BRADDOCK, PA — Cold, gritty, noisy and slightly scary even in broad daylight, Braddock, PA doesn’t seem like the typical location for an all-star Hollywood film, but that’s the bleak atmosphere that actor-turned-director Scott Cooper was hoping to harness for the upcoming “Out of the Furnace.”
Go to page 2 to read more about the film’s cast, Cooper’s influences and the way “Out of the Furnace” was shot.
Cooper also praised the rest of the film’s ace cast, noting Harrelson’s intensity and saying of Saldana, “She had a look that I thought was very appropriate for the part. She’s a very soulful young woman and very, very bright. She understood this part well.” Saldana’s role wasn’t revealed to us on the set, but she allegedly plays a troubled love interest for Bale.
Besides the obvious addition of the crew and the expensive equipment, the set and Braddock were essentially one in the same. The mostly local crew added to the sense of place, making the set feel more like a small indie shoot than a big-name studio film aiming for Oscar glory.
Cooper seems to have a yen for the old school, emulating such “New Hollywood” masters as Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Terrence Malick, and Cooper’s mentor, Robert Duvall. “I’ve stolen from all of them,” Cooper joked.
Dafoe agrees that the film is “a throwback. We don’t make these kind of films anymore,” adding that “Furnace” is “a very American story dealing with the underbelly of the America dream.”
Cooper continued, saying he was searching for an emotional truth with the film, and found the blue collar aspects of the film’s setting a perfect fit for its themes of loyalty, family, honor and the repeating cycle of violence.
As for the film’s somewhat cryptic title, Cooper mysteriously maintained that it “certainly suits the narrative in many ways.”
“I like titles that reveal themselves throughout the course of a narrative,” he added, name-checking such well-monikered movies as “There Will Be Blood, “Days of Heaven,” “Being John Malkovich,” and “No Country For Old Men.”
Like many of those films, “Furnace” seems to be a major awards contender.
Watch the film’s new trailer here: