Taron Egerton Returns to Embrace His Dark Side in ‘Locked Up With the Devil’

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Since his performance as Elton John in Rocketman (2019), a showcase vehicle that gave him a Golden Globe and left him at the gates of an Oscar nomination, Taron Egerton He had not been put in front of the cameras again. locked up with the devila miniseries of AppleTV+ based on true events that has been adapted by the acclaimed writer and screenwriter Dennis Lehane that arrives on the platform this Friday, July 8, had all the necessary ingredients to succeed an interpretation that had marked a before and after in his career.

The Brit had to perfect his American and southern accent to play jimmy kene, a former sports promise and the son of a decorated police officer who ends up becoming a convicted drug dealer. When the young man is sentenced to spend 10 years in a minimum security prison, he is given two options: enter a maximum security prison and befriend suspected serial killer Larry Hall, or stay where he is and serve his full sentence without parole option.

The state of his father’s health (played by Ray Liottain his last job on television) forces him to accept the FBI’s offer. Jimmy must get a confession that allows the detectives to find out where the bodies of several girls are buried. before the would-be killer can win his appeal to a jury that seems convinced he’s really just a poor man seeking attention by confessing to crimes he didn’t actually commit. Next to Egerton is an imposing Paul Walter Hauser, an actor on the rise who has appeared in films such as I, Tonya, Infiltrated in the Kkklan Y Richard Jewell.

I was really excited about playing someone I didn’t really like very much at first.because that’s not really the type of characters that they usually offer me”, admits to SERIES & MÁS an actor who has played inspiring figures in films based on real events such as eddie the eagle already action heroes in the saga Kingsman. “When you’re the lead you often have the pressure of having to get the audience to empathize with you and be on your side.”

There were more reasons to return to the forefront of the industry after three years in which he only participated as a voice actor in different animation productions. “The original story was incredible. Once you know the premise of the series, you can’t help but know how it ends. You need to know if Larry Hall really did these things., or if he is simply a serial confessor”. The actor also wanted to explore the learning journey of a troubled young man who had voluntarily chosen a life of crime. “Throughout the series Jimmy learns his own humanity and finds the best version of himself after playing with fire and getting intimate with the devil.”

At 32, Egerton confesses that he believes that as an actor he needs to somehow identify with the characters he plays, however dark they may be. “It sounds like a cliché or a line from a movie, but I think we all have light and dark in us. I’m sure I’m paraphrasing a movie”, he insists, trying to remember. That’s right, we tell him, Taron is referring to a moment in the saga Harry Potter. “Makes sense. I recently watched the movies again. Sirius Black said it, ”she recalls with a laugh. “Somehow I think the less attractive sides of the character are also in me, although they do not represent who I am in the day to day of my life. Or so I hope at least!”

Taron Egerton in 'Locked up with the Devil'.

Taron Egerton in ‘Locked up with the Devil’.

The Brit has had a great time playing with that rogue side that he is rarely allowed to explore in his films. “There’s an arrogance about him, particularly in my scenes with Detective McCauley. It seems that Jimmy is actually a pig. I must be honest. It was fun to play him, because you can afford other things, but Jimmy is a pig and that’s what the story is about as well.” There were also positive traits in the character that interested him. “He is a very affable and charming guy. We don’t see him much outside of prison, just at first, but when he starts to interact with Larry it’s clear that we’re talking about someone who doesn’t have a problem connecting with people. He may give it to her too well.”

Dennis Lehane, the acclaimed author of crime novels that Hollywood adapted into movies like Mystic River Y Goodbye, little girl, goodbyes, has explained that James Keene’s memoirs are a perfect excuse to talk about toxic masculinity and a whole generation of men. The protagonist of his latest project acknowledges that he had not thought of it that way, although he agrees that locked up with the devil it does talk about that dark side of masculinity.

“Masculinity also has an unpleasant side, that’s no secret. I think there’s a dysfunctional and troublesome element to Jimmy at the beginning of the story. He is born from his past and his perception of things. I think what’s interesting about the story is that as it unfolds you start to learn why Jimmy is the way he is and why he behaves the way he behaves with women in particular.” His encounters with Larry Hall, a would-be serial killer for whom redemption may no longer be possible, forces the prisoner to look at himself and confront the anger and misogyny he feels. In any case, he makes it clear that “I can’t generalize about a whole generation of men, I’ll leave that to Dennis.”.

Taron Egerton and Paul Walter Hauser in 'Locked up with the Devil'.

Taron Egerton and Paul Walter Hauser in ‘Locked up with the Devil’.

Egerton flatters his partner, Paul Walter Hauser, in a way that goes beyond the classic compliments that actors throw at each other during interviews. “Having him was Dennis’s decision, he was the one who chose the rest of the cast, but I loved the idea of ​​having Paul from the beginning”. Richard Jewell, Clint Eastwood’s film about an unsung hero who was investigated and accused by the media of terrorism despite having prevented a bombing during the Atlanta Olympics, is to blame. “What Paul did really well there was being active and passive at the same time. Is not easy. There is a certain meekness in both characters. Larry Hall is not Hannibal Lecter or Buffalo Bill”.

Throughout the six episodes that make up locked up with the devil, Hauser and Egerton share confidences and challenge each other in one of the most electric acting duels of the year. “My favorite episode is the third. Paul and I have a scene in the boiler room and it’s one of the first times that the characters look into each other’s eyes and have a conversation. Paul is really spectacular. There is something really terrifying and chilling about what he does. Maybe I shouldn’t say that they are my favorite scenes, because they are really horrible. I have loved working with him. It was very exciting to deal with this dark subject matter and this great script with someone so committed.”

locked up with the devil it was shot in real prisons during the summer of 2021. “If you had asked me in August of last year when it was very, very hot in New Orleans, I would say that it was crazy, that we should be in a studio and that I could not believe that we had voluntarily decided to do this” laughs the actor. With a distance he acknowledges that “being in a real prison really gives the series the necessary sense of authenticity and hostility”.

Taron Egerton shot 'Eddie the Eagle' with Hugh Jackman.  He now he wants to inherit the Wolverine character.

Taron Egerton shot ‘Eddie the Eagle’ with Hugh Jackman. He now he wants to inherit the Wolverine character.

Taron Egerton has once again collaborated with Apple TV+ on Tetrisa film about the legal battle behind the origins of the popular video game that has been compared in the industry with The social network. After his disappointing debut in London’s West End with the play cockwhich he had to leave due to personal problems shortly after the performances began with actor Jonathan Bailey (the protagonist of the second season of The Bridgertons), the interpreter has confessed that dreams of inheriting the character of Wolverine from his friend Hugh Jackman.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, he acknowledged that he had had meetings with Marvel, although the almighty Kevin Feige had not yet made a decision on the matter. While we wait for confirmation, Egerton delights in Locked Up with the Devil with the murkiest character of his career. Hollywood has a new star in his hands.

The first two episodes of ‘Locked Up with the Devil’ premiere July 8 on Apple TV+. The remaining four will be broadcast weekly on Fridays.

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