During our recent webcam chat (watch above), Alex Wolff reveals that his role as a terrorist in “Patriots Day” required him to, “get in a pretty dark head-space, and go to some pretty dark places inside myself.” Directed by Peter Berg, this CBS Films release recreates the events leading up to the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing, and the subsequent manhunt that ensued. Wolff plays Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who carried out the attack with his older brother, Tamerlan (Themo Melikidze). The ensemble cast also features Mark Walhberg, John Goodman, J.K. Simmons, Kevin Bacon, Michelle Monaghan, and Rachel Brosnahan.
“There were parts of this character that unfortunately I sort of had to force myself to understand,” Wolff divulges. “I could never hurt anybody. I’m a pacifist. So that’s a foreign concept for me.” When first reading the script, “I really had to go into what his personality was, and what his life was outside of the bombing, in order to really zero in on who he was as a guy, and then put myself in the situation of the bombing.” Helping him navigate this tricky role was Berg, who he calls, “a really true actor’s director.”
Wolff first came to prominence in Nickelodeon’s “The Naked Brothers Band,” where he starred alongside his brother Nat. This lead to film roles in “The Sitter” (2011), “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” (2016), and the upcoming reboot of “Jumanji.”
“Patriots Day” is now playing in limited release and will open wide on Jan. 13. It was recently named one of the Top 10 Films of the Year by the National Board of Review. Are the Oscars next?
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