Interview with ‘Hitman: Agent 47’ Stars Rupert Friend, Zachary Quinto and Director Aleksander Bach

Posted by Interview by Justine Browning. Posted on August 21th, 2015

The bestselling video game comes to life in vivid detail in HITMAN: AGENT 47.  The action thriller stars Rupert Friend (“Homeland”) as the title character, a genetically engineered assassin. When a deadly corporation plans to create an army of killers even more powerful than he is, 47 teams up with a young woman (Hannah Ware) who may hold the key to defeating them.

At a recent NY press day for the film, Friend, Ware, Zachary Quinto and the film’s director Alexander Bach, spoke about preparing for their roles and the intense training they went through. (Only posting Rupert’s questions here)

Q: Did you play the video game that the film is based on?
Friend: I found the games very useful, particularly the later Absolution game. The game-makers have clearly used an actor for the character because there was a motion-capture thing I could feel. The way that the character moved was very interesting to me. There was something very graceful about him. This is a guy who takes such pride in his clothes – the iconic suit and tie. And yet, he’s able to fight very efficiently in a very inefficient kind of uniform. That deadly grace, if you like, was at the center of something very physical for me.

Q: What was the fight training process like?
Friend: When I got the role, I began training with Zachary in a boxing gym with a great guy and then the Krav Maga Academy here in New York, so I was doing this very brutal, efficient, Israeli self-defense technique and trying to marry that with something a lot more balletic.


Q: Rupert how did you prepare to take on such a dark character?
Rupert: Yeah, I went on a killing spree. [Laughs] I get this question a lot – what is it about you and people who kill people for money because I seem to do it a fair bit? The answer is I don’t know. I think the world we’re lucky enough to work in is a world of wonderful make believe, and when you’re really given an opportunity to stretch your imagination, as we were with this movie, it tests what I think is the most limitless muscle we have as creative people, which is: Can you imagine it? And if the answer to that is yes, then can you do it? And that’s our challenge. All of us actors do that on a daily basis. Special effects people do it, and photographers do it. And it’s the single most fascinating element of the job for me. You can’t really literally prepare to play an assassin unless you want to be thrown in prison. There’s a few things you can’t prepare for in that way other than in your mind, and in that respect, it’s a leap of imagination.

Q: Rupert, what about finding the humanity in your character?
Friend: I was particularly interested by the notion that this guy, who’s been genetically engineered to be “perfect” and that the flaw in that perfection might be his humanity and that his makers might consider that to be a real rogue bit of programming. And yet, if you look at it from the paradigm shift from the other side, that could also be his greatest strength. The idea that this guy who’s not supposed to have feelings or vulnerabilities, hopes, dreams, any human relations might indeed have them, and they would be considered flaws by some and actually be his greatest strength. That was interesting to me because it opens up real wonderful questions about what humanity is.


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