In Paranoia Harrison Ford portrays Jock Goddard and Gary Oldman plays Nicholas Wyatt, two of the most powerful tech billionaires in the world, whose rivalry knows no bounds. Into the mix comes Adam Cassidy (Liam Hemsworth), falling between them and becoming trapped in a life-and-death game of corporate espionage.
Based on the New York Times best-selling novel of the same name, the techno-thriller Paranoia opens on August 16th.
Harrison Ford and Liam Hemsworth spoke about the movie at the press day in Los Angeles.
Can you talk a little about the characters you play?
Harrison: The character that I played was really created to help tell this story, and the shades of his nature and how they were presented was part of the drama of the film.
When I showed up with a shaved head, Robert (Luketic, the movie’s director) was okay with that. When I said I wanted to wear blue jeans and a t-shirt to my fancy house backyard party, he was okay with that.
Those are the kind of things which I use to help describe a complicated character. The guy’s bad to the bone, but there’s no fun in seeing that presented that way.
So I thought there were interesting opportunities in the construction of the script, and the sophistication of the filmmakers that would allow me to create a character different then what I’ve played before.
Liam: This kid has something that everyone can relate to. He’s trying to climb the ladder. He started at the bottom, and he’s been at the bottom for a while. He’s fed up with being there and he’s kinda at the point where he’s got big ideas and big hopes and they don’t get him anywhere.
All of a sudden he’s caught in a position where he’s being told to do something that he wouldn’t normally do. He wants to climb the ladder, he wants to be successful, and he kinda gets pushed down a road that he wouldn’t normally go down and finds himself in a pretty dangerous position.
I’ve always liked thrillers like this, and I try to find characters that I think are going to challenge me.
It was in the news this morning that everything we’ve ever written in an e mail is now in a database.
Harrison: One of the things that the film talks about, which is to me the most interesting, because I’d always presumed there was no such thing as privacy, is that if you offer people something or create a perceived need or value in a service that you offer, people will give up freedoms, their personal privacy, in order to have it.
That’s the nature of marketing.
Liam: What I think is interesting too is that one of the biggest threats these days is cyber warfare, and how dangerous that is.
They talk about terrorist groups now hacking into power plants and how all these things that are now run by computers, and everything’s connected, all of a sudden you don’t have these things in place to protect it.
We’ve advanced that technology so quickly that we haven’t thought about all the other repercussions of it.
What was it like working with Gary Oldman?
Harrison: I worked with him, I guess it was about 20 years ago, on Air Force One. When I knew he was attached to this film, it was a big part of the draw. He’s fun. You never know what’s he’s going to do, what’s he’s going to look like, who he’s going to be, and I enjoyed it.
Liam: It was great to sit there and watch Harrison and Gary go head to head, particularly in those last few scenes when we were in the room together. In the scene, my character watches, and in real life I watched, and it was just very exciting.
You don’t know what either of them is going to do.
In the movie you guys played with mobiles, electronics, and computers. Did you grow up tech or electronic nerds?
Liam: When I found out that I was going to do this film, my character has a scene where he takes apart a number of phones and does numerous things to them.
So I got some old phones and I took them apart, and that’s about all I did. I took them apart, and couldn’t even put them back together. (he laughs) I couldn’t say that I’m as smart as Adam, in that way.
Harrison: I grew up in the stone age. I like books. I don’t like to read things on the internet. Anyways, I don’t have much of a connection!