Universal Pictures releases The Purge: Anarchy on July 18th, 2014.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What crime would you commit during a purge?
Frank Grillo: If I had something to purge, I think I would handle it just fine. I could take care of business. Everyone thinks that The Purge is about murder. I would steal for my wife really great earrings or a ring. Whatever I can get my hands on.
JD: Put to the test, I don't know what I would do. But it's something that I think about.
FG: We'd be lying to ourselves if we said that we haven't thought at least one time about revenge or retribution or an injustice that has been placed on us. A lot of us maybe wouldn't follow through with it, but some would. It's in our nature. It's a violent world.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What appealed to you about your role? How did you prepare for it
FG: The journey that the character takes. He starts off at one place and takes off. So as an actors, that's always kind of the best case senario. What I did to prepare for this was to isolate myself for four weeks before I started the film. I moved out, went out to California and spent a lot of time alone with my own crazy thoughts---which is never a good idea, by the way---but it put me into a certain headspace.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What's appealing about dark themes both to you and to the public?
James DeMonaco: I'm terrified of it. I'm terrified of guns, so that's where this comes from. What's intriguing for the public about this particular concept is if we don't have a higher government setting the laws and parameters for our lives, then how would we govern ourselves? What would we do with no higher law? In daily life, there are a lot of people who piss us off, so there's an innate notion to seek revenge and to seek justice in society. You're put to the test: if you could do something, would you?
FG: Left to our own devices, human being naturally form government. If you watch the series "Survivor," which starts off as a utopia, it eventually settles into a government. That's what we do by nature. I've been all over the world, and I've seen The Purge happening to societies. It's not as defined as this movie, obviously, but we are a society that's, unfortunately, violent against each other. It's terrible.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Do you think that America would ever experience a purge?
JD: I don't think we could ever justify hurting one another.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What was missing from the first movie that you included in this one?
JD: Money. I think in the first one we were limited by budget, we had a tiny budget, not that we had a big budget here by Hollywood standards, but the conceipt of the first movie is just nationwide its happening across America so to be locked into this one house I think pissed off the audience and I understand that there was anger. Why are we inside this house if this is happening across the country and we want to see whatís happening outside on the streets? So I said to myself, "If I was going to do the second one I said I had to do it outside, I want to focus on the other half, the victims of the evening who can't protect themselves." So the idea of getting a little more budget we said we had to go outside and, though it was hard on us, we only had 30 days shoot it and again thatís not a lot by Hollywood standards and the money was very small to go shoot outside, we still said we have to go shoot it outside we canít be limited because the concede is so big.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Why do you seek out dark roles?
FG: Maybe I hit a cord with audiences who think that maybe I'm like a Charles Bronson. I was a huge fan of his when I was a kid. It's taken me in a new direction in my career. I stay fit, I'm in shape. As long as they keep asking, I'll do it.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What do you think will happen the day after the purge happens?
FG: I think that's what perpetuates the following year's purge.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What are some horror films you would have loved to be a part of during the Golden Age of American Cinema?
JD: I'm really not a fan of horror films, but if there was one I'd probably say The Shining or The Exorcist. The original Halloween movies scared the shit out of me. But unless they got really strong stories, I don't go to watch people getting killed.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How do you feel about gore in horror films and why did you choose not to add any here?
JD: I thought it was inherently so violent that I didn't have to add gore. I didn't think it was necessary for this story.