Sunday, January 7th, 2007
Actor talks about making this film, what to expect from the Second Season of Prison Break and the Incredible Hulk gossip.
Dominic Purcell is having some great fortune as an actor. He's currently co-starring on Prison Break one of the hottest shows on TV, and he's playing the lead in the highly anticipated serial killer film, Primeval.
The movie takes place in one of the most remote places on earth, where a bloodthirsty serial killer has claimed over 300 victims and is still at large. Now, inspired by the true story of the world s most prolific killer, comes Primeval, a nail-biting horror-thriller that follows an American news crew determined to capture this terrifying murderer alive.
Purcell recently took some time out of his busy schedule to discuss the film, Prison Break, and those nasty Incredible Hulk rumors.
Could you tell us about the character of Tim Freeman in Primeval?
Dominic Purcell: Well, Tim is your typical, arrogant not self-effacing guy. He's an ambitious producer who believes that he is beneath the story of tracking a crocodile in Africa. He's basically given an ultimatum by the editor saying, "If you don't cover this story you're fired." He just thinks it's below his standards.
What was it about this movie or this character that attracted you to it?
Dominic Purcell: Well, to be honest it came down to the fact that I was offered a lead role in a big studio movie. I had never been offered that kind of opportunity before, I just thought it would be a good way to get on the list, as they say. Secondly, this was a true story. There is a crocodile in Africa called Gustave that has taken, thereabouts, 300 people, and it's still alive today. It got it's taste for human flesh during the Rwanda genocide. It saw all these bodies in the river and it would start eating these bodies that floated down, and as a consequence the crocodile got very fast, very lazy, and it was easy pickings.
Did you do any research for this film?
Dominic Purcell: Primarily, I did research on the crocodile. Research on the character? Not really. I just kind of used my imagination for him. It was pretty evident in the script what the character was about. It was just up to me to bring it to life.
Touching on that, what do you think, as an actor, is the best way to bring across fear in a movie like Primeval?
Dominic Purcell: I really wanted to get away from that whole style of acting that's abundant these days, of panic stricken kids screaming at monsters and whatever. I didn't want to do that kind of stuff. I kind of saw Tim as being a stoic, arrogant type and that's the way myself and the director approached it. I think we achieved that.
What was the most difficult part of this film's production?
Dominic Purcell: I wasn't fearful doing a leading role in the film. The hardest part of the production, obviously, was the location and the extreme conditions we were filming in. When you think of Africa you think of blazing hot sun. We certainly had days where it was like that, but we did the majority of the shoot at night and it was freezing. It was like a minus 1000 sometimes! I was placed under torrential rain from the rain machine at 3 o'clock in the morning where the temperature gets down to minus 20. That's when professionalism kicks in and you just kind of focus and get through it.
There was one morning where I was on a barge in the middle of this river with this rain pouring on me, and the camera guys had to lower the camera. I was just standing on this barge for 5 minutes freezing and when the camera's about to roll my shirt was covered in ice! There were times when we had to stop shooting and put me in the warm tent so I wouldn't experience hypothermia.
Dominic Purcell: Yeah, it was tense. It was tough.
Why do you think horror movies continue to be so popular, not just in this country but throughout the world?
Dominic Purcell: As a culture we've always loved scary stories. I think it touches... it effects us as humans. As humans we're full of fear and somehow when we go and see a horror film we can relate to it. I remember watching The Exorcist and just being fascinated by it, and it awakened all the senses in all of us. There's not a terrible amount of thinking that has to go into watching these movies, they're pretty standard fare. We like to be scared.
What can we expect on Prison Break when it returns January 22?
Dominic Purcell: Well, I think you can expect the body count to rise. Obviously Season Two is coming to a close, and we're going to the climax of Season Two, and expect much more intensity coming back to air. Look, the great thing about Prison Break is that people are so invested in the characters, and they really want to see the characters succeed because the characters have proven to be redeemable. That makes great storytelling and Prison Break services all of that.
What do you have coming up next? There was talk of you doing The Incredible Hulk...?
Dominic Purcell: Well, The Hulk rumors were just that, they were rumors. No one, my agents, whatever... we hadn't heard from Marvel or anyone. I'm not sure how that started.
I'm about to do a movie with Joel Schumacher called Town Creek. It's funny, another kind of horror movie. It's not that I actively seek out these horror movie roles, they seem to be following me around. I'm very excited to do this movie. It's a great script, great story and working with Joel Schumacher... one of the legends of Hollywood it's a huge step up for me. I'm very, very grateful.
Primeval opens nationwide on January 12, 2007 from Hollywood Pictures.