Interview conducted by Josh Costella and Sean Gerber.
“The Dark Knight Rises” is just over a month away and while fans do their best to manage the barely-tolerable anticipation, one of the film’s many stars has done his best to assure the audience that its enthusiasm is well placed. Matthew Modine has an unwavering confidence about the film in which he plays Deputy Commissioner Foley. He’s suggested that a certain Marvel team up film is in store for a butt-kicking while emphasizing that “The Dark Knight Rises” will indeed be the biggest film of 2012.
In this exclusive interview, Modine talks about his experience making the film, making that Marvel comparison, and more!
Based on the number of interactions we’ve seen you have with fans on Twitter, we assume you’re aware of the level of expectations people have for “The Dark Knight Rises.” Did that awareness affect your approach to this film compared to a project that did not already have such a large built-in fan base?
Nope. I came to the project with an open mind. I was like a new ballplayer on a veteran club. I was invited for a reason. For the game I would bring. My personal history. But it wasn’t my team. I was the “new guy” and I was patient and allowed the game and players to let me in at their rhythm.
Your character is one of the newcomers to this series. What was your experience like when working with Gotham veterans Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale, and Gary Oldman?
I think I covered that pretty well in my previous answer. I’ll add that it was a pleasure to spend time and work with my old friend, Gary. Not just a wonderful actor. A mensch.
Did you have any assumptions about this project based on what you’d seen from the first two films? Was there anything that surprised you?
I knew from the first two films, and Nolan’s other films, that he is a special director. He surprised me everyday I worked with him. He’s got so many great films in his future. I hope I can be a part of them.
In the footage that’s been released, we’ve seen your character leading his fellow officers into a massive battle. Can you describe what it’s like and perhaps how difficult it is to perform in a scene with so many other actors and moving parts?
You’ve said that “The Dark Knight Rises” will deliver a butt-kicking to “The Avengers.” Why do you feel that way? Do you think these movies are really in competition with one another?
Not really any competition. Avengers, at its best, was a light comedy. I feel the humor of its characters was its strongest point. There was never any danger and no character development. No real arc to the story. Which is fine. And clearly millions of people love the film. It’s a very very successful popcorn movie. I would have loved it if I was a kid. The DKR is a whole different universe of storytelling. I feel it is more in the genre of classic, epic novels, The Odyssey, Moby Dick,The Iliad, or even Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. I love Batman because he is human and full of human problems.
Did you have a favorite superhero growing up? Who and why?
Batman. See above.
In your opinion, why has the superhero/comic book film genre become so popular and successful?
Oh, I don’t think this is a new trend. At all. One thing that has changed is the ability to create films in a way only once dreamed of. New lightweight cameras and vehicles and computer graphics technicians have the ability to create worlds only once imagined. Directors today are only limited by their imaginations.
You have expressed your affection for Christopher Nolan’s talent as a director several times. Despite his relatively small but massively successful body of work, he has been overlooked when it comes to awards, especially Academy Awards. In your opinion, why do you think this is happening? Do you feel that it is justified? Do the awards truly matter?
The Beatles never won a Grammy. Kubrick never won the Academy Award. The list of people not recognized is way more interesting than the list of “winners.”
Our thanks to Matthew Modine for taking the time to give us this exclusive interview and we look forward to seeing him in action when THE FIRE RISES on July 20th!
-Josh Costella & Sean Gerber