Tomer Sisley and Frederic Jardin talk Sleepless Night
Tomer Sisley and Frederic Jardin talk ‘Sleepless Night’
By Wilson Morales
May 9, 2012
After playing at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival and then showing on VOD on April 17th, the French action-thriller ‘Sleepless Night’ will now open in theaters on May 11th.
Directed by Frederic Jardin, the story centers on a cop (Tomer Sisley) who steals drugs from a mobster (Serge Riaboukine), and the mobster retaliates by kidnapping the cop’s son. When the cop goes back to exchange the stolen drugs for his son, the drugs go missing, and the cop goes on a frantic chase inside the mobster’s night club to rescue his son by any means possible.
Blackfilm.com recently spoke the film’s star Tomer Sisley and director Frederic Jardin about the film and remake that Warner Bros. will do on it
What was the attraction to doing this film?
Tomer Sisley: Well, the script and the part. It was a very precise script. I was interested in playing a mediocre father. I know that it may not come across that way in the film but that’s the way I was playing it. He’s no superhero, or someone that fights better than others, or run better. He’s just a mediocre father who tries to save his son’s life. When he runs he sweats, and when he runs too fast, he stumbles and falls. He gets his ass kicked.
Director Frédéric Jardin: At the beginning, I wanted to talk about the relationship between the father and son. That was my idea. Afterwards, I was obsessed with doing a film in a disco and in real time in one night.
How important was the location for the film?
FJ: The place doesn’t exist. In the beginning when I wrote the script, it was a low budget film. I had one place in mind because I don’t have too much money but at the end we shot this in three different countries. The dance floor is in Belgium, the parking lot is in Luxemburg, and the kitchen of the restaurant is in France. It was very complicated to direct, but it was a co-production between those three countries and we had an obligation to shoot in those places. I wrote it to be simple but then it got complicated in the end. But we got it done, and we’re here.
How would you describe Tomer’s role?
TS: Good or bad doesn’t matter. He makes mistakes and he makes them all the time and then he finds a solution. What touches is the fact that he pays for his mistakes and the price is very high. His son is kidnapped and he realizes that he’s the reason behind it. Moment to moment he pays for the decisions he made that might have been wrong.
Why are we supposed to cheer for Vincent?
FJ: In the beginning of the film, you see him as a gangster, and then you realize that he’s also a cop, but a bad cop with issues. I wanted the audience to discover who he really is throughout the film, little by little.
What made Tomer the right choice for the film?
FJ: He’s very physical. When he’s moving, whether he’s running or fighting, there’s emotion to it, and that’s what I was looking for. If it’s just action, that’s not interesting. Tomer can reveal a strong emotion all the time. In France, we don’t have so many actors who can do this. I also wanted a new face.
Between ‘Largo Winch’ and this film, there are a lot of action sequences. How physically challenging was this film?
TS: Not that much. We shot this film two weeks after we shot the end of ‘Largo Winch 2.’ Physically, I was really in good shape. I tried to gain weight in two weeks. Between the films, I tried not to look as fit because I didn’t want him to be a superhero. It wasn’t challenging because I wasn’t supposed to do anything better than average. Again, if he runs and sweats, he’d be out of breath. The most challenging thing was making myself believe everyday on the set was that I might lose my son. When you believe that, the nine weeks of shooting tend to be very long.
How would you describe the father-son relationship?
FJ: For the son, Vincent is not a good father. He’s divorced, but he cares for son.
TS: He’s not very present and doesn’t really take care of his son. Because of his son, it’s a split family and he only has son once every two weeks and even then, he doesn’t come home until the late evening. We had some scenes in the film that were cut that explain all of that.
What sells more, the action or the story?
What do you think of the remake that Warner Bros. is going to do on the film? Folks will probably see this film before they see a new version.
TS: If that happens, I would be very proud.
FJ: I hope that it won’t be made in a very Hollywood. There’s something very realistic about the film. You need sweat and blood and with a big budget film, things gets messy and too much, and unbelievable.