Billy Burke seems relieved that “Twilight” is almost over.
He also seems duly grateful for the attention the franchise has placed on him, but like any actor who is part of a gigantically successful film series, it’s a double-edged sword. Actors, by their very nature, like the challenge of slipping into different roles and playing different types of people is hard-wired into them. When the public becomes used to an actor in just one role, it can be stifling, no matter how passionate and enjoyable the fanbase is.
By the time I sat down with Burke, he was already well into his day of interviews, and he was starting to get a little silly about the entire process. He was fooling around with his hair, making jokes about getting his toupee straight, and just blowing off steam. But I sense that he’s really pleased with his role in “Drive Angry” because of how different it is from the role he’s best known for, and because he got to play with co-stars like Nicolas Cage and William Fichtner this time out.
I think the addition of Bill Condon to the “Twilight” series is surprising, and it could be exactly what that series needs if it wants to end on a high note. Condon’s got a great sense for tone in his films, and that’s where I feel like those movies have their biggest problems. Towards the end of this interview, we talk about Condon, and we talk about Burke’s feelings as they reach the home stretch.
Mainly, though, we just laugh about how incredibly goddamn rotten he is as a character in this film.
I look forward to seeing what sort of career Burke builds for himself after he wraps up his work playing the father to the world’s mopiest lead character, and I suspect he’s a character actor we’ll see a lot more of in the years ahead.
“Drive Angry 3D” opens everywhere tomorrow.
You can read my review of the film here.