The overarching journey Bogotá-assigned DEA Steve Murphy (Boyd Holbrook) takes into one of federal law enforcement’s most remote corners when the 10-episode Narcos is made in two hours in Sicario.
The film opens on Emily Blunt as agent Kate Macer, member of the FBI’s kidnap-response team, investigating a drug-cartel house in Arizona, about 250 kms from the Mexican border. I never thought that I would direct movies in Hollywood, honestly. Later he transforms a standard night vision raid from videogame action to a wonder of texture and tension. After that is a planned sequel to what many consider a sci-fi classic: “Blade Runner“. Sometimes it feels like the music booming from a vehicle down the street, not clearly audible but throbbing in a way that you feel it in your body. It has a texture.
Roger Deakins: Ah, I can’t remember. And then it’s a very slow process. I’m so technically obsessive – I think maybe he likes that.
Screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, who had no writing credits to his name before Sicario, was pressured by potential backers to change Kate’s gender, but he held firm. We bring photographs by photographers we love, and talk about how to approach framing and colours. There are so many unpredictable elements. “I took six months off after Sicario“.
But still, your batting average with projects is so high. I was making it for one person. It’s that kind of connection with the material. I’m just reading it as a story.
“It’s the idea of realism being met head-on by idealism”, she says. This seemed right up to date. Note that you need to be following us, or we can’t get in touch. “I felt really sad about renouncing my queen”.
This photo provided by Lionsgate shows, Emily Blunt, as Kate Macer, … “You’re only as good as the movie”.
By the film’s end, Kate’s agency has eroded nearly entirely. It sags even more when the focus is too much on Kate, a depressed cipher who is there primarily to look baffled and get into harm’s way. You try to keep it within those lines. Again, going back to Jean-Pierre Melville. What frightens them? What’s it like working with all the guys?
Blunt’s Kate is the compass we navigate by, tough and self-assured, but also going deeper down the rabbit hole than she’s ever been. He’s someone who knows a lot about the military, about the politics around the border. There are powerful echoes of his magnificent border-state work in No Country for Old Men as well. It’s neat to see you taking on a new consistency of collaboration with a filmmaker. Because we start doing storyboards and talking about it in a couple of weeks’ time.
One of Felicity’s earliest memories is picking up “huge pieces of deep-fried cod and all sorts of odd-shaped chips” after seeing a movie with Emily and their Nanna. Doubly so when you consider that the three main characters exist in so many wonderful shades of grey. Some directors are very visual. I’m an actor, it’s what I do. Well, okay. So it very much depends. What went in to filming it?
Right. And obviously this was a different thing. For Villeneuve, it pays off with Sicario. There’s nothing clever or fancy. It’s very matter of fact. I’m trying to explore these questions through several movies. Nothing is tossed off. Within minutes, maybe seconds, the world of this film envelops you, and there’s no escaping it.
What was the original scene like: more confrontational?
Yeah, Benicio is at certain points, particularly the end scene in the kitchen. Fausto betrays his wife and says, “Oh, kill her”. Why would he let them go?
Yeah, it’s really brutal.
I don’t think he had infrared, did he?
Yeah, that’s you’re thing, I know. I wanted [“Sicario”] to be raising questions. “July- August in New Mexico was not the freshest climate”. The only problem I had was the lack of explanation as to how such a dedicated, smart, capable and – yes, attractive – woman decides to throw herself into a profession that seemingly makes her miserable.