Timothy Olyphant ('Catch & Release')
'A Sweet Release'
Timothy Olyphant may be best known as Seth Bullock in the acclaimed, but now cancelled, TV series "Deadwood", but the young actor is already gearing up for quite the big screen career. Currently the romantic lead opposite Jennifer Garner in the much delayed "Catch & Release", he is also starring in the new untitled Kimberly Peirce project and the cyber terrorist pitted against Bruce Willis in this summerís much anticipated "Live Free or Die Hard".
Can you talk about ďDeadwoodĒ and rumors of the two movies? "I know what you know. I read the trades now because I want to know whatís happening. Iíve heard theyíre gonna do them. Thatís all I can tell you. I couldnít be more proud of that show and my involvement in it. It was one of the greatest experiences creatively and personally. Just recently, the fact that the Screen Actorís Guild gave us that ensemble nomination, the most lovely thing about that was the excuse to call all those folks up."
McShane called me in the morning. I talked to Dayton Callie. Later that afternoon, I talked to Anna [Gunn]. It was just great to be able to pick up the phone and hear those peopleís voices again. And David Milch, I try to think positively that I might have soaked a little bit of that up, that I might somehow take some of that brilliance with me to other jobs. It was unbelievable what it was like. Unbelievable in that, consistently, every day I showed up on that set he did something that I was just wowed by, that I didnít see coming. The one hesitation I had, the idea of doing a series was Ďhow long will it go and when will it get boring? At what point will it no longer have much to offer?í And, that point never came. It was really quite something."
Would you want to do the longer films? "I think itís quite pointless to entertain that idea because, until there is something in front of me to make a decision about, I think that itís better, for my mind-set, that Iím moving forward. I think, until that phone call comes, itís sort of pointless to get too hung up on that."
You are working a lot lately? "I feel very blessed and fortunate. The fact is, over a number of years now, Iíve been able to work rather consistently and also, Iíve been lucky to be able to play quite a diverse group of characters. The fact that that continues really means the world to me because itís whatís fun about the profession; going from one thing to the next and being able to do things that I find surprising, that I find, humm, itís not something that I thought might have been in the repertoire kind of thing. It makes the job so much fun. I think, at the same time, higher profile jobs and I imagine, my private life gets a little less private when you do something. I hope Iím at a place in my life where thatís not too disruptive."
Was it easy to say yes to 'Die Hard 4'? "Yeah, it was easy. That offer came in and it seemed like a no-brainer. One, you know what youíre signing up for and itís probably gonna be a good time. And, Iíve never played that substantial a role in such a classic, great American popcorn movie. Then, it becomes a personal thing. It shoots here in L.A. I literally work for just a few weeks; seems like fun."
How different is your villain character in 'Die Hard 4' from Alan Rickmanís in the first 'Die Hard' who was so in your face? "His is gonna be much better! Thatís a little guess. It really is quite different. I just started this week so weíre kind of feeling it out. But, itís a cyber-terrorist plot based on this article that was in ďWiredĒ magazine a few years ago saying that as horrific and sad as it was seeing a building come down, the real threat to the country was cyber-terrorism; if somebody were to hack into that infra-structure, they could cripple the country in a matter of days."
"This character is a guy who used to work for the government and warned them of this possibility and is now carrying it out. So, in its own right, itís a different character, a different villain. Thereís something that feels a little bit more unstable about a person who would do that kind of a thing. The ouch doesnít really match the pinch. It was a guy whose career was ruined and is now saying ĎI told you soí."
Have you been blown up or beat up yet? "Not yet. But, I have a sneaky suspicion!"
And youíre with Kevin Smith again "Yeah. I went first day and thereís Kevin. Disappointed ... no!"
I hear he writes his own dialogue! "He was throwing things out there on Die Hard and not just for his character. Kevinís funny."
How has the delay in releasing 'Catch & Release' effected you? "Yeah, catch and previously unreleased," he laughs. "I imagine thereís some sort of ripple effect career-wise. Movies come out and raise a certain amount of interest and stuff but, for the most part, Iíve gone about my professional life and it feels more or less the same. At the end of the day, if thereís any type of anxiousness for it to get out there, part of the thing about this kind of a job is youíre telling a story and you want an audience."
"Thatís the only thing. You kind of look forward to it but itís not theater. The beauty of theater is that intimacy and that thing of I do this and you respond and weíre all kind of taking part in this. The only disappointment of anything being held for a long time is youíre waiting for that thing to bounce back."
Was working with Jennifer different than you expected? "No. Iíve known her for a long time. I knew her years ago in New York when she and I were both just first starting and it was very refreshing to see that, more or less, she was the same girl I knew then. Sheís just a lovely person. Sheís a real pro. She knows everybodyís name. Sheís on time. Sheís one of those people that, despite being a major star, sheís one of the guys. And I really appreciate that a great deal because, for me, this was an opportunity to play a role Iíd not played with a big star and she made me feel very relaxed and at home."
What was the attraction to that role for you? "Well, it was an opportunity to play a leading man, a romantic lead. But, it was also an opportunity to play a great character. As more opportunities come to me, anyone that goes to movies or watches television knows that oftentimes, the lead roles are the most boring. You try to find the ones that are as fun or as rich as possible. Susannah writes really, really well. It was a fun character because, any of these roles, the comedic ones or Bullock or whatever, if you can find something that allows the character to be surprising, where you donít quite see the moment coming, or youíre not quite sure what the character is going to do next, for a conventional leading man role, this had a lot of those moments."
Whatís going on with 'Hitman'? "I donít know. I donít think Iíve ever been officially attached to it, contrary to the internet. It sounds fun. It sounds pretty cool. Iíve seen the pictures. Iíve never played the game, but it looks cool. Lord knows what Iíd look like when this hair comes off. Itís a major concern."
Thereís not a good history of video games being successful movies! "Thatís a good point. I think you start with the script and ask yourself who is going to tell that story and, if Iím not mistaken youíve got Luc Besson right now whose done very good movies in that genre; La Femme Nikita. I remember walking around for weeks just saying ĎLa Femme Nikitaí. That was just such a good movie. Gosh, that was great and then The Professionals, I just watched The Professionals again two weeks ago. Itís a good movie. I havenít seen the long version. I hear thatís unbelievable where he goes and kills people with her? I havenít seen it. Itís such a great sweet story. You know what I mean? Itís a metaphor for parenthood in this warped way. Youíre trying to teach your children how to survive without you. Itís really quite something."
Back To Archives