In this job you will encounter many, many people who are proud of the movie they are promoting. Oh, some certainly aren’t and it’s usually painfully obvious by the “I’d rather be anywhere else but here” look on that person’s face. But, admittedly, this is the first time I was challenged to a bet on the results of the box office – specifically Boyd Holbrook wanted to bet on the results of Logan versus the results of Deadpool. [Soon after I was asked to make this bet, Boyd Holbrook’s publicist stopped him because she felt he was jinxing the movie. I was about to accept this bet. I have no doubt Logan will do well, but, boy, Deadpool sure made a lot of money.]
At this point in his career, Holbrook is probably best known for playing Steve Murphy on Narcos. And he admits he’s never been on a movie where he’s got the chance to do this much press before. (I know he’s telling the truth because he actually seems to be enjoying it, which leads to what are, at least in my opinion, some pretty fun answers.)
In Logan, Holbrook plays Donald Pierce, a mercenary on the hunt for the X-23, a young girl named Laura who escaped under Pierce’s watch, now he needs her back. Unfortunately for Pierce, Laura (Dafne Keen) is now traveling with Logan (aka Wolverine, played again by Hugh Jackman) and Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) – who are trying to get her to a special sanctuary in North Dakota.
When Pierce and Logan first meet, Pierce tells Logan he’s “a big fan.” It’s a good line. And it turns out Holbrook ad-libbed the line on set – but, as Holbrook explains, some of his improvisations on a movie set have not always been appreciated by the director. (This answer led to Holbrook’s publicist running into the room, which is always a sign something at least interesting is being said.)
Also: let it be known, Holbrook is not a fan of McDonald’s.
You’re taking bets?
I’m taking bets. I’m hoping this thing is going to beat Deadpool. I want it to.
That’s an interesting bet.
It is an interesting bet.
Deadpool was a new thing, but everyone knows Hugh Jackman and Wolverine…
I mean, we’ll see what happens. It’s all the tipping point, the whole theories and sort of make-believe algorithms and stuff like that. But that would be fucking awesome if it really came out. I think there’s a built-in fan base, and I think people are going to get their thirst quenched.
Do you watch a lot of superhero movies?
So can you even tell when you get the script that this one is a bit different?
Well, there was a disclaimer in the script on about page four or five that either Scott Frank or James Mangold wrote, which is, listen, if a building falls on you, you fucking die. This is what happens in this movie. There is no one crashing into buildings and shit like that. So there was a precursor to sort of root this into real life – and I think they try to stay away from that as much as possible.
For a movie like this, is it better for you to not be a superhero movie fan?
Well, I was totally a little spooked in the sense that I didn’t know if you had to act different in these films. I just did the audition, and whatever I did in the audition, I just inflated it and kept going with it through the encouragement of James Mangold and Hugh.
Working with James Mangold…
Oh, he’s fucking great, man.
But that has to be comforting, you’re doing your first superhero movie and you’ve got the director of Cop Land giving you instructions.
I mean, his direction is pretty spot-on because he’s just a really smart guy. He’s like David Fincher. James Mangold is incredibly talented and smart and knows about diphthongs and triphthongs, which are sort of double-sounding vowels or triple-sounding vowels. Like, he knows everything.
Do you forget you’re on a superhero movie? There are no superhero costumes in this movie.
I think they kind of took something that’s already working, and they basically took that and flipped it on its head and said, “Here, take that.” Because I think people are a little tired of it, you know?
James Mangold called it the “arms race.” More and more superheroes.
But no one gives a fuck. It’s kind of like McDonald’s. It’s like, okay, I definitely had that, that was really good, but I’m never going to eat that shit again.
People eat McDonald’s again.
I don’t. I don’t know, maybe I’m being a little too harsh.
They seem to be doing okay.
I don’t know, I don’t think McDonald’s is doing that great.
That’s a scoop. I didn’t know that. I thought they were doing just fine.
Yeah, totally. They’re fucked. I don’t know, man. I mean, listen, I’m not hating on anything…
Well, McDonald’s a little bit.
I am hating on McDonald’s. That’s no problem. You can quote me on that. But my point is that I think this is going to be refreshing to a lot of people in the sense that you can take this dynamic and you can make it relatable – because there’s nothing really relatable about fighting a villain in a far-off galaxy that you know nothing about. I mean, I don’t know. I’m sort of new to the game, in a sense. I’ve done some indies…
You’ve done some big movies. Gone Girl is a big movie.
Gone Girl is a big movie. However, it was a smaller part. You know, I didn’t do press like this for Gone Girl.
You did a lot of Narcos press, though, right?
Yeah. So it’s just fun to be a part of it, I guess, is what I’m trying to get after…
You feel like part of the team.
Yeah. I mean, because, dude, really, I just want to make good work. I want to be a part of something that people like, because you spend six months of your life dedicated to this working 16 hours a day and not seeing your family. So, yes, I do want it to be successful. And if it’s not, then on to the next one.
The superhero villain being underwritten has been a problem of late.
Yeah, just have a English accent and you’ll be fine. I mean, that was written for me, thank God. You know, there are certain things that I hopefully inflated and took and elevated it a little bit.
When Pierce first meets Logan in the back of a limo, your line is, “I’m a big fan.” That’s an interesting dynamic, because he doesn’t care about Logan, just X-23.
I think it was an improv moment there. The “big fan,” that was improv-ed, yeah.
That’s a good line.
I was really proud of that. Because I think it needed that insight a little bit. Because if you look at it, he’s designed X-23 exactly like Wolverine. And so there’s something that Pierce is in awe of. However, what’s more of value is her. So you see the dynamic in the relationships and sort of power.
Have you ever gotten in trouble for ad-libbing? Some directors don’t like that.
I’ve embarrassed myself for ad-libbing.
What did you do?
Sometimes you say stupid shit. I mean, I think I said something… I was playing like a… Yeah, I’ve embarrassed myself, for sure.
What’s the one you’re thinking of but stopped yourself?
I made sort of a, I guess you could say a racist comment in character, which was inappropriate. [Holbrook’s publicist suddenly appears in the room.]
I like how your publicist is like, “I’m going to pay attention to this part.”
They were Romanian and he had this really strong Asian-European accent, and our characters didn’t like each other. And he was like, “Oh, nice place.” And I was like, “Yeah, I think your mother came over here and cleaned it.”
Okay, that’s not too bad.
The director’s face was like [Holbrook makes a “mad” face]. We’re in a scene. It’s just a joke!
What movie was this?
Run All Night.
I don’t remember that in the movie.
Yeah, exactly. For a reason.
Then you still had the guts to try another one in Logan.
Yeah, well, I mean, you have to. That’s what I get paid for, my job is to give you 20 ideas. If none of them work, great. If one of them works, even better. It’s like you’ve just got to keep going, man. And if you ever get hung up on being conscious of yourself, then that’s just a recipe for disaster. Because you just have to keep moving and don’t worry about, oh my god, did your feelings get hurt? Like, who cares? What a blessed job you have. Let’s do something else.
I mean, they’re not going to fire you. Well, I guess it’s possible.
Anything’s possible, man. I haven’t been fired yet, which is great.
That’s a great mantra, “I haven’t been fired yet, which is great.”
I haven’t been fired yet.
You liked Deadpool?
I loved Deadpool, yeah. I loved Ryan Reynolds.
So this bet about the Logan box office versus Deadpool, who’s this bet with?
Anybody I talk to.
So you have multiple bets going on.
Yeah. I just appreciate all of the risks! You know, Hugh took a pay cut, James wrote this script. They were like, “No, it’s called Logan, it’s not Wolverine 3, Hashtag Logan, you know, whatever.
Hashtag Logan is a terrible title. I don’t think people would like that.
People really said, “No, I’m not moving on this. Because what’s going to happen? It’s going to be called Logan, it’s going to be rated R. This is what’s going to happen or we’re not doing it.” And that’s a fucking lot of cojones. Well, you want to make a $5 bet?
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