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Colin Farrell on 'lovely uncertainty' of filming 'Killing of a Sacred Deer'

In this Sept. 9, 2017 photo, writer-director Yorgos Lanthimos, background center, and cast members of "The Killing of a Sacred Deer," from left, Barry Keoghan, Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell pose for a portrait during the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto. Farrell finds a certain joy in playing characters who leave him feeling vulnerable. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Invision-Chris Pizzello
October 30, 2017 - 8:43 AM

TORONTO - Colin Farrell finds a certain joy in playing characters who leave him feeling vulnerable.

The Irish actor ponders whether that's why he absorbed himself in "Killing of a Sacred Deer," his second wildly unpredictable project with Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos.

Two years ago the pair worked together on "The Lobster," a tricky sci-fi relationship yarn set in a dystopian future where humans turn into animals. The film won critical raves and awards buzz — a best actor Golden Globe nomination for Farrell and a best original screenplay Oscar nomination for Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou.

Farrell decided reacquainting himself with another Lanthimos project couldn't hurt — even if it was an unsettling experience in front of the camera.

"You don't ever feel completely comfortable in the process," Farrell said during a recent visit to Toronto.

"It's kind of an uncertainty that's lovely to reside in."

While Lanthimos isn't a household name in North America, he's found both reverence and rejection among cinephiles for his relentless filmmaking style.

His breakout 2009 feature "Dogtooth" rattled audiences with its study of three adult children living under the rule of their middle-class parents — a storyline punctuated by shocking violence. The film won the Un Certain Regard award at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated as Greece's foreign language contender at the Oscars.

Lanthimos returns to suburban life with a renewed vigour in "Sacred Deer," in which Farrell plays a prosperous surgeon harbouring a secret friendship with a teenage boy he took under his wing. His wife, played by Nicole Kidman, is suspicious when the outsider begins to encroach on their sterilized home life.

The film trudges through a swampy story full of secrets, guilt and instability that never over-explains itself. Lanthimos said that was entirely intentional.

"I want to make films that engage the audience, not present them with something absolute and specific," he said.

"They have to do a bit of work themselves."

Lanthimos said he strives to make films that seep into the minds of audiences who are willing to form their own interpretations of the story, depending on their perspective, experience and culture.

"Cinema is very much alive — almost like theatre," he added.

In shooting "Killing of a Sacred Deer," Farrell was also left to interpret the script on his own.

"I never have a conversation with Yorgos where he tells me why he's making the film," Farrell said.

"His films are incredibly specific and have a totality in the logic they present, but what they lack is a definitive philosophy or perspective that lets you off the hook."

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News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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