“Cold In July” is an unusual, old-school thriller with Michael C. Hall, Don Johnson, and Sam Shepard at the helm. Directed by Jim Mickle and written by actor/screenwriter Nick Damici (who also plays a policeman in the movie) based on the novel by Joe R. Lansdale, the film is a bit bloody but entertaining. Johnson’s character often provides the comic relief, and Wyatt Russell (son of Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell) plays Shepard’s son.
The film opens in theaters and on VOD on May 23, 2014.
Hall, by the way, is currently starring on Broadway in “The Realistic Joneses.”
Mickle, Damici, Hall, and Johnson appeared at a press screening in New York on May 21, 2014 and participated in a short Q&A after the film. Below are some of the highlights:
On what attracted them to the script:
Michael C. Hall: I loved it because it felt like three movies in one in a very delicious way and broke its own rules….
Don Johnson: I was thrilled to get to page 11 and not know what was going to happen. That doesn’t happen very often. In fact, it’s the exception, not the rule….
Jim Mickle: What did you think when you got the script, and your character didn’t pop up until like page 60? Were you like “what the f***”?
Don Johnson: No, I was warned about that, but when he does make an entrance, it’s fairly profound. [Laughter]
On why Michael C. Hall’s films and television shows have often focused a great deal on death:
Michael C. Hall: I don’t know. I mean, I didn’t embark on a career with some sort of mission statement that said I had to be surrounded by dead bodies in one way or another. I guess I am drawn to things that deal with maybe weightier themes, and we have nothing more in common than the fact that we’re all gonna die. [Silence] Goodnight! [Laughter]
If I had some sort of a litmus test where I look at something and say, “Wait a minute, I kill somebody in the first few minutes? I’m not doing this. What am I, crazy?” But it was too good. I had to do it.
He’s [Michael’s character in “Cold In July”] very different from Dexter. In a way, it was therapeutic when “Dexter” ended to go do this movie because I got to play a person who had a much more panicked, bewildered, and human response to killing somebody without meaning to.
Don Johnson: Kill ’em and chill ’em.
Michael C. Hall: That’s the name of the new series starring Michael and Don. [Laughter]
Don Johnson: Kill ’em and chill ’em – right there.