What are the chances that a bunch of the deadliest hired killers in the world would end up on the same train? That's the basic setup in BULLET TRAIN, in which Brad Pitt plays Ladybug, an assassin keen on retiring, who takes one last job to recover a mysterious briefcase during a train ride from Tokyo to Kyoto. Along for the ride are Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon, Benito A Martínez Ocasio, and Sandra Bullock, as Ladybug's handler.
We got to talk to Aaron Taylor–Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Hiroyuki Sanada, and director David Leitch prior to the film's opening.
Brian Tyree Henry and Aaron Taylor--Johnson play sibling assassins Lemon and Tangerine. "We wanted to reflect a relationship that could actually happen," Henry says, "and I'm really grateful to David Leitch for that collaboration. He built upon that. It wasn't written that you saw their past at all until he saw the connection between Aaron and I. And what I really wanted the audience to do was care about them."
Laughing, he added, "and they're psychopaths! So if you care about them as well, then we did our job."
"I felt like my most challenging days were when I wasn't with Brian by my side because I didn't know who I was," Taylor-Johnson added. "I created this character with Brian. I didn't know who Tangerine was until Brian stepped into the shoes of Lemon."
David Leitch has years of experience as a stunt performer, and in fact was Brad Pitt's stunt double. All that set him up to become a director. "As a stunt performer for all those years, you are heavily involved in the choreography of the action scenes. So you're telling a story non-verbally from the beginning of that action scene to the end… In the action world you have to be precise. That really gave me the discipline," he says, "to see the full range of the movie as a precision of tone, performance, action, drama, comedy, and how to land those beats effectively."
Watch our full video interview with the cast and director of BULLET TRAIN:
BULLET TRAIN opens on August 5.
All images courtesy of Sony Pictures.