non-stop-posterA press conference was held for Universal Pictures’ latest film “Non-Stop” which hits theaters this Friday, Feb. 28. Read what the film’s stars Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson had to say about working on the thriller. 

Film Synopsis: “Non-Stop” is a suspense thriller played out at 40,000 feet in the air.  During a transatlantic flight from New York City to London, U.S. Air Marshal Bill Marks (Neeson) receives a series of cryptic text messages demanding that he instruct the airline to transfer $150 million into an off-shore account.  Until he secures the money, a passenger on his flight will be killed every 20 minutes.  The film reunites Neeson with “Unknown” director Jaume Collet-Serra and producer Joel Silver, and co-stars Golden Globe Award winner Julianne Moore.

Q: When you’re making a movie like this, does it make you think about the line between being paranoid and vigilant in a post 9/11 world?

JM: I think that when you’re constructing entertainment; thrillers, horror movies, or anything that’s gonna scare, they’re all based on what our natural worries are. In this case, we take something that’s sort of routine, obviously when you get on a plane you give up some of that control, and we play on that fear. What I like so much about this particular script is Jaume Collet-Serra’s handling of it is that he takes a sort of ordinary circumstance and turns it into a Hitchcockeon event. It’s very reminiscent of an older movie.

Q: Liam, what drew you to the role? And have you taken any martial arts training?

LN: I’ve done a mongrel version of different fight stuff for years, but in this one we didn’t adopt martial arts. It’s so corny. Any physical altercations that happen on the airplane, we wanted to make them real. I worked quite close with a special forces guy that trains air marshals. We came up with the fight in the bathroom based on stuff he was trained to do in very close combat. What you would do to disarm someone? So we tried to keep that real.

Q: Both of your characters had an air of mystery and a lot of questions were never answered. How was it developing your characters?

JM: I liked that fact that there was air of mystery about all of the character because I feel like in life that’s the way it is. In cinema people are always walking into something and saying this is who I am, what I want, and how I’m going to get it and we don’t in life – particularly not in public situations. People might know your first name, not your last name, they don’t know what you do, and you’re not going to offer it up. So if you start there and you realize this is a much more normal presentation in a film then you would ordinarily have; you know that there is a big life behind what everyone presents and that I think is super interesting.

LN: I relied on Jaume a lot because he’s a very prepared director. Any queries we had about the script or about what a character should do or not we always tried to judge it to the “nth” degree because he was always thinking of an arc symphony. Just a raise of an eye brow sometimes maybe just too much. Every little nuance of gesture we were aware of, but with that being said we weren’t in a straight jacket.

Q: What kind of traveler are you guys?

LN: Do you mean a fear of flying and stuff?

Q: No, when people walk up to you in the airport.

LN: I just say F*ck off, especially if it’s a kid. I’m joking, of course!

JM: People are really nice and sometimes I really do talk to people. I do talk to women with children a lot because you feel for them.

Q: A lot of the characters were sort of stereotypical you have the angry young black man, the heroic cop, the middle eastern man, it’s sort of playing with the preconceived notions that people have. Do you think it was smart for the writers to angle it that way?

LN: At first glance they’re sort of stereotypical, but I think Jaume played with that of course there’s the muslim doctor and you go “uh huh this is interesting but, its not going to be him.” He plays with that.

-Keith Lee