A-Team Director Talks Puppetry and the Movie's Villains
Posted 02.05.10 by Ryan
The last character cast in the big-screen adaptation of The A-Team was Sharlto Copley as "Howling Mad" Murdock. In a series of interviews with MTV about the upcoming movie, A-Team director Joe Carnahan explained that Copley's imagination and improvisational skills made him the perfect actor for the part.
Sharlto's such a ridiculously-talented guy in so many ways. I find with Sharlto that you can't exhaust his imagination, in terms of he will always give you. In fact, we got flack from the studio one day, because we shot nine rolls of film of just Sharlto in this one scene; he just kept going and going and going!
Sharlto's attitude was that Murdock's nuts, so I have to be a bit nuts too — and Sharlto was never lacking for suggestions. By his own admission, he could drive you nuts with that stuff — but in the best way, because he became such a good collaborator. Sharlto and I would get laughs over something we thought Murdock should do, and he just did it.
In the TV show, the relationship between B.A. Baracus (Mr. T) and Murdock (Dwight Schultz) was one built on constant tension, and Carnahan says that Copley would brave on-set dangers to exploit that tension in the movie.
With Sharlto, we just gave him a series of props and he started doing a puppet show for B.A. We had him doing this scene in Iraq where he's using gun powder to season steaks, and we rigged everything to blow up. We'd tell him to be careful for his eyes, and he just didn't care; smoke and fire was coming up in his face.
Carnahan also revealed more about Jessica Biel's character of Lieutenant Sosa, who is a military operative — and Bradley Cooper's ex-girlfriend — tasked with hunting down The A-Team.
Jessie, she's a captain with DCIS, which is the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, They're basically the department of the defense, and she supersedes [military officials] — if she goes on a base, it doesn't matter if you're a general, she can supplant you. She's kind of the chief nemesis, because of her relationship with Bradley's character. [The A-Team] are invariably always up to no good; they're renegades, and she believes people like this need to be policed and shut down.
Biel won't be the only character causing trouble for the A-Team. While it was initially speculated that Patrick Wilson was going to play a CIA operative that would likely aid the four fugitives, Carnahan revealed that Wilson's character of Lynch will be the team's second nemesis and may not have a very happy ending.
Lynch was the original guy in the [TV] pilot that was chasing them — we basically made him a CIA operative, played by Patrick Wilson.It was important that we have a main villain that we could dispose of, and another one that can linger on that we can bring back if we make another one of these. We've got a cameo at the end that I can't blow, but it will tell you where this thing is going forward.
Whether that cameo will be the character of Decker, who hunted the A-Team in the TV series, Carnahan said, "He may or may not be."