Filmmakers Michael Brandt and Derek Haas Talk ‘The Double’
Can you talk about the process of casting Richard Gere in the film and then putting together the rest of the cast including Topher Grace, Stephen Moyer, and Martin Sheen?
Brandt: I mean Richard was obviously an easy choice for us. Richard he’s an easy, obvious choice because those of us in our late thirties or forties remember Richard from Internal Affairs, American Gigolo and An Officer and a Gentleman where he had this dark side. The badass version of Richard is so badass and I feel like we haven’t seen a lot of that in the last ten years in the movies he’s been doing. There’s like a whole generation of movie goers who don’t understand what Richard Gere did in the 70’s and the 80’s as an actor and so he’s also one of those actors who while he’s being bad, you still like him. There’s something about him that’s still endearing just because he goes for it and he’s an intense guy. He’s just kind of naturally likeable even when he’s being bad and so he was an easy one to cast.Topher I thought he did such a good job in the Dennis Quaid movie, In Good Company. I feel like he’s really scratching the surface in his abilities as a dramatic actor. I mean he’s obviously a funny guy, and he’s just learning. He’s really learning how to be a dramatic actor right now and it was fun to get to work with him. A lot of times when Topher’s natural instinct would be to be funny, we’d have to pull him away from that and remind him the kind of movie we’re making. Not that that was ever difficult, it was actually a great process for everybody involved. (Stephen) Moyer is … the guy is unbelievable. He comes in and he is so ready, he is a true trained actor. He disappears into his character. It’s almost unsettling how in one moment he can be this crazed Russian killer who’s almost animalistic, and then when you say, “cut” and he comes over and sits in his chair, he’s like this perfect, proper, English gentleman. It just shows you how well trained he is as an actor because I know he’s been training his whole life. Then Stana (Katic) and Odette(Yustman Annable) for us were just two great gets because I’ve always loved both of their work. They’re obviously lovely women, and Stana just totally went for it as the Russian hooker too. So she and Richard had some real knocked down, throw down fights and there were no stuntwomen used in her scene. She rolled around in the sand and fought Richardall the way. She got sand in her eyes and she didn’t care. She just went for it. Then finally Martin Sheen, what more can I say? You’re just lucky that he even responds to a script and wants to do it. He came on set and he’s just the perfect gentleman, truly one of the nicest human beings you’ll ever spend time with. We got to celebrate his seventieth birthday on our last day of shooting so that was just a cool moment to be a part of.