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Equilibrium Commentary
Kurt Wimmer



4. A Heavy Cost

Transcription by Silencer
 



This is the exterior of Templehoff, here, which was reportedly Hitler's airport.  Though it wasn't really Hitler's airport because it didn't get finished until the unexpected end to his little foray mid-century there.

This is a digital shot. This is a church that I was lucky enough to find, a sort of crumbling abandoned church in the middle of Berlin. That's dubiety, behind Christian there's a big busy street and a falafel stand behind him.

This is Sean Bean.  Obviously the great Sean Bean who you may recognize as Boromir form the Lord of the Rings.

What can I say about Sean? I have to give Lucas Foster, the producer of this film, for bringing Sean onto this film. I must have read 200 people for this part, and I thought it was a short relatively obvious part, but out of those 200 people, I have to say that only about 2 got it, and unfortunately the two that got it were not two that the studio was prepared to hire. So we were at an impasse all throughout pre-production and into shooting. When we came down to the last minute, Lucas prevailed and hired Sean here. I only knew Sean basically as 006, and I didn't realize that he had the incredible gravity that he has in this scene here, and that he would bring this nobility to the Grammaton Cleric that he did. It really is a wonderful thing for the film because it imbues something. It rubs off on Christian, I think, in terms of who he is and creates sort of this chivalry of this knight class.

Also, I have to say that Sean is the most complete actor I've ever worked with, and this is not to take anything away from the other fine and complete actors I've worked with only to pay an incredible high complement to this consummate professional. He was able to make adjustments in his performance. I really micromanaged him, I have to say, because it is a genre piece and I was very specific about what I wanted, but in terms of when he looks down, when he looks up, on what lines, etc.  And he would get it instantly, and he would instantly incorporate the direction, and instantly make the change without marginalizing his performance at all. I was so impressed. I was standing at the monitor with my jaw basically hanging on the floor.

These guns, by the way, are modified Berettas.  We put cladding on them. I chose the Beretta because it was the only gun that could be modified to have top ejection, or could be easily modified to have top ejection. Most guns have right port ejection, and I very much wanted to have a gun that would eject straight out the top and the reason for that was... it's coming up here momentarily.  When he fires the gun, you see the shell going through the right-hand part of the frame there? Well I thought in my fantasy world that I could reliably get the shell to come up and hit the camera. Well, in the time-frame I was dealing with, that was never going to happen, and I realize now that if you're going to do that then you're just going to have to do that digitally. It would probably work a lot better anyway. That was the idea, but it pays off a little later at the end of the movie in the scene where he's going down the hallway, because he has the guns turned sideways and you see the shells crossing out of the tops of the guns, creating an X, so it pays off a little bit there.  But ultimately it was a fair amount of work and expense that didn't pay off in any sense.

This is, of course, the introduction of Taye.

I was very lucky to get Taye. He was the first person I wanted for the part in this movie and the first person I cast. I heard some people object to the fact that he smiles in this movie, and I would have to take the fall for that because I hired him for that smile. I thought that anybody who had a smile that perfect had to be lying about something. I found his smile, as dynamite as it is, to be insincere and to me, a smile that is passionless, that has nothing behind it, is even more empty then nothing. So clearly when he smiles, it's not out of friendship or anything that we might ever associate with, you know, emotionally with smiling. So for me, that smile was not at all hypocritical in this movie.

Ok, he (Father) mentions Hate Crime there.  You know, I'm a pretty fanatical liberal defender of the first amendment, which also puts me in sort of a strange quandary with the also liberal concept of the hate crime. I'm the kind of guy that gets misty-eyes at the whole idea of "I don't agree with what you say but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." You know, freedom of speech is our most basic and important right in my mind, and that extends into our freedom of thought and to freedom of feeling. So I find it... the concept that one person or twelve people after the fact will read the minds of a person who committed a crime regardless of the fact that material facts of the crime remain the same and make a determination of what that person was feeling at the time of the crime.  And based on what they think he was feeling, possibly give him a harsher sentence. I find this troubling because it seems to me to be the start the idea that feelings are dangerous.