Bad Samaritan is a thriller about Sean Falco (Robert Sheehan), a young valet who breaks into the wrong man’s home one night. There, in Cale Erendreich’s (David Tennant) house, Sean discovers a terrified woman who’s chained and gagged. The movie is set to hit theaters May 3rd. I got the chance to speak with Robert on the phone and he was just as charming and sweet as ever as he answered my Bad Samaritan questions, after of course making an innuendo about the site’s name Talk Nerdy With Us. Check it out below.
Please give me your quick summary of the movie Bad Samaritan.
Bad Samaritan is a rip-roaring ride that will make you pee yourself in public. I sort of came up with the term “a cinematic roller coaster” today and I think in terms of relentless thrills that’s a pretty good description.
Your character, Sean, seems to walk the line between being morally good and bad. Was it difficult for you to tap into a character like this?
Um, no [laughs]. Not really, I mean, not the good and bad stuff because really getting to act that stuff is doing it in sort of a consequence-less environment, ultimately, so it’s really fun. It’s very satisfying. So, all that stuff was great, but you know the tough thing, I think, was trying to play someone who had that level of remorse and ultimately self-hatred. That’s what drives him on in the film, the fact that he can’t live with the cowardly decision he made and puts himself in fatal hands way to rectify the situation because he just can’t look at himself in the mirror anymore. Now that stuff is all very intense.
I remember Dean Devlin saying at New York Comic Con that he had the writer re-write the part of Sean for you after he enjoyed working with you on Geostorm so much. Did that add more pressure to the situation?
[laughs] Pressure? A little bit of pressure, I suppose. You know not that much. I’d already worked with Dean and I felt pretty relaxed and comfortable with him so I didn’t feel that much pressure really taking it on. Once we started filming and got day one out of the way, you sort of just relax into it. Suddenly you’re just surrounded by your mates and you’re making a film.
I spoke with you last year for The Song of Sway Lake. At the time you were working with Peter Jackson (on Mortal Engines) and you told me that you had to give him foot rubs to keep him sweet. Any special requests from Dean Devlin?
Yeah, you know Dean’s much [more] of a head and shoulders man. MUCH more head and shoulders. You know, when he would start getting all antsy and wound up at the end of the day, I would just step in with my hands pre-oiled and give him an intensive 20 minutes of the head and shoulders.
You’re also working alongside a really strong cast. What was it like working with David Tennant? Were you a fan of his previous work?
Yeah, I was [a fan of David Tennant]. I’ve seen a bunch of his stuff over the years, of course. He’s a household name! It’s a great honor to be next to him in the film. You know, we had not a huge amount of stuff to do directly together. The stuff we did do was very intense, so it was a joy to watch him strut his stuff.
Yeah, more with Carlito. Carlito is just the loveliest. He’s such a sweet puppy-of-a-man, you know. He’s gorgeous. And I really enjoy him so much. We did strike up kind of a brotherly vibe pretty early on. He got us tickets to a sports game, he was like, “Dude, we have to be brothers, man, so I got us tickets to this game!” and that’s such a decent and thoughtful thing to do. And he’s a very decent, very proper man.
Did you get him anything in return?
The trailer has 300,000 views on YouTube and a positive response. Is it rewarding to see a social media reaction or do you stay away from it?
I read a bit, but I’ll tell you this: the trailer has a lot more than that! The other trailer has over 15 million views, check that out! It’s totally insane, but yes it holds well. We’re all cautiously optimistic about the release.
Have you seen the movie in full yet?
I have. I’ve seen it a couple of times. I saw it once at Dean’s place in Los Angeles, and I saw it in Portland two weekends ago with a big crowd. That was an enjoyable experience because we had these people frightened out of their skin and giggling and chattering to each other. The vibe that the film creates is really interesting to watch.
Going back to your character, Sean, he does valet because he’s a struggling artist. Something you may or may not have related to at one point. What was the first non-acting job you had?
My first non-acting job was when I worked in a warehouse, bizarrely enough, when I was fourteen, highly illegal, but I was packing fruits and vegetables into their relative containers and that was a summer job I had once. I also worked for my auntie’s garage, like a petrol garage.
What’s the worst thing you did morally at one of those jobs?
What did I do wrong morally at work? I don’t know, I’ve never been caught [kissing anyone] or anything. I’m trying to think of a deeply moral thing. You know I got fired once from a job. There’s a thing in Ireland called the Community Games where all the different counties of Ireland send different sports teams just to this one big event. It’s just outside Dublin and I got a job there again, when I was just like 16 or whatever, and I was sorting out all the results from the events for journalists all around the country. So, it was a cool thing. It was great fun and the guy who hired me is from the town where I’m from. Ned Carols, I believe, was his name; he was a retired policeman. He fired me for giving cheek one day. And he just sent me home on the bus.
And now you’re a movie star, so it’s okay!
[laughs] Yeah! Thank you, Ned! That’s character building.
You’re making a tagline for the movie to sell it in a short sentence, what would it be?
Satisfactory nudity or your money back. [laughs] No, I would say, “Don’t be ashamed if you wet yourself. This is a cinematic roller coaster. You will lose control of your sphincter.”