Daniel H. Blatt
Q: How is BAD APPLE different from other FBI or mafia-related stories?
A: I think that in Bad Apple, Anthony Bruno has made both law enforcement and the criminal element more real than I've ever seen in either literature or film. The situations are real and the characters act like real people, but it's also a comedy. The comedy comes out of the characters and how they behave. This has a degree of reality and singularity that I haven't seen before. Also, in a very original way there are several different love stories taking place here. There's the love story between Tozzi and Gina, which is an unconventional love story and reminds you of the kind of relationship that goes back to The Defiant Ones. Then there's the relationship between Gibbons and Loraine, which is a marriage in which they really love each other but have different agendas. And finally, theres's a kind of a tragic love affair between a brother, played by James Villemaire and a sister, played by Dagmara Dominczyk.
Q: What can audiences expect from BAD APPLE?
A: It's going to be very suspenseful and yet you'll be smiling and actually laughing as it's going on. There are a lot of surprises, but the ending is the biggest surprise of all. It's a character-driven piece set within a really suspenseful plot - and a funny plot. I think people are going to come out of watching this, talking about it and smiling. You're going to want to see these characters again.
Q: Is there any one thing that you felt you needed to get right to make the film work?
A: Casting. If you don't have the actors, you don't have a movie. It was also very important to make sure that we captured the right tone.
Q: How did you go about casting the entire ensemble?
A: The key was that each character in the book and in the script had his own originality, so what we really tried to do was to find that actor or actress who was totally original for that particular part and also was clearly different than any other character in the piece.
Q: What was the key to hiring a director to capture the feel that you wanted?
A: The key was understanding that the picture plays on two levels. First and foremost, it's a suspenseful cop movie. But it's also a comedy - a comedy that's based on reality and not based on throwing pies in people's faces. The comedy comes out of the characters. So we needed to find a director who could find the tone of this picture. This required some serious searching and some serious questioning as we talked to many people that wanted to do this movie.
Q: What are the dramatic elements of BAD APPLE?
A: Without giving away the entire story, the main dramatic element is that the undercover FBI agent, Chris playing Mike Tozzi, finds himself falling in love with the sister of a small-time mob person who he has flipped.
Q: How did you go about capturing the grit, the underbelly so to speak, of New York and New Jersey?
A: We've hired a great crew. Our production designer, Guy Lalande, is an artist. Guy Dufaux is a world-class director of photography, and I think other people will judge that the style of this picture and the color and the way it's been shot as very singular and that it feels like New Jersey. It's really New Jersey more than New York. The characters, although they are from a lot of different places, the majority are from New York, and they sound, feel, walk and talk like they are from the area in which this picture takes place. We've taken a lot of care in clothes, color, hair, make-up and photography.