The reaction to Hobo With A Shotgun has been nothing short of phenomenal – and rightly so.
RUTGER HAUER: You know, not since the first test screening of The Hitcher in 1985 have I seen one of my movies get such a great audience reaction as Hobo has. It’s the only time that I’ve experienced watching a film with an audience where they know exactly what it is, and what you’re doing, and they know how to appreciate it – it was lovely.
How did you get involved with it, and what attracted you to the project?
HAUER: I’d say that about one third of my work involves projects I think I should gamble with, and the more I do them, the more pleasure I get out of them, because you discover things. The script was a bit loud and flat, so I wasn’t sure if there was more to tell, or if maybe I hadn’t read it correctly. But once I connected with Jason on Skype for an hour (I was shooting a film in Cape Town and he was in Halifax), I knew I had to work with him because it would be fun. Going into it, I felt like I was making a dirty, naughty film, with no holding back: I understood what the game was and I enjoyed it.
Did you have any input into the Hobo character or the script?
HAUER: Yeah. Jason had very specific ideas about the character, because the whole story was based on Dave Brunt, who is a real person walking around in Halifax with his own story – he was the inspiration. Jason wanted me to hang on to that, so my task was to see if I could bring the real character into my movie character. So I studied Dave. He was there on set most of the time, and he was very supportive of me playing him. He was very proud that I was pretending to be him.
What is Dave Brunt’s story?
HAUER: He’s a damaged person basically, because he was disabled when a truck drove into him. He settled for a couple of thousand dollars or something, but a big part of his life was ruined. So he became somewhat of an outcast I would think; but he’s also a very pure character who loves nature and knows all about any wild animal you can think of.
The movie is extremely violent, but also totally over-the-top. How did you handle that?
HAUER: Jason felt that I shouldn’t play it for jokes. My task was to be deadly serious, because Dave is also very serious about this stuff: you can’t fool around with honour and pride, and sensibility.
Did you find it hard keeping a straight face during the really insane scenes?
HAUER: Every scene became such an over-the-top soap opera that it was a pure joy to see how everything developed into such ridiculous, crazy stuff – but of course it was my job to stay in character. Naturally though, after Jason said ‘cut’ you would piss yourself, because of all that had happened during the scene. It’s hard, sure, but I had a lot of fun shooting this movie because it was so wild, so creative, and everyone involved has a love for making movies.
Were there any moments while filming some of the really insane scenes when you questioned if it was just too crazy?
HAUER: Not really. I just thought that I had to pick my own moments of craziness. In a story, you can only burn and kill so many people before it gets boring – you have to be creative. I think that’s what the audience was expecting also. We had to make a movie out of the original trailer and top it, because the expectations were so very high.
Hobo With A Shotgun is out in UK cinemas from 15 July. Check out the official website for more crazy info, exlusive content and a chance to enter some cool competitions.