If you thought you were disappointed about Sony yanking the release of The Interview, just imagine being one of the film’s actors — and then imagine being one of the movie’s actors who isn’t Seth Rogen or James Franco, who have the benefit of 24-hour security. The Interview’s main cast seems to have been placed under a cone of silence following Sony’s announcement on Wednesday. So we called up three of the supporting players — Tommy Chang, David Diaan, and Thomas Cadrot — to see how they’re coping.
What were your roles in the movie?
Chang: I play one of Kim Jong-un’s bodyguards. In the original script, I’m in it from the get-go — with the president throughout every scene that he’s in. They edited me out in the vast majority of the film, but at the end, I actually get killed by Kim Jong-un for telling him the truth of what has happened. I report to him and say things that he doesn’t want to hear, so he shoots me in a way that’s very funny.
Diaan: I actually had a controversial role: I played the prime minister of Palestine. There was a scene toward the end of the movie where James Franco’s character goes on to solve other world issues. We had an amazing scene with that famous chef, that guy with the bleached hair … Guy Fieri. We’re cooking in a kitchen in part of James Franco’s show, and he has the prime minister of Israel and the prime minister of Palestine eating falafel sandwiches. We each taste one and we say, “It’s good, oh my god, it’s delicious.” And then Franco says, “See? You’re both eating the same falafel, and you can agree on that, so you can agree on anything!” I don’t even know [if my scene made it into the final movie]. Friends have told me they saw me in the preview. But I think the North Korean leader threatened that “If David Diaan is in the movie, we’re gonna really get down on Sony.” They might have taken my scene out because of my extremely intimidating persona. [Laughs.] I know I will definitely be in the DVD version of it, if the DVD version ever comes out.
Cadrot: I play a fake Korean solider in the scene where James Franco and Seth Rogen are training at a make-believe Korean compound. They have a bunch of fake Korean soldiers, and I just happened to be a black one, which is why there’s humor in it. The scene revolves around the fact that Franco is transporting some kind of biological weapon toward Kim Jong-un; this weapon is on his hand and he wants to shake the guy’s hand, and he sneezes and he loses it, and we’re all staring at him in awe because we don’t know exactly what the fuck he’s up to.
What have your lives been like these past 48 hours?
Chang: I’ve been in a cave in Toronto. It’s been pretty insane. Very busy. We were supposed to have a screening here yesterday, and for the last week we had all of our family members and friends coming into town to join us. But then I received an email from Sony Canada about the cancellation. So it’s been hectic, running around to let everybody know that it’s been canceled. I’m surprised there’s been so much coverage. Every news network out there, television and radio and social media is all talking about this. Two or three out of every ten friends I have on Facebook are discussing this — and luckily they’re smart enough not to tag me.
Cadrot: I received an email from my union yesterday saying, “Okay, these are the Sony Pictures feature films that were done in the Vancouver area, and if you participated in any way on these projects, you might want to consider getting coverage against identity theft.” It was a long list of movies, and The Interview was on it. Honestly, I don’t have the fame that James Franco and Seth Rogen have, so [the idea of having to protect] my identity was funny. But the union is obviously taking this very seriously. I told my friends what was happening. Not my parents, because they don’t watch these kind of movies. This being a comedy, I didn’t think it would actually get canceled. It’s just a movie. And I noticed this has had repercussions on other movies now, too. I read that Steve Carell had another project that got pulled. It’s weird.
Diaan: I’m safe. I went out drinking last night! It didn’t change my circumstances in any way. At first I thought it was all an advertising hoax, just a way to get people to see the movie. And I thought, What a brilliant idea! But now it seems to be quite serious. I think the real situation [in North Korea] might be more funny than the movie. I hope the film still comes out and has success on some level. I don’t even know if everyone has banned it or not. Is it not going to come out at all?
Sony says there are no plans to release it.
Diaan: Jesus Christ. Well, I got my check! Although this will affect my residuals, unfortunately.
Chang: I believe it’ll come out. I saw the movie and thought it was really funny. At my screening there wasn’t a moment where people were not laughing and enjoying themselves. Eventually when this terrorist action and everything else blows over, I think they’ll release it in a theater, if they don’t do it On Demand first.
Cadrot: [I think it’ll come out], maybe in a year or so. Or maybe in a couple years, to give it time for this whole thing to die down, which would be a smart move. Why take that away from the audience? Why do we have to put all this weight on this movie that’s just going to entertain?
James Franco and Seth Rogen reportedly have round-the-clock bodyguards. Have you been offered any additional security?
Chang: Well, I’m keeping a low profile these days. It’s funny, because when we were shooting the movie, we were talking about the safety issues. I play the first presidential bodyguard to Kim Jong-un, so luckily my actions are honorable to the North Koreans. A lot of my friends are concerned for me, but I’m not. I feel safe being in Canada.
Diaan: No. Why would I? What’s gonna happen to me or even the big stars in the film? Who cares? I was on the Sony lot yesterday for an audition! I wasn’t afraid at all. I took a picture of myself under the rainbow.
Cadrot: No. I haven’t heard from Sony. My agent hasn’t heard from Sony either.
Have you spoken to anyone else on the cast?
Diaan: No, honestly, I have not talked to them.
Chang: I’ve been keeping in touch with Randall Park. I’m a little worried about him, because he portrayed the North Korean president and this movie doesn’t really make Kim Jong-un look very good. But it’s just him and the lead actors that I would be concerned about, if anything
Have you been affected in any other ways by the Sony hacks? Has any of your personal information leaked?
Chang: No. I think it’s because my personal information went through Sony Canada rather than Sony in the States. So I had my confidentiality from the start.