NEW YORK — Kate Bosworth, Alexander Skarsgård and James Marsden have teamed up for a new millennium re-imagining of the classic 1971 Dustin Hoffman thriller “Straw Dogs.” The violent, dark film revolves around a young couple (Bosworth, Marsden) who move back to her Southern hometown and find themselves pretty unwanted by the locals, including Bosworth’s ex, played by “True Blood” vamp Skarsgård.
“I had not seen the original film when I was offered the role; I had read the script first,” Bosworth told MTV News at the premiere on Thursday. “I knew the original was a real cult classic. I read it and it was really intriguing, and then I watched the film, and I was pretty blown away; big shoes to fill. I thought, ‘Oh my god, this is going to be quite an intense one,’ but I love a challenge.”
Marsden was thrilled by the chance to tackle a character that was very new to him, even if it had been done before.
“That’s honestly one of the reasons I was drawn to it,” he said. “It’s a terrific role [and] in the 1971 original, my role was played by Dustin Hoffman, and I’m hoping most people will forget that. But, you know, it’s an actor’s dream role. So it was a tough thing to turn down.
“I knew of the original, but I hadn’t seen it,” he added, noting he wanted to make sure “I had my own responses to [the story] before I was ever affected by seeing the original.” He said that he didn’t want to go into shooting “aping” Hoffman.
Skarsgård also found himself with a major challenge. As the film’s bad guy, he wanted to make sure he wasn’t totally unlikable. “There was something that I felt there was a potential of exploring the relationship between the three of them, the dynamic there where I felt it could be interesting if you almost like Charlie in the beginning of the movie, and you’re not sure if you want Amy to stay with David or go to Charlie,” he said.
Charlie’s motives come from a really deep emotional place, Skarsgård added. “And, there was a sadness there that I wanted to capture,” he said. “I didn’t want to make it easy for the audience. I wanted to be more interesting than that.”