Sam Rockwell Talks Murder Mystery ‘See How They Run’

Sam Rockwell Talks Murder Mystery ‘See How They Run’

SEE HOW THEY RUN, from left: Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan, 2022. ph: Parisa Taghizadeh /© Searchlight Pictures /Courtesy Everett Collection

Sam Rockwell, left, and Saoirse Ronan in See how they walk. (Photo: Parisa Taghizadeh /© Searchlight Photos /Courtesy of Everett Collection)

The murder mystery is hot right now. Rian Johnson’s Exciting Oscar-nominated Whodunit Blades off revived the genre in 2019. Christopher Miller’s the afterparty, a comedic, episodic spin on the genre, was a huge hit for Apple TV+ earlier this year. And Johnson just unveiled one Blades off continuation, Glass Onionlast weekend at the Toronto International Film Festival for its Netflix debut in November.

In between Blades off editions is coming See how they walkA playful and witty homage to Agatha Christie from director Tom George that follows a seasoned London detective (Sam Rockwell) who teams up with an inexperienced cop (Saoirse Ronan) to solve a murder case involving a Hollywood filmmaker (Adrien Brody) and the cast of a West End stage production from the 1950s.

It’s another colorful entry into the eclectic oeuvre of Rockwell (whose Academy Award-winning role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri premiered this fall five years ago). The actor spoke to Yahoo Entertainment about the film, its legendary genre and where he keeps that Oscar.

Yahoo Entertainment: What would you say you had the chance to do as an actor in? See how they walk that you had never done on screen before?

Sam Rockwell: Well, the British accent was definitely a first on film. I had done it in the theatre. And I’ve played a grumpy drunk guy once, but never a detective, I guess. That was fun.

The movie is incredibly self-aware, it’s very meta on points about its own genre. Adrian Brody’s character even says in voiceover, “It’s a whodunit. You’ve seen one. You’ve seen them all.” But of course you have to differentiate, you have to try to remix the genre, what felt new to you about this one?

We strove to be in tone, like Death of Stalin or The Big Lebowskibut it is clearly a tribute to Murder on the Orient Express and Colombo or things like that.

Did you see? Blades off? That was such a sensation, of course, and it felt like it revived the genre in many ways. Did you have that in mind at all?

Absolute. Yes. Surely. There seems to be a need for things like this now and that’s thanks to Blades off. Hopefully this will have the same reaction.

What did you like about working so closely with Saoirse? She’s so funny in this.

She’s really funny in real life. Very self-deprecating. Very very sweet. Just like a normal person. You know, she’s just not bothered by all the Hollywood bullshit. She’s really just a nice girl from Cork [Ireland].

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 04: Actor Sam Rockwell, Best Supporting Actor award winner for 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,' poses in the press room at the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Dan MacMedan/WireImage)

Sam Rockwell with his Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for Three billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri, in 2018. (Photo: Dan MacMedan/WireImage)

This film imitates show business in many ways, between the worlds of both theater and film. Was that a draw for you? Do you appreciate it when Hollywood billboards see themselves on screen?

Yes, it’s a bit like Get Shorty in this way. Harris Dickinson is really funny as [Richard] Attenborough. I just play him as a coward and quite a vain man. And David Oyelowo as the narcissistic playwright. It’s all very funny. Adrian, Reece [Shearsmith]. It’s really fantastic.

This is another Searchlight Pictures movie for you. You’ve had some success with the studio, of course, with all the awards you’ve won Three Billboards. Where do you keep your Oscar?

I have it on a shelf in my living room.

So in a quite traditional location.

Pretty traditional. Yes.

What did winning the Oscar mean to you? Is that the instant number one career highlight or pinnacle that people think it is?

It’s definitely one of those bucket list things. SNL. Doing american buffalo on Broadway. Those are kind of bucket list things, you know? But there’s no telling when you’ll get such fame. You just do your job and do your best. You know? Who knows if they will see the movie?

See how they walk playing now.

Watch the trailer:

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