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On Directing with Antoine Fuqua (cont'nd)

What was your initial reaction to the script for Brooklyn's Finest?

AF: I thought it was a well-crafted script. I thought Michael Martin wrote a good script, and I saw that it had room for layers. I felt like it had a lot of the essence of the biblical story of Job, for me, because it was challenging the morals of man and the choices he makes based on circumstances. And I thought with the right actors and some more layers from my end and shooting it in the real place that I could bring something to the screen, my interpretation of [the script], that would be worthwhile. At least for me, and hopefully for an audience as well.

nthWORD: You ended up with a cast full of celebrated actors. Did each of the characters turn out how you envisioned?

AF: Yeah, actually they did. Really talked a lot, all of us individually and sometimes together, and we went down the road together and took chances and I'm really happy with each guy. Really happy. I mean, they always deliver more than I even expect; the subtle things that they give. While shooting you don't expect them to do something and then they do - it's just like a gift.

nthWORD: Is there a message you really wanted to convey to the audience through this movie?

AF: Yeah, I mean, I think from the character perspective the message is the choices you make - that the choices you make, if you make selfish choices sometimes it leads to deadly consequences. And no matter what the circumstances are, that doesn't make it right even if you are upset about something. You can't do wrong for the right reasons. The opening of the movie is "righter and wronger," so that's really the message

nthWORD:What are the advantages and disadvantages to making movies independently?

AF: Well, certainly the advantage is the freedom to create your vision and to live and die by that without an influence from others, dictations from others, because it is your vision. The disadvantage is, obviously, not having enough dough. Sometimes you have to, not compromise, but rethink things you would have approached maybe differently. The distribution is a big part of it, because once you get it done you still have to make sure you get it distributed so people can see it. And if you're trying to make a movie with any kind of substance or a drama, it's hard these days. But I would do it again in a heartbeat because it's fulfilling for me to be able to work that way.

nthWORD: What would you be doing if you weren't directing films?

AF: Well, I went to school to be an electrical engineer. I wanted to fly jets in the military. So there's a good chance I would have been able to do that. That was my goal ultimately.

nthWORD: Are you working on any other projects?

AF: There's a film now that I'm attached to called Consent to Kill, which is based on the Vince Flynn book. He writes political thrillers; it's a kind of terrorism story. And then I'm developing Pablo Escobar's story and a few other things, but that's where my focus is right now. nth