Matt Dillon Gears Up for the Heist of a Lifetime in <strong><em>Armored</em></strong>

Nimrod Antal's exciting new drama is heading for theaters on December 4th

Matt Dillon leads an all-star cast in Nimrod Antal's upcoming heist thriller Armored. In the film, Dillon's Cochrane coerces his co-workers at an armored truck company to embark on one of the biggest robberies in recent memory. Things don't go according to plan, and soon, its every man for himself as Cochrane and his team struggle to survive the aftermath of this heist-gone-wrong. We recently caught up with Matt to hear more about the film. This is what he had to tell us:

This is quite an action-packed role here. Can you talk about what made you want to sign on for this? Were you looking for something with more action?

Matt Dillon:I always wanted to do an action movie, or a right kind of action movie. I like action and I like this one, because it's character-based. I had a meeting with the director, Nimrod Antal and I had really enjoyed his first film, Kontroll. I thought this guy was good and he really wanted to work with me and I really wanted to work with him. When this came to me, there were two things I liked about it. One, was Nimrod knew his stuff and knew the material. It was a solid script and in the right hands, it could be really good, a strong, entertaining, fun ride. I had confidence with the material with him, seeing the film he made. There was that and I also liked the character because we discover there is a lot that is revealed about this character. He's not exactly what he seems to be in the beginning. There's something up. The character is manipulative and he's holding something back. I liked it, he's kind of a heavy dude.

Can you describe the metamorphous you went through to play Cochrane?

Matt Dillon: You know, I'll be honest with you. It wasn't one of those films where I went out and did a lot of research. It wasn't really that kind of film. Look, one of the things about this film is that, in spite of the actions of their characters, people can identify with them, the standpoint that the economy is kind of a shit-show right now. A lot of people are being threatened by the same problems that the character in this film are financially. Absolutely, it's entertainment, it's a drama, it's a heist and there's action and it's great, but, in the times we're in, you can't help but look at it and, it's like I tell him in the film, 'We're not gonna let them take your house.' I think part of, in doing this film, there's an ensemble feel and a comfort level with each other. They all have a strong bond and Nimrod really got that. It was a very lively environment, very loose, in a certain sense. There was a lot of improvisation going on and that really kept it alive. I really liked the cast too. It was one of the better groups of actors I've worked with in a long time. It's a guy movie, but it was a good ensemble. I really enjoyed it.

Can you talk about the physical aspects of the movie? You were running around on roofs and whatnot and I heard that Nimrod had you doing a lot of your own stunts. Can you talk about the physical nature of this film?

Matt Dillon: Oh yeah. You get banged up doing these films. I thought I broke my ribs at one point. They didn't break, but I heard a click when I landed on them. I'm tackling this guy, this big homeless guy in this big chase scene, I felt like Lawrence Taylor, you know? Boom (Laughs). But I landed, man, and there was no soft landing, I'll tell you that. Running around doing your own stuff, you have to be careful. We had top stunt coordinators, but still they're very eager to say, 'Hey, you want to jump on board?' And I'm like, 'Yeah, let's go. I'm ready.' You don't want to be the guy who's going, 'I don't think so, I'm a little reluctant.' At one point they're like, 'What do you feel about fire?' I said, 'What did you have in mind?' They said, 'Well, we thought we'd shoot you on fire for a little bit.' I said, 'Really? I've never done that before. Let's give it a shot' (Laughs). They told after I did the first one, 'Oh, if it gets a little warm, let us know and we'll put you out.' I thought, that would've been nice to know before the first take. I'm joking, but it was fun to go through that whole experience with that group of guys. I was surprised at (Laurence) Fishburne. He's a real gamer with all his stunts. He was telling me stuff he was doing on The Matrix, stuff like three-story drops. I was shocked. What was good was we shot a lot of it in sequence. A lot of it was shot in the same set, so we were able to shoot in sequence. It works, because a lot of it is like a clock-is-ticking thing. It moves at that kind of a click.

You talked about Lawernce Fishburne and you haven't worked with him since Rumble Fish. What was it like working with him again?

Matt Dillon: Oh, I had a great time with him. We've kept pretty close after making that film way back then, but careers go in different directions and I don't see much of him, but he's a great guy. He's phenomenal to work with. He's a great actor, very creative and very playful too. He's just a smart actor.

Cochrane plays Columbus Short's godfather in the film. How did you enjoy working with him?

Matt Dillon: I hadn't worked with him before, but he's great. He's got great energy, great presence and he's a gamer. I really liked the way we acted together in the film. I definitely feel like we had a good connection and we had a history. His father was my mentor so I kind of became his godfather.

Can you describe the process of working with your director, Nimrod Antal? What does his style bring to a film like this?

Matt Dillon: His style is he's a ball of energy, man. He's just a ball of force, as a director. He's a director that has a real command, which is something you can't always say about other directors. He's very passionate. When you see a guy with that kind of intensity on the set, you know you're in good hands. At the same time, I think he trusts his actors. What I liked about the cast was it was a really good group of actors and everybody really bought into his vision. We worked well as an ensemble. It was a real gas working with this group of guys. When you're working with a good filmmaker, it makes it easier because, no matter how difficult a scene is, for some reason it works when you're working with a good filmmaker. When he said he had it, I trusted him. I don't always feel that way. When he said he had it in that take, I trusted him. He's got good taste and good instincts as a filmmaker. That's big, man, because actors will rely on their old tricks, if they feel like they're not on the same page. They won't go the extra mile, won't take the chances. That wasn't the case with Nimrod. We trusted him, we all signed on and had fun.

You've been known for picking some very diverse roles in your career. I was curious what the process is for you, when you're looking at new projects? What really sticks out for you when you're looking at a new project?

Matt Dillon: Sometimes you can see an opportunity to do something and really make something happen. I find that in my career, the times where I've been challenged, where I'm taking a risk, I've been rewarded for that. I don't mean rewarded in the obvious way, but I seem to do well with a challenge, whether it's taking on a character that's complicated or maybe like a character in Crash. There's something about that role that not everybody would want to play that guy. I don't even like watching myself do it. Some of those scenes really bothered me. It's tough to watch me play that character. But, I went off and directed my own film because I feel like being prepared and taking the chance really paid off for me, in that experience. I can't speak for everybody, but I was certainly happy, in the end, with the experience. But also playing Bukowski's alter-ego, I never thought I'd do that and I really felt comfortable that I was able to tap into a role I didn't think I'd be playing. I like to take chances when I can. I like character-based stuff, whether it's comedy or drama. I like a drama that has a lot of humor in it. When you're an actor for hire... I mean, I used to feel responsible for the outcome of every movie I was in. I mean, how grandiose is that? I'm only responsible for doing the best I can on the set, doing my part. There's a whole process that goes on with the director and the editor and you have to rely on those people and you have to trust those people. I'm certainly not responsible for what I can't be responsible for. Sometimes you do a job like Armored and it's not like going to work. It's not, because I liked showing up and I liked working with those actors because it's a great group of actors. I liked the director and we had a great time doing it. It wasn't easy work, but it wasn't like a job, you know. If I can do that all the time, I'll be happy.

You mentioned the film you directed before. Are you looking to direct anything else in the near future?

Matt Dillon: Yeah, I am. There are a couple of things in the development stage, but I'm sort of at the point where they're not quite ready yet. I'm kind of a perfectionist. I don't know that it's a bad thing, but it slows down the process, that's for sure.

We've heard rumors here and there that Paramount is considering a Little Darlings remake. Had you heard of anything like that?

Matt Dillon: I haven't heard of it and, I don't know what to tell you. I mean, sure, they do a lot of remakes. I guess it's ripe for that.

Would you consider coming back as one of the camp counselors if they approached you about it?

Matt Dillon: (Laughs) I'm not even going to try to answer that one. I haven't even heard of this.

Finally, what would you like to say to your fans, or those who might be considering seeing Armored on December 4?

Matt Dillon: Well, it's a ride and it's a lot of fun. It's a great cast and there's a lot of action. I had a lot of fun doing it, and I think that usually resonates. When I've had fun on a movie, people usually enjoy the movie. When I see a movie and I have fun, it usually means the people who made it had fun too. Even if they were miserable, they had fun. I think you'll also see that group together, and it's very much a character-driven action-drama and it's very masterfully directed.

Excellent. Well that's about all I have for you, Matt. Thanks so much for your time and the best of luck on your new projects.

Matt Dillon: All right. Take it easy, buddy.

You can watch Matt Dillon as Cochrane and the rest of this high-powered cast of Armored when the film hits theaters nationwide on December 4.

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