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[Movies] Kurt Russell Talks About Humanizing His Characters
Posted by Joseph Lee on 02.18.2014

In an interview with IGN to promote his new movie The Art of the Steal (arrives on VOD on February 7 and in theaters on March 14), Kurt Russell spoke about his most iconic roles in his career and humanizing his characters. Here are highlights:

On The Art of the Steal: "I like the cornerstone of what this movie is about. It's about trust. I like the fact that, yeah, in business you need to trust somebody, but in crime business, you can't exist without it. You have to have trust. Then when it's familial, what's the punishment if you violate the code? Is there a punishment? And I liked being able to take the audience to a place where you could actually stop the movie and have somebody walk out and say, 'Okay, you've got three seconds. Here are your cards. Who's doing what to who? How's this movie end? Good, here we go.' Then you watch the movie, and at the end everybody goes, 'Did anybody get it right?' I like movies like that. I think it's fun."

On making his characters human: "So, to me, when you give these characters the boundaries that they should have, you're making them human. I think that a lot of times I see characters that are played as action-types, and they just have no reality to them. It's as if they never shut a car door on their finger. You can still do that -- at least, that's my version of it. If I'm going to be doing Bullitt -- if it's my version of Bullitt -- there's gonna be some Gene Hackman involved; it's not going to be all Steve McQueen. My version of it is he's going to do something wrong that would make us laugh, if he would have to laugh at himself or not. A sense of humor is something -- I don't know, I can't get away from that. I think that we are hysterically funny people. I think we're all funny. I think we all do funny things that we don't see. Sometimes we're unaware of our humor, of how funny we are."

On bringing something different to each role: "I used to watch some movies, and I'd go, 'God, if I ever get one of those movies, I may actually be good in it.'" the actor laughed. "I think sometimes actors are trying to make themselves believe something about themselves, more than making the audience believe it. I just think that there are all kinds of different realities to any character, and there are some things that some characters can withstand and maintain, then there's things that you don't want to do them. I would never do anything to Snake Plissken that I would do to Jack Burton. I would never do anything to Jack Burton that I would do to Stuntman Mike."


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