admin On giugno - 25 - 2013

by Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

British actor Jason Statham is known for his roles in the Guy Ritchie crime films ‘Revolver,’ ‘Snatch,’ Lock,Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,’ and for having starred in ‘The Italian Job,’ and ‘The Expandables.’ Jason now plays an English Special Forces soldier, who has returned to London after a traumatic tour of duty in Afghanistan, in Steven Knight’s directorial debut ‘Redemption,’ and tells us all about it.

Redemption, is the US title of the movie, but how redeeming is your character, since in the end he goes back to the streets?

Well it was never meant to be called ‘Redemption,’  in the UK it’s called Hummingbird, but in America the distributors wanted a different name. It’s not a story about redemption, he doesn’t feel he can be forgiven for what he’s done. It’s the story about how all of a sudden he finds he can do good for just a fleeting moment. It’s not about forgiveness. It’s about him finding an opportunity to do good. That’s why I prefer the title ‘Hummingbird.’


Where does that come from?

Hummingbird is a military drone that they send out and witnesses what the soldiers do. It’s a generic term, it’s the all-seeing eye. Basically it’s symbolic for my character’s conscience: what he did, what he committed. That’s why he gets haunted by the Hummingbirds, because he knows they saw what he did. And he can never let that go, he can never get away from that. Somehow the hummingbird is in Joey’s head, he’s accountable for everything that he did.


At one point there’s a scene in which Joey has hallucinations and he actually sees the hummingbirds, how did you build up your character to create all the traumatic experience haunting him from the past?

We met soldiers. We had a couple of weeks of rehearsal with soldiers who had come back, some who had become homeless and spoke to us about the trauma and mental illness from living those things. How it affects each individual is very different: some never recover, some get through it. So we used that to build on making a movie and we also met with many homeless people. Some from the army, some who had different stories and we just used it all for the movie. We saw doctors who could advise us on how to understand the symptoms of a broken rib for example, or the affections of a fever. We were really keen to know what we were doing, we weren’t just winging it. I did more research for this, than I ever did for any of my films.

Did you find your character very different from any of your previous roles?

Yes, it was a lot different. He’s a broken man. He’s more sensitive and I never get to have a relationship in any movie. I really liked the script. Steven Knight is a very accomplished screenwriter, he’s been nominated for the Academy Awards so he’s a brilliant writer. So when you have a script that he’s written, it’s inevitable that you’re going to want to do it.

Since it was Steven’s first feature as a director, how was it to work with him as first time director?

It was quite something because he had the composure of someone who had made 50 movies and worked for 20 years. He was very calm, very relaxed. And that surely makes everyone else relax. With Steven it was like smooth sailing, he was sensitive to all the aspects of film-making.


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