Halle Berry stars in the new film ‘Kidnap’ as a mom willing to do anything to save her son. HollywoodLife.com talked EXCLUSIVELY with the film’s director about working with the Oscar winner on the action movie!
Kidnap is now in theaters, and it’s the action movie everybody’s talking about. Halle Berry, 50, plays Karla, a woman who finds herself in a desperate situation when her son is suddenly kidnapped. She goes to extreme lengths to get her boy back and puts her life in danger constantly. HollywoodLife.com talked the movie’s director, Luis Prieto, 47, all about the movie, which is his first American film. Did Halle do her own stunts? How did they film those intense car chases? Check out our interview below:
There are so many car chases and car scenes in Kidnap. Was there one scene that was the most complex to film or orchestrate?
Luis Prieto: I have to say that probably the first one. On one side, it was the first one and then as Halle was incorporating her car with the freeway, and then two 18-wheeler trucks are coming from both sides of her sides and her door is open for no reason. She wasn’t wearing her seatbelt at the moment because it was the beginning of the chase, and she had just gotten in the car. That was frightening because you can see your actress open her door, reach out, close the door, and keep going. We were all extremely scared. Instead of finding her worried, she was like, “Oh my goodness, it was great. Did you get it on camera? Did you get it on camera?” That was kind of remarkable because of the devotion from Halle on this movie was amazing. She was dedicated to her part, and for all of filming she was doing all these kinds of scenes in the car. It was incredible.
Was Halle doing a lot of those stunts in the car?
Luis Prieto: Yeah, what happened was, when we were talking about the movie and how we wanted to shoot it, everyone thought, especially Halle and myself, that the best way of making this movie was shooting it for real. Like, it would have been very easy and comfortable to shoot it in a studio with a green screen where we enjoying a martini in an air conditioned environment. But instead of that, we decided to do it like movies were doing in the ’50s and ’60s and ’70s, where the chases were shot for real, on real roads, with real cars. In this movie, there was hardly any green screen, only in a couple of scenes where the kid is almost thrown from the car because we couldn’t do that for real. All the scenes with Halle, if she’s in the car, she’s in that car.
You filmed in New Orleans. Why that area?
Luis Prieto: Well, one of the beauties about New Orleans and for a movie like this is that there are many freeways that are parallel. So you can shut down a whole freeway for a whole day and no one gets upset with you because they have other ways of getting home and getting to work. So that was an advantage. We could never have shot this movie in Los Angeles because they would never let you do that.
Kidnap is definitely a spin on your normal, male-driven action movie. Was that what attracted you to this project?
Luis Prieto: Yes, it felt like a great film. It read very well. Your protagonist is an everyday mother, and we can all relate to that because we all have a mother. So even if you’re not a woman, especially in my case, I could think of my mother. If this had happened to her, how would she react? That’s what made this project so interesting to me. You have an everyday mother that becomes a superhero, if you will, a real superhero. They’re doing this every day. Sometimes they don’t find themselves in these extreme situations, but nevertheless they have this incredible strength. This is a female-empowering movie, and I felt it was very unique and fantastic in this genre, which is usually male driven. It’s a lot testosterone. I felt that this was so special about this movie, the fact that it is an action driven thriller with a huge emotional component. It’s driven by emotion.
I feel like in this movie Halle is the female Liam Neeson. Do you see Kidnap as a one-off or have you thought about making more films?
Luis Prieto: We definitely create a great character in the movie, and as you said, there’s a whole genre of kidnapping movies and all of them are very different. We all think about Taken and Liam Neeson. The big difference is that he’s this super agent, whereas Karla is a normal mother who, by the end of the movie, becomes a really strong woman. So to create a character that is so incredible by the end of film, where you have basically given all these strengths and powers to this woman, it is fantastic. So will there be more movies with Karla? I don’t know. But it would definitely be beautiful to help create a strong character that at the end it’s like, it was the same woman at the beginning, we just realized how far she could go.