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Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Idris Elba Discuss 'The Losers'

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Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Idris Elba photo from The Losers

Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Idris Elba in 'The Losers.'

© Warner Bros Pictures
Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen) and Idris Elba (the upcoming Thor) are no strangers to action films, but Warner Bros Pictures' The Losers takes the action to a whole new level. Based on the popular comic book series, The Losers is a roller coaster ride of a film about a U.S. Special forces unit that is out for revenge after being betrayed by a powerful enemy known as 'Max'.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Idris Elba Q&A - The Losers

What was your most challenging scene? Was there anything that was tricky for you that you looked forward to or had a little trepidation before the scene?

Jeffrey Dean Morgan: "I think all the physical scenes, the big fight scenes in particular, the stuff with Zoe [Saldana] and the stuff with Idris. We spent a lot of time choreographing those fights. Invariably, they change on the day and it’s hard stuff. We didn’t have the luxury of spending a week doing a scene. The hotel scene we shot in a day and a half. The conclusion stuff with me and Idris we shot in a day and that fight got changed at the 11th hour after we had choreographed something for two months in Puerto Rico, and then we shot it in L.A., actually, and it was a completely different fight than we had anticipated. So that stuff was a big challenge. It’s hard getting up off the pavement 20 times and doing it again."

Idris Elba: "Jeffrey is trying to say that he was very scared to fight me. There was much trepidation."

Jeffrey Dean Morgan: "Have you seen Idris?"

Idris, what made you want to make this film?

Idris Elba: "I didn’t have too much information on The Losers. I’d read the script. There was an original version of the script, which was about four years old. I read that. There were different directors attached to it. When I read it the first time, I wasn’t even aware it was a graphic novel. Then when Sylvain [White] and Joel [Silver] approached me on it, I did some homework. I did my research. So, it was very much surface research though. I read some of the novels and on the internet. I didn’t really check it out too much because the script was so full of them."

Idris, how would you compare the emotional connection that you develop with a character like Roque that you played over a matter of months compared to a character like Stringer Bell that you played over a number of years on The Wire?

Idris Elba: "It’s all in the writing or the words. The writers, the creators of The Wire - and rest in peace David Mills, by the way, who just passed – but the writing  – and all my actors here will tell you – offered the actors choices. It is about the choices, and the director helps you guide those choices into what the screenplay says. So, what [screenwriter James Vanderbilt] wants from this, you have choices as an actor to make and the director helps you guide those choices to what James wants. Jeffrey and I had a huge challenge to make our relationship believable so that when we do have that fight at the end, you’re seeing not only two men going at it that are professionals at what they do tactically but two men that have been together as – not Brokeback but..."

Jeffrey Dean Morgan: "Much to my sadness."

Idris Elba: "And his friends and his comrades will die for each other and in that fight. So, it’s all about the words. I was very lucky to have a great scene to work with him in, and of course Sylvain to subtly guide me and Jeffrey in that journey."

Jeffrey, you always hear actors say that love scenes are not easy, so what was more difficult - the love scene or fighting each other?

Jeffrey Dean Morgan: "The love scene, that was hard. I had a rough day that day. 'I need another take!' [Laughing] 'Just one more. Sylvain, c’mon! I don’t feel like she flipped her hair right on that one.' Technically, the fight was much harder. Zoe [Saldana] and I, the whole cast, were very comfortable around each other from day one. So, the challenging part, that fight was a huge challenge for both of us, physically and in trying also to get the tone of what we needed to accomplish in that scene, which I think we did. Yeah, the love scene, man, bring that on! I had Zoe Saldana sitting on my lap naked. Yeah, rough!"

Jeffrey, would you like to talk about the romance that developed on the set between you and the dog?

Jeffrey Dean Morgan: "I adopted a little pup there that wandered out of the jungle of Puerto Rico and promptly was hit by a car. We all took care of him for a while, but he is with me. I’ve got a little piece of Losers in Puerto Rico with me at all times now."

What’s his name?

Jeffrey Dean Morgan: "Bandit or Bandito. It was Bandido in Puerto Rico, but now I’ve shortened it to Bandit because I’m screaming at him all the time."

What kind of dog is he?

Jeffrey Dean Morgan: "Puerto Rican jungle mutt, man. [Laughing] He’s awesome. He’s really cute. He’s an awesome dog."

How is your Roque different from the comic book?

Idris Elba: "Roque in the comic book is white and I’m black. [...]I didn’t know either, but it didn’t matter. There was no reflection on that in the screenplay, but I definitely used Roque in the comic book as my skeleton to build my Roque. So I stayed as true as I could to him. The scar was the only physical attribute that I took from the comic book and applied to myself. Other than that, I just used his personality, his persona in the comic book to make my Roque."

Is this a recent development that you can make a change like that?

Idris Elba: "Yeah, casting now is taking definitely a more open-eyed approach to it. I was cast in Thor and I’m cast as a Nordic god. If you know anything about the Nords, they don’t look like me - but there you go. I think that’s a sign of the times for the future. I think we will see multi-level casting. I think we will see that, and I think that’s good."

With Thor, do you look at the comic books or Nordic mythology?

Idris Elba: "I looked at the comic books, actually, because Heimdall, he’s a very central character and I wanted to reflect him as he is in the comic books."

What do you look like in Thor?

Idris Elba: [Laughing] "I look like how he’s designed, man. I can’t say, but he looks phenomenal."

Do you get to do any cool action in that?

Idris Elba: "Yeah, I do, yeah. I can’t say, brother, but it’s really, really cool."

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