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The Recruit in our magazines

THE MOVIE: The Recruit

Al Pacino • Colin Farrell
DIRECTOR: Roger Donaldson

James Clayton THE CONCEPT:
In this explosive psychological thriller, Al Pacino portrays Walter Burke, a CIA agent who recruits James Clayton (Farrell) to train at the Agency to become an Ops Officer, continually warning him that ‘nothing is what it seems.’

U.S. RELEASE: January 31, Nationwide • Rated: PG-13


“I don’t think I’ve done this kind of movie before. There was something about the structure of the screenplay and the thriller aspect of it that could be appealing to an audience. It had that feeling to it, that it was entertaining. It was an interesting character to play because of what he goes through, what he’s been through.”

COLIN FARRELL on what surprised him working with Pacino:
“Just his level of passion still after 40 years and after all the amazing films that he’s been in, the amazing parts that he’s played and the incredible performances he’s given. He really does care about what he does, and he’s in it for all the right reasons. He’s in it to tell stories. He’s in it to try and make a difference. I asked him what his favorite movie was that he was in, and he had a great answer. He just looked at me and went, ‘Scarface was pretty good.’”

“I think Colin was magnificent in this picture. You really see why they’ve been touting him. [My advice to him] would be not to run after the money, because they’ll throw money at him, and I think he needs to keep his head on what he likes to do, what he relates to, and I think he’s going to do that.”

COLIN FARRELL on the research he did for the movie:
“I read some books. I didn’t need to know that much about the CIA because it’s not like I was a four-year veteran who was out working in the field as an agent. I wasn’t playing that level of character, I wasn’t playing that level of maturity, so I didn’t have to know that much playing a recruit. I was always more concerned about James’ state of mind, where he was emotionally and his relationship with Al’s character than I was with the CIA.”

“What happens when you get to make a film with somebody, you get to know them very well and, in the case of Al, I got to meet a guy whose work I really do admire. I understand a little bit more of how he makes it what it is. And so, ultimately, you educate yourself a little bit more about how to get the best out of an actor or some material. What Al showed me was some of the techniques that he uses to make his work as convincing as it is.”

“Roger creates a very safe environment and lets you do your thing. He’ll suggest things in respect to their thrill factor. He’s made films in this genre before, with No Way Out and even Thirteen Days had a certain definite thriller aspect to it. He was just great.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Feature © 2003 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #628, March 2003 cover

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