Adapting Kōtarō Isaka‘s Bullet Train novel is no easy feat. Considering there are multiple characters on a moving train, each with their own personalities and motives, it’s an ambitious and seismic project. Helming the big-screen adaptation of this dark action comedy is director David Leitch, who has more than proven his mettle in the genre with John Wick and Deadpool 2.
Bullet Train is a one-way ticket to Action City
Leitch has put together a star-studded cast featuring Brad Pitt as Ladybug, Joey King as The Prince, Andrew Koji as Yuichi Kimura, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Tangerine, and Brian Tyree Henry as Lemonade. At the recent press conference for Bullet Train, we got the chance to ask Taylor-Johnson and Henry about their quirky assassins who are joined at the hip in the film, and how much of their on-screen fun was influenced by their natural chemistry in the real world.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson discusses the importance of Brian Tyree Henry for the character of Tangerine
“I mean, that was a huge part of it,” Taylor-Johnson said. “I couldn’t have built this character Tangerine without Brian’s input for Lemon. Firstly, I felt extremely fortunate and lucky to be opposite the talent on this [movie], the collaboration with Brad [Pitt] and Joey [King], but my partner in crime was Brian Tyree Henry. Without him, I couldn’t have built this character. We instantly hit it off, thank goodness, because I love this man.
“I’ve always enjoyed watching Brian as well. As an actor, I was already a huge fan of his work, and then we just had this instant chemistry, and it was built on love and trust. We were able to build upon this, and these characters, and actually have a backstory to it. We were able to improvise and really make some bold decisions—and this is testament to David Leitch as a director, he gave us this environment and space to explore and experiment. But yeah, Brian is like my main man.”
Brian Tyree Henry explains how they hit it off immediately
Henry gushed about his co-star, too, even joking about the “sexual chemistry” between them. “Yt’s very rare in this business to meet somebody you can be absolutely f***ing stupid with,” he said. “I think we captured that in the best possible way. But it was instantaneous. As soon as I met Aaron, I was like, oh, I have a buddy to just sit here and be crazy and silly with, but at the same time, it was rooted in actual care for one another, and trust for one another. David allowed us to build it from that because we didn’t just want to be this pair that people didn’t care about. We really wanted people to care about Lemon and Tangerine, because we—Aaron and Brian—care about each other. So it built from there, for sure.”
Bullet Train releases in theatres on 5 August 2022.
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