How did you feel when you were
approached to take on Papillon?
I’m not a huge fan of remakes; the idea of re-telling the story of Papillon – it’s such a classic – was a little bit terrifying. But the more Michael [Noer] and I discussed it, the more I felt confident that there was real validity in what we were doing, because we were going back and doing another adaptation of a terrific and exciting story, as many stories are told in different incarnations. We certainly didn’t study the film or go back and work from that screenplay or anything. We went back to the source material. What attracted you to working with Michael Noer? He did a couple of great films, R and
Northwest. He came into the feature world from documentary filmmaking. And so his sensibility is very raw and naturalistic in his approach to storytelling and filmmaking. You spent time in isolation to prepare. Do you like going this far for a role? The times I’ve had the best results in my career were where I was able to identify a way of preparation that was a little bit more extreme and able to go and commit wholeheartedly! JM