William Fichtner Talks 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' and Coming Back for the Sequel

William Fichtner Talks 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' and Coming Back for the Sequel

Dec 16, 2014

William Fichtner is the man. He's been in Heat, Armageddon, Contact, Go, The Perfect Storm, Black Hawk Down, Elysium, The Dark Knight and so, so much more. His latest role is in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (available now on Blu-ray, DVD and digital HD), where he plays Eric Sacks, a maniacal businessman who sets the stage for Shredder and his Foot clan to take over the turtles' home town of New York City.

That may seem like an odd role for Fichtner, a great character actor who tends to pop up more in adult fare than he does movies for kids, but that's partially what attracted him to it. Plus, as you'll see in our below interview, it's really not that uncommon for him to receive a last minute call to join a movie (or TV show).

 

Movies.com: How was your character in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pitched to you?

William Fichtner: Actually, it was kind of a last-minute thing. Traveling back from Santa Fe, New Mexico, there's one flight a day to L.A., and it's not a very big plane. I'm walking on it and my manager calls and says "Listen, I'm going to send you a script when you get home. It's pretty interesting and I hope you like it, because if you do, you're going to travel in like a couple days." Before he gets off the phone I go, "Well, what's the name of it?" and he goes, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and hangs up.

I didn't grow up in the '80s, but I have an awful lot of nieces and nephews who did, so I'm very aware of the Turtles and their whole world. So it was really just a last-minute thing. I think I was on a plane three or four days after that conversation.

Movies.com: Does that happen a lot to you?

Fichtner: I'd love to tell you that I know what I'm doing a year from now, but I think that's for other actors. Sometimes that happens. Sometimes I know in advance, but things change all the time. I don't know the circumstances with Turtles in particular and why it was a last-minute thing, but you never know. Sometimes people get a greenlight at the 11th hour and all of a sudden they've got to go. Sometimes I'll get a last-minute call... like on Prison Break, they said "I hope you like the script because you've got to leave tomorrow." And so my first response is "Who'd they lose?" They certainly didn't wait until the 11th hour to figure out who is going to play this thing, but you never know and honestly I never ask.

It's more about reading it. Like with Turtles, I thought it was a cool ride. And so if I like the project and I like the people involved, and feel like the piece of the puzzle they're asking me to look at speaks to me, then I'm interested.

Movies.com: You've never actually played the same character twice in a movie. Is that intentional?

Fichtner: I don't know anybody that wouldn't like a really great franchise, especially if you like the part, but that's not something you can really pick. I really appreciate you saying that, though, because I love hearing that. That's the way I look at things. I have been offered films where I've read it and think I've played the same character before. If it feels close, I'm not sure what I'd play differently the second time. I like to travel and get excited about things knowing that I've never done them. That's an exciting step for me. My eyes are always open to try and find something new.

Movies.com: Your role here seems like it could come back as a sort of overall mastermind the Turtles keep going against. Will you be back for the sequel?

Fichtner: That has yet to be seen, but I have had some conversations about Turtles 2 and I do believe I'll be coming back, but I don't know for sure.

Movies.com: Do you have any of your own favorite characters you've played?

Fichtner: I just tend to not work on anything unless I really want to, but sometimes that's not easy because there have certainly been times in my life where I think, "Gee, I could really use a job right now." I do look for that thing that's special, so looking back over things I've worked on, most of it I'm really happy with. If I had to knock it down to a few, some of it's been the experience. Working on Go made that one of my favorite characters. Contact, man that was a role that I really wanted. I wanted that so much because I read that and thought "F**k, I really want to play that guy."

But experiences like Black Hawk Down and The Perfect Storm... I did this little movie called The Amateurs that nobody saw, but it has Jeff Bridges and this cast of amazing actors. That will always be one of my favorite things. One last one that I will mention is a little-seen movie called Drive Angry. I think playing the Accountant was fun every freaking day.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is available now on Blu-ray, DVD and digital HD. Here's a handful of behind-the-scenes stills from the movie.

 

 

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