Hear our entire podcast interview with Norman Reedus
It’s the stuff of a movie itself — our hero is in a nasty car crash, laid up in a hospital bed for weeks, and he needs an interpreter to tell him what the doctors are saying. He’s black-and-blue, his face is badly swollen, and he wears an eye patch to cover the scars from the surgery to implant an artificial eye socket.
But his devotion to his art is true. He devises and storyboards a movie from that hospital bed and sneaks out late at night. He flies to Los Angeles with the eye patch still attached to his face and directs the movie he envisioned.
Fiction this is not.
It’s part of how Norman Reedus spent the ten years between “Boondock Saints” installments. Reedus, who plays Murphy McManus in the upcoming sequel, “Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day,” said he “dropped off the face of the earth for a while” following a serious accident several years ago.
“It was pretty dramatic, I didn’t think I’d be an actor again” Reedus said. But even if he had been unable to act, he planned on staying in movies. And his short film “I Thought of You” is proof-positive of that fact. Reedus escaped briefly from a hospital in Germany to shoot the movie, which he wrote and assembled from his hospital bed.
And though Reedus said he was worried he didn’t look the same after the accident, Boondock fans still approach him daily, recognizing him on the street.
“I’m impressed every day. Sometimes people come up and they have my face tattooed on them,” he said. “I say, “ËœI hope you were drunk when you got that.’ Almost 90 percent of the time they say, “Ëœyes I was.’”
Reedus said that in the ten years since the original movie, there were several false starts at getting “Boondock Saints II” up and moving.
“It came and it went so many times in the last ten years,” he said. “You get excited and you start to work with your schedule.”
But when the project was finally green-lit, Reedus said it was easy to drop back into Murphy McManus mode.
“I started working with a trainer right away, with a dialect coach right away. Then it was just ‘Boondock Saints’ camp” he said. And gathering everybody together again helped, too. “It was a dƒ©jƒ vu once we got on the set and in the peacoats, once we got the guns and started reciting the prayers and stuff.”
And that thick Irish accent that Murphy has? It’s not natural.
“It’s not super hard once you get going with it. Everybody on the set’s speaking like that all day long” he said.
Reedus’ impression of his character is one of respect and awe.
“They sort of have this calling from a higher power to take out the bad guys that have slipped through society and are getting away with it,” he siad. “I don’t think they’re bad killers or nasty people, they’re just stepping up to the plate.” The public really connected with the Saints in the first movie, and the controversy of are-they-good-or-are-they-bad helps them relate, he said.
The new “Boondock Saints” movie isn’t the only chance the public will have to connect with Reedus this fall — he’s also got a new movie, “Pandorum,” which recently hit theaters. Reedus described the film as a sci-fi thriller set in an abandoned spaceship.
Reedus also addressed amost important question: Will there be a Boondock Saints III?
“I hope so — I could do a bunch of these” he said. But he added he hoped it wouldn’t be ten years down the road, imagining “Sean and I walking with walkers, trying to lift our guns and we can’t get them up. Hiding out in an old-folks home in Miami.”