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Running Scared in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Running Scared

Paul Walker • Vera Farmiga • Cameron Bright
• Alex Neuberger
DIRECTOR: Wayne Kramer

Nicky Gazelle (Alex Neuberger) is sheltered by his mother Teresa Gazelle (Vera Farmiga) THE CONCEPT:
A family man and low-level employee of the Perello mob in New Jersey, Joey Gazelle ignores the mob’s explicit instructions to dispose of a gun used in the fatal shooting of a corrupt cop during a bungled drug buy. A friend of his son’s, Oleg , absconds with the weapon, uses it on his abusive stepfather, and then flees into the night, where Joey must find him before the mob does…

U.S. RELEASE: February 24 2006, Nationwide
• Rated: R


“I always wanted to do the approach of seeing the film through the child’s [Oleg] eyes, because I felt on a certain level the film would operate as a Grimm’s fairytale nightmare. When Oleg shoots the gun (by mistake) through Joey’s dining room window, it opens up a rabbit hole, and everybody’s chasing this kid through it. And he keeps meeting these crazy characters who border on being in the real world, in terms of mob thugs, and being a little more fantastical, as if they are more of a Grimm’s fairytale figure. I saw the pimp as the Mad Hatter; the pedophile house was always like the gingerbread house, the witch luring him in.”

“These types of movies are a guilty pleasure for me. I’m not affected by violence the way that some people are. I don’t know why, but I enjoy that intensity. Man on Fire would be a perfect example where you’ve got a lot of action, a lot of violence, but it’s all justified.”

VERA FARMIGA (Teresa Gazelle):
“When I read the script I thought it was completely bonkers, weird, bold and original. There’s this hybrid world that Wayne’s created of this grim brutal reality, and fanciful fantasy.”

“I wrote the script under the title Running Scared, and we just couldn’t find a better title. When it was debated whether to keep the title or not, because of the craziness of the film, we felt Running Scared was the best title – in fact, I think it was misused in the Gregory Hines’ movie, because it never feels like it belongs on that film. Our film tested very well in the 18-25 male demographic, and I don’t think many of them even know the original Running Scared.”

“This movie was emotionally draining. I was running on adrenaline everyday and I would take it home with me. I couldn’t turn it off. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a fight, but you get so excited that you tremble afterwards. I would go home trembling. A girlfriend of mine came out to visit me and she was supposed to stay for two weeks – she stayed for four days and left.”

“The kids in the film were very bright and savvy, and they were put through the ringer, they were privy to a lot of violence, but we had a good time together, we were a loving, dysfunctional family off the set, and Paul was largely responsible for that. He just brings good cheer.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Images above © New Line Cinema
Feature © 2006 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #667, March 2006 cover

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