We interview No Sudden Move stars David Harbour and Frankie Shaw about their reaction to the script, working with Steven Soderbergh, and more.
Set in 1950s Detroit, No Sudden Move is Steven Soderbergh at his most noir. The crime thriller, releasing through HBO Max on July 1, follows a crew of criminals trying to recover what they think is a simple document as circumstances balloon more and more out of their control.
David Harbour and Frankie Shaw, who play unwitting accountant Matt and his mistress Paula, spoke to Screen Rant about how their characters get roped into the mess and why they were drawn to the script.
David, Matt’s a pretty passive guy that’s made some bad decisions and gets really pushed to his limits. What was it about the character that really interested you?
David Harbour: I loved the fact that there seemed to be two versions of Matt: there was the version Matt thought he was, or thought he should be, and then there was this other version of Matt that was kind of who he was and what he wanted. And he kept making the wrong decision of being the guy that he thought he should be, as opposed to being the guy who he was that might liberate him and might make him feel good.
I had a great sort of empathy for that, and I’ve done that at various times in my life. But I liked him because he was so afraid and messed up in that way. I really liked that about him.
Frankie, your character almost seems like she’s ripped out of the 1950s noir movie. What can you tell me about Paula?
Frankie Shaw: Paula is a secretary, and the other woman to Matt’s character. And she has this idea that there’s something better and more for her.
But what I really appreciated about the script is that all the noir and the magic of it is really rooted in the realism that just because she has a dream to escape doesn’t mean it’s gonna work out.
David, Matt’s life gets increasingly complicated as the film progresses. What was it about Ed Solomon script that you really connected with?
David Harbour: He’s funny, interesting writer, and he’s such a smart writer. Ed wrote the original Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, which on the surface is a silly movie, but I think that movie is a genius movie – it is up there with Citizen Kane. So, there’s something about Ed’s writing that is so silly, but there’s also real intelligence behind it.
I remember reading the script, and there’s one scene where I go into my boss and I try to get the document. And I say things like, “I’m gonna have to get violent with you now.” Just this idea that this accountant who really doesn’t want to do this has to be so kind about explaining to him why he’s gonna punch you. Like he might explain to another accountant how he’s doing this work. I just love qualities like that; they feel right on the edge of realism. They’re real, they’re grounded, but they’re just so funny and broad in a certain way.
And I feel like that is something unique to Ed, that is born out of the same thing that Bill and Ted is born out of. It’s this unique quality of a silly storyteller that also can write very real scenes. It’s really great.
Frankie, can you talk to me about how Paula views Matt as he’s changing throughout the movie?
Frankie Shaw: They had a plan, right? She thinks that he’s gonna carry through with the plan, and then as she realizes things haven’t gone as she had hoped, I think she really goes through a process of having to let it go and maybe question how serious the plan was to begin with.
Steven Soderbergh is a masterful director who absolutely understands the language of the film. Can you guys talk to me about the collaboration process of working with him?
Frankie Shaw: Steven’s incredible. He is the auteur genius we all had thought and hoped, so getting to see it in action was [great]. He’s camera operating. After we wrap it in the day, he’s editing so he knows exactly what the scene is that he just shot should he need anything extra or not. And it always was not; he got what he wanted.
I think what he does is he hires people, and he expects them to bring their A game and make decisions and show up as best they can. He really trusts you a lot, knowing that he’s just gonna give you a couple takes and then we’re gonna move on.
- No Sudden Move (2021)Release date: Jul 01, 2021
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