The Stars of ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ Tell Us All About Their New Film
Olympus Has Fallen, the new thriller from director Antoine Fuqua, arrives in theatres today, but before you indulge in two hours of non-stop, all-American action, check out what the stars of the movie had to say about politics, fight scenes and destroying the most important building in our country.
Anyone who keeps up with current events knows that tensions with North Korea are running high, so having a North Korean villain in the film could have been kind of politically sticky, but director Fuqua maintained “our intention was to entertain,” but did say it was “good to have substance and relevance.”
While it’s true that politics play a huge part in the film, what takes center stage are the action sequences, and with stars like Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart and Rick Yune, the fights are on an epic scale. “I was constantly practicing my moves,” Butler said. His efforts paid off as his scenes were mesmerizing. Yune laughed, though, when he reminded everyone “this guy is from Glasgow,” assuring us that he knew how to handle himself in a fight. Amused, Butler could only shake his head when Yune went on, “what was choreographed is not what we did.”
Still, even Yune had to admit that the fights are only for show, and the story is what mattered to the actors. “The punches and the tricks and explosions, they don’t really matter that much,” he said. “It’s all about the intention placed behind it.”
And the intention in this film is to save the President, played by Eckhart, after the White House is invaded by North Korean extremists, a scenario that is supposed to be utterly impossible. Yet the movie makes it seem entirely possible. One of the biggest questions has to be whether that will make the Secret Service nervous. Fuqua seemed nonplussed when asked this. “It’s a good conversation starter,” he admitted, but was confident in the Service’s ability to prevent such a scenario. “These guys are the best of the best,” he said. “They sit around and talk about these things…this will just be another scenario that they can look at to make sure it doesn’t happen.”
Still, attention to detail is what makes the idea so believable. “We worked with people who worked in the White House,” Fuqua said, so the plot points about hidden passages and secret ways out of the building, while perhaps not exactly true to life as those secrets can hardly be revealed to the world, still hold a ring of truth.
Perhaps that is what will set this film apart from other action films. We all lived through 9/11, and as Fuqua said, we’re all still looking for a little payback. This movie is definitely chock full of patriotism, and will no doubt do well in America, as proven when Butler and company held a screening for the Marines at Camp Pendleton. The men and women who protect our country from the world’s real threats approve of the film; that has to make it worth a look.
And if that’s not enough for you, there’s always Morgan Freeman. As Dylan McDermott joked, “the real reason I took this job was to play golf with Morgan Freeman,” and you can’t argue with that.
Olympus Has Fallen opens nationwide on Friday, March 22nd.