While working on his new film The Samaritan, actor Luke Kirby found a novel way to shake off the heaviness of the day’s shooting.
“I found the experience of playing Ethan a bit heavy,” he says. “No matter what you tell yourself, it has some sort of impact on you. You sort of have to mark the time you’re there and mark the time that you’re out in some way. Whatever it is. Like going to McDonald’s for breakfast. Which is what it was for me because we were doing night shoots. That was how I stepped out.”
Kirby plays a vengeful con man eager to learn the ropes from his criminal father’s former partner. That man, Foley, is played by one of Kirby’s idols, Samuel L. Jackson.
“He is so iconic and embedded in my memory from when I was becoming a fan of film,” Kirby says. “He shows up in all these movies. He’s there in Do the Right Thing. He’s there in Jurassic Park. Pulp Fiction. All these films that were coming out around that time, so I look up to him a great deal in that regard.
“It was a little bit nerve-wracking to meet him, but he is such a hard worker and so ready to work and such a nice man and so playful, that very quickly it became a partnership of trying to shed light on whoever these characters are.”
But shedding light on a character who exists in the moral shadows was difficult for Kirby.
“I was sort of left a bit troubled by the character of Ethan,” he says. “He’s a bit disturbing and I couldn’t really grasp what his motives were because his actions are so questionable. I think that is what really pulled me in. It made my brain feel all tricky so I wanted to get in there and figure out what was wrong with this kid.”
The Samaritan is a puzzle, a complex story of eight million dollars, ex-cons, con games and murder all wedged between layers of lies and double-crosses.
“I was impressed with how (director David Weaver) was able to make a film that was tonally and visually very dark and yet not have it weighted down or become heavy.
“You don’t want to give away the game,” Kirby continues. “That was sort of the dance of it. I’m glad it comes across.”