Jesse Plemons’ Scene-Stealing Performance In ‘Civil War’ Came Together At The Last Second

Starting with the very first Civil War trailer, Jesse Plemons delivered one of the most chilling lines that set the tone of the film. “What kind of American are you?” Plemons’ soldier character asks Kirsten Dunst, Cailee Spaeny and Wagner Moura’s journalists as they seemingly hit some sort of checkpoint on their travels. The tense moment set the stage for Civil War as a divisive question in the current political zeitgeist now had deadly consequences.

Without spoiling the events of the film, the scene with Plemons character ratchets up that tension as it escalates into an even more terrifying experience. Plemons seems tailor-made for the role, but in a surprising twist, Civil War writer/director Alex Garland has revealed that Plemons was a last minute casting choice. In fact, it was more of a “find the closest warm body” scenario, and boy, did it pay off.

According to Garland, the original actor dropped out just as he and the others were prepping the scene, leaving the production in one heck of a bind.

Via Los Angeles Times:

“I was standing out on the street when I got the call and I thought, ‘Oh s—. Now, now we’re in trouble,’” says the director. “And so I went to the rehearsal and said ‘Bad news, guys, so and so can’t do it.’ And Kirsten said, ‘What? You should ask Jesse.’ And I thought, Oh, that would be amazing.”

“Jesse was around,” says Dunst. “I was like, ‘Let’s just ask Jesse to play this role.‘”

For those who don’t know, Dunst and Plemons are married, so Garland got very lucky that a critically acclaimed actor happened to be just chilling in the wings while his wife worked.

“It was a stunning bit of good luck,” Garland said. “That makes it sound like I’m being disrespectful to the other actor. I’m not at all. It’s just the film was very lucky to get Jesse.”

Civil War is now playing in theaters.

(Via Los Angeles Times)