Andrew Keegan on his darker role in ‘Adverse’

Photo courtesy of Lionsgate.

Andrew Keegan (10 Things I Hate About You) jumps into a darker role as on of Mickey Rourke’s henchmen in Adverse. Check out our Q & A!

Adverse was written and directed by Brian A. Metcalf and the stellar cast also includes Thomas Nicholas, Mickey Rourke, Lou Diamond Phillips, Sean Astin, Jake T. Austin, and Penelope Ann Miller.

Synopsis: Thomas Nicholas (Red Band Society) and Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) star in this gritty, intense urban thriller about one man’s quest for revenge. Struggling to make ends meet, rideshare driver Ethan (Nicholas) learns his sister Mia is deep in debt to a sleazy drug dealer. When Mia goes missing, Ethan discovers that crime boss Kaden (Rourke) is behind the act, and to get close to him Ethan takes a job as Kaden’s driver. One by one Ethan hunts down members of Kaden’s crew to wreak bloody vengeance as he prepares to confront Kaden himself.

Photo courtesy of Lionsgate.
What drew you to Adverse?

Andrew: So I worked with Brian [A. Metcalf] and Thomas [Nicholas] on a film previously called Living Among Us. So, when Brian was getting ready to film this, he reached out and asked if I’d be open to jumping on board and working with them again. I took a look at the script and this particular character jumped out as something I can have some fun with and get into. So, being able to get into something Darko and I’ve never played a hitman or someone like this character so it was exciting that he was open to that idea. And, you know, just being a really bad guy is kind of fun sometimes, not all the time, but I got to kind of get to those darker places. And working with [Metcalf and Nicholas] again was a big draw as well.

Did you give him any sort of a backstory as to how he got to working for Kaden?

Andrew: You know, in working with Mickey [Rourke], first of all that was just awesome. He’s such an icon and I’ve enjoyed his work over the years. But I think for someone to be able to do the things that my character did in this film, it was certainly a troubled upbringing and a disassociation from the importance of life and, I think, draw into some dark of ideas. I would say, using something like the Night Stalker’s type of upbringing. Obviously, some terrible things happens in this character’s life that would allow him to behave in this way. And adding to the kind of interesting characteristics that he has, he was still a little bit charming and a bit of a go getter and he looks up to maybe the worst character, Kaden, and wants to be like him. He’s got his own aspirations of being a boss. So, I think, in this particular role, it’s really just about having fun and I always have fun making films with these guys. It was definitely one of the darker characters I played.

What was it like working with Mickey Rourke?

Andrew: So we actually filmed at the Viper Room on Sunset [Blvd] and it was also the day that everyone met and when we did those particular scenes, Mickey is quite frankly a very intimidating person. He’s a nice guy but he certainly came in character. And I remember the director, Brian, couldn’t quite finding a way to connect with him initially, and I could literally see the terror in Brian… but he was very nice would share some stories but he certainly was constantly in character. And I found myself a bit overwhelmed, as we began during the scenes, and you can probably see a little bit of that, but, of course, I still had to be strong in our relationship enough that there’s a degree of trust. I mean, obviously, when you’re doing it, the bidding, if you will, of your boss and it involves murderous behavior, he’s a scary guy to be around. He told the story about, I think from when he was working on The Wrestler, and he did this unexpected shot to my stomach in telling the story. I remember in the moment realizing that he was testing me a bit and even though it wasn’t a hit per se, it was a shock. And I just remember kind of gritting my teeth realizing that I had to hold it together and not cower and act as if I was weak. So, moments like that, you realize you’re working with someone who’s fully aware of what they’re doing and they’re testing you quite frankly. No bruises or anything but it was a good moment that I realized I need to be on my A game.

But yeah, I was like, ’Oh! Okay, that hurts a little bit,’ but in my head, I was like, ‘Oh my god, don’t do anything. Look him in the eyes and let him tell his story.’ And I think that really physically bought me into the space with him, knowing that at any moment he could explode on you. And that was very much the character and, I think, a part of who Mickey is.

In one word, how would you describe Adverse?

Andrew: I want to say, frightening because there’s a sense of reality to it, so the idea that these kinds of things, quite frankly, do happen. This kind of character that I was playing, they exist in the real world. So the idea to see the movie and think that this kind of stuff is going on in the real world, is a frightening thought… like executing someone on the beach, things like that. People do that. It’s quite scary.

Keegan and Rourke in ‘Adverse’ Photo courtesy of Lionsgate.
Adverse is now available on Digital, On Demand and DVD.