In an incredibly well mapped out plan, Bill Cox (Bettany) along with a small gang of thieves whove been spying on Jacks family for over a year, hold Jacks wife and two children hostage forcing Jack to compromise his own security system.
Director Loncraine on Casting Paul Bettany as a Bad Guy: I think Paul is just a really versatile actor. I felt this film would work if you cared and believed in the people. If you didnt, it would just be an action thriller. I wanted you to believe these people are really in jeopardy and Paul has a reality about him, a truthfulness about him, as an actor. He also had the ability, I felt, to combine a certain amount of humor, albeit black humor, with his viciousness so theres a counterpoint.
If youre doing a horror movie you want to have comedy in it because it will make the frightening bits seem all the more frightening. And Paul was able to bring that to the film in a way that I didnt think many actors would.
Paul Bettany on Being Cast Against Type: At the Hollywood Premiere of Firewall, I confessed to Bettany that I just dont see him as a bad guy. Bettany took the compliment well and said, Well theyre sort of a long way away from you, hopefully, so its sort of nice to leave your sense of morality at the door and just come in and be sort of preternaturally cruel to everybody - and be allowed to.
Casting Firewall: Bettany and director Loncraine reunited for Firewall after having worked together on the romantic comedy, Wimbledon. Bettany said he was involved with Firewall and then Loncraine signed on. I was actually Harrison and I were going to make the film together. For various reasons, we were looking for they were looking for a director. Richard Loncraine said he was looking for a thriller and it worked out really well.
The Idea of Being Watched and Not Knowing It: Loncraine confirmed that some of his cast was filmed when they werent aware it was happening, just like their characters in Firewall. It is true. The opening of the movie is surveillance. The title sequence is about the family being watched over a period of a year. I didnt even direct it. I sent off young crew members with cameras and said just do what you would do to photograph but dont let them know theyre being photographed, explained Loncraine. They just went to shop and they knew that sometime during the day there might be a camera on them, but they didnt know where or when. They never saw the camera so it produced a kind of strangeness. I wanted it to be very different from the rest of the film so thats true, we did do that.
Harrison Fords Action Experience and Firewall: Acting in films for more than four decades, the 63 year-old actor has tackled dozens of action roles. In fact audiences are so used to seeing Ford fight bad guys that its a little disconcerting when he doesnt. And for the majority of Firewall, Fords character is unable to physically take on the bad guys.
While hes used to the action roles, Ford said it wasnt hard for him to tone it down in order to play a character who doesnt have a physical background. Well the script describes circumstances in which this character is not compelled to take action until a certain point. I read the script and Im there to help tell the story, said Ford.
Fords been absent from the big screen for a couple of years. Asked what made him interested in taking on Firewall Ford explained, Its a well-plotted, well-made movie.
Getting Physical in "Firewall:" Bettanys in great shape and that helped him with his action scenes opposite Ford. It also helped that, according to Bettany, Ford never connected with his punches. He is incredibly tough but, no, he didnt hit me once. The trick is to not Its like this [faking a punch]. Theres the camera and he takes a swipe. He did it. He chooses where he puts his fist.
On Capturing the Right Tone: Loncraine said, I looked at a lot of Hitchcocks work. He is the master of thrillers. If you look at a lot of Hitchcocks films, theres not an enormous amount of action in them. Theyre just very tense so youre on the edge of your seat all the time. So I was very influenced by Hitchcocks work.
I wanted the film to have a kind of darkness about it. We shot it in Vancouver and I was told that it would rain a lot up there, that the weather would be very dark, so we made it rain throughout 90% of the movie which creates a kind of tension. Were trapped inside a building for a number of days in the film and so rain running down the windows and the noise of thunder in the distance rolling, just to create the audience on the edge of their seats. That was the idea.