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IAR Exclusive: Urban talks 'Dredd', 'Red', and 'Star Trek 2

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Sally Daer

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:26 pm    Post subject: IAR Exclusive: Urban talks 'Dredd', 'Red', and 'Star Trek 2 Reply with quote

IAR Exclusive: Urban talks 'Dredd', 'Red', and 'Star Trek 2'

Written by JimmyO

Karl Urban is the kind of modern day tough guy we need more of. He has intensity, yet he keeps it in check with humor and heart when needed. Whether he is battling baddies in Lord of the Rings or swapping some seriously funny dialogue in Star Trek, he has become one of the finest actors to ever kick ass.

Here at Comic Con, he is promoting his latest feature which also stars Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren, Red. When iamROGUE spoke to Karl, he talked about his work like a true fan. Somebody who still loves making movies and respects what he does, without being jaded or arrogant. In fact, he happens to be incredibly nice.
Whether talking about his own work, or something like The Dark Knight, he clearly loves making movies and he brings that to whatever role he takes on. And one of those roles looks to be the re-envisioning of Judge Dredd. Read on and find out what he has to say about Dredd, LOTR and of course, Red.

I gotta say man, how crazy is it for you to be a part of ‘The Lord of the Rings’?

I know… it’s hard to believe. It’s like ten years ago now but for me as a young actor to be given the opportunity to work on such an iconic series of films based on one of the most amazing works of all time. It was a mind-blowing experience. I was kind of spoiled really to have that as one of my first international films.

And then recently, you stole a few scenes in ‘Star Trek’… That was brilliant.

Thank you man! Well you know, I’m a long term fan of everything ‘Trek’ really, nearly everything ‘Trek’. And for me to be given the opportunity to play such a well known and well loved character, so wonderfully played by DeForest Kelley… you know, it would take a bigger man than me to turn it down.

You nailed it.

Thank you. It was tricky because honestly, as a fan I felt that it was extremely important that there be some semblance of continuity between what DeForest had done so wonderfully well for forty years and the younger version of the character that I got to play. So really for me, it was a challenge to try and establish, to try and identify what the essence of that character was. And infuse that in the younger version, yet at the same time not doing an impression.

It seems like a fine line.

A very fine line.

Now, I guess we should talk about Red because that is why we are here.

We should.

What drove you to this project?

First of all it was the script. I read the script and if was funny, well written… entertainingly funny. There were a couple of people attached to it, which was Bruce Willis and, I think Mary Louise Parker. You know, I met with the director and then duly signed on to do it and then it was like every week… oh, this person is doing it, Morgan Freeman’s doing it, oh Helen Mirren’s doing it… John Malkovich. And it was mind-blowing, it just sort of exploded and into this beast of a film.

Man, working with Helen Mirren, one of the most talented actresses working today…

My God! And seeing her with a sniper rifle… I swear to God, sexist thing I’ve ever seen [Laughing].

Let’s talk about your character. How do you fit into this world?

Well, the film is about Frank Moses played by Bruce Willis. He’s a retired CIA agent. He wakes up in the middle of the night to find a hit squad in his house trying to kill him. That doesn’t work out too well for them and he spends the entire film trying to find out who is trying to kill him and why they are trying to kill him.

Now, I’m a young officer working for the CIA. And basically I’m a CIA hit man and I’ve been given the task of killing Bruce Willis, terminating him. So I spend the film basically trying to do that. And through the course of the film, I come to discover that there is a larger picture than what I know.

So this is not your typical action flick?

No, I mean really, there is really a lot of comedy in this film. It’s a really fun, funny romp. And it’s just got this really great balance between the comedy and the action. Now we are going to give it to an audience, hand it over to them. I’m looking forward to that.

Were you familiar with the source material?

I actually read the script first and then I went back and got the graphic novel and looked at that. You know, the graphic novel is really a platform, it’s a starting point, and it’s hardcore. The script and the film evolved into a much more multi-dimensional character piece.

This trend of graphic novels finding their way on screen has been very big lately. What is your take on that? Are you a fan of Kick Ass and those kind of films? It seems like this has a little bit of that vibe.

Absolutely! I mean, when I was a teenager, I was into comics. My favorite comics were Frank Miller’s “Dark Knight” that has got to be my number one. “Killing Joke” was also great. I was way into “Judge Dredd”. So I’ve been really pleased over the last few years to see such great adaptations from one medium into another. And Chris Nolan’s last Batman movie, The Dark Knight was to me, the quintessential comic book character turned into a movie. It just couldn’t have been any better.

Now I have to ask, because I’ve heard the rumors and you mentioned Judge Dredd… is it true, you will be playing Judge Dredd?

[Leaning into the microphone] “I am the law!”

Now I’m excited! When are we going to see this happen?

[Well there is not much I can say about it because it is very preliminary in the process. But the role has been offered to me and I’ve met with the creatives and the producers behind it. And we had a great meeting of the minds. And we are in the very early process of setting this thing up.


[I’m just like… still it’s just sinking in, but for me, Dredd is one of the coolest, most iconic comic book characters ever. And to have the opportunity to be him is pretty mind-blowing.

Well, ‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘Dredd’, ‘Star Trek’…

Sick isn’t it?


Just sick!

And of course, there is Star Trek 2. What’s the word on that?

Yeah, that’s slated to go, I think next year. And I’m so excited about that. Obviously the first film was phenomenally received, so now, it’s like we are going to take that film and we are going to run with it. And it is going to be really interesting to see where JJ [Abrams] and [Roberto] Orci and [Alex] Kurtzman take it from there. And I know that they are all extraordinarily talented individuals and when you get all of the “Einsteins” together, something genius is going to happen, so I’m looking forward to that.

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