the Star Trek movie, I would go to a Star Trek movie by Quentin Tarantino directed. That’s for sure.
LRM: So you haven’t got a call for another Star Trek movie at this time then is what you’re saying?
Karl Urban: Here’s the thing—they’re in the really early stages of development at this time. Quentin is about to direct his Hollywood film with Brad Pitt and [Leonardo] DiCaprio. You’re talking about a film after a film. Ultimately, at the end of the day, the ball is in Paramount’s court. Hopefully, they’ll green light another Star Trek movie. If they do it, then it’ll be a lot of fun.
LRM: I know you’ve done a lot of fantasy and sci-fi movies in the past. Would you ever consider being in a Star Wars movie?
Karl Urban: Hell, yeah! I would consider it for sure. If I was blessed with that opportunity—I would glad to be a part of it. I’ve said it in the past that I would never do Star Wars, because I’m so recognizable as Leonard McCoy. Now Simon Pegg was in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. There are ways and means to make this happen obviously. [Laughs]
LRM: And do you still want to see another Dredd happening, right?
Karl Urban: Listen, there’s not another day that goes by that I don’t get inquiries or questions for Dredd. People come up to me to let me know on how much they love that movie. It’s an amazing love for a character whose face you don’t see. I certainly think there is a wealth of great material in the 2000 A.D. Judge Dredd canon that would be awesome to explore in a film or a limited run television series. I’m confident that one day it’ll come to fruition. But, if not, then a stand alone cult classic—I’m good with that.
LRM: Thank you for time. I really appreciate this conversation, Karl.
Karl Urban: Thanks, Gig. Awesome. Have a great day.
Bent is opening in select theaters and On Demand this Friday, March 9, from Lionsgate.
Source: Exclusive to LRM