An out-of-the-way diner becomes the unlikely battleground for the survival of the human race. When God loses faith in Mankind, he sends his legion of angels to bring on the Apocalypse. Humanity’s only hope lies in a group of strangers trapped in a desert diner and the Archangel Michael.
Opening Friday, March 7th is the latest action-thriller ‘Vantage Point’. With a plethora of Hollywood’s A-listers, including Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, Forrest Whittaker and Sigourney Weaver, ‘Vantage Point’ is the story of a terrorist attempt to assassinate the US president at a global summit in Spain. The attack is constructed from different viewpoints of separate witnesses, each shedding a different perspective on the truth behind the event. Dennis Quaid plays Thomas Barnes, a Secret Service agent to the US president whose perspective ultimately reveals the shocking truth behind the attack. After battling his cocaine addiction in the ‘90s, Quaid has made a steady come-back in recent years with hit films including ‘Far From Heaven’ (2002), ‘In Good Company’ (2004), ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ (2004), ‘Yours, Mine and Ours’ (2005) and now ‘Vantage Point’ (2008). Here the Texas born actor discusses the challenges behind his latest role.
Can you describe ‘Vantage Point’ for us?
‘Vantage Point’ to me is all about the subjectivity of perception. It’s also a really great action film. It makes you think about these questions like “What is truth?” And also it’s a great story that’s like a puzzle to fit together, because it’s told as a Rashomon so you see the same fifteen minutes over and over again from another character’s point of view. And so what you thought you saw in the last fifteen minutes isn’t what happened at all. And you just keep putting the pieces together.
The film is set in Spain but you shot in Mexico, what was your experience of Mexico City?
I mean I have a good time wherever I go. It’s a daunting place to shoot a movie, for the time we have. Uh, one, on the street we have car chases and things like that, ‘cause it’s a very congested city, and it’s at nine thousand feet too, so it’s hard to run, and you get out of breath. And it was also during the time of the election, where they shut down the city basically. It was very interesting. But the city really was great. It brought a look and a feel to the film.
Did you learn some Spanish while in Mexico?
Yeah, I have, I grew up in Texas, and so I know pretty good high school and Mexican restaurant Spanish (laughs). And it gets better the more time I spend some place, you know.
There is a really intense car chase in the film, how was it shooting that?
That was really a lot of fun. I’m so happy the way it turned out, because I’m such a big fan of car chases like ‘Bullit’. And this was really done really well. It was also something to work on; I only have seventeen lines of dialog in the whole movie, so I had to have, yeah, if you count them up, I counted, man. Some of those are just like one syllable like “Stop!” (Laughs).
Do you have to do the most scenes of any actor in the movie?
I think I’m in everybody’s story. . Yeah, pretty much. I think in the end the audience finds out by following my character because my character is the one who eventually really kind of like, “Here’s what happened,” you know, where things come together. Yeah, my character is the one who’s betrayed.
Your Secret Service partner is played by Lost’s Matthew Fox. What was your relationship with him?
It was similar to a teacher to student relationship but where we’re equals. I guess, in the film, I had really shown him the ropes coming up, and now my charcter’s been shot, and he’s sort of like moved up the ladder and now is taking care of me. That’s our relationship. Off screen, we all hung out and went to dinner together. We had a lot of time to hang out.
Can you give us a political statement or something about the film?
Well, it’s very timely, yes, because of terrorism or what’s going on in the world, but I don’t think we’re trying to make any political statements. I don’t think we’re preaching – this movie doesn’t preach to anybody or try to instruct anybody. It’s really meant to entertain and make you think, but it’s timely. That’s about where it ends. I think in the end it’s an action film.
What are you doing next?
I’m doing ‘G.I Joe’. We’re shooting in L.A from next week.
So you’re more into action movies than drama?
No, it’s just they haven’t come along. I don’t really make any kind of like – I don’t have any grand plan. I tend to just go with the flow.
‘Vantage Point’ opens in Ireland on March 7th.