Watch: Brie Larson, Robin Wright-Penn and Anne Heche discuss ‘Rampart’

I’ll have a review of “Rampart” for you this week, but in addition, we’ve got a few interviews to support the film that I want to share as well.

I like that the movie surprised me.  I thought I had it figured out walking in, and on some level, it is what you think you’d get from a movie about police corruption from the writer/director of “The Messenger” and in collaboration with author James Ellroy.  But thanks to a crafty lead performance by Woody Harrelson and a focus that includes a good deal about the women in the life of Officer David Brown (Harrelson), the film is richer than I expected.

Normally, I wouldn’t want to just lump all the women from a film together in one interview, but in this case, it felt thematically appropriate since so much of the film deals with how Brown deals with these very strong women and how they put up with him and influence him.  Robin Wright Penn, Anne Heche, and Brie Larson made for a nice intimidating line-up on the morning we sat down to discuss their work, and we ended up having a series of very warm and interesting chats.

The film seems to have developed quite a bit from first conception to final cut, and I think even the cast is surprised by the final shape of it.  I think this was a case of Moverman seeing how his cast asserted a different gravity than he expected and rolling with it, allowing them to help shape the material.

I was surprised that Wright-Penn had heard nothing about the recent LACMA live reading of “The Princess Bride,” especially since so many of the original cast members were involved.  I was also surprised to see Anne Heche in such a good mood, as she hasn’t always been the easiest person to interview.  It was good to catch up with Brie Larson, who I think is going to have a very strong year thanks in no small part to her work in “21 Jump Street,” where she’s the female lead and enormously appealing.

“Rampart” opens this Friday in limited release.