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Director Joe Carnahan recruited his “A-Team” star Quinton “Rampage” Jackson to send out a menacing wolf-like howl as the lights went down Jan. 11 at the Regal Cinemas for the world preem of Open Road’s “The Grey.”

At the Palm restaurant afterparty, Carnahan praised his headliner, Liam Neeson. “When your star isn’t squawking or complaining, it sets a hell of an example for the others. We were on a 40-day schedule, so we didn’t have the luxury of indulging temper tantrums or asshole behavior or some of the things associated with a quote-unquote name actor.”

Carnahan elaborated on Hollywood’s growing perception of his career. “After my last movie, I started thinking to myself, is that how I’m being perceived? As this kind of schmuck who does ‘A-Team?’ I think what ‘The Grey’ has taught me, in the classic Woody Allen sense, is autonomy and control are really everything. We did this for $25 million, and that seems to be the sweet spot. I’ve had my big studio experience and was very thankful for that.” n