We got a chance to talk with them at the red carpet premiere of the film in New York.
Since Taken took the world by storm a decade ago, we all decided as a sea of movie lovers that we can’t get enough of Liam Neeson in action films. However, every good thing must come to an end and The Commuter, his latest action thriller, may be the last action role of his career. We can take solace in the fact that it looks like it’ll be another good film in the vein of Non-Stop. Neeson teamed up with a lot of his old pals, such as director Jaume Collet-Serra and a number actors.
We got a chance to speak with a lot of the cast to hear what they had to say about working on the film and especially working with a legend like Liam Neeson. Everyone was resoundingly in awe of Liam and the general presence he had. Shazad Latif even went so far as to say that even though he had food poisoning on the days he worked with Liam, those shoots were by far the highlight of the experience. Check out what the rest of the cast of actors and writers have to say about working on the film.
Tell me about your character.
Andy: I don’t want to say too much because one of the things about the Commuter is that it’s a “whodunit”. One of the interesting things it throws out, with my character as well, is that everyone seems normal but actually everyone has secrets. As you uncover these secrets, who is the person that you need to discover?
What was one of your favorite moments on set?
Andy: There was a moment at the end where there’s a train crash. There was a moment where I had to throw myself against the glass. I threw myself against the glass window and my ring literally just tapped the glass in the wrong way and the whole glass just shattered against me. It was great!
Was it a difficult process getting the movie made?
Ryan: It was. was brought in a little later in the process. I spent the last 8 weeks before we shot working on the movie. It was very challenging. It was a very hard movie to write. You have all these characters in a very contained environment which makes it hard to keep things entertaining and fresh and to create surprises and twists.
For most people, the commute is the most dreary part of their day. What are some ways you made that seem interesting?
Ryan: By creating interesting people. We rode the train back and forth from Manhattan to Cold Spring and you see a diverse cast of people on the train. So when we created our characters we wanted to make sure we had characters with depth, that were diverse, that came from different walks of life. It was almost like a tapestry of American life.
Who was your favorite actor or actress to work with?
Clara: That’s a tough one. That’s like asking who do you love more, Mom or Dad? It was great to work with all of them. Actually because Liam is the main role, the rest of us sort of became a big family but we didn’t have the focus of the scene so it became just like brothers and sisters.
What was your favorite moment from filming?
Clara: Sort of at the end we have to put papers on the windows of the train and that was fun because it was like little kids just playing with papers and water.
Tell me about your character.
Shazad: I play like a Wall Street asshole. A bit of a jerk. He’s on the train, he’s stressed and he has a few interactions with Liam Neeson.
How were those interactions with Liam Neeson?
Shazad: Well there’s a big main scene and I happened to have food poisoning on the day so right up until the cameras are saying action I’m being sick.
What was your favorite scene to shoot?
Shazad: Uh… It was probably that one because it was with Liam Neeson because there was no pitter patter. Even while being sick.
The film is centered on a commute that sort of goes terribly wrong. Have you ever had a commute that went terribly wrong?
Shazad: I just lost all my luggage at JFK last night. I was there til 3 in the morning, so that’s the worst one. That’s very fitting.
Colin McFarlane and Adam Nagaitis:
Tell me a bit about your characters.
Colin: It’s funny that you get us together because we’re sort of a double act.
Colin: We work the train together. I see him as my young protégé, but he’s a confident young buck so I can’t really control him. But yea. In the making of it we had a lot of fun because we had guys from Metro North from New York come over to teach us about how you stamp your tickets, what boots you wear and that was all very lovely. You [Adam] have a very lovely moment in the film, a detail really, where Adam does a cowboy swish.
Adam: I can’t believe they got that!
Colin: It was really cool!
Adam: I think I got it right once.
Colin: And they got it!
As the guys who are in control of the train, what’s it like to go through the film and sort of lose control?
Adam: It’s funny cause I’m never really in control of the train. Jimmy is there cause he has to work 9 to 5 and he’ll one day maybe be in control.
Colin: And Jimmy’s kind of looking for a date. He’s always looking for a date…. Michael, Liam’s character doesn’t know what’s going on, but we really don’t know what’s going on. So we all get sucked in to this big criminal conspiracy and no one quite knows what’s happening til the end of the movie. Liam said to me right at the beginning of filming that Jaume’s hero is Alfred Hitchcock and actually when you watch this film you can see the way he goes in to big close ups on like 9 or 10 characters and you don’t quite know which it is when he says “What do you really know about people”, so you’re left guessing really all the way to the end of the film.