Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Zach Braff “Shocked” By "Unfair And Unfounded" Kickstarter Campaign Backlash Zach Braff “Shocked” By "Unfair And Unfounded" Kickstarter Campaign Backlash Watch: Joaquin Phoenix Gets His Stoner Detective Groove On In Trailer For Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’ Watch: Joaquin Phoenix Gets His Stoner Detective Groove On In Trailer For Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’ David Fincher Will Direct The Entire First Season Of HBO's 'Utopia' In 2015 David Fincher Will Direct The Entire First Season Of HBO's 'Utopia' In 2015 Best To Worst: David Fincher's Complete Music Videography Ranked Best To Worst: David Fincher's Complete Music Videography Ranked Brad Pitt Says 'Fury' Co-Star Shia LaBeouf Is "One Of The Best Actors I've Ever Seen" Brad Pitt Says 'Fury' Co-Star Shia LaBeouf Is "One Of The Best Actors I've Ever Seen" First Look: Kristen Stewart & Nicholas Hoult In Drake Doremus’ Sci-Fi Film ‘Equals’ First Look: Kristen Stewart & Nicholas Hoult In Drake Doremus’ Sci-Fi Film ‘Equals’ John Cusack Says Hollywood Is A "Whorehouse" That "Eats Young Actors Up And Spits Them Out" John Cusack Says Hollywood Is A "Whorehouse" That "Eats Young Actors Up And Spits Them Out" Review: 'Southcliffe' May Be The Best New Series On Netflix You Haven't Yet Watched Review: 'Southcliffe' May Be The Best New Series On Netflix You Haven't Yet Watched New Image From 'Inherent Vice,' Paul Thomas Anderson Completely Changed The Ending From Thomas Pynchon's Book New Image From 'Inherent Vice,' Paul Thomas Anderson Completely Changed The Ending From Thomas Pynchon's Book Why 'You're The Worst' Turned Out To Be The Best TV Show Of The Summer Why 'You're The Worst' Turned Out To Be The Best TV Show Of The Summer Watch: First Trailer For Michael Mann’s Hacker Heist Thriller ‘Blackhat’ Starring Chris Hemsworth Watch: First Trailer For Michael Mann’s Hacker Heist Thriller ‘Blackhat’ Starring Chris Hemsworth Watch: Ellen Page And Kate Mara Are 'Tiny Detectives' In Hilarious 'True Detective' Parody Watch: Ellen Page And Kate Mara Are 'Tiny Detectives' In Hilarious 'True Detective' Parody New Look: Reese Witherspoon And Joaquin Phoenix In Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' New Look: Reese Witherspoon And Joaquin Phoenix In Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' Review: David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, Kim Dickens & More Review: David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, Kim Dickens & More 10 Female Directors Who Deserve More Attention From Hollywood 10 Female Directors Who Deserve More Attention From Hollywood Miles Teller Says Role In 'Divergent' Made Him Feel "Dead Inside," And He Took Movie "For Business Reasons" Miles Teller Says Role In 'Divergent' Made Him Feel "Dead Inside," And He Took Movie "For Business Reasons" The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes

Chris Evans Talks Trying To Honor The Memory Of An Unlikeable Lawyer In 'Puncture'

The Playlist By Gabe Toro | The Playlist September 22, 2011 at 10:55AM

In “Puncture,” Chris Evans plays Mike Weiss, the real-life lawyer who, along with Paul Danzinger, took on the medical industry. Hospital supply was, and remains, the major roadblock restricting the one-stick needle, a plastic, disposable syringe that is much cheaper and cost-effective than its dangerous counterpart. While the subject matter makes “Puncture” an “issue” movie, it’s Evans’ portrayal of Weiss that has audiences buzzing.
4


In “Puncture,” Chris Evans plays Mike Weiss, the real-life lawyer who, along with Paul Danzinger, took on the medical industry. Hospital supply was, and remains, the major roadblock restricting the one-stick needle, a plastic, disposable syringe that is much cheaper and cost-effective than its dangerous counterpart. While the subject matter makes “Puncture” an “issue” movie, it’s Evans’ portrayal of Weiss that has audiences buzzing.

Evans brings his considerable charm and matinee-idol looks to the character of Weiss, who fought for this case despite being a functioning drug addict. As “Puncture” deals with this serious, industry-wide issue, it also finds a fascinating mess of contradictions regarding Weiss, a flamboyant dresser and notorious womanizer who managed to charge headfirst into the case while saddled with a debilitating addiction. We sat down with Evans and discussed the picture and the complexities and contradictions in capturing the essence of such a tricky character.

In acting classes, most professors will tell you that you have to like and understand the character you‘re playing. Evans admits he believed in the latter, but not the former. “It sounds so horrible, because you don’t want to speak of the dead,” Evans says, clearly choosing his words carefully. “But I don’t think he was a great person. He was bright, he was a genius. His friends and family, they all agreed that he was the most brilliant man they knew.”

Evans’ tone darkens. “But he was wildly selfish,” he says. “He was too smart for his own good. There’s an isolation to that sort of genius. But he was so charismatic, so likable, so charming. Everyone I talked to, they didn’t like him, but they didn’t want to cut him out of their lives. So it was fun to toe the line, to find the balance with this guy, who is kinda…vile! He has a lot of shitty qualities. If I didn’t make him likable, then I fucked up. But you kinda have to make him likable, and you have to make him the kinda guy you want to strangle.”

Naturally, it was difficult to compare that perspective with the need to do justice to Weiss by his family and loved ones. Speaking of researching Weiss, Evans emphasized, “It was really fucking intimidating. You’re sitting there, talking to his dad, and thinking man. I hope these people know I’m trying to do the best I can. But I’m not playing JFK, I’m not playing someone who I can watch on film and match the posture, and cadence, and tone. But people would just tell me stories. Half of your brain is dedicated to taking notes and trying to develop the character, and the other half of your brain is thinking, 'Oh my God, these people are going to hate what I do.' If he had a certain way of walking, I don’t know that. If he had a phrase he liked to say, I don’t know that. It was intimidating, it plays with your mind.”

The producers and directors of “Puncture” (Adam and Mark Kassen) were very careful to stick to the real life events of the story, particularly in the lives of Weiss and Danzinger. There was one element of the story, however, where the filmmakers did deviate: wardrobe. As Evans plays it, Weiss is something of a fashion plate, anal enough to own several Armani suits (and so thrifty that he buys them secondhand). But when it comes to the wardrobe of the real Weiss, the ensembles were a little too strange, even for fiction.

When Evans asked Weiss‘ friends and family about his wardrobe, he was surprised to learn the truth. “Everyone said it was outrageous. He thought he was fashion forward, and he was ahead of the curve. The first time I went to wardrobe and tried on the clothes, I was like, I feel like fuckin’ Patch Adams! We had to tone it down a little bit based on what this guy’s friends’ said he wore. I looked at his clothes and was like, 'What is this shit?' This guy was a lunatic! What kind of guy comes to work every day looking like Lady Gaga?”

While we'll have to leave it to our imagination as what that original wardrobe looked like (suits made out of meat products?) you can catch Evans in "Puncture" when it hits theaters Friday, September 23rd.

This article is related to: Actors, Chris Evans


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates