Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made a splash this past holiday weekend with the release of the revenge-based action film Faster. Based on one man’s passionate pursuit of vengeance for the loss of his loved ones, the film provides an excellent opportunity for the wrestler-turned-actor to show a range not present in earlier films. The man behind the camera, director George Tillman Jr., took a moment to share the science behind the film with rolling out. –djr
Your new film, Faster, has received strong reviews. What do you think makes it stand out?
I think what makes the film stand out are the characters. You can look at this film, and truly see the guy next door, or be able to see yourself in the situation and know that you would do the same thing. The film has a lot of heart, and I think that’s what people will gravitate towards, and it’s what makes it special.
How do you rank this experience with other movies that you’ve done like Notorious and Soul Food?
I feel like each film gets more interesting; you learn a lot more. This experience working with Billy Bob Thorton rates right up there with working with [Robert] De Niro, as they’re both Oscar-nominated talents. And the ability to do this project with Dwayne Johnson is something that I’m appreciative of. People have seen him in action movies before, but they’ve never seen him getting emotional. So I rank this experience up there with anything that I’ve done in the past.
Since there aren’t many black directors working in mainstream movies, how difficult is it to garner respect from the cast?
It’s not that difficult, but I do think that the respect level is important, and it is ultimately the downfall of many directors — regardless of race. I think that an actor has to know that they can trust a director, and trust that the director knows what he wants. So you have to establish that early on, and it’s something that I work towards before we even start the production by spending time with the cast.
**Faster is currently in theaters nationwide.**