Opening in theaters on March 22nd is the new mystery thriller ‘Sleeping Dogs’ which was co-written and directed by Adam Cooper (‘Assassin’s Creed’) and stars Russell Crowe (‘Gladiator’) and Karen Gillan (‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’).

Related Article: Actress Karen Gillan Talks ‘Dual’

Karen Gillan as “Laura Baines” in the Action/Crime/Thriller film 'Sleeping Dogs,' a The Avenue release.

Karen Gillan as “Laura Baines” in the Action/Crime/Thriller film 'Sleeping Dogs,' a The Avenue release. Photo courtesy of The Avenue.

Moviefone recently had the pleasure of speaking with Karen Gillan about her work on ‘Sleeping Dogs,’ her first reaction to the screenplay, her approach to her character, her involvement in the film’s mystery, working with Russell Crowe, what she learned from watching him work, and collaborating with director Brad Cooper on set.

You can read our full interview below or click on the video player above to watch our interviews with Gillan and director Brad Cooper.

Karen Gillan as “Laura Baines” in the Action/Crime/Thriller film 'Sleeping Dogs,' a The Avenue release.

Karen Gillan as “Laura Baines” in the Action/Crime/Thriller film 'Sleeping Dogs,' a The Avenue release. Photo courtesy of The Avenue.

Moviefone: To begin with, can you talk about your first reaction to the screenplay and the aspects of your character that you were excited to explore on screen?

Karen Gillan: When I first read the script, I was like, "Oh, this is a really fun, twisty thriller, a sort of who done it, and I definitely didn't see the ending coming." So that one caught me off guard, which was quite exciting. Then in terms of the character, I found her interesting because she's this psychology student, she's studying under the man who was murdered in the movie that everyone's trying to solve. She's sort of a woman who wears many masks in her life for various reasons. So that was one of the more attractive things about the role for me was getting to kind of play all these different versions of her and figure out why she is that way and why she takes on these different personalities.

MF: Laura is first seen through the perspective of other characters. Can you talk about your approach to playing her and did it seem at times like you were playing different versions of the character?

KG: Yeah, it's interesting because first, she's a person who wears many masks and assumes different personalities depending on who she's interacting with and what she wants out of the situation. But on top of that, this movie is told from various perspectives of different characters. So, you're sort of introduced to her through the eyes of her ex-boyfriend. Any ex is going to have a very specific view of a person. So, that was interesting to play with, like what was she like through his eyes and then what was she really like? Also, on top of that, she's sort of shape-shifting a little bit.

Russell Crowe as “Roy Freeman” in the Action/Crime/Thriller film 'Sleeping Dogs,' a The Avenue release.

Russell Crowe as “Roy Freeman” in the Action/Crime/Thriller film 'Sleeping Dogs,' a The Avenue release. Photo courtesy of The Avenue.

MF: Without giving anything away, can you talk about how Laura is involved in the mystery?

KG: So, she is the student of the man who has been murdered. She is connected to it because she'd been working with him on this big piece. All her research had gone into it, but she wasn't getting any credit for it. Her professor was taking all the credit and so therefore she wasn't very happy about that. I won't say anymore, but that's how she's connected.

MF: What was it like working with Russell Crowe and watching the way he approaches making movies?

KG: Oh, it was so cool working with Russell Crowe. He's like a legendary movie star. I grew up watching him. The first time I had a proper scene with him, I watched him sort of act for the first time in person and I was like, "Oh, that's why you're a movie star." He has that thing that's hard to articulate, the quality that makes a person a movie star. He has that, a lot of it.

Russell Crowe as “Roy Freeman” in the Action/Crime/Thriller film 'Sleeping Dogs,' a The Avenue release.

Russell Crowe as “Roy Freeman” in the Action/Crime/Thriller film 'Sleeping Dogs,' a The Avenue release. Photo courtesy of The Avenue.

MF: What did you learn from watching him work and the way he interacts with the cast and crew?

KG: I feel like I learned a great deal. I mean, I was totally watching him from within the scenes. It was great. When I was watching him in the scenes, it was like, "Oh, you are very good at this." He's very aware of the camera and very sort of technically savvy. Then he adjusts his performance around that. So that was interesting. He just seems like he really understands movie making, all of it, not just the acting part. He really has a grasp of all of it, which was kind of interesting to see.

MF: What was it like collaborating with director Adam Cooper on set?

KG: It was great. Adam's the best. He's such a lovely guy, which creates a safe feeling atmosphere so that you can offer things up and try things, fall flat on your face and fail, and not be dying of humiliation. He's collaborative. He also wrote it, so that was handy. If we had any ideas, he was able to take our ideas. I feel like as actors, we have a lot of ideas for adjustments and then it takes a writer to come in and be like, "Oh, here's how you make that better." That's exactly what he was like. So, he would listen to our ideas and then we would get to put it through the Adam machine of making it a better line.

Director Adam Cooper and Karen Gillan behind the scenes of the Action/Crime/Thriller film 'Sleeping Dogs,' a The Avenue release.

(L to R) Director Adam Cooper and Karen Gillan behind the scenes of the Action/Crime/Thriller film 'Sleeping Dogs,' a The Avenue release. Photo courtesy of The Avenue.

MF: Finally, the movie is a throwback to classic noir movies, is that a genre you enjoy?

KG: It's such a vibe. Noir, thriller, who done it. All that stuff is always fun to watch. I really like films like that. My favorite film is probably ‘The Silence at the Lambs,’ so it's that sort of serial killer thing, and all the psychology that goes along with it. I saw some parallels between that and this in terms of vibe and themes.

Sleeping Dogs

"Some lies never die."
66
R1 hr 52 minMar 21st, 2024
Showtimes & Tickets

What is the Plot of ‘Sleeping Dogs’?

Retired homicide detective Roy Freeman (Russel Crowe), while undergoing treatment for Alzheimer's disease, is forced to re-open an old case involving the murder of a college professor (Marton Csokas) when new information comes from a mysterious woman (Karen Gillan).

Who is in the Cast of ‘Sleeping Dogs’?

Russell Crowe as “Roy Freeman” in the Action/Crime/Thriller film 'Sleeping Dogs,' a The Avenue release.

Russell Crowe as “Roy Freeman” in the Action/Crime/Thriller film 'Sleeping Dogs,' a The Avenue release. Photo courtesy of The Avenue.

Other Movies Similar to ‘Sleeping Dogs':

Buy Russell Crowe Movies On Amazon