Even the Duke of Hastings can’t compete with “The Gray Man.”
“Bridgerton” breakout Regé-Jean Page detailed his secretive role in the Russo Brothers’ spy caper “The Gray Man,” in select theaters July 15 and streaming on Netflix July 22. The cat-and-mouse thriller stars Chris Evans as sociopathic assassin Lloyd Hansen, who is hired to hunt down CIA mercenary Courtland Gentry, aka Sierra Six (Ryan Gosling), after a security breach. Ana de Armas, Billy Bob Thornton, and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” scene-stealer Julia Butters also star in the most expensive Netflix film to date.
“I mean, the scope of the thing is insane,” Page told Elle. “I think the Russos have talked about that publicly in terms of how many set pieces they have going, in terms of the size of their ambition for this project. When I watched this thing in a screening room, it physically shook me. So I don’t think that there’s any limits to how big this is. This is the biggest action movie that I’ve ever seen.”
He added, “The fun thing about the Russos, they are such masters of genre that they can kind of turn on a dime between an absolute white-knuckle adrenaline ride, and then this kind of community-esque wink at the camera where everything is actually very funny, straight back into white-knuckle action, you know? I think the way that they’re able to play with genre like that and make sure that everyone’s having this compelling, enjoyable experience through a movie with such weight is really quite special.”
Details about Page’s character are still “in the classified file” according to the actor, but he could reveal that his onscreen persona is the “head of the CIA clandestine services” and that the role gave him an opportunity to showcase a new side of his acting talent.
“There’s a lot of shadow and contrast to this character, it’s something that I don’t think people have seen a lot of from me specifically before, which was great fun for me to play with,” Page said. “These people live in the shadows, you kind of gotta discover them in the movie.”
The Russo Brothers already dished that “The Gray Man” was the “movie [that] almost killed us,” with Joe Russo adding, “There are, like, nine action sequences, and it’s so relentless in that regard. It was relentless to make.”
Like Page, the Russos crafted “character-oriented” action sequences around the duality of the ensemble cast. Anthony Russo previously said, “We start all of our exploration of action through character. How do we test who this character is? How do we trap them in the worst possible place, like in the airplane sequence. That’s a very vulnerable place for that character to be in, and it shows you how vigilant he is, and how disciplined he is.”
“The Gray Man” is already spurring a franchise based on Gosling’s Sierra Six character with a follow-up film already in motion, plus expected spinoff projects.
“The focus is to make ‘Gray Man 2.’ Our appetite is voracious and the intention is always to do more than we can,” Anthony Russo concluded.