ETOnline.com — “At some point, I’ve got to ask you about some of your guilty pleasures out there,” Sebastian Stan says off-hand to his Destroyer director, Karyn Kusama. “Because in my head, I feel like you’re watching, like, super f–king amazing horror projects…”
Though Kusama may be best known for her own horror films, including the “really disturbing in a great way” (as Stan put it) The Invitation and the campy Megan Fox cult classic Jennifer’s Body, her tastes are hardly confined to the genre; one of her early films was the Charlize Theron sci-fi spy action flick Æon Flux. “I don’t have guilty pleasures,” she shrugs. “I think Point Break is a masterpiece. I legitimately think it’s a masterpiece.” In fact, her latest film is most like the latter, a pulpy detective drama about LAPD officer Erin Bell (a bewigged Nicole Kidman), who goes undercover to investigate a gang of bank robbers with her partner, Chris (Stan).
(For his part, on the topic of guilty pleasures, Stan shared, “I was working out today and because of this thing with a Boston accent that I’ve been looking up, I ended up watching the Housewives of Boston and I was like, Oh, my God, this is so insane!“) (I pointed out there is no Real Housewives of Boston.)
With Destroyer opening in select theaters on Christmas Day, Kusama and Stan sat down with ET to discuss leaving their comfort zones, what it took to make Kidman look like a meth addict and how hot Stan looks covered in tattoos.
ET: Karyn, you’ve worked in so many different genres — you did sci-fi early on and then moved into horror and television. This feels like something new. What was it about this story that called out to you?
Karyn Kusama: A couple of things. Practically, I was excited to make a movie in L.A., which is my home and I have a family here and I collaborate with my husband, who was one of the writers of the script. I have a dog! [Laughs.] I felt like it was a nice way to be committing to working in my hometown — which a lot of that TV that you mentioned doesn’t allow me to do. I was [also] really drawn to this labyrinthine journey that this very compelling character makes, where we discover her capacity for love, her capacity to make huge mistakes that haunt her for the rest of her life and her capacity to take some responsibility for those mistakes. In today’s times, that’s an interesting thing to watch a person decide to do.
What put this guy [Stan] on your radar?
Sebastian Stan:Our agents.
KK: Our agents, but also, you have a lot of nice friends.
SS: Oh, good!
KK: No, but you do. You have a lot of nice friends that I think are nice people and good actors, so when your name came up, I’d be like, “Oh, that’s cool.” And then I watched I, Tonya, and I felt like, that’s so interesting to see a guy who in real life, frankly, has a leading man vibe and leading man looks — in a great way, not holding it against you. You’re a very handsome dude — but to see you play a character who was capable of so much smallness and shame and ugliness, I just thought, “My God, that takes bravery.” After our first Skype session, I was like, let’s just figure out how we’re going to work together.
Had you read the script by then?
SS: I had read the script and then we had a Skype session about it. I just love that it felt like you were never really figuring out entirely what was happening or who these people were. It didn’t explain anything, it just kind of–
KK: Put you in their lives.
SS: Yeah, and you’re there as a witness and it’s as if you’re walking by and you’re turning and you’re seeing that scene happen. That felt very real to me. I always feel like, as an actor, you’re always looking in the writing for rhythms, and those scenes were written a certain way. It’s a very direct, frank nature that they have with each other, at least in the scenes that I was involved with Nicole. And I was like, here’s an opportunity to play a completely different character by not doing anything. By almost just letting–
KK: By not indicating anything about the character. By just being, they told so much story.
SS: Exactly. And I just knew it was going to be a very special movie. The idea of protagonist and antagonist was always flipped around here, and I think that in life, good people do bad things and bad people sometimes end up doing a good thing for that moment, or whatever. This movie was so straightforward about that. And to have a female character that had no excuse for anything in a way that didn’t apologize but also, you understood where she was coming from, because all the flaws were so… Nobody shied away from any of that. And then you get Nicole to do it and then you’re like, “All right, well, now it’s going to be a whole other thing!” [Laughs.] Continue reading