Follow Us on Twitter

The A-Team – Joe Carnahan interview

Joe Carnahan directs The A-Team

Interview by Rob Carnevale

JOE Carnahan talks about some of the challenges of bringing his A-Team revival to the big screen as well as some of the fun he had while doing it. He also talks about Sharlto Copley’s rehearsal tape and why the UK reaction to the film at its UK premiere was so special to him…

Q. There have been so many aborted attempts to bring The A-Team to the big screen, so how does it feel to be the man who finally did it?
Joe Carnahan: It feels fantastic. That reception we got last night in Leicester Square [at the UK premiere] was the most extraordinary thing ever. To be received like that and get that level of enthusiasm was wonderful. And then to be able to work with my fine cast…

Q. So, what part of the original characters did you lean on and what part did you steer clear of?
Joe Carnahan: Well, you have to be able to have some fun with it and to contemporise it and keep it lively.

Q. How difficult was it casting the film? In addition, to the team itself you have people like Patrick Wilson on board too…
Joe Carnahan: It was interesting but once I got Liam… Liam is what they call in the business as an actor attractor. So, once Liam was interested it became evident to people that it was something that was going to be interesting. We weren’t going to lampoon The A-Team and we weren’t going to satirise it. I mean, you can’t satirise a satire. So, once that happened it came together very quickly. And you always watch actors and performances, so I was always a big Patrick Wilson fan.

Brian Bloom [Pike in the movie] wrote the script with me and hadn’t been in anything in ages… I think the last movie he was in was Once Upon A Time in America when he was 12-years-old [laughs]. So, I just thought… it’s always lovely to be able to do that and to have guys like Gerald McRaney or people that you’re already fans of, who can come in and do sensational work for you. That’s always a treat. The most fun I had [on this] was getting to work with the actors… there’s nothing that can beat that, no explosion. When you can sit in a room and work with these people and see this great chemistry develop is wonderful.

Q. I gather Sharlto Copley sent you quite a persuasive audition tape for Murdock?
Joe Carnahan: Sharlto was great. One of the things he’d done involved a bowl of tortilla chips with one that looked like a shark’s fin. So, Murdock was convinced that a miniature shark was swimming around in his salsa, and I just cracked up when I saw it. I thought that anybody who was willing to go to that kind of trouble, and while they were on a promotional tour [for District 9] was worth a shot. It was really funny. People have been asking me about this all day, and whether the tape will be on the DVD… they have to be.

Q. Are there any other TV shows you’d like to see revived or would like to take a shot at?
Joe Carnahan: I keep hearing people saying that it’s a remake… but we really didn’t remake The A-Team – you can’t remake a television show. You can distil whatever… five years and maybe 98 episodes into a two hour movie, but it’s difficult. They called me about The Equalizer, but I thought: “You know, I’m good.” I love The Six Million Dollar Man… that’s something that I always thought would be a great movie.

Read our review of The A-Team

Sharlto Copley interview