Interview w/ Lionsgate “Hot Seat” director James Cullen Bressack. Out Now! #HotSeatMovie @JamesCullenB @Lionsgate @Rmediavilla

Interview by Rafy Mediavilla w/ Lionsgate “Hot Seat” director James Cullen Bressack, where we spoke about working with Mel Gibson, Kevin Dillon, & Michael Welch in an action-packed throwback to the Die Hard days. Out Now! #HotSeatMovie

Oscar-winner Mel Gibson brings this explosive cyber-thriller to life. The action begins as IT expert Friar (Kevin Dillon, Poseidon) finds a hair-trigger bomb strapped to his desk chair. An unseen hacker orders him to steal digital funds online—or have his daughter abducted. As a fearless bomb expert (Gibson) arrives on the scene, the hacker frames Friar as the bomber. The tension mounts as Friar races to clear his name and expose the real terrorist—without getting himself blown to smithereens.


Criticólogos:

How did this story come about? Since it feels like a throwback to the action movies of the 90’s.

James Cullen Bressack:

Well, so the one thing I’ll say is, like, for me, you know, I. I have a soft spot for like movies from the eighties and nineties regardless. So like, you know, I just feel like it’s that’s the best, you know, 20 years of film. So, like, personally, like, I just everything I touch, I kind of go, oh, I could do a throwback to this and this. And so, like, I kind of like the feeling of that where like, you know, characters were larger than life and you had all this, you know, stuff going on. And so there was a challenge of like, how do I make this feel new? But also feel, feel like of that time at the same time. 

And that’s kind of what we did, because I like to always throwback to that, you know, that time period, it’s just it’s just kind of what I do, whether I was doing horror or action, you know, I kind of do that. But, you know, this was my third movie with Lionsgate and EFO. And, and, you know, after Fortress, I was approached to do this and I read the script and I thought, Wow, this is really cool because I could almost do like, you know, phone booth meets saw and then give it like a little bit of a flavor of a like a eighties, eighties throwback film. And I was like, you, this is, this would be awesome. So that’s kind of how I imagined it be. I hopefully it translates to the screen. Yeah. 

Criticólogos:

I want to talk about balance because, you know, your resume speaks for itself. You’re a horror guy, now you’re doing action. How do you switch your brain to make sure, okay, I’m not doing a horror movie, I’m doing an action movie now? 

James Cullen Bressack:

Well, you know, as a filmmaker, I like to just challenge myself regardless, you know? So I feel like I kind of did like all the subgenres of horror. You know, I’ve been doing horror since I was 18 years old, my first feature at 18. And so, you know, I stopped doing horror really about five years ago. My last horror movie I shot was in 2017, I think. And then from there I transitioned to action with my first action movie being Beyond the Law, which starred DMX and Steven Seagal, which I did in 2018. 

And so, you know, I kind of looked at that and really kind of was reinventing myself stylistically. But also, you know, I like to challenge myself. So, you know, it’s too easy falling into the same stylistic stuff that I’ve done in the past. So I kind of try to approach everything brand new is like, you know, what is right for this specific film. So I’ve never really looked at myself as like a horror filmmaker. I don’t even look at myself as an action filmmaker. 

I look at myself as just like a filmmaker who happens to do certain genres. The next thing I’m tackling after this is I’m doing, you know, comedy. So, you know, let’s see what let’s see what happens. Let’s see if that feels like a horror movie or an action movie. 

Criticólogos:

The casting is great. Obviously, Mel Gibson, a legend, Kevin Dillon, everybody. How did the casting came about? Did you have any say?

James Cullen Bressack:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, you know, Mel. Mel was involved very early on, but. You know, like I, I really pushed for Shannon and Kevin and and Michael as well as like, Michael Welch and, you know, I was real and I was really, really pleased with with the casting, the film. I think overall, you know, it’s a really great cast and I was really excited to work with a lot of the people on this. 

Criticólogos:

Let’s talk about Kevin Dillon. He did great. Any set stories regarding what happen with him as the story came about?

James Cullen Bressack:

Yeah. I mean, you know, Kevin, really, I think really brought it the entire time. And the first conversation him and I had, you know, we both realized, like, you know, it’s as much as we want the inclination of him to, like, freak out the second he finds out he’s in the hot seat. That would have given him nowhere to go acting wise, because he would have been just freaking out the whole time. So instead, we kind of pulled him back and let it build. Has the intensity of the movie went on. And I thought that really worked. 

You know, Kevin really, really brought, I think, like a relate ability and freshness to the character because I feel like, you know, him, him being in that seat felt like it could be anybody, you know what I mean? It could be like your everyman of of the world. And I feel like he brought a very relate ability, which I think the audience will connect with. I think he did a fantastic job and. And he really elevated the project. 

Yeah. You know, they had it. I think Kevin was the character of Orlando. It’s an everyday guy and they work hard for that and a lot of people relate to, I also think the story. I mean, obviously we bring it up to a level because it’s Hollywood. But still the story is something I feel a lot of people are going to. This happens all the time. I mean, that is a word. It’s something that happens all the time. And, you know, getting into that into that into that situation. 

Criticólogos:

The whole reality behind the story, was that’s something that you really found attractive of the project?

James Cullen Bressack:

Yeah, I mean, I did find that attractive. I also, you know, for me, you know, the reality based stuff of it was really exciting. But for me, I’m just like, you know, how do you I like challenges. So when I’m like, you know, how do you make a movie where a guy is literally strapped to a chair? Interesting and entertaining and intense, but like, that sounds like a challenge, you know, because so that’s kind of what really drew me to it as well, because I was like, man, how do I make that cool, you know? And so I really went through and luckily I had like a really great script from, from Leon and Colin that had like a lot of twists and turns. 

And so there was a lot there to, to deal with. But for me, I just thought it was really interesting to tackle something that like, you know, could easily have just been, you know, shot in a, in a strange way. And I thought, okay, how do you make this really interesting and kind of where the whole idea process came from.

Criticólogos:

What do you expect people to take away from the story besides having fun?

James Cullen Bressack:

You know, I’m hoping that people connect with Kevin and I’m hoping people like, you know, enjoy Mel’s performance and, you know, the comedy that he brings to it. And I’m hoping that, you know, they just take the ride of this, you know, twisty, turny thriller and hopefully we surprise them.

See the interview below:

Trailer: