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Lucky Number Slevin in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Lucky Number Slevin

Josh Harnett • Morgan Freeman • Sir Ben Kingsley • Bruce Willis
DIRECTOR: Paul McGuigan

Josh Hartnett and Morgan Freeman THE CONCEPT:
Comic thriller where a case of mistaken identity lands Slevin (Hartnett) into the middle of a war being plotted by two of New York City’s most rival crime bosses; The Rabbi (Kingsley) and The Boss (Freeman).

U.S. RELEASE: April 7 2006, Nationwide • Rated: R


What was it like working with Ben Kingsley?

“Great, great. It was one of the reasons to take a role like this – you get to work closely with Ben Kingsley. It’s like, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it. I don’t care what it is.’”

You’re the big boss in this movie, and you project so much strength in this role, where does the strength come from?

“Look at me. Obviously that’s just me, right? It’s that effortless. I’ve got reserves of power that I have yet to touch [he laughs]. It’s on the page. That’s the bottom line. You could do it if you chose, but you didn’t, you chose to be a writer.”

Do you prefer playing the bad guy?

“No, I don’t. I like playing the bad guy, but I like playing. Just give me something interesting to play and I’m very happy. Playing is no challenge. Every time that you get a role you’re just going to go play with other people in the sandbox, and so there’s no challenge. The major challenge is getting the work, finding the sandbox.”

Was there a scene in this when you were reading the script that you were really excited to perform?

“Yes, I think there was. I was kind of looking forward to the moment between The Boss and The Rabbi. That to me had a lot of potential for going flat. Not really because Sir Ben is always interesting to watch, and so you just try and remember your lines.”

With such an ensemble piece, was there a lot of hanging out together off-camera?

“On set we have a great time. Bruce [Willis] is a jolly fellow and enjoys working, you can tell he’s just happy to be there and I’m the same way. And [director] Paul McGuigan is a Scot with a thick brogue when he talks, so he’s just too easy to ride. He would say something and we’d go, ‘What did he say?’”

Some people are comparing this film with The Usual Suspects. Would you agree with that?

“Someone this morning said that people are equating it with Pulp Fiction. So, yes, I agree in that it’s sort of a thinking piece. You walk away from The Usual Suspects and it was a thinking piece. They go back and they show you how this all unfolded right there in the office and The Usual Suspects was this blend of all of these different things happening and you see it in jump cuts, but it’s explanatory. So I think that this was like that.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Lucky Number Slevin site
Images above © The Weinstein Company
Feature © 2006 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #669, May 2006 cover

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