Check out our exclusive interview with ‘Boondock Saints’ director Troy Duffy. The upcoming sequel “Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day” stars Julie Benz (Dexter, Saw V, Rambo), Clifton Collins Jr. (Extract, Star Trek), Sean Patrick Flanery (To Live and Die), Judd Nelson (The I Scream Man) and Peter Fonda (3:10 to Yuma).
SY: When you were in your twenties, you moved to Los Angeles to pursue music with your band, The Brood. You wrote the screenplay for ‘The Boondock Saints ‘ while working at a bar between music gigs. What was your inspiration for writing it?
Poverty and frustration. Living like I was, my brother and I had been the victims of crime several times. BDS was my bizarre fantasy of what I would like to see in terms of American justice. I exorcized the demons!
SY: ‘The Boondock Saints’ passed through many studios, including Miramax, New Line and Paramount Pictures, before the independent studio Franchise Pictures decided to finance it. Did you ever doubt that the movie would get made, and why or why not?
Sure. Boondock was up and down all the time. Natural to wonder. But, I never gave up no matter how bleak it may have looked at times.
SY: Did you get any say in who would be cast in the movie? If so, who, and why did you choose them?
All the say in fact. Sure, there were more “famous” actors that wanted some of the roles, but I was looking for the “right” guys, not necessarily the most recognizable. As for why? I wrote Rocco’s role specifically for him, so he was in from the start. As for the boys, they just seemed to have that chemistry.
SY: The film saw a very limited release in the U.S. in 1999, having only been shown in five theaters for one week. That decision was made by Franchise after the Columbine shootings. After working on the movie for several years, did you agree with this move, and why or why not?
At the time, Fuck No!!! I’m a face controversy head on type guy. But, not being theatrically released was a blessing in disguise. It helped make Boondock a “cult classic”. Kids were out there finding it on their own and it became much more special to them, it became their film. This and many things like it helped give BDS a fan base like no other. These kids are freaking crazy!!!! They get the tats and everything. You can’t “manufacture” that kind of love.
SY: Blockbuster Video stepped in and decided to release ‘The Boondock Saints ‘ as a Blockbuster Exclusive. As a result, the movie gained a word of mouth following and made $50 million in the U.S. alone. How does that feel, after it gained poor critical reviews?
Few things in life are more satisfying than sticking it up the asses of the critics with no lube. They reviewed the sequel poorly too. The fan base couldn’t have given a less of a shit. Me neither.
SY: The sequel, ‘The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day ‘ was released this past October in honor of the original film’s tenth anniversary. Why did you decide to write and direct another ‘Boondock Saints ‘ movie?
Very few times in life are you lucky enough to know what the fans want. Here we did. This was an easy one. Give them what they want.
SY: ‘The Boondock Saints II ‘ was released by Stage 6 Films, a specialty label created by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group that produces and distributes low budget movies (particularly sequels). Stage 6 decides after each movie is finished whether or not it will be released theatrically, and quite a few of its other sequels (including ‘The Grudge 3, ‘ ‘Vacancy 2, ‘ and ‘The Messengers 2 ‘) were released direct-to-video. How did it feel that not only did Stage 6 release your sequel theatrically, it also expanded it due to its opening weekend success and fan demand?
Felt great. Smart people over there. I think that regardless of the fact that they farm sequels straight to video, there was always a feeling that wouldn’t happen here. They knew what this fan base was capable of, what it wanted.
SY: Why were there so many delays in getting ‘The Boondock Saints II ‘ released, as it was originally announced in early 2002?
We were engaged in a lawsuit in which the sequel rights were tied for five years.
SY: There are reports that after making a few other movies, you would like to make a third ‘Boondock Saints ‘ film. Is this true?
Yes. Got a few things I need to get off my chest first. T.DUFF