×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Being Bad Dominates at ‘Shot Caller’ Premiere at Los Angeles Film Festival

Evil prevailed at Saturday night’s world premiere of Ric Roman Waugh’s prison drama “Shot Caller” at the Los Angeles Film Festival at the Arclight in Culver City.

Actors on the red carpet recalled the intensity of the 2015 shoot, which centers on Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s character being transformed from an upstanding family man working in finances to a prison gang leader named “Money.”

“I’ve never been as bad a guy as I was in this,” Jeffrey Donovan mused. “I have the keys to the yard. This was a dark dark dude that I’d never really done before. I put on 40 pounds. It wasn’t hard — I let myself be ugly. My wife was like that’s not a good look for you.”

Juan Pablo Raba, who played a leader for a drug cartel, had the same reaction. “Ric’s style is that he wants you to be ‘all in,’ like in the military, so he’d look me in the eye and would just say ‘Bring it,’ all the time. I gained 45 pounds of muscle, shaved my head and learned to walk differently.”

Raba had played a similar role in “Narcos” as Gustavo Gaviria, Pablo Escobar’s cousin, adding, “Even though the cousin was bad, he was also sort of a sweet guy, which I’m definitely not in ‘Shot Caller.'”

Jon Bernthal, who plays an ally of Coster-Waldau’s “Money,” noted that Waugh had researched prison life by working undercover as a parole officer. “I call Ric Roman Waugh a soldier of authenticity,” he added.

Waugh was particularly proud that scenes were shot in actual prisons, one that had been closed down. One of the key scenes involves 200 ex-cons staging a prison riot.

He also stressed that “Shot Caller” is a follow-up to his 2008 film “Felon,” in which Stephen Dorff played a convict who manages to make a better life for himself after prison.

“This movie is about what if these pieces don’t go back into place,” Waugh noted, adding that he’s hoping that “Shot Caller” will raise questions of how society should deal with its prison problem and the high rates of recidivism. “If you do the crime, you should do the time, but we also need to have more empathy for these people,” he added.

Coster-Waldau, best know for portraying the powerful knight Jamie Lannister on “Game of Thrones,” said the process of looking like a gang member was crucial and required several hours in makeup each day. “The makeup and the tattoos really helped get me into the character because it  transforms you, just like putting on a mask or a hat.”

During the post-screening Q&A, actors noted that shooting took only 24 days, requiring them to get into character quickly. Coster-Waldau elicited the biggest laugh of the night when he said, “When I hear about actors talk about their ‘process,’ I want to vomit.”

The film also stars Lake Bell as the wife of Coster-Waldau’s character, Omari Hardwick, Benjamin Bratt, Holt McCallany, and Emory Cohen. Production companies are Bold Films and Participant Media. Producers are Gary Michael Walters, Michel Litvak, Jonathan King, and Waugh.

“Shot Caller” will be aired exclusively on DirecTV starting on July 20, followed by a theatrical release Aug. 18.

 

 

More Film

  • Halloween

    Movies Featured More Female Protagonists in 2018, But It's Not All Good News (Study)

    “Halloween,” “A Star is Born,” and “Crazy Rich Asians” made headlines for featuring strong roles for women, but even though the number of female film protagonists hit a high in 2018, the movie industry still offered its juiciest parts to men. At a time when Hollywood is under pressure to become more inclusive and is [...]

  • Colin Farrell Dumbo

    Colin Farrell To Star in Andrew Haigh's BBC Two Thriller 'The North Water'

    Colin Farrell is set to star in “The North Water,” the BBC Two thriller which will be directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Andrew Haigh (“Lean on Pete”). Based on Ian McGuire’s novel, the four-part series is being adapted by Haigh and produced by See-Saw Films for BBC Two. Set in the U.K. and in the [...]

  • New Fox Appoints Wayne Borg to

    New Fox Appoints Wayne Borg to Los Angeles Studio Role

    Wayne Borg, who has headed the Fox Studios Australia operations in Sydney for the past four years, has been appointed president and general manager of studios at New Fox. He will relocate from Australia to Los Angeles. Fox Studios Australia, which is to remain part of 21st Century Fox and will become part of Disney [...]

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Keira Knightly as "Rachael Morgan" in

    Film Review: Keira Knightley in 'The Aftermath'

    Less widely seen (and acclaimed) than it deserved to be, James Kent’s debut feature “Testament of Youth” was one of the great recent love-in-wartime dramas, translating the intimate romance and sprawling human tragedy of Vera Brittain’s WWI memoir with a grace and heft worthy of its David Lean allusions. Four years on, it’s not hard [...]

  • Inside Amazon's New Feature Film Strategy

    Amazon's New Film Strategy: Straight-to-Service Titles and Starry Sundance Buys

    It was close to midnight when Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke got the text. The company had failed in its quest to acquire “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” a body image dramedy that captivated Salke when she saw it at Sundance. A sales agent on the project messaged her to say that a competitor offered a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content