Interview with 'Collaborator' Star David Morse

Photo Credit: Davis Morse
July 13th, 2012

Brilliant veteran actor David Morse ( The Green Mile, The Hurt Locker) took a phone call with me recently and we talked about his new film Collaborator and how it was playing his role as Gus.

Nick- Hey David how are you doing?

David- Hey Nick, how are you?

Nick- I’m great man, how is it out there busy?

David- We’re jumping around.

Nick- Well thanks for taking the time to talk to me I really appreciate it.

David- Glad to talk to you.

Nick- David you’re a great actor and it’s a privilege to talk with you.  Everybody knows you for your roles in The Green Mile, The Hurt Locker, Shanghai, Disturbia and the list goes on and on.  Today we are to talk about your new movie that was written and directed by your co-star Martin Donovan and it’s called Collaborator.  It came out June 20th on VOD right?

David- Yes that is correct.

Nick- The movies been out since last July going through festivals.

David- Yeah it’s been going through festivals and I actually went over to    
the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and won some awards for it.  That was a year ago but now people can actually see it. 

Nick- Congratulations because I heard you won one award for it.

David- I did.  It’s an amazing film festival and the people over there could not have been kinder and more enthusiastic about this movie so it was a nice one to get.

Nick- Martin said the audiences have been receiving it very well.

David- Well they’re getting exactly what I think he hoped for and I think what they’re getting is a surprise.  If you call this movie a hostage drama and the character that I play is somebody who has murdered somebody, we all have preconceptions about what that story is going to be.  I think people are completely surprised by their own feelings for this man that I play, and what happens between these two men, and that’s what I think Martin’s film is very successful at.

Nick- You play Gus, who is the childhood next door neighbor of Martin’s character Robert, he still lives with his mother and he seems to be lost a little bit. 

David- Lost a little bit would be an understatement.  He’s a guy who has been in prison but really has never really gotten a break in his life and is living in the same house, and the same situation, almost his entire life and not escaped from it.  The closest thing he gets to an escape is this evening with Martin’s character, who is a successful screenwriter movie guy, and he seems like a total movie star to Gus and Gus gets to spend some time with him.

Nick- Do you feel the movie explains why Gus is still in his house living this way?

David- I’m not sure if Martin really needed to explain that because I think we recognize that character.  I think there are a lot of people in our lives that are like this character.  There are things that are mentioned like things with his father and things that happened to him in school.  He really isn’t the smartest guy around, even though he likes to believe he is.  I think there is enough suggested about Gus that we get it. 

Nick- Did you make any special preparations to play Gus? I know you grew your beard out a little bit for it.

David- Yeah, I suppose the preparations really were a rhythm.  Martin grew up in the San Fernando Valley and is very familiar with that world and Gus has kind of a ‘Valley’ manner about him.  I just tried to get as much of a feeling for that and that world as I could. 

Nick- I felt like your voice was different in this movie.

David- Well that’s what he wrote and I had to get comfortable with it.

Nick- It was really rough sounding I feel like.

David- Yeah.

Nick- It’s a hostage situation sort of role and I feel like it would be really hard to remember all that dialogue because it’s mainly just you two through the whole movie.

David- You know a lot of people have compared it to something theatrical like a play because there is so much that happens between us two in the house. The experience of it felt like that but it’s really keeping with the character of Robert who is a playwright, so the whole tone of it feels appropriate for these people.

Nick- That’s the feeling I got too. It almost feels like it’s a play written for theater when you are watching it. 

David- Yeah, and there’s a thing about artists whether you are a writer, painter, musician, there has always been that observer part of you that while you are living your life, there’s this kind of thing that is outside of you watching and observing to use later.  That’s what he’s written about.  The writer who is having this incredibly dramatic thing happening to him, but at the same time the writer is outside of himself watching this dramatic thing happening to him and wondering if he can actually use this somehow.

Nick- I saw that you are also a writer, writing the series called The Kid.

David- Yeah that’s a series we wrote for TBS.  It’s written and we are waiting to see if we are shooting the pilot which we are hopeful about. 

Nick- What made you want to start writing?

David- Well I have been writing for years and it is nothing new.

Nick- You did a show called Hack right?

David- Yeah I starred in that and wrote one of the episodes.  I’ve done other writing as well.  If you’re familiar with golf at all Phil Mickelson his caddy Bones, Jim Mackay, had had an idea for a series for years and didn’t know what to do with it.  we have mutual friends and we wound up getting together and working out this series and TBS was very high on it, so we are looking forward to that happening. 

Nick- When is that going to come out?

David- We don’t know.  We have to shoot the show first and see what happens. There are some other films that are coming out this year The Odd Life of Timothy Green, and World War Z with Brad Pitt. 

Nick- Can you talk a little bit about World War Z because everybody is waiting for that film to come out.

David- Yeah it’s highly anticipated and I didn’t know anything about it myself, but I guess it’s from a book, or a series of books, that are pretty popular.  I know we’ve had a lot of zombie’s lately but we’re going to get a lot more zombies when World War Z comes out.  It’s gonna be big time.

Nick- What is the plot of the movie?

David-  Basically it’s Brad Pitt’s character traveling the world trying to find the source of this outbreak of zombies which is taking over the world and if they can find where it started, maybe they can stop it.  It’s him making stops as he escapes from zombies all over the planet and I happen to be one of the stops and have information that keeps him going.

Nick- I can’t wait to see that but first I can’t wait for everyone to see Collaborator which came out June 20th on VOD and I thank you so much David for talking with us here at Movie Room Reviews.  You’ve had such a great career and it’s an honor to talk with you. 

David- Thank you, and I am very happy to talk with you.