EXCLUSIVE: John Hawkes Talks ‘Jackie Brown’ Prequel ‘Switch’

The actor will play Louis Gara alongside Yasiin Bey in this prequel to the Elmore Leonard adaptation.
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John Hawkes discusses the Elmore Leonard prequel Switch Earlier today, I had the chance to speak with the extremely talented actor John Hawkes, who was promoting the Blu-ray release of Roadracers. After talking about why he turned down The Governor role on The Walking Dead, I asked him about a movie project I am very much looking forward to, Switch. This is based on Elmore Leonard's prequel novel to Rum Punch, which Quentin Tarantino adapted into the 1997 hit Jackie Brown.

John Hawkes will play Louis Gara and Yasiin Bey portrays Ordell Robbie, younger versions of the roles played by Robert De Niro and Samuel L. Jackson in Jackie Brown. The actor told me that he was not planning on doing a Robert De Niro impersonation for this role. Here's what he had to say.

"I think the only Tarantino movie I haven't seen is Jackie Brown, and I won't watch it until after I shoot this. I don't think we're supposed to be imitators of Samuel L. Jackson and Robert De Niro, although I think that's what some people expect. Again, I will not have even seen Jackie Brown at that point, and my De Niro impression isn't that great, so I'm just going to approach it like any other film. (Writer-director) Daniel Schechter adapted the novel, I think, really beautifully, and this has kind of been a long time coming.

I met with him many months ago, and Yasiin Bey, who I worked with many years before very briefly, I think he's a terrific guy and actor. I'm looking forward to getting going on it. It's been slow moving, trying to get the money and schedules all set up, but the script is what called to me, and that's always how it is. The script is good, and the role is good, and Daniel seems like a capable storyteller. I'm excited to work on it.

Asked when production would start, he added, "I have no idea. Hopefully this summer." We reported back in February that Jennifer Aniston and Dennis Quaid were in early talks to star, but it isn't known if they have officially signed on. The story follows Ordell Robbie and Louis Gara, who kidnap the wife (Jennifer Aniston) of a real estate tycoon (Dennis Quaid), although their plan goes awry when the husband refuses to pay the hefty ransom.

Life of Crime was released August 29th, 2014.

Sources: Brian Gallagher

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