The Kill Point: John Leguizamo
The phenomenon of Stockholm Syndrome has hostages sympathize with their captors. It often applies to hostage movies too. Who didn’t want Pacino to win in Dog Day Afternoon? Spike TV’s new miniseries The Kill Point has John Leguizamo play a military veteran who robs a bank. As the standoff continues, we learn more and more about what he’s been through in Iraq.
John Leguizamo on The Kill Point
“That was the great thing about it was that it was a slow reveal of character, a slow reveal of their past,” said Leguizamo. “You as the audience would be taken slowly through it, you had to wait it out. It wasn’t spoon fed quickly.”
Even if you don’t sympathize with his character, the actor does. “I did see it, no joke, as an antihero. For our purposes, he works as the antagonist of the piece but I saw him, the way he was written, he was a hero.”
Perhaps it was his research with the real veterans that made his actions more defensible. “I did the usual thing. We went to Staten Island because he’s from Staten Island so he made us go over there. We went to a VA veterans’ [home] and hung out with them, veterans from Iraq and they’ve also been to Afghanistan. A lot of them had done a lot of tours and we spent a lot of time with these guys, had dinners with them, they cooked for us and everything and they shared their stories and their pain. That’s what hooked me into the show was how do we make these guys as real as possible and address this whole issue of vets coming back. Forget the robbery, forget the action stuff. That’s all there. It was like how do we make this as real as possible?”
Not sold yet? Here is the situation of the fictional marines. “These guys, they’re human beings, man. They’re not murderers and they’re not crooks. They’re just guys who came back and everything didn’t work out. Their pensions were taken away from them and they’re hanging out and they’re drinking beers. They go, ‘You know what? Why don’t we do something exciting and let’s make a statement at the same time.’ They robbed a bank and you talk yourself into robbing a bank, but they’re not here to hurt anybody. They’re not going in there to really take anybody down. It just happens in that situation, you never go in to rob a bank thinking it’s going to fail. I think you always think, “I got the way to do it.”
Since much of the series takes place on phones, Leguizamo often found himself reading with an extra instead of costar Donnie Wahlberg. “We read a little bit. We met at the hotel and we read all our lines that we had together because we didn’t know if we were going to able to. We tried to do the phone thing, like be there on the cell phone. They call you wherever you’re at. That got tough because you get cut off and all of a sudden, it’s going great and then if you can’t get the guy. I fired the first guy. It wasn’t helping, it was hurting.”
The Kill Point airs on Sunday nights on Spike TV.
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