February 2003
Dark Blue : An Interview with Kurt Russell

Dark Blue: An Interview with Kurt Russell

Exploring the LAPD inside and out, Kurt Russell’s portrayal of a corrupt cop who achieves a conscious provides an in-depth look into the many shades that make up Dark Blue. Kurt Russell sat down with blackfilm.com to discuss his role and continued success on the silver screen for himself and his family.

AH: What made your character in Dark Blue different from the typical corrupt cop roles we’ve seen before?

KR: For that time, this character has his own personal outlook. The way he looks at it, he has a real simple question to ask. That question is, “Who is gonna do this job? You?” How are we going to answer that question? That’s what makes him up. We all look at the world through our own eyes. I don’t know about you, but I am always surprised at what other people see. We have an imagination of what people see. Many times, it’s not correct.

AH: What made you mesh with Ron as a director?

KR: Ron and I had a similar locker-room mentality that we felt was right for this project. I worked back and forth on this with some good people, and we were close. But I never felt like it would work on a motion picture level, until after speaking with Ron. Then I totally believed it and felt really good about it. In order to make this movie really good and watchable, you have to find out what makes the character (Perry) tick. You have to feel something for someone and connect with him or her as a human being in order to be able to do it. Without doing this, it just becomes an expose on doing bad things. I did not want to do an expose on the LA police department. I wanted to find a way to connect our humanity and saying why I care about this. Ron asked me, “Can you go to hell, descend into hell…and is it possible to take a step out?” That’s a real debatable question.

AH: Can you talk a little about the politics involved in making a film like this?

KR: It would have been real easy to do the movie so that it was really political. That is the backdrop. It has a backdrop and the people you see in it, how they behave, they give you the creation of the backdrop. They suffer the consequences of their actions for something that had been building for over 20 years.

AH: Where you here in Los Angeles during the riots?

KR: No, I was actually in Puerto Rico. But I received plenty of phone calls. Ultimately, for me, what I got out of it was political, but in my own experience, personal. I had quite of few strong liberal friends, who at the beginning of the riots where all about the politics. At the end, they were quietly saying, “Do you have a gun I can borrow?” They began to understand what those rioters live with everyday. To them, there is no political question … its just survival. It became, “How do I get through the afternoon!”

AH: So many actors frown on having to work with musicians and models, what was your experience working with Master P and Korrupt?

KR: In my opinion, these guys are, without question, simply the best actors of our time. Why that is, would make for a great book. I think it’s because in their own eyes, they are underdogs and they are free to fail. I am not sure if that is a theory that plays out or not. They have ability. They just get it, and are not afraid to do it or be it. Now, I am not a method actor, so I don’t know anything about going to acting class or how to create. I have only known how to feel something. So I appreciate them because they just feel it.

AH: What’s the key to your having such a tight nit family?

KR: First of all, our family is no different than any other family. We make terrific horrible mistakes, and we pay for them. We disappoint each other. We scream and holler. We also scream with laughter. I don’t know what to say other than that we live a very normally dysfunctional life. To try to label our family with anything other than normal would be wrong.

AH: You are a fairly seasoned actor. Did you ever give any advice to some of the younger actors in this film?

KR: Every actor should give to the other actor whatever you can to make him or her feel comfortable. I kind of despise those older people who try to take people under their wings. You can know a lot and still get to learn a lot. I feel like I learn a lot from young blood.

AH: How did you feel when making that final speech in the film?

KR: As I said, I am not a method actor, so I have nothing to drawn from. I just felt that the speech was correct for the film. It was the right thing to say. He was feeling everything at once. He remains who he is, but within that has no idea of what he is doing. He knows what he has chosen to do, but does not know what’s going to happen.

AH: Thank you for your time.

KR: Thank you.