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Interview: 'A Single Shot' Star Sam Rockwell Talks His Favorite Genre Films, Marvel Movies, Duncan Jones' 'Mute' & More

Photo of Drew Taylor By Drew Taylor | The Playlist September 19, 2013 at 5:20PM

Sam Rockwell is one of those actors whose mere presence in a movie can elicit excitement for a project that could have otherwise easily been written off. No matter what he's in – if it's big budget nonsense like "Charlie's Angels" or something like Duncan Jones' moody, micro-budget "Moon" – Rockwell is sure to turn in a performance that's downright electric (or electrified, maybe). His newest film is "A Single Shot," which opens this weekend (read our review). A twisty, turny film noir about a down-on-his-luck hunter who makes a fatally wrong shot, killing a young woman in the woods, Rockwell is as intense as he usually is goofy, his manic energy turned inward, for a kind of bottled fury. It's quite a performance, especially considering the fine actors he's surrounded by (William H. Macy, Jeffrey Wright and Jason Isaacs are among his costars).
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The Sitter Sam Rockwell

Another small movie that you were in that was all for the love was "Iron Man 2." Has Marvel ever talked about you coming back?
You know… I don't have any contract with them but they might bring my character back. I don't know. I would be game, to come back, though, yeah.

You were in "The Sitter" with David Gordon Green and at one point there was a much weirder version of the movie. Have you ever pressured him to release that version?
You know, that's a good question. There was a great monologue that was cut in the Chinese restaurant where I tell a story, where I have a backstory with Method Man, who shows up at the end of the film when they beat the shit out of me, and I tell a story about how I was emotionally butt-fucked. It's a great, funny monologue. It was cut for time but it's got to be somewhere on the DVD, it's really funny. David and I, left to our own devices, probably would have made a much different film. But there were a lot of cooks in the stew with that one.

Where did the line "Put a quarter in my butt, let's get this party farted" come from?
That came from David Gordon Green. That's a funny fucking line.

And you're going to be in the new "Poltergeist" right?
Well, we're in the early stages of talks but it looks good, yeah, depending on some script rewrites and things. All I can say is that the guy is going to be a little bit more down on his luck.

At one point you were going to do the Duncan Jones movie "Mute…"
Well, that looks like it's going to be an animated cartoon now.

So would you do a voice?
Absolutely.

You go between huge movies like "Cowboys & Aliens" to things like "Single Shot." Will you try to continue that?
Yeah, you want to shake it up a little. But it's always about the part and the story and the people you're surrounded by.

What was your take on the whole "Cowboys & Aliens" situation?
I met some great people and I had a lot of fun. I'm really proud of what we did on that movie. What Jon [Favreau] did is, he really did his homework, in terms of watching all the John Ford movies and making sure that it was really authentic. And then you throw all these monsters in and a little bit of "Close Encounters of the Third" kind. It was a fascinating concept. I think the problem was that the title threw everybody off a little bit, because they thought it was a comedy. But it was exactly what it is. I thought the tone of it was really interesting, mixing classic western archetypes with this sci-fi concepts and Daniel Craig is the Steve McQueen role in "The Magnificent Seven" and I'm the Jimmy Stewart archetype in 'Liberty Valance.' If you keep that in mind and watch it again, I think it was pretty clever what Jon did. 

"A Single Shot" opens this weekend in limited release.

This article is related to: Sam Rockwell, A Single Shot, Marvel, Cowboys & Aliens, Jon Favreau, The Sitter, David Gordon Green, Mute, Duncan Jones, Interviews, Interviews, Interview


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