Who wants to be a millionaire? Matt Dillon’s character Mike Cochrane does, as well as the rest of his crew of thieves, in the new movie Armored. The Oscar-nominated actor plays the leader of a group of professional armored truck drivers in the Nimrod Antal-directed film. Newbie to the group, Ty Hackett (Columbus Short), gets hired to join the armored car team, but is soon hit with some major financial woes that include losing his home. Cochrane convinces him to join forces with the others to rip off an upcoming load of $42 million. Hackett agrees with one provision: nobody gets hurt. When someone gets shot, Hackett becomes a born-again good citizen and sends the perfect heist into a tailspin. Dillon takes us inside the ultimate inside job.
Tell me what attracted you to doing Armored.
I enjoyed a film that Nimrod Antal did called Kontroll. We met and I really liked him. I think Nimrod is a real talent. We talked about working together and that’s how Armored came about. Then, I read the script and I liked it.
What did you find to be most interesting about the script?
I think one of the things that I liked most about it was the relationship between my character and Ty. They have this bond because Ty’s father is my mentor and I have become a mentor to him. Ty’s struggling and in danger of losing his home. It becomes clear at a certain point that my character is sort of manipulating Ty. I like manipulative characters.
Your character, Cochrane, is a pretty complex guy with a lot of layers.
When we meet Cochrane at the beginning of the film, he seems like a by-the-book kind of leader. He’s a solid reliable guy who has a code. He’s also charming and cares about Ty. Then, we realize that Cochrane’s a manipulator. He’s a guy who is determined to get things done and he does whatever it takes to get them done. He’s absolutely ruthless. Now, these are things that are already in him from the beginning. But, I think those feelings he has at the beginning for Ty are real. I think he does like this kid and doesn’t want him to lose his home. On the other hand, Cochrane feels betrayed by Ty when things go wrong. Ty wants out and locks himself in the armored truck with half the money and won’t get out. My character feels betrayed by that. How could he do this to me? I liked the fact that my character had a lot of layers.
What was the most important thing that you wanted to convey on-screen in this film?
I think the most important thing for me was that we really needed to give the audience a sense of what the bond was between this group of guys. The camaraderie had to be real. And since this ensemble was really a good group of team players, we all connected.
What did you find to be the most difficult part of making this movie?
I think that the most challenging part was making sure everything was real and honest. Because it’s a heightened reality, you have to make sure that it’s truthful. Some of the scenes where I had to rope Ty into the scam were challenging. I felt good about them. One of the biggest problems with scripts that I read is that the protagonist is made passive. That’s because it’s easy to take the protagonist and just have him be a witness to the events as opposed to being somebody who is actually the catalyst to the events that are happening in the story. There’s a big difference.
The last time you worked with Laurence Fishburne was 26 years ago on Rumble Fish. How was it to team-up with Laurence again?
It was great to work with Laurence. He’s a terrific guy and a real actor’s actor, with natural leadership skills. Laurence is an asset to any movie because he brings so much heart to whatever he does.
For the complete interview click here.