You might not heard of Tesla and Mad Scientist Films a year ago but it’s hard to not know him after the last Yoda and giving the output of his recent films. He has been on headlines, press conference and any big or small movie forums out there. How can you miss that? No, you can’t. As productive as always, his new movie will be in the theater very soon and this time, it’s an arthouse film — Killing Blues.
GOLIATHUS: Hello there Tesla, and congrats on winning the Best Producer award in the recent Yoda. To begin with, tell us more about Killing Blues.
TESLA: Thanks. On the surface it’s about an aging hitman who takes on a protege while also forming a dangerous relationship with his boss’s daughter. I guess it explores the lives of people who make a living through what would be regarded as immoral, and what happens to “normal” people when they come into contact with these kind of persons and vice-versa.
GOLIATHUS: You have written various things so far and they are all very different when it comes to the theme and so forth. So, what really inspire you to write about hitman and that profession’s social position?
TESLA: Yeah, it’s just an interesting profession to include in a story. I guess people take to it, or I hope they do. There’s a lot of jobs out there that society would shun you for if they knew that’s how you made your living, but everyone has to make a living somehow. You could be in a mall and the person walking beside you could be a prostitute or a drug dealer — you’d never know. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. I’m sure you could think of way worse positions. So that was interesting to me, writing about someone who is in one of these professions and still has to function in society.
GOLIATHUS: Mind to shed a few lights on the cast selection?
TESLA: Originally, I wanted Nicolas Cage in the lead role, but his TS was way too high, so we went with Mark Ruffalo. Taylor Kitsch was also in the original cast, but he ended up replaced with Dominic Cooper. Jennifer Decker was the only girl I could find to play her role. She and Vincent Cassel play French/English speaking father and daughter.
GOLIATHUS: A little more about the main character, your original choice is Nicolas Cage, who sadly isn’t getting paid, and your replacement is Mark Ruffalo. What is the main element that makes Mark Ruffalo the perfect replacement on that particular character?
TESLA: That character is a bit of a smooth talker, but he’s also sort of sleezy at the same time. I had a hard time finding a replacement for Cage due to the arthouse limitations. Ruffalo’s a fairly versatile actor, and I think he’s capable of playing this role. Nothing more to it really.
GOLIATHUS: Speaking of French, it’s probably just me wonder but is there any special reason you pick French out of the tons of languages out there?
TESLA: I think it was really about Jennifer Decker’s character. I’m not sure if her character would’ve had the same charm if it were a different language. It’s also a pretty sexy language, so there’s that.
GOLIATHUS: Shane Black usually directs scripts that have action, thriller, noir and black comedy elements. Is any of the element featured in Killing Blue?
TESLA: There’s a little bit of everything. Some elements are obviously involved more than others. There was also the arthouse factor to consider, but overall it felt like a good fit.
GOLIATHUS: I can easily see action and noir elements in this but I am not certain on the thriller and black comedy but well, more to expect for the audience! Speaking of expectation and now that you have won arguably one of the bigger awards in Yoda, is there any extra pressure or a higher standard you want to uphold now?
TESLA: You’re definitely right about the use of the genre elements. The action rises and falls throughout the film. It’s not like full on shootouts. You see the hitmen at work here and there, and then it all builds up to a thrilling end, I’d like to think. Not really aiming for laughs either. I don’t feel there’s any pressure to meet some sort of standard, mainly because I know I’m trying my best. If I don’t feel proud of something I wrote, then I wouldn’t even be writing it in the first place. The mere act of me writing something means it’s met my standards. I guess that means I write to please myself first, but I don’t want to write something and keep it to myself. You want to share with people and hope someone else feels the same way as you do about something you wrote.
GOLIATHUS: You have been writing for different studios but Catalyst Studios is the first you have written more than one piece for (Fact check: Opium and Tea is the first one, an arthouse film revolves around actors and their relationship, working and personal) so the question is, how is your relationship with the owner of Catalyst Studios (Fact check: RandomFX) and what makes you go back to an arthouse studio since well, arthouse has its limitation and there’s a ton of major studios out there, even some you have worked for?
TESLA: I wish Random would already upgrade to a full studio. Of course he has fantastic creative skills, but what really comes through is his enthusiasm for each project. It’s nice to see someone who cares about it as much as you do. It’s actually inspiring. It makes me want to do a better job. But sometimes you have a project that exceeds the arthouse limitations, so you’ve got to use a major studio.
GOLIATHUS: In your mind, in what way does Killing Blues stand out against (or different from) other movies of the same theme?
TESLA: I’m not sure what I’d compare it to. It’s possibly more dark and more raw, I guess. To me it was interesting to cross a few genres, and I don’t think films along the same line as this one would’ve bothered with that. It could’ve just been a story about a hitman and his protege, but there’s also the romance aspect, which only makes the stakes even higher. Tough question.
GOLIATHUS: Thanks for the interview, any last words for promotions or anything?
TESLA: Go watch it, please. That’s all I got.
Sometimes, few words are more words. Killing Blues is in theaters on May 24 and it’s arthouse which means less screens so you better book your seat now! The movie’s studio, Catalyst Studios, was kind enough to share, exclusively, with us the awesome poster for the flick…
Tags: Catalyst Studios, Dominic Cooper, Jennifer Decker, Killing Blues, Mark Ruffalo, Tesla, Vincent Cassel