RED: Interview with stars Helen Mirren and John Malkovich


Helen Mirren and John Malkovich star in "Red," the adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name directed by Robert Schwentke. The film, which also stars Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, and Mary-Louise Parker, is being released by Summit Entertainment on October 15. 

Mirren flattered


"Needless to say, I was flattered when I was told that Jon and Erich wrote this part with me in mind," says Mirren, who hails from the same, small English town as graphic novel author Warren Ellis. "But there were a lot of other reasons I was attracted to the project, first and foremost, the chance to get to work with Bruce. It sounds like such a cliché when people like me sit here and say 'oh God he's such a great guy' but he is such a great guy…and an incredibly talented and generous actor. Those are attributes that many times are not reflected in the image or personality of someone of Bruce's height of stardom and success. Bruce has an incredible quality of wanting to be with other people, wanting to participate and not to hold himself apart. I think that is especially apparent for him in this role…he was the leader of our team."


Martha Stewart as inspiration


"Yes, she was indeed my inspiration even down to the hair, my Martha Stewart hair," says Mirren, smiling. "She's obviously not a retired assassin but whatever Martha Stewart does, she does it really, really well. She's a perfectionist and I love her combination of feminine softness and an incredible strength of efficiency and practicality. I hope she won't be insulted by this characterization because I am a big, big fan of hers."


Malkovich lucky to be onboard


"When I was first approached about the role I was already in negotiations for something else," says Malkovich, "but luckily that fell through and I was able to come back to this project which was fantastic for me. I liked the script and the character very much as well as all the filmmakers involved. In fact, the writers said 'we'll change anything.' They were very amenable to my collaborative efforts but I told them not to change anything because I liked it the way it was…a very tight script…not a lot of useless blah blah blah…good characters, good fun.

"Marvin, as they say, doesn't get out much anymore," Malkovich says, "so when Frank and Sarah show up at his front door, which is actually the trunk of an old junked car, he immediately assumes that Frank is trying to kill him. You see, Marvin is very, very paranoid but the flipside of that is Marvin is usually very, very correct. If Marvin thinks someone is out to get him, they probably are out to get him."