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Interview with The Bourne Legacy's Edward Norton!

Edward Norton talks Bourne!
by Gelo Gonzales | Aug 9, 2012
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Brad Pitt's seemingly less menacing "other half" in Fight Club, Edward Norton, stars in The Bourne Legacy, a movie which many of us know as that action flick that caused a lot of traffic in Manila. Directed by Tony Gilroy who wrote the screenplays for all the previous Bourne movies, Legacy puts Norton in the shoes of  Ret. Col. Ric Byer, the main antagonist in the next chapter of this hugely popular espionage franchise.

Norton though isn't cool with the "villain" label, preferring instead that he is but a piece of the intricate and morally complicated puzzle involving the government, corporations, and scientists. In other words, Legacy intends to continue the Bourne tradition of inciting conspiracy theorists to be even more distrustful of them crazy scientists. What else is he cool and not cool with? Read the interview shared by Universal Pictures to find out more!


How different is The Bourne Legacy in relation to the previous Bourne films? Did you have to go back to them?
Edward Norton: The great thing is that there’s consistency because Tony Gilroy wrote the other films and went on to direct this one. The Bourne films appeal to the conspiracy theorist in all of us. What makes this one distinctive is the way that Tony, instead of trying to start over, just widens it out and makes you realize that the first films were like petals of the flower. Now the flower is opening up and you are starting to see the whole world that this was a part of. Tony is expanding the story, instead of trying to start over. He’s now widening out from government and starting to include corporations in the web of the corruption and conspiracy. It’s a very interesting way to go.  

You’ve said in interviews that you generally like films that reflect the zeitgeist and talk about what’s going on in the world. Does The Bourne Legacy fit into this thought?
In most of Tony’s films, I think there’s an investigation of the way that the world of corporations is starting to control and penetrate into our lives. He’s done it looking at law, he’s done it looking at competing brands and now he’s looking at the intelligence world. I think it is a topic that is very current.

So, The Bourne Legacy is not merely an action film?
No, it’s not just an action film. Tony is really good at lacing some ideas, or shades of gray, into The Bourne Legacy.

Was that important for you to do this? Does an action film have to do that for you to be interested?
Different films provide different combinations of entertainment and thought-provoking qualities. There are some straightforward action films that are great. The main thing that drew me into this project was that I really like Tony’s films. I think he’s had a very consistent set of themes that I have always been really interested in. It’s fun to work with someone who’s got a special intelligence about a certain subculture and world. I would say that Tony was the main draw for me because I like his films and liked the idea of working with him.  

The film also tackles the subject of scientific experiments not always going well. Can you expand on this?
Yes, I think this is one of those subjects that Tony said, “Don’t talk about it!” (laughs). This film is very much about the collaborations that exist between the government, corporations and science. It’s how these things have become interlaced with each other and sometimes how they end up creating a moral gray zone.

NEXT: On preparing for the role, and on being a villain

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