CS Video: Jude Law and Director Kevin Macdonald on Black Sea

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In recent years, Jude Law has been transforming himself into an actor who frequently diverges from the roles some might expect from him, as seen by last year’s Dom Hemingway and his latest film Black Sea, in which Law plays a former Navy man named Robinson who has been commissioned to captain a submarine on a salvage mission to recover lost Nazi gold from the bottom of the Black Sea. 

Directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland), the tense thriller mostly takes place inside the submarine where Robinson’s crew is made up of equal parts of British and Russian seamen. Friction starts forming between the two factions as the mission is put into jeopardy by the actions of a sociopathic ex-con named Frazer (Ben Mendelsohn from Animal Kingdom and The Place Beyond the Pines). As more problems arise, Robinson is forced to make tough decisions, his judgment somewhat impaired by the amount of money at stake.

ComingSoon.net had previously spoken with Macdonald about the film (an interview you can read here), but in the video player below, you can watch a more recent interview with Law and Macdonald in which we talk about Robinson as an anti-hero and the logistics of shooting a movie in such a confined space. Unfortunately, we had some technical difficulties with the sound during the interview and had to cut out a nice conversation we had about one of the film’s underlying themes, but here’s what was said:

ComingSoon.net: You had been developing this movie for some time, so how did the whole “Occupy Wall Street” and the 99% vs. the 1% affect the story?

Kevin Macdonald: I don’t think specifically Wall Street or anything specifically in the current affairs affected it. I think it’s more of the general feeling of the zeitgeist and the moment–whether you’re conscious of it or not–people are becoming aware of the idea of inequality and of the fact that there are so many people in the world, particularly in Europe and America, who are skilled workers who are losing their job and thrown on the scrap heap. This idea of the crisis in masculinity, the men who’ve defined themselves through their work and if their work disappears, the skills that they’ve learned through their lives and their value, then they don’t know who they are and I think that’s who these characters are in a way. They’re people who don’t how to define themselves anymore. They don’t know who they are anymore. Until they get back in the submarine, they don’t have the self-respect that they should have.

Jude Law: To me, what was so strong about this script and telling this story was that–as with all great scripts and stories–there is a timeless quality to it, too. You could apply that crisis to the British miners in the ’80s. Some of the films that Kevin referenced to me, such as “Treasure of Sierra Madre,” the same thing was happening then during the Gold Rush and the Depression, so it’s an old story.

Macdonald: Yeah, like there’s economic cycles, I guess. It probably is one of the oldest stories in the world. It’s in the Bible, isn’t it? Greed. Don’t let gold take over your soul. It’s that kind of idea and it’s an old message, but a good one.

Here’s the rest of the interview:

Black Sea opens in New York and Los Angeles on Friday and then expands into other cities on Friday, January 30. Next up for Law is reteaming with director Guy Ritchie for his upcoming Knights of the Round Table, in which he’s playing a role he wouldn’t disclose to us.