Djimon Hounsou plays Midnite, a former comrade of Constantine's who has now taken on the role of Sweden in the battle between good and evil. Claiming neutrality, Midnite offers his nightclub up as a place where half-breeds can come and relax without fear.
LaBeouf, on the other hand, plays an ardent follower of John Constantine. Driving John Constantine around town as he expels demons from innocent souls, LaBeouf's character is an apprentice of sorts in the war against evil.
Catching up with the two at the Hollywood Premiere of "Constantine," I had a chance - albeit brief - to discuss their take on the comic book-based movie.
INTERVIEW WITH DJIMON HOUNSOU ('Midnite'):
If you had a chance to peek at Hell, would you take it?
Without being hurt or any harm to me, yes I would.
Because then it would certainly give me a better understanding of what Heaven is.
What did you bring to this role as far as your prior knowledge of voodoo?
I was born in a country that is definitely the source of voodoo so its just the realization and the understanding, and some of my early awakening about voodoo prepares me to be part of this story. And certainly brings some things that were ritualistically feasible to the story.
Did you do much research to play this character?
Listen, let me tell you serious straightforward. This is one movie you dont want to research. This is one movie I dont care really to research because I dont want to see what Heaven is. Certainly if could see Heaven, I would. But certainly you cant do it without the other and so this is one subject that you dont really want to.
What was your take on the character of Midnite?
I had a special take on my character just because of where Im from in Africa, some of the traditions and all that that I brought in a little bit to enhance the story, really.
INTERVIEW WITH SHIA LaBEOUF ('Chaz'):
How'd you like playing Keanu Reeves' sidekick?
Keanus great to perform with just because hes so giving. What was cool was yes, my character looks up to him and I look up to him because hes an American icon, so I got to pull a lot of that out of reality and put it into the film. It was a lot of fun to work on. Very easy.
Is it strange to see yourself growing up on film in front of the world?
Yeah, because I wasnt a very handsome child and so its awkward because Im so busted. But its fun. When Im 60 or 70 Ill be able to show my kids all these things that Ive done and be very proud about it. And especially movies that youre happy about and movies that you care about. Its cool. Its a lot of fun. Im sure you would have wanted to have the same thing, to have your life documented. Its really fun.
Has there been one moment in your career where you realized this is a big deal?
In this entire business? Winning an Emmy was big. Or just meeting Keanu and becoming friends with him is big. You never really get over the fact that its Keanu Reeves that youre talking to. Its so weird. Hes an icon so anytime youre talking to him, hes so low-key, hes still Keanu Reeves in the back of your head. Will Smith, the same thing. I just think the major thing about this business thats so fun for me is the fact that you get to meet all these amazing people.
"The Greatest Game Ever Played" comes out next. Thats an epic I made for Touchstone about the first professional athletes to ever become heroes because you know in 1913 athletes werent really looked upon as major, big things or heroic people. Like Lebron James, in 1913 a rich guy would have just come on the court and said, Heres $500. Teach me how to play basketball for six months. They were looked at as janitors.