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Set Visit: Shoot 'Em Up Pranks

Published June 13, 2007 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of New Line Cinema.
Shoot 'Em Up Shoot 'Em Up

Shoot 'Em Up is going to be an outrageous, irreverent take on the gunfight action genre. It's got Clive Owen carrying a baby around through bullet ballets, a lactating prostitute love interest and more stuff we won't spoil just yet. But when the actors tried to pull one over on writer-director Michael Davis, the filmmaker wasn't laughing.

Michael Davis Talks Shoot 'Em Up Pranks


"There was one day on the set though and it was actually April Fool’s Day," recalled Davis. "I didn’t realize it was April 1st. Clive kept saying, 'Oh I’m going to get you on a trick one day.’ There’s a scene in the script where Clive lives in this abandoned building and instead of having a key for the lock, he uses this rat to go through a tunnel and pull these pullies and undo the door. There’s this scene where he has to pick up the rat from this basket. This was his trick, right. I’m sitting behind the monitor and he picks up the rat and goes, ‘Oh my God, the rat bit me.’ Monica [Bellucci] screams and drops the baby. ‘Oh my God, the baby.’"

From video village, Davis had a vantage point that clued him into the charade. "I could see the rat was over there. The baby was over here. It was not the real baby. So I got up. Everybody was clustering around and you’d figure there’s nothing you can do, even if this disaster did happen."

Shoot 'Em Up Shoot 'Em Up


Shoot 'Em Up Shoot 'Em Up

Davis even thought practically about how to handle an on-set accident. "I told Clive that somebody yelled, ‘That’s it. It’s over. It’s over.’ And I was like, ‘Oh is the day over?’ We still had five hours of shooting left. I was like, ‘I’m so tired I could go back to bed.’"

Owen did his victory dance despite the unphased director. "He was like, ‘We got you. We got you.’ I wasn’t worried that something silly like that could happen. The funny thing was the reason why I wasn’t fooled, Clive never gets big. He made this big deal, ‘Oh my God, I’ve been bit.’ It was so un-Clive like to go big. I said, ‘This can’t be real.’ He should have sold it better. He still thinks he got me, but he didn’t. Then he goes, ‘You were a jerk to want to go home and take a nap.’ I’m tired."

Shoot 'Em Up comes to theaters on September 7.

For the trailer, more from the set visit, and additional movie info, go to the Shoot 'Em Up Movie Page.

Stay tuned for updates.


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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of New Line Cinema.
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