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                                    Excerpts From Interview With Martin McDonagh

                                    Writer and Director of “In Bruges ,” Dallas , Texas , 1/29/08

                                   

Outlook:  Well, first I want to say how much I really enjoyed this film.

MM:  Oh, thank you so much.

Outlook:  The character development, the inner tension, the complexity and depth of the characters, all made it really interesting.

MM:  That’s great, thanks.

Outlook:  And the location was incredible.

MM:  Yeah, I got the idea from a vacation, actually, about four years ago, not knowing anything about the place.  I was struck by how strange, picturesque, gothic, but beautiful.. and wondered why it hadn’t been used on film before.  The first day I went to the museums and so forth, just appreciating the culture, and by the second day I was getting bored, wanting to go to a pub and drink and pick up women or something, and that’s how I started developing those two characters in my head.  And then the idea of their being hit men who didn’t really want to be there, but had to be there, and it all kind of wrote itself from there.

Outlook:  The Colin Farrell character seems at first to be jumping out of his skin, he’s so impatient about touring medieval churches, but then we discover that it’s not just pure restlessness, that he’s carrying a load of guilt,…

MM:  Yes, about something that happened in a church.

Outlook:  That was a great theological conversation those two characters had,

MM:  On the bench, about Heaven and Hell,

Outlook:  Guilt and punishment…

MM:  Well, I was brought up Catholic, and those are some of the things that still go around in my head:  What is evil?  What is a crime so bad that it can never be forgiven?  You take a couple of cool, funny hit men in a tourist town-- fish out of water, so to speak, and suddenly you’re dealing with guilt, redemption, despair, something a little bit darker.

Outlook:  And there was an irony about the hit men, that they each had a personal code.

MM:  Yes, and their sense of honor, and what’s right, sets up the whole story.

Outlook:  You seem to enjoy developing your characters in such a way that there’s a surprise, a twist in their development.

MM:  Yes, they’re like us, you know, no one’s all good, no one’s all bad, and these characters might not react to a certain situation in the same way I would.  I enjoy exploring that sort of angle.

Outlook:  At the end, there was that self-sacrificial atonement scene…

MM:  Yes, it was all about guilt and despair and redemption, really, for both the main characters.  Even the man who played the boyfriend of Chloe, he’s a sad, lonely, figure at the end, kind of like a Judas.  I’ve always had a fascination with Judas.  He was human, too.

Outlook:  That’s sort of the perspective of “Jesus Christ, Superstar” isn’t it?

MM:  And the Martin Scorsese film, the fact that Judas was just playing his role.

Outlook:  Thank you for your time.

MM:  My pleasure.