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Exclusive: Paul Johansson on Detective Knight: Redemption and Working Alongside the Legendary Bruce Willis

Action movies and Bruce Willis go hand in hand. From the Die Hard films and Looper to Armageddon and Red, film audiences can’t get sufficient of the star. It’s no shock that Willis has reportedly appeared in movies that grossed greater than $2.5 billion.


In March 2022, Willis’s household launched a press release asserting his departure from performing because of problems with aphasia, a difficult language dysfunction that impacts one’s skill to speak. Fans have been shocked, and up to date stories point out Willis’s well being struggles proceed.

So, to see Willis seem in Detective Knight: Redemption, the second movie within the Detective Knight trilogy, is bittersweet. For costar Paul Johansson (Van Helsing, One Tree Hill, Mad Men), working alongside Willis in Redemption was a significant thrill.

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“The first scene we shot together was the climactic finale—they always do that to you,” Johansson stated, chuckling. ”By that time within the movie, we’re imagined to have had sufficient background [between our characters], you then get on set, and also you meet the actor that day. Fortunately, I’d met Bruce in Alpha Dog within the ’90s, directed by Nick Cassavetes. So, I had a chance to speak to him about that earlier than we shot the scenes. I reassessed his power. As an actor, you actually need to delve into that. And Bruce is a professional. He knows his stuff.”

The new movie finds Willis returning as Detective James Knight, who’s now in custody however all of a sudden finds himself in the midst of a jailbreak led by The Christmas Bomber (Johansson). The man is a brutal fanatic with a frenetic and devoted troop of Santa Claus disciples bent on terrorizing the town. With the promised return of his badge in trade for taking out the terrorists, Knight heads again to “work.”

The action-packed movie is directed and written by Edward Drake (Gasoline Alley, American Siege) from a narrative created by Drake and Corey Large, who additionally serves as one of many producers. Lochlyn Munro, Corey Large, Beau Mirchoff, and Miranda Edwards additionally star.


Roll Out The Action

Johansson performs a fancy man in Detective Knight: Redemption. The previous hasn’t been good to The Christmas Bomber and his wrath is deeply layered.

“As far as seasonal action films go, I think it hits all the markers,” Johansson stated. “When I read the script, I was most excited about the opportunity to play a man who’d lost so much, and who’d decided to create a philosophy and enact change. The way he did it was basically starting a cult. You can call what he’s doing a ‘calling,’ because [his group] isn’t robbing banks for money, they’re robbing banks to change the system.”

Related: Empire of Light Review: Sam Mendes’ Superbly Acted but Flawed Homage to Cinema

“Changing the system” elements into many plot gadgets nowadays, which was one thing that additionally intrigued Johansson. “That’s what’s interesting about the character—he has a deeper purpose, which is founded on the fact that his son was lost from a corrupt military scheme, and he really went off the deep end. He justifies it by trying to change the world.”

Admittedly, the opposite massive perk of the movie was working alongside Willis. “I was thrilled to go back to work with him again. And Bruce does more with a glance that would take people paragraphs to do.”

Stepping Into a Madman’s Shoes

Lionsgate Films

Surely the motion in Detective Knight: Redemption will maintain audiences on the sting of their seats. The Christmas Bomber’s escalated and frantic actions have devastating ripple results. To put together, Johansson psyched himself as much as morph right into a zealous self-help guru of kinds.

“To me, this guy was selling an idea. He’s a big salesman,” he defined. “To prepare myself when rehearsing, which was profound for me, I wanted to fully connect with someone on a one-on-one basis in a scene; to drop down into us talking; me talking to you super personal, being revealing and vulnerable. And when I’m on ‘stage’ in the film, it’s televangelism, selling the big idea.”

He additionally wished to be sure that he confirmed the character’s nice loss. Basically, that he had a “story” to inform. The Christmas Bomber believes in what he’s doing, however you’ll be able to’t change the world in case you’re a shy, humble dude.

“You have to step up there and sell it. You are selling the dream,” Johansson stated. “I wanted to make sure that I was able to do that clearly.”

Tis the season, too—or period, truly—the place audiences expertise a bevy of holiday films with an exhilarating edge. When requested what the fascination is on turning a holiday-themed movie on its head, Johansson stated that it provides additional worth to a seasonal movie.

Related: Exclusive: The Santa Out There Is Frightful in Director Joe Begos’ Christmas Bloody Christmas

“You’re sitting down with family and watching something with a Christmas theme, but you may also want to watch an action film,” he shared. “Families getting together in December, and people are sitting around, or running out, and maybe they’re tired of talking to Uncle Jack. Sometimes you just don’t want to talk. You want to watch an action movie.”

Johansson additionally famous that he “loved” sporting a Santa outfit whereas “robbing” the financial institution—mainly telling the financial institution teller within the movie that… “We’re not taking cash from you; we’re taking it from ‘them.’ This is not your cash. This cash is the individuals’s cash; cash that is been taken from them. The banks lend more cash than they’ve. They’re lending faux cash. They’re inventing cash and inflicting poverty.

“So, my character is saying, ‘I’m restarting. I’m bringing this money back for people,’” he added. “All that intrigued me, and I feel audiences will discover it intriguing, too.

Detective Knight: Redemption, from Lionsgate Films, is in choose theaters, on demand, and digital on December 9.

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