*Jeffrey Wright works his magic on-screen once again in “The Source Code,” as Walter Rutledge. He is one of the best in his profession and it is truly amazing and unfortunate he has not copped an Oscar.
He was astounding in “Basquiat” and there were some who didn’t realize he was Peoples Hernandez in “Shaft” because his portrayal was so authentic and unlike the man himself.
And lest we not forget his roles in “W,” “Boycott,” “Syriana,” “The Manchurian Candidate,” “Quantum of Solace,” “Casino Royale,” and “Angels in America,” just to name a few. Now with “The Source Code,” Wright is an unparalleled leader in his scientific field.
Wright chose the “Code” because of it director Duncan Jones. The Film Strip interviewed Jones, the son of David Bowie, two years ago for his film “Moon.”
“It helps to work with a director who has a strong vision and the command of that vision,” he explained, “and clearly after watching ‘Moon,’ I saw that Duncan was capable of that. I knew Duncan before this film from the time I worked with his father on ‘Basquiat’ so I felt a familiarity with him personally as well.
“I thought the script was exciting; obviously a sci-fi thriller with elements that are really grounded contemporary times in a way, which adds to the story. I thought it has all the trappings of a big budget action adventure picture but at the same time it gets you thinking about current political and social realities in a way I think adds to the thrills. I love what Duncan did with technology in ‘Moon’ and his application to this as well; it is always a nice trip for an audience to dispend disbelief to some extent to buy into some of these tools and technology.”
When Jake Gyllenhaal read the script for the “Source Code” he was impressed but thought it would only work with the right director.
“I attached myself to it because it was such a great piece of material, but I knew that it was totally contingent on who directed it, and it [had to be] Duncan Jones. I adore ‘Moon.'”
If, like his character in the movie he could go back in time, Gyllenhaal says he wouldn’t change anything in his life.
“I think I’ve had, as far as I can see, a very blessed life. So, regret, whatever the regrets may be I think that they’re great. They’ve been the best teacher that I’ve had so far.”
He did say, however, if he could rearrange history, he would.
“If humanity or a large scale attack of some kind where lives are lost, and could be gotten back again, I would go there. I would tell a historical figure like Lincoln not to go to that play.”
From a cubicle in a sci-fi film to the streets, Gyllenhaal next project could not be more different.
“I just signed on to do a movie with David Ayer who wrote ‘Training Day,'” he related. “He’s directing it and it’s about two LAPD officers in South Central. It’s an amazing screenplay and I’m really excited about it. “We’re going to be shooting in South Central and it’s going to be a really fascinating journey.”
Watching herself on camera, co-star Vera Farmiga describes it “like dancing with yourself,” but “I prefer dancing with a dance partner. It’s a great exercise for an actor. It’s awfully lonesome. And then I would have these treats where the masterful Jeffrey Wright would hobble in and mutter something to me and hobble out. But it was so great to watch that guy work.”
As with the case of Wright and Gyllenhaal, Farmiga is part of the Duncan Jones fan club.
“I adore ‘Moon.’ I thought that it was something very, very special and when I read ‘Source Code’ it was the same intricate puzzle that he presented in ‘Moon,’ and I love having my noodle challenged and finding something to chew on. I wanted to be a piece of that puzzle.”
Guess what Michelle Monaghan-the object of Gyllenhaal’s affections-reason is for joining the cast of “Source Code?” Yes, you guessed it, DJ.
“I was really excited about the prospect of working with Duncan Jones and I mean, I think all of us were so excited by his movie, ‘Moon.’ So I thought, why not do it with somebody as promising as Duncan Jones? I knew that it would be a challenge, but in the wrong hands, it could be a detrimental and scary endeavor. But Duncan, it was really exciting to be able to explore.”