Opening next Friday,
This is the second feature, the first being the droll hit-men comedy
In the new film, a Hollywood-based screenwriter (Colin Farrell) writing a movie called "Seven Psychopaths" struggles with writer's block, with alcohol, with the relational demands of his woman (Abbie Cornish) and with the attempts of his struggling-actor friend (
McDonagh got lucky: The plays he wrote, which continue to be done around the world, have given him a very comfortable life and the latitude to make a movie every four years or so. If he wants to.
"I'm really lazy," he said recently over coffee in a downtown hotel restaurant. He notes that between "In Bruges" (2008) and "Seven Psychopaths" he wrote a play, "A Behanding in Spokane," starring Christopher Walken (another "Seven Psychopaths" cast member) and co-starring Rockwell. It ran briefly on Broadway in 2010. That play, he acknowledges, "didn't quite work." But it gave two of his seven psychopaths a nice warm-up.
"In Bruges" and "Seven Psychopaths" were written around the same time; McDonagh decided to film "In Bruges" first, so that he'd be ready, as a director, to take on the more expansive and complex action required by "Seven Psychopaths" in due course. If the movie carries any meaning, he says, it's in his interest in "the desire we have to write stories. And the worry about what kind of stories you're putting out there. People have said it's a very Tarantino-like film, but I feel, I hope, it's more of a comment on a kind of…ease with violence in those things. And probably in my stuff too."
McDonagh, who cites Chicago-based Tracy Letts (
To wit, though he hesitates to name the name: Tarantino. "'
McDonagh remains close — though hellaciously competitive — with his brother, the writer-director John Michael McDonagh, whose film
"Seven Psychopaths" opens in Chicago Oct. 12.