Sam Rockwell is looking more like a lock for the Oscar after picking up yet another Best Supporting Actor award at the BAFTAs on Sunday (Feb. 18) for his searing portrayal of a racist cop in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” He has already laid claim to the SAG, Critics’ Choice and Golden Globe awards. With his film winning five awards in all at these precursor prizes, the actor was in a buoyant mood backstage for our interview.
He heaped praise on co-star (and Best Actress winner) Frances McDormand and writer/director Martin McDonagh, who won for his original script. McDonagh also picked up prizes for producing this character study, which became only the second in BAFTA history to win both Best Picture and Best British Film (after “The King’s Speech”).
Rockwell and McDonagh had previously collaborated on the 2010 Broadway production of “A Behanding in Spokane” and the 2012 film “Seven Psychopaths.” He considers his work as Officer Jason Dixon in “Three Billboards” even more satisfying than those two roles. “This is certainly one of the greatest parts I’ve ever had and it’s comparable with some stuff I’ve done on stage.”
He quickly points out, “I’ve been very lucky. I’ve done a lot of great parts,” before elaborating on this role that has earned him the most acclaim of his thirty-year career. “Martin created a kind of Frankenstein-monster of acting, ah, ‘stuff,’ and made this part for me.”