(Consulting Producer )
Q: How do you approach a new project?
A: When I first hear about a project, obviously I take a look at the script before I ever get involved. Then, before I'm even brought on board, I offer up what I think will make it a little better or more authentic. So I'll present what I have in my bag of tricks, so to speak, and if they like it, then I come on board and sit with the actors and show them what I can offer. It's very much a team effort.
Q: How realistic is AVENGER?
A: I would say we have kept as true to the story as possible and what the character could or could not do. I think it's about as close as you're going to get to what someone like Cal Dexter would actually be.
Q: Do you have to limit what you can advise the actors on because it's classified?
A: Obviously there are sources and methods that I would never give away. However, I try to push things as close to the edge of real as possible without compromising any of those real sources or methods. So in this project, we have a guy who was in Vietnam 30 years ago or so, and most of the things he'll be doing are military operations mixed in with a little bit of his own civilian attitude and a little bit of espionage, fake passports and stuff like that. So we can show him having five passports, but we're not going to show how such things are actually put together.
Q: How did you prepare Sam Elliott for his role as Calvin Dexter?
A: Sam actually came to my house, and we became friends and hung out together. He made just an amazing effort to know as much about me as possible. He looked at my pictures, and we talked about operations. He met some of my friends and learned the language on the military operational side.
Q: In your view, is Calvin Dexter a good guy or a bad guy?
A: He's not a bad guy. He's a character who realizes the system, like all systems, may be a little corrupt. He's a guy who has the experience to do the right thing and realizes that as long as you do what's right, you can't be wrong. He's a guy who has been asked to help heal the wounds of another parent. It's all about justice, but it's not about vigilantes. It's not about taking the law into your own hands, because in this case, there is no law. I think the world probably needs a few more Cal Dexters out there.
Q: How did you prepare Timothy Hutton for his role as Frank McBride?
A: Tim and I would sometimes go in the trailer, and he would tell me what he would be thinking a CIA agent would do or how a CIA agent would act. Then I would agree or disagree. And if I disagree, I would explain to him how it would really be to give him a better take on it.
Q: Was it difficult to advise to characters who were so different?
A: I've been both of these characters in my life, and that's what makes it nice. And I know quite a few "retrievers," which is what we call a character like Dexter. They're not exactly bounty hunters. Our character is doing this simply for justice, and, although he is being paid a fee, it's really outside the standard bounty hunter fee.
Q: How would you describe your overall experience on this movie?
A: It has actually been quite a learning experience and a delight to influence people's lives here.