Director Dishes on Street Kings

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Director David Ayer recently sat down with to discuss his latest crime thrilled, Street Kings. Here are a couple excerpts from the interview:

CS: Did you see Keanu Reeves' character as a bad cop or someone who did bad things because that's what he had to do in order to get the job done?
Ayer: The whole concept of good cop/bad cop really depends on how you see it. To Internal Affairs or a senior police administrator, a bad cop is anyone who doesn't follow the regulations. To his brother officers, a hard-charging, possibly violent cop who gets the job done no matter what is seen as a asset. It's seen as a positive. So it's really sort of the management street cop divide in LAPD.

It really depends what side of that you're on. Policing requires a certain flexibility because you're given obviously laws and books and regulations that you have to follow, but you're dealing with real people in real situations so there's always room for interpretation.

Diskant and Tom book Grill

CS: You've come back to criminals and Los Angeles a number of times now. What keeps bringing you back to the street level of crime theme?
Ayer: It was exciting to do this particular project. One thing you have to realize is that when you're in a career in Hollywood it's not like you're walking into Hometown Buffet and you pick from a variety of projects lying out before you. When this project came along, I really wanted to get back on set.

I had a great experience directing Harsh Times and a brutal distribution experience, but that aside. Here comes Keanu Reeves with a script that's pretty close to camera ready in an arena I'm really familiar with. You've got to keep in mind this is my first studio movie as a director so I'm not going to get hired to do a romantic comedy [and] I'm not going to get hired to do a summer tentpole.

That's just the reality of the business. So here's a wonderful opportunity in a city I know, in a world I know with characters I know and it afforded me the opportunity as a director to not have to focus on the world, but to focus on developing performance.

Read the complete interview with Ayer now.

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Street Kings Quotes

We're the police. We can do whatever the hell we want.

Tom Ludlow

Diskant: So we're just gonna go in there and kill him?
Tom Ludlow: No, I'm gonna ask him some questions... then we're gonna kill him.