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Tom Jackson Interview: Cold Pursuit

 

Canadian First Nation actor Tom Jackson stars alongside Liam Neeson in Cold Pursuit, a subversive and entertaining crime drama about spirals of revenge and the relationships between fathers and their sons. Directed by Hans Petter Moland, Cold Pursuit takes great pleasure in upending audience expectations regarding the tried-and-true trappings of a Liam Neeson action film.

Set in the frigid outlands of the Rocky Mountains region of the United States, Cold Pursuit isn't shy about wearing its Fargo influence on its sleeve, but also goes to great lengths to add layers of surreal humor and somber characterization to its quirky black comedy formula.

Related: Cold Pursuit Trailer

While promoting the release of Cold Pursuit, Tom Jackson spoke to us about being drawn to the script (written by Frank Baldwin) and shares his own feelings on the film's central theme, that meeting violence with more reactionary violence is a road to ruin for those on all sides.

Tom Jackson and Gang in Cold Pursuit

In some ways, your very presence in this movie is a spoiler, but it's so winding, the path that it takes before you are introduced to the story. That script, I feel, is just something that should be treasured. Is that what drew you to the project?

Yes, but it wasn't my interpretation of the script; it was my wife's interpretation of the script. It was my wife's reaction to the script. Her name is Alison, and when you meet her, and you will someday, you'll be so happy that you met her. But, when she read the script, she belly-laughed. And it's not that I don't hear Alison belly-laugh, but when I do, it's one of the experiences of life that one will take away forever. Unlike a lot of other things, this project is one of those moments that you'll have stuff that you'll take away forever, and you'll experience stuff for the first time, and you'll go, "Was I actually supposed to laugh at that?" But be brave, and allow yourself to do that! Be "brave," get it? If you allow yourself to do that, then you'll realize that there are other things in life that you may not understand until you see them right there in front of you.

This is a remake of the foreign original. I feel like one of the biggest differences is the change in your character from the Serbian/Albanian gang to Native Americans. I imagine that other people were able to look at their analogues from the other version of the film; did you have or not have that luxury?

I did not go looking. I wanted to feel like this was instinctive, that I didn't want to know the end, I didn't want to know how it was going. To some degree, I didn't read whole parts of the script. I got to see the whole story, in real time, as you did when you watched the film for the first time. And I'm glad that I did, because, in the film, there are three films. There are three stories. Other than the secret that you (the viewer) get to know, I don't actually know that, as a character. And it was great to just be in my world, to be in the world with my "bros." And I knew most of them. It was great, because over the years, I've worked with a lot of different people. It was great to hang out and watch them do their craft and enjoy their humor and how they lifted the dialogue, just simple print, off the page and brought it to life.

You were talking about the three stories, and they're all stories about fathers and their sons. How do you feel like that permeates the whole movie, each father having a different dynamic with their son? How do you feel that yours is similar or different to the stories of Liam Neeson's character, or Tom's character? The other Tom.

I won't compare the three stories in that fashion, but the overall tone of this film within the context of the arc that I have to follow is based in sorrow and in loss. I, just in general, can't imagine what that would be like, but I do know this: I do know that we have to figure out how to prevent those kinds of things versus then reacting to those kinds of things. We don't have to react. We know that we'll get healthy and we don't need drugs to do so.

More: J.K. Simmons Interview for The Front Runner

Key Release Dates
  • Cold Pursuit (2019) release date: Feb 08, 2019
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