Excerpt with Joel Edgerton
Director, Actor, ďThe GiftĒ
Texas, July 15, 2015
Edgerton: I didnít want to
just make this a revenge movie; the character of Gordo (Edgerton) is not
just about ďan eye for an eye,Ē like the Old Testament.
(Deuteronomy 19:21, but also Matthew 5:38.) Itís more complex
than that. Gordo was really
willing to let bygones be bygones, if Simon (Jason Bateman) had in any
sincere sense been willing to apologize.
But he wasnít. And
so Gordo couldnít extend the forgiveness he was offering, either.
And thatís not necessarily religious; itís simply human.
Well, since you brought up the Old Testament, Iím curious about
moral foundations, if they arenít religious, and certainly arenít
biblical. How do you see the
moral foundation for your three primary characters?
Simonís whole orientation is capitalism.
He feels like there are winners and losers in the world, and he
intends to be a winner, and he even quotes his Dad as his reference
point. Of course the fact
that he has a mean and deceitful streak in him just makes his
selfishness that much worse, but heís articulate enough, with the gift
of gab, to just be able to get this far, off his good looks and charm.
He also just wants to close off anything in his past that heís
not proud of; rather than revisit and re-evaluate in any way.
thinks: Heís not the first
to stumble over unwillingness to repent. Matthew 23:33)
Robyn (Rebecca Hall) is the character whoís willing to accept
other people at face value, and empathize with them.
Yes, sheís the nice person, but sheís consistent about it;
sheís just a sweetheart, as well as a beauty.
But she can be manipulated, at least for a while, by somebody she
wants to believe is good, like her, but she subsequently discovers the
deceptions and the cruelty, and she just doesnít want to be part of
thinks, but doesnít want to interrupt: blessed
are the pure in heart. Matthew
Gordo is the kind of guy whoís really paid a price in his life
for cruelty at the hands of someone else.
I wanted to approach this subject as a thriller, because the
documentary about bullying has been done.
But I was interested in what happens 20, 25 years later, when the
two accidentally meet again. What
happens now? And though the
focal point is between the two of them, Robynís insertion into the mix
kind of sharpens the focus, and gives each of the other characters a
different flavor for their own incentives. The past isnít just in the
past; it affects the present, as well, and can very much affect the
I appreciate your thoughtful response.
Thanks very much!