He committed the murder - but can you find him guilty?
What more can you say about Anthony Hopkins? A brilliant actor, whose career has never slowed down. In his new thriller, Fracture, he commits the perfect murder, killing his wife in cold blood - but did he really do it? That's the task of Ryan Gosling, a lawyer from the DA's office.
A regular open/shut case turns into one of the biggest cat and mouse chases ever. The gun Anthony used goes missing, the confession he gave is invalid; and the biggest kicker - the hostage negotiator who comes to check on the crime scene had been having an affair with Anthony's wife.
So many clues, yet no true evidence; Anthony is truly the sly dog in this flick. As much as the audience, Ryan, the police, and Anthony know he really did commit the crime, part of you wants him to get away with it - that's how good he really is.
Movieweb.com talked to Anthony about Fracture; check out what he said:
So Ryan was telling us you have no weak spots; he couldn't pick them out.
Anthony Hopkins: My weak spot is laziness. I have a lot of weak spots - cookies, croissants; my wife is always lecturing me about this, I tend to put it all down as habit or it's just acting. People ask me how did you choose the part and how did you prepare for this work? I just learned the lines and showed up; I don't know what else to say because that's all I know how to do. My weak spot is that I don't like analyzing so I tend to be a bit lazy; I tend to get bored quickly, which means I must be boring. I've been through situations where films have been rewritten. On this one, there was a little bit of that, but it was for a good reason; Ryan was concerned about, and he was right about it, he was concerned about the actual accuracy. What happened to the gun? The forensic element to it. The detective - what about the fingerprints? Is a lawyer going to pick this film apart? Greg (Hoblit) said we have to have a discussion with the lawyers; that's my weak point, because I should have paid attention. What I said to Ryan when he came back to do the reshoot, he and Greg and some of the writers got together and really hammered it out. That's my weak spot; I should be much more yeah! But I sometimes think, why bother.
You're a legend to so many people in this business; how did you make Ryan feel comfortable on set?
Anthony Hopkins: I'm never aware of that when it's happening; he's interesting because the formulistic thing of this film, which I like about it, is I'm a fan of this sort of movie like Jagged Edge or Presumed Innocent, Sleepers which I watched again yesterday, they're not just courtroom dramas, but whodunits. You watch it unravel, you watch it begin to evolve, if they're well constructed. In this, because Crawford is always on top with the funny remarks, always knocking (Willy) off-balance, Ryan decided in the first scene we did together, the first shooting scene was the scene in the interrogation room, and he decided not to be fazed by Crawford but to duck and weave around him, which makes it much more interesting than me and I think for the scene because I think that if it was a young that was lost all the time, because every time he'd ask this guy a question, he would zap him, and after about two minutes the audience gets the joke - so this guy is just stupid. Ryan played it very cleverly because already you have the formula of this man who has a terrible broken down car, a terrible life, and lives in a terrible apartment and is always late and looks a mess, which is actually Colombo. It's the same formula; what he did is play it like Peter Falk did: never be put off. I think that's a wonderful ingredient when Peter Falk tries to figure it out and he looks like he doesn't know what time of day it is and you see the killer thinking this detective's an idiot and a fool. But you know Falk is 10 moves ahead, and that's what makes great whodunit films and I think this is what Ryan chose to do. Sometimes with younger actors, if you sense they're intimidated, usually the first day, after they say, 'cut,' I'll say, 'Is that the way you're going to do it? Is that what you want?' I'll say to the director is that the way you want him to play it? No, it's your career; then they get it.
Did part of you want this guy to get away?
Anthony Hopkins: Did you want him to get away? Some people wanted Lecter to get away with it. What it is, the classic villains like Iago and Richard III, they're attractive and charismatic because they walk the knife edge; they are the existentialist men. They dare everything, like the Scottish king, Macbeth; they face catastrophe and unblinkingly go on. They're mesmeric because there's a part of our nature that yearns to be that courageous; there are people like that.
What's next for you?
Anthony Hopkins: I was supposed to make a film about Hitchcock; it's a really good script, but it's been postponed because they have to check with the Hitchcock estate. It's about the making of Psycho, but not just about the making of Psycho; it's about the inner workings of Hitchcock's mind and his personality and his relationship with people.
Is there a director attached?
Anthony Hopkins: Ryan Murphy; but it's been postponed. I've got another one on the table with Morgan Freeman and William H. Macy sometime this year. And another one with Benicio Del Toro in London, but I haven't heard anything more. My agent said it was a fine script. So all kinds of things.
Can you talk about Slipstream?
Anthony Hopkins: Yeah, I directed and wrote and play in it and wrote the music; it's got a good cast - John Turturro, Christian Slater, Laura Flanigan. I think it'll be released in September.
You don't have to wait until September to see Anthony; check him and Ryan out in Fracture, which opens in theaters April 20th; it's rated R.