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Joe Carnahan on The A-Team

Published June 7, 2010 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of 20th Century Fox
The A-Team Poster The A-Team
Bringing The A-Team to the big screen was serious business. Director Joe Carnahan had a lot of important meetings about what the movie version of the ‘80s TV show would be. Many of them revolved around respected movie star Liam Neeson playing Hannibal, with gray hair.

Joe Carnahan Leads The A-Team


“I think Liam was good with the silver hair,” Carnahan said. “There was a whole a fight about [it]. It’s funny, all this stuff seems like it’s all anecdotal now but it was a pain in the ass in the moment. We had to like do renderings and it was like, okay Liam, it’s going to be 60% brown, 10% alopecia , 5% blond and then salt and pepper. It was crazy. Like the studio, we really were jumping through some insane hoops to get the right because I thought in the photographs and above it will be white. It won’t look good. It will look old. It was crazy but it wound up looking good.”

Neeson provided another unexpected dilemma for Carnahan. One of Hannibal’s great plans caused a surprise debate. “When he comes out of the furnace, the crematorium, and the guy passes out, I remember we had to do one where he came out of the freezer because there was concern that the furnace would be something that would be reminiscent of what the Nazi’s did in Schindler’s List. This is where the mind goes. These are studio politics and certainly their concerns are their concerns but we had a tremendous amount of freedom. What you’re seeing in a lot of those scenes too is the guys adlibbing and the guys taking the dialog and making it their own. That’s why I think the movie has that sense of really kind of free spirited free flowing kind of sense about itself, is it doesn’t seem rigid and strict and it works.”



The A-Team has the big action of a summer blockbuster, including some outrageous stunts that are not to be believed. “Okay, the idea of flying a tank, if anybody really has a problem, and was a big A-Team fan, with us flying a tank or doing whatever, my suggestion is invest in actual life. This is what I go to movies for. I think that those sequences there are fantastic. I think they’re original. I think they’re unique. I think that what they do it’s the confluence of character action, humor, all that great stuff moving as one as opposed to just action for action’s sake, just a joke for a joke’s sake. All this stuff I think it flows really well. All I wanted to do and all any of us wanted to do I think is give people two hours of a great time. You’re going to laugh. It’s exciting. You leave the theater and you got a big smile on your face. That’s it. If we did that, we did our job.”

Sometimes his actors even surprised him, volunteering for dangerous stunts. Bradley Cooper tried rolling under a truck himself. “I remember going out there and like seeing it and I’m like, ‘How fast are they going?’ They say they’re going like 25, 30 miles an hour. Brad was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to be under it.’ I’m like yyeeeesshh.”

The A-Team opens to theaters on June 11th.

For the trailers, poster, stills and more movie info, go to the The A-Team Movie Page.
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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of 20th Century Fox
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