Angel Has Fallen finally introduces fans of the Fallen series to Mike’s (Gerard Butler) family. His wife Leah, played by Piper Perabo, is a supportive but strong-willed woman who knows what’s best for her husband and doesn’t hold back on his behalf. Given the extreme circumstances of the film, she has her work cut out for her, and Perabo spoke with Screen Rant about the roller coaster of emotions Leah deals with onscreen.
First of all, congratulations on the film.
Piper Perabo: Thank you.
You've mentioned that the director’s film, That Which I Love Destroys Me, was a big motivation for you taking this role. Can you talk to me a little bit more about that and why you wanted this role?
Piper Perabo: I think I like action movies where you can see the toll that it takes on the fighter, whether it's a first responder or in the military or in any kind of service. And I thought that Rick's understanding of what real service members go through would bring a lot of empathy and heart into the larger franchise of Angel Has Fallen.
Now, you and Gerard have great chemistry on screen together. Can you talk to me about Mike and his wife's relationship in the film?
Piper Perabo: What I think is so cool about Mike and his relationship in the film is they're equals. She understands that there's much of his job that he has to keep secret, and he can't share everything, but she's not afraid to press him when it seems like it's not good for him. I think that's really healthy in a marriage. And I like that, even though he's this kind of intimidating badass, she's not afraid of him.
In previous films, we haven't seen much of Banning’s personal life. And in this film, Leah and Mike have a beautiful relationship. But what is revealed about Mike in this film that she's able to bring out of him?
Piper Perabo: I think the toll of all this work is something that's really weighing on Mike. And it's something that, when your partner loves their job, you have to be so respectful of that because I think it gives someone so much joy if they love their job. But if it's not good for them, how do you gently start that conversation? Right?
And I think also the fact that we meet Mike's dad in this movie, the trauma that he's been through also helps open another door of that conversation for Mike. It's someone that, because his dad also served, it's a place where he can talk about that with someone who understands from experience.
How does how does your character feel about Mike's dad coming back into his life? Because she's very protective over Mike, and some of the issues that he may have.
Piper Perabo: Yeah, I don't think the Leah trusts Mike's dad, you know? He’s abandoned Mike before and let him down, and Mike has so much going on. She wants to make sure that this isn't just a kind of flash in the pan. But what's so cool is, because they have a kid, I think that Leah holds out some hope that maybe his dad could be part of their life because you want your kid to know their grandparents if there's a chance at that.
And we get to see a softer side of Nick Nolte, which I kind of like too.
Piper Perabo: I know, he’s so cute. And he’s so funny. I hadn't seen the scenes on the side of the hill until I saw the screening of the movie, and I was kind of surprised at how like silly Nick played it. I loved it.
I did, too. What was the most emotionally draining scene for you?
Piper Perabo: Actually, it's the scene where Gerry calls me after he's been arrested. I come home and our house has been ransacked, and there's like police and press outside. And we've been getting death threats. But a collect call comes in, and it's [from] Mike. I had said to Gerry, like, “This is almost an impossible phone call to take.” And Gerry stayed, and we did the scene live. I mean, he’s standing off camera to do it with me. But it was it was the most difficult one.
Interesting. If Morgan Freeman was actually the president, how would this world be different?
Piper Perabo: It would be so great. It would be so great. I had asked Morgan about this yesterday, but he keeps bees. He has beehives at home.
I did not know this.
Piper Perabo: Yeah, he really is worried about the honeybees. And I feel like if Morgan Freeman was the president, environmentally, we'd be in a much better place.
- Angel Has Fallen (2019) release date: Aug 23, 2019