“I like it here. You can do whatever you want. Nobody gives a fuck about you. The only thing you have to worry about is dying. And if that happens, you won’t know anyway.” So says Bunny in Sectionthe escape role Kevin Dillon plays with a mischievous bombshell, and he’s been acting with a similar indifferent attitude ever since. Of the blob at The doors and Poseidon at SurroundingsDillon has a kind of bullish presence in a china shop that often steals the scenes he’s in.
The actor plays a little against type, however, in the new film by James Cullen Bressack, harness. In it, Dillon plays a former high-level hacker who tries to put his past behind him and struggles to be a family man, until he is taken hostage and forced to perform complicated hacks. . He’s stuck in a chair equipped with pressure-sensitive explosives and surrounded by some sort of electromagnetic fence. So the actor faces the challenge of trying to be an action star while standing still.
Kevin Dillon on Hot Seat Challenges
“There’s no doubt being a hacker is something I’m nothing like,” laughs Dillon, “I’m terrible with any kind of technology. But I thought it was a really cool role to play.” Dillon plays a much more reserved and subtle character in harness than the more arrogant and confident Johnny Drama of Surroundings or the aforementioned bunny. Sitting in his office, listening to his captor on the intercom and doing everything he can to buy time, the largely stationary role is not only different for Dillon, but would be different for any actor.
“It was really tricky, but I took it as a challenge, and it was,” Dillon said. “I was also acting against nobody real. I didn’t really have an actor to bounce off of. I had like a screenwriter on the side who was saying the dialogue, and I had to react and talk essentially to a speaker, a camera, or a security camera, and while being kind of strapped into this chair the whole time, since I can’t move or the bomb is going to go off. So I mean, it was really, really hard, as far as the actor play. “
Another extremely difficult aspect of the production was its very condensed schedule, with the entire film being shot in a week. “It was crazy, with the seven-day shooting schedule,” Dillon says. “We had 24 days of page dialogue. One day,” he underlines. Perhaps all of these challenges helped Dillon tap into the tension in the scenes and the pressure his character felt. “I just tried to keep it as real as possible and keep the situation of what’s going on there. You know, if you’re talking to somebody, you always want to feel, like, where’s the- he? Where is the speaker from? That’s why I would address [the captor] with security cameras, because I feel like this guy is watching me.”
Hot Seat finds out that Dillon works with people he respects
Despite all the challenges (or perhaps more), there were several benefits to harness for Dillon. “The script was good, it was a big plus. Knowing that Mel Gibson would be in it, and being able to work with him again, because we just made a film called On the line, which was cool, so those are two big pluses,” Dillon says. “Another thing, too, is that I worked with Shannen Doherty again after all these years. We did something a long time ago called Gone into the night, so it’s great to be working with her again on this. I also thought of James [Cullen Bressack, the director] killed, he was really good, he kept the suspense going even though I couldn’t move much.”
“[Bressack] was great, we’ve been good friends ever since,” Dillon continues. “We can communicate really well, I mean, it was such a tough shoot, doing it every seven days, and he has a certain confidence, because I don’t know if we can even do it seven days. It was so hard. But he had confidence along the way and he kept his promises. I’m very impressed by that, and we’ll work on it again. We have something in the works, I don’t know if I have to announce it yet, so I better shut up, but me and James are going to work together.” The veteran performer and the young but experienced filmmaker could become quite is the actor-director duo.
Comedy, action and the future of Kevin Dillon
Bressack has talked about wanting to transition from action films to comedies, the same way the director transitioned from horror films to action, and Dillon would make a big comedic star for one of Bressack’s proposed comedies. Dillon has obviously been acclaimed and rewarded for his often very funny work in Surroundingsbut has been honing his comedic timing for decades, in addition to his skill at directing a great action sequence.
“I like both. I like good drama and I like action,” Dillon remarks, “but I’d say I like comedy better. Yeah, if I have a funny line or when I’m reading a script and I see a funny line, I’m just really excited to deliver that line. We used to do these premieres for Surroundings often in front of a huge crowd. You would hear the laughter, and it’s a much better feeling when you’re in the theater. You can hear it all in the line, if you delivered it right, and it worked. There’s no better feeling than that. It feels really good.”
harness has a bit of that delightful humor in the character of Mel Gibson, but the action is all Kevin Dillon’s. From Liongate, harness was released on July 1 in select theaters, digital and on-demand, and will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on August 9.