@Thisfunktional discusses "The Purge" press day roundtable interview with Frank Grillo

Jesus Figueroa
Written by Jesus Figueroa

A strong and fierce mysterious anti-hero known only as the Sergeant, played by Frank Grillo, takes a group of non-purging individuals through the chaotic streets of downtown LA in "The Purge: Anarchy."

The stubborn hero who despite being out to do bad, cannot help but stop to do a good deed, was a role that Grillo was enthusiastic about taking on.

"They offered me the movie, I read the script and loved it, I love Demonico and Jason Blum, all good people," Grillo said.

He not only was fascinated with the role but felt he could add to it and make it a memorable character.

"Originally my character had said alot more. He had introduced himself at one point to the other four people, but I was like 'you know what, lets cut this dialogue. I don't need to be talking. I have a mission, they're an obstacle. I have to get around this obstacle,'" Grillo said.

The changes made sense to him because of how the story was structured. He found it appealing to be the mysterious character because then the growth or change in his character from the way he is in the beginning to the way he is in the end would be more impactful.

"The way this script was originally written, there was more emotional things going on with my character throughout the film. I said 'you know, lets cut that all out. Lets not show too much emotion, so that at the end when you have this thing happen I am allowed to be emotional and the audience gets a payoff,'" Grillo said.

To him it wasn't about showing backstory, explaining every detail or bringing together everything onscreen. Reaching the audience in an entirely different level, a psychological level which would stick with them, was the main goal.

It's one thing to be frightened by things that go bump in the night, but to be frightened by the human condition is something that sticks.

"We were hoping to get the people frightened and to get this sense of anticipation, that psychological screwing with your mind, so your imagination can take over as opposed to us showing everything," Grillo said.

He believed that this film was exactly what the purge sequel needed to be because it's what producer Jason Blum looked to originally make.

Grillo was happy to be a part of such a film that inspired not only fear in the audience, but that also caused the audience to think.

It was one thing to scare for the point of scaring and another one totally different to scare with a purpose.

"He (Blum) wanted to make this movie first, this kind of movie, but he had three million bucks and he never expected this to happen. So, now he made the movie that he wanted to make," Grillo said.

Grillo knew exactly what it would be like to work with Blum.

There were no surprises for Grillo, but he was thrilled to be coming in to this style of film making.

There would be no money up front and everyone there would be a part of the film because they believed in it, they were excited about it and they would be proud to have made it.

"The great thing about making movies with (Jason) Blum is that, yes he doesn't give you any food or a trailer, but he gives you complete creative freedom. So I'd rather bring a brown bag and be able to make the movie you want to make, which is rare, and we were able to do that," Grillo said.

"All the money goes into the film, which is not a bad way to make a movie. There is alot of fat in movie making and you should get rid of it and that how I think he's changed things," he said.

Making films is not expensive, but many films get made with actors who do not care and are just looking for a paycheck.

Even more so, there are many hands in the pot when a film is made and money gets paid to people who hardly care for the film.

To film in LA it's not cheap, but there are many talented crews and actors who are willing to work on great projects.

Grillo said, "I hadn't worked in LA in years and not only did we get to shoot in downtown LA but we did it at night. We only had 28 days, so we had to move fast, which I think added to the intensity of the movie."

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