The veteran film stars of RED show they’ve still got what it takes…
What happens when deadly CIA operatives hang up their semi-automatics and are put out to pasture?
RED – short for “Retired, Extremely Dangerous’ – proves that once you’ve had a taste of espionage, black ops and occasional assassination it doesn’t matter whether you’re eligible for that free bus pass or not, you’ve still got it…
“There was something really fresh about the concoction of this project and that intrigued me,” explains Bruce Willis, who plays Frank Moses, a former CIA agent framed for assassination in his twilight years.
“There is a caper element to it, a comedy element to it, a romance element to it and a big action movie element to it. But underneath all that there is the notion of loneliness and feeling left out and being kicked off the team because you’re too old to play the game any longer.”
When Moses finds himself targeted by a high-tech assassin (Karl Urban), he joins forces with his old ops team (fellow CIA retirees Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and the scene-stealing John Malkovich) as they embark on a daring mission to break into CIA headquarters and uncover who is trying to have him killed.
Joining the hit squad are Mary-Louise Parker, Richard Dreyfuss, Brian Cox and Hollywood legend Ernest Borgnine.
“Filming this was a bit like Christmas morning,” Willis says. “Every 10 minutes you got to open a new and different present ” “Oh, my gosh, I got a shiny new bicycle named Helen Mirren’ or “There’s my super-duper Super Crane Morgan Freeman’ or “Hey, look everybody, I got a new Transformer John Malkovich’ or “Wow, a cool new train set with a Richard Dreyfuss engine!”
Based on a short DC Comics graphic novel, many of Willis’s cohorts are newly invented characters – and the writers specifically created the role of Victoria for Mirren, as a former CIA agent who now runs a genteel bed and breakfast. Her basis for the calculating killer was the very picture of domestication: Martha Stewart.
“She was my inspiration,” Mirren says. “She’s obviously not a retired assassin but whatever Martha Stewart does, she does really well. She’s a perfectionist. I hope she won’t be insulted by this characterisation because I am a big fan of hers.”