ReelzChannel sat down with Don Cheadle to talk about his role as a former Special Ops soldier who now aids terrorists in Traitor. We also interviewed with his counterpart in the movie, Guy Pearce.
How does this compare to other things you've worked on?
Don Cheadle: We went to many locations when we did the Oceans movies, too, but this was antithetical to that -- it didn't have all the bells and whistles that a movie like that has, not the budget. We had great crews on all of the locations that were willing to roll up their sleeves and push hard to get us to make our days. But it was tough. We were always up against the clock.
How does your character present the aspects of terrorism?
Don Cheadle: I think that's kind of the backdrop in the movie. It really is mostly a spy thriller, a movie about international espionage. Samir Horn, the character I play, is someone struggling with all of these questions, himself: "How do I preserve my faith and, at the same time, do what my country dictates, serve my country? Can I have a relationship during this whole thing?" These are all the things that he's checking off, one by one, as he goes through.
What do you think an audience wants out of a film like this?
Don Cheadle: I tend to put myself in the chair as an audience member and ask, "What kind of movie would I enjoy seeing?" That can sometimes not be such a great barometer -- I'm definitely not an average audience member. But I think I'm an average person that enjoys good storytelling. So, I always try and flesh out whatever I'm doing and make sure that there's a good story there -- something that makes sense and hangs together. Then I try to put myself in that chair and go, "OK. Well, let's go this way, this way, this way."
How challenging was the Arabic?
Don Cheadle: It was actually not as challenging as other things I've had to do in movies. I don't know why -- it's probably attributable to the teachers that I had. Also, maybe because I'm a musician and it's a very musical language. It's very rhythmic. There's a nice flow to the way that language works. It just somehow fit in my mouth.
Who did you work with?
Don Cheadle: I worked with many, many different people. I had a person who worked with us in the states. His name was Mineer. Then we went to Canada, where a person worked with me who was from Sudan. Then we went to Morocco -- everyone in Morocco spoke Arabic. It was very challenging because they all spoke a slightly different dialect. For the people who didn't speak Arabic, Jeffrey and I were trying to figure out the Arabic that we would go with, the basic mean.
Do you have enough to be conversational?
Don Cheadle: No. I learned enough to speak what I had to speak in the film and do the prayers, and do that properly.
What is next for you?
Don Cheadle: Right now I'm working on a project based around Miles Davis' life. I have a couple films that I've finished that'll be out -- I'm not sure when, sometime next year. A movie called Hotel for Dogs, a kids movie, and another one called Brooklyn's Finest -- not a kids movie.
I know there were some bumps with the Miles Davis project…
Don Cheadle: There's always gonna be bumps, but it's definitely moving forward. It's definitely moving forward.
RELEASE DATE: August 27, 2008
See where to watch ReelzChannel TV