Lockout: Joe Gilgun Interview
This is a very long interview. But it’s also great. Because it’s with Misfit’s Joe Gilgun (Rudy) who is up there in the Premier League of Most Quotable People Ever Interviewed by SFX, jostling with Joss Whedon and Tom Baker for the top spot.
This time he’s talking about Lockout (released in the UK next Friday) the new sci-fi thriller co-written and produced by Luc (The Fifth Element) Besson. Well, he talks about it some of the time when we can keep him on track. He plays bad guy Hydell, who, despite the orange jumpsuit and tattoos isn’t much like Rudy at all.
SFX was just told to “ring this number”. We did, and what immediately followed wasn’t quite what we were expecting. But it was so much fun, we thought we’d share the whole experience with you. Hell, you might even learn something about Lockout…
(But be warned: there is a LOT of foul language. But it’s such a part of the rhythm and flow of Joe’s way of speaking, starring it all out seemed somehow to destroy the gritty poetry of his meaning, so please excuse us just this once.)
Dave Golder: How are you?
Joe Gilgun: I’m fine. I’m out in the warm. I’ve moved out to the woods for seven days. It sounds worse than it is. I’ve got electricity but I’ve got no hot water and, as you can imagine, all the things that you usually do… in the bathroom… you do that behind a tree or bush and you end up with quite a chapped arse. But it’s been ace.
Why are you doing it?
I’m just living in the woods, fucking hell, you shouldn’t need a reason. I think it just clears me head to come out here. We’ve got a generator, you see. So I fill the generator and live rough for a few days and it sorts me out, having nothing and nobody around, and then I go home. It’s not like I want people to feel sorry for me. Quite the opposite, it’s fucking brilliant, fending for yourself for a bit.
Sounds quite cool. An adventure.
You work things out, in your head. For example – pot kettle black. I never really knew where that came from. I thought why would anyone buy a black kettle at all? And why would they get in an argument about who was blacker? I thought it were ridiculous. And I sat there was like “Ooooh! the fire does that! The fire makes them go black!” So yeah, shit like that, you think it because you’re left on your own for a long time. You think the maddest things.
I’d never thought about that before, either.
Get at it man! Get yourself a lot of food and a lot of beers or water, and go… whatever… and set yourself with some sort of fire arrangement. Obviously you need to be at t’woods, because you need wood, to make your fire, and cook your food and boil your kettle and things like that.
I think if I was doing it I wouldn’t take my phone with me so a journalist couldn’t suddenly ring me me up in the middle of it.
Tomorrow I’ve gotta go, and get my head back into work mode. This is a good thing because tomorrow, I’m shooting in Dublin. I don’t know if you’re even interested in this, but I’m shooting in a period drama thing, which is fucking so ace, I can’t even tell you, I’ve grown a moustache and everything. It’s epic, it’s grown over my lip and I can curl it. I look like Charles Bronson after a famine.
What period is it set in?
It’s set in the time of Jack the Ripper. It’s called Ripper Street, that’s all I can tell you. It’s a guest lead part so I’m bloody thrilled with it. It’s just such a bloody great job.
This is the first time an interview I’ve done has been considered therapeutic.
Mental. Yeah, but it’s great. It’s a great way to get me back in work mode. Tomorrow I’m flying back to Ireland and that’s always a stressful fucking ball-ache on planes. And so, yeah, it’s just getting me back into work mode, and get me back into Misfits after that.
We’re actually meant to be talking about Lockout. So, what can you tell us about Hydell?
He’s just a feral lad. He’s probably just mildly brain damaged, a complete fucking psychopath. He’s not very well, at all. He’s from Glasgow. Along with his brother. His brother sort of… he has a brother who has sort of looked after him. I think the only reason he is still alive is because of this brother. And without givin’ away too much… oh fuck it, how am I going to finish this now? I try to sound cool and then at the last minute think, no you can’t say that either because that will fucking give it away. He’s got a brother, that’s all you need to know. He’s got a brother and without that brother he would have definitely have died by now. And it just so happens that he’s got this brother looking after him because he’s mentally ill, and feral.
You’re in this prison, an orbiting prison, is that right?
That’s right yeah. Honestly man, it’s going to be the biggest romp. It’s truly a 50/50 thing. We shot it in Serbia, and I was out there for like three months. It’s the most mental country I’ve ever been in, in my life. It’s brilliant. Everybody’s got a gun and they’re all fully loaded. You can’t help but think you’re going to get shot. It’s a numbers game really of when am I going to get shot, out here in Serbia, because most of them have. Most of the lads I knew had been shot, or were going to get shot. So that was a mad place to film, it was fucking brilliant. It was a romp.
The idea is, it’s an orbiting prison in space, it’s just above the Earth’s atmosphere. It’s not too distant in the future, I don’t think. So it’s not too lasery and bloody, laser guns and all that shit. Same weapons; drink out of a bloody cup; life’s fucking hard. When you have a crap, you do it into, like, water… it’s not vaporised and thrown out… and I don’t know where I’m going with that bit. You get the idea. The directors wanted it to have an old ’90s style to it. And they’ve got that. As a result it was frigging brilliant. Obviously, your actors of the ’90s, your Kev Costners and your, frigging, who else did we have, come on give me one, I’ve fucking gone dry…
Er… Kurt Russell?
Kurt Russell! What a banger. But yeah, basically that’s what it is. It’s a prison set in space, you know. They wake up Hydell from sedation or whatever they call it to interview him because he’s got a record, and he fucking breaks out. He’s opportunistic, he’s a guy who doesn’t die. He just doesn’t fucking die. Royally hard bastard. Totally unlike me. I play all these hard bastards and I’m a bit of a… I like peace in the woods, where there’s wrestling bears and shit.
I hope my Glasgow accent goes down alright, because there was no… you’d think being a big film like that there’d be a bloody linguist or something.
A voice coach?
Yeah, a voice coach. There was none of that; they just trusted us. We just went for it. So actually, I could have been doing voices from all around Scotland. That’s the shooting style of James and Steven – “Let’s just go with it!” I like that way of shooting, going in balls deep and hope for the fucking best.
More on the next page…