Published: Tuesday, 19 December 2023 18:38 | Written by Jamie Ruby
The film Fast Charlie, based on the novel Gun Monkeys by Victor Gischler, is now in theaters and on demand. Charlie Swift, known as “Fast Charlie (Pierce Brosnan),” is a fixer, but he’s got a problem. The new guy blew the head off the target he killed, so it’s up to Charlie to take care of it and prove his identity to the person who called in the hit, New Orleans’ mobster, Beggar Mercado (Gbenga Akinnagbe). Charlie turns to the victim’s ex-wife, Marcie Kramer (Morena Baccarin), who’s willing to help him out of the bind. Unfortunately, things don’t go to plan, dragging Marcie back into the past she had left behind, as they fight to bring down Mercado, all while protecting the legacy of Charlie’s mentor, Stan Mullen (James Caan).
Star Baccarin recently spoke with SciFi Vision about her work on Fast Charlie, as well as whether she’d be willing to return to cult favorite Firefly, a bit about the upcoming Deadpool 3, what kind of roles she looks for, and much more.
Watch the interview or read the transcript below. Fast Charlie is now in theaters or available to stream on demand.
SCIFI VISION: What was it that drew you to the role?
MORENA BACCARIN:I love the complexity of these characters. I thought the action sequences were so fast paced and fun with humor. I love the way the characters of Charlie and Marcie are so opposite but really want the same thing, which is just escape.
How did you become involved in the project?
I got offered the role. I'd read the script. I've been a fan of Phillip Noyce forever since Rabbit-Proof Fence, and I was really excited. I loved the role and overall story, the script. Then, of course, Pierce Brosnan being attached didn't hurt. I just felt like it was such a killer combination. All of the pieces fell together. It was really exciting.
What was it like working with [Pierce Brosnan]?
It was wonderful. I was a little nervous initially. You never know what somebody's gonna be like, especially somebody with his experience and body of work. But he was so kind and open and welcoming. I came onto the project fairly late. They had somebody cast originally that didn't work out, ended up not working out, and I just was worried that, you know, like, maybe I'm not somebody's first choice or whatever. And he was so kind. I had the best time working with him. He's so collaborative and such a gentleman, just a class act.
Since he has done a lot, is there anything you learned from him while working with him?
That even seasoned professional actors get nervous or insecure about their work and work really hard to be good.
Obviously, the film has a lot of action, but like you said, also comedy. How you find comedy? Is that easier for you, or do you prefer drama? Which do you have harder time with, I should say?
I think comedy is harder. Honestly, I think the timing is really, really difficult, and I think people find different things funny. So, there're like intricacies in comedy that are a little bit harder to touch on a movie like this. You know, the humor comes from the characters and the dire straits that they're in and how people react under pressure. I think that's a very specific kind of humor.
Did you do any special preparation for this? I'm not sure if you researched taxidermy.
I did. I really did. You know, it's a very specific profession. I didn't know much about it, and I researched. I met with somebody. I watched her over zoom do like a small bird, and it was all really interesting to me. There were so many components that I hadn't thought about. You know, there's the animal that's been sort of stripped of its life and has no blood and no organs, and then you're just sort of replacing all of that stuff and making it come alive again. There's an artistry to it and a specificity to making a dead animal feel like it could move at any moment. I really, I learned a lot watching her work, and it fed my character quite a bit. I think part of the allure of Marcie is that she sees the death and the sadness and all of that stuff and wants to keep going and make things better and complete and whole again.
What parts of her did you find the easiest and what parts did you find the most difficult to connect with?
I definitely connected quite readily to this notion that you make mistakes in your life and sometimes you sort of live for a long time trying to escape those mistakes or change them for yourself. I have a hard time personally connecting with somebody who's so, like hard and, you know, she's almost abrasive. She has had to put up a bit of a facade or like a hardness in order to survive in the environment that she's in and the people that she deals with. And particularly after having broken up with her husband and the kind of trouble that he probably got her into, she's had to really, like, cut that world out of her life. So, that was, you know, it's a balance, and you want to be able to play a character that people still connect with and root for. So, you can't put them off by being so hard. So, sort of finding that nuance was tricky.
How was it doing the accent?
Yeah, that was tricky. There are, I learned, hundreds of accents in that Louisiana area, and I worked hard at listening and trying to figure out which matched the kind of Marcie that I wanted to play, and then I worked with the dialect coach. That was quite difficult to really make it authentic and feel like I wasn't thinking about it. Because obviously, I wanted to think about more the acting and not technical aspects of it.
Did it take a long time to get the tattoos put on? I mean, there are quite a few. At least I'm assuming they're not yours. I guess they could be, but I didn’t think they were. [laughs]
They're not, yeah, they’re not my tattoos. it did. It was a labor of love every morning, [laughs] but we got quite good at it. Then there are certain scenes where I'm covered up, [so] I don't need certain tattoos. But yeah, you have to just sort of reapply sometimes in the middle the day. It was so humid and so hot, and sometimes it would just rub off…But I became very attached to those as the character.
When you're taking on a role, what is it that you look for, just in general, when you're deciding whether or not to do something? Is there anything specific?
I really need to be inspired by the piece as a whole. Obviously, who's involved. Life is too short to do something you don't enjoy. You know, Philip and Pierce were a huge draw. But also just, you know, a story that you want to tell that you think makes the world a better place, or at least can inspire people and support people, I think is really important to me.
Before we go, I wanted to at least ask you one question about Firefly. I was such a fan back then. I'm sure you you're asked this a lot, but if they ever wanted to do something again, would you [do it]?
Yeah, of course. Of course, I mean, a little part of me would love to get together with everybody again. Ron [Glass] having passed away makes it really hard to almost ever feel like we'd be complete. It's tricky. Like, it lives in such a special place for me that I would hate to have that experience or ruin it somehow. So, it's very fraught.
I didn't realize it had been twenty years, I looked up the date, and it's been forever.
I know. Crazy. It's crazy.
If you could pick any kind of role or make up [your own] role, what's something that you still would love to get to do in your career?
I've been saying a period piece, whether it is futuristic or in the past, like a very stylized piece is something I haven't done yet that I'd really like to do. Yeah.
That’d be fun. What's been your favorite role that you've done?
Oh, God, that is such a hard question. You know, different projects for different things. Homeland was really fulfilling creatively and hard. Deadpool is incredibly fun, and you know, really nice to be kind of [reverent]. Gotham I got to meet my husband on. I don't know. There’re so many -
[laughs] That's a pretty big thing there.
Yeah, I've been very lucky in my career.
Do you have anything coming up now that you can promote that you can talk about?
Well, Deadpool 3, hopefully, well I'm in it, but hopefully that will be coming out on schedule next year. I just shot a film called Elevation which we don’t have a release date for yet, but that's a really fun, kind of another like post apocalyptic end of the worlds kind of film. Yeah, those are the major things. Oh, next is the video game. I forgot that I did Assassin's Creed.
Very cool. You mentioned Deadpool, is it daunting doing something that huge? Do you really think about it, or is it the same as any other project?
By the time I did the first one, it was not a huge film. You know, we were doing a very small film in a way. Then, by the second film, it was so successful that there's definitely some fear of like, are we gonna mess it up? But I have to say, the pressure is kind of not on me. I would imagine Ryan [Reynolds] feels a lot of that pressure. I get to kind of come in and have fun, which is the best.