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Crispin Glover checks into 'Bag Man' with unique perspective

Published On: Mar 10 2014 08:17:24 AM MDT
Crispin Glover as Ned 2 in 'The Bag Man'

Cinedigm

Crispin Glover in "The Bag Man"

Crispin Glover has another film in the bag, and he couldn't be any more thrilled about it.

The acclaimed actor plays a supporting role in the new crime thriller "The Bag Man" as Ned, a creepy desk clerk suspicious of a seedy criminal (John Cusack) after he checks into his motel with a black satchel that has mysterious contents.

Now in theaters in limited release and playing On Demand, "The Bag Man" follows a perilous night in the life of Jack (Cusack), a henchman who is ordered to pick up a bag for his boss, Dragna (Robert De Niro), with one specific request: don't look to see what's inside of it. Despite a load of firepower that comes after him and the bag, Jack doesn't have a choice but to follow his boss' orders and refrain from looking in the bag if he wants to earn the load of cash Dragna promises to pay him for securing it.

While Glover has fewer scenes than his fellow stars Cusack, De Niro and Rebecca Da Costa, he turns in a memorable turn, nonetheless.In a recent interview, Glover told me that director and co-writer David Grovic had expanded the dialogue for his character, but the actor was happy with what he had to begin with.

"There was a specificity to the way the dialogue had been originally written, and I wanted to stick with it. It was very concise. There was certain amount of mystery hidden within the words that I very much liked," Glover said. "I'm never one for just saying more. I like it when the dialogue is to the point of what's necessary. That's ultimately my favorite thing."

That not to say extended dialogue doesn't have its place, Glover said. And it serves some of the other actors well in "The Bag Man."

"It works for some characters -- part of what they're about is their verbosity, and I think that's true of the role Robert De Niro played," Glover said. "It was a lot of fun seeing him talking about the way he talks about thing."

Glover -- whose roles over the years include George McFly in "Back to the Future," the villainous Thin Man in "Charlie's Angels" and the Red Queen's henchman the Knave of Hearts in "Alice in Wonderland" -- said movie roles for him have never been about the amount of screen time, but what he does with the time he has. "I usually look to see if there's for the character," Glover explained. "You can usually have an arc in two or three scenes. Of course, you can have an arc that goes for an entire film, or if you have an entire film where the character isn't that well written, then you won't have one. It's important to have that arc of a psychological change that I think is particularly compelling for both an actor and an audience to go through."

The fun part about working on "The Bag Man" for Glover was that he had input into some of the attributes of his character, starting with an unusual accent, and speaking in such a way that all of his sentences trail off into being inaudible. It's definitely a unique performance.

"The way I look and sound in it is immediately the way I pictured the character in my mind," Glover said. "I said, 'This is the choice that will be accurate for this character.' There wasn't a lot of time to prepare for it, because I started two weeks from the time the deal happened for me to be in the film. The deal happened a day or two after I read the screenplay."

Currently, Glover is currently a directing a film that he will co-star in with his father, Bruce Glover. A period film, it marks the first time the Crispin Glover has been in a film with his father, who has starred in such films "Diamonds are Forever," "China Town" and "Ghost World." Glover is also working on completing his "It" film trilogy.

Fans can read about Glover's first two films -- "What is it?" and "It is Fine. Everything is Fine" -- on the actor-filmmaker's official website, CrispinGlover.com.