Ac­tor en­joys play­ing vul­ner­a­ble

The Daily Courier - - LIFE & ARTS -

TORONTO (CP) — Colin Far­rell finds a cer­tain joy in play­ing char­ac­ters who leave him feel­ing vul­ner­a­ble.

The Ir­ish ac­tor pon­ders whether that's why he ab­sorbed him­self in "Killing of a Sa­cred Deer," his sec­ond wildly un­pre­dictable project with Greek direc­tor Yor­gos Lan­thi­mos.

Two years ago the pair worked to­gether on The Lob­ster, a tricky sci-fi re­la­tion­ship yarn set in a dystopian fu­ture where hu­mans turn into an­i­mals. The film won crit­i­cal raves and awards buzz -- a best ac­tor Golden Globe nom­i­na­tion for Far­rell and a best orig­i­nal screen­play Os­car nom­i­na­tion for Lan­thi­mos and Efthymis Filip­pou.

Far­rell de­cided reac­quaint­ing him­self with another Lan­thi­mos project couldn't hurt -- even if it was an un­set­tling ex­pe­ri­ence in front of the cam­era.

"You don't ever feel com­pletely com­fort­able in the process," Far­rell said dur­ing a re­cent visit to Toronto.

"It's kind of an un­cer­tainty that's lovely to re­side in."

While Lan­thi­mos isn't a house­hold name in North Amer­ica, he's found both rev­er­ence and re­jec­tion among cinephiles for his re­lent­less film­mak­ing style.

His break­out 2009 fea­ture Dog­tooth rat­tled au­di­ences with its study of three adult chil­dren liv­ing un­der the rule of their mid­dle-class par­ents -- a sto­ry­line punc­tu­ated by shock­ing vi­o­lence. The film won the Un Cer­tain Re­gard award at the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val and was nom­i­nated as Greece's for­eign lan­guage con­tender at the Os­cars.

Lan­thi­mos re­turns to subur­ban life with a re­newed vigour in "Sa­cred Deer," in which Far­rell plays a pros­per­ous sur­geon har­bour­ing a se­cret friend­ship with a teenage boy he took un­der his wing. His wife, played by Nicole Kid­man, is sus­pi­cious when the out­sider be­gins to en­croach on their ster­il­ized home life.

The film trudges through a swampy story full of se­crets, guilt and in­sta­bil­ity that never over-ex­plains it­self. Lan­thi­mos said that was en­tirely in­ten­tional.

"I want to make films that en­gage the au­di­ence, not present them with some­thing ab­so­lute and spe­cific," he said. "They have to do a bit of work them­selves."

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