O'Shea Jackson, Jr. & Pablo Schreiber Interview: Den of Thieves

We interview Den of Thieves stars O'Shea Jackson, Jr. and Pablo Schreiber about preparing for their roles in the new crime drama.

Pablo Schreiber is most known for his dramatic work on screen and stage. He’s most known for his portrayal of Nick Sobotka on The Wire, George “Pornstache” Mendez on Orange is the New Black, and - most recently - Mad Sweeney in American Gods. O’Shea Jackson Jr. is still a relative unknown to the acting scene, but he made his feature film debut in a big way. He played his father, rapper Ice Cube, in the biopic Straight Outta Compton. O’Shea went to go play Aubrey Plaza’s love interest in Ingrid Goes West, receiving much in positive criticism for his role. Both actors will appear together in the upcoming action film, Den of Thieves, which was released on January 19, 2018.

Screen Rant got a chance to talk with Pablo Schreiber and O’Shea Jackson Jr. on press day, where we discussed what kind of training was done to prepare them for the role, whether or not there was a rivalry between actors on set, and what we can expect to see from Mad Sweeney in Season 2 of American Gods.

SR: First of all, I really enjoyed this film. It's a it's a gritty heist movie. I mean it reminds me a lot of Heat, just a lot more gritty. And it has locations, I guess it was shot in Atlanta but you guys did a really great job of recreating LA cuz those are places that I grew up in. I heard that you guys had like a training camp with each other, like it was the officers and the criminals, is that true?

Pablo Schreiber: Yeah they tried to keep a separate

O’Shea Jackson Jr.:Yeah

Pablo Schreiber: They tried to, you know they want to build some rivalry, little bit of tension. So they had us train in a very efficient military setting, you know, where we were learning to do some team stuff that looked really good on film as you saw the end product. And then we, you know, we made sure that the cops were over there doing some sloppy stuff by themselves not really learning how to do anything.

And we would just look over at Gerard out the side side of our eyes, you know,  just pretty confident that what we were doing was better what they were doing.

O’Shea Jackson Jr.: We wanted to keep the real aspect of Varsity don't practice with the

Pablo Schreiber: J.V. can’t come on this field you know. Your the B-team, stay over there.

SR: And I love that you got the ring to prove that too, by the way.

Pablo Schreiber: Rose Bowl!

SR: Right. So was there an actual rivalry between the two of you guys between your guys’ squads.

Pablo Schreiber: I wouldn't call it a rivalry.

O’Shea Jackson Jr.: Rivalry means that both sides have an equal chance of winning.

Pablo Schreiber: No. I’d call it more of like a easy victory.

O’Shea Jackson Jr.: Quarrel?

Pablo Schreiber: A quarrel! A lover’s spat?

O’Shea Jackson Jr.: Yeah, exactly.

SR: Talk to me about the hardest part of the training because there's a huge gunfight at the end and it is incredible. Talk to me about some of the training that went into that.

O’Shea Jackson Jr.: I would say the hardest part about the training was that it happens at eight am Atlanta time and I'm a L.A. dude, so it's five AM for me.

Pablo Schreiber: Alarm clocks don’t do well with Shea.

O’Shea Jackson Jr.: You know how you said that cool gun fight right I'm not in that scene so Shea's just watching them roll around in cars in some grass, so that was the hardest part for me was not doing the cool part.

SR: Right right.

Pablo Schreiber: Getting Shea to not distract us with all the whining was really the biggest challenge.

O’Shea Jackson Jr.: Aye yo, I’m gonna dip. I’m out.

Pablo Schreiber: But yeah, training was integral to it obviously. This crew here that includes 50 Cent had to appear like they were highly highly trained special forces operators that had brought this unique skill set into a life of crime. So everything we did had to appear like it was team movement, efficient and so the amount of the amount of drilling that you have to do to make sure that all of that stuff feels second nature from the mag changes down to the team movement it took a long time and it took some early rising, but we got it done.

SR: You guys are starting off the New Year Right with this film cuz it’s a lot of fun, but I got to ask what's in store for Matt Sweeney and American Gods.

O’Shea Jackson Jr.: OH OH OH!

Pablo Schreiber: I have no idea. I wish I could tell you more. I do know that you know we'll start to shoot eventually at some point this year, probably April or May.

SR: So you guys haven’t even started shooting yet?

Pablo Schreiber: Haven’t started shooting.

SR: Oh okay.

Pablo Schreiber: So therefore I don't even know where the characters going. I do know that you know due to popular demand he was a highly successful character in the course of the first season so that he'll definitely be a big part of the second season for sure. I think the relationship between him and Laura Moon is going to get some more examination for sure.

MORE: Gerard Butler & 50 Cent Interview for Den of Thieves

Key Release Dates
  • Den of Thieves (2018) release date: Jan 19, 2018
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