Kevin Durand Talks About Robert with Suite 101
Kevin Durand's Torval, chief of security for 28 year old billionaire Eric Packer, played by Robert Pattinson, has lost his patience. Eric and Torval have a complicated relationship in David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis, which escalates over the course of the film. It is set almost exclusively inside Packer's limo as it heads across town. Torval walks alongside the car, checking Packer’s many visitors, so he’s privy to the events that occur inside. The more outrageous, the angrier he gets. And according to Durand, his personal relationship with Pattinson was somewhat difficult too. We spoke with Durand in Toronto.
Torval tolerates Eric, and he tends to see him better than anyone else does and feels disdain for him. Was that intentional or did I read that in?
From when I first read it I thought he was more than just chief of security relationship with this financial iconic kid. It was kind of father son-ish in some ways, seeing someone who over the years come sot care for this kid. He’s doing the dumbest things and constantly putting me in danger. It is layered, there is a lot happening, a lot of affection too and loathing. It’s all there.
Robert Pattinson said he had ideas for his onscreen relationship with Torval. Did you ever discuss it?
He didn’t really have to think of it. He’s used to a lot of security and so it was natural. It was important to him because especially in this film, his life is in Torval’s hands. There were times when I was reading the script I asked myself so many questions. Does he like this kid? Does he want to kill this kid? There were so many things going on. Ultimately he was just trying to keep him alive.
There are moments when you’re looking at him and there is real fire.
I can’t believe it but it’s a daily thing for him. It was hard for me to get into that too much. It was the second scene we shot and I was frustrated. I was getting angry that he wasn’t looking at me. It was either his choice or David’s choice but he never makes eye contact with me so immediately that informs you of your place. I remember I had to pull it back and make it sit. You’re feeling “What am I?” This real classist thing. There was disdain for him but he was also entertained by the ridiculous shit he talks about, like saying how perky a woman’s breasts were. It’s like, “How do you get away with this shit?” I would be in prison. It’s an interesting mix of disdain and admiration.
Cronenberg's description of his direction seemed like he’s a little removed.
I was actually amazing. I worked on the text for so long before I sent the audition in. Once he saw the audition, he said yes, perfect. We sat down and I was going to ask all this information, where is he from, what was his childhood like. So I go “So you want to talk about it?” and he goes “No!” Wow! God bless him. It was a relief because I did that work before I showed up.
You quite often play someone in a position of physical power and you’re tall and powerful looking, would you like to do something that doesn’t require that?
I came from musicals. My career started in Toronto when I was in my 20’s in musical theatre. I did Forever Plaid, I did Robin Hood with Karen Kain and Ross Petty, Godspell, and I did a lot of musical work. Filmwise, I finally got the opportunity to do that. Dark Woods of Night is a beautiful script that was on the Black List in 2009. I got to play this character whose son drowns in his care. The movie starts eight months after that and he has no idea how to forgive himself. He’s a stalwart presence, a sheriff, everyone looks to him to keep them safe, and he has no idea how to believe he can assume that position. That weakness is very interesting to me. I'm an actor; I’m an emotional, vulnerable guy. I'm asked to play these icy, hard core people, it’s fun and I enjoy it but it’s nice to key into other things.
It’s a really interesting cool place to be because it’s been twenty years and now we actually get to be in a spot where I can pick. What shall we go and do in order to keep pushing the envelope and striving to get better? I don’t want to do things that are really obvious, but sometimes within the obvious ... you just don’t know. There’s the life experience as well. Myself, my wife and my team are just trying to figure out what do next. We are heading off to far distant lands, one of three films, in the next month and a half. We have to decide pretty quick. I feel so fortunate.
You’re originally from Thunder Bay in northern Ontario, Canada. Do you get to go home much?
I have a lot of family in Thunder Bay but I don’t get there much. The last press day I did here for Citizen Gangster I got to go home for Mother’s Day. So that was really great. I don’t get back as much as I would love to. It’s a long way away from California.
Do you still feel Canadian?
Oh, I’ll always be Canadian for sure. I’ve become Californian in a lot of ways. It embarrassing going home to Thunder Bay not being able to deal with the climate the way I once did, my friends look at me like I’ve suffered some strange transformation because I can’t cope with forty below anymore!! I am absolutely Canadian every day of the week.
Credit => Suite 101 / Via => Robert Pattinson Life