Scott Glenn on ‘Greenland’ and Performing With Authenticity


Scott Glenn might have entered the “taking part in granddad” a part of his career, however odds are he may nonetheless kick your ass. No less than, that’s the distinct feeling we received throughout our dialog with the veteran actor from his property within the foothills of Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains.

“I’ve all the time been an individual who experiences life via my physique first, and in my thoughts second,” says Glenn, whereas recounting a number of the epic lengths he went to carry authenticity to his performing. The pursuit of these new experiences continues off display as effectively, most just lately within the examine of the Russian martial artwork systema.



Glenn spoke with Males’s Journal about his newest function in Ric Roman Waugh’s Greenland, his legendary profession, divergent coaching practices, and residing the nice life within the Pacific Northwest.

What made you need to leap onboard Greenland?

I actually noticed the potential within the undertaking after speaking with Ric Waugh, and realizing the part I might be in is the beating coronary heart of the film. The concept of coping with a pure catastrophe of that magnitude, and what you’d do beneath these circumstances, is a giant one. I believe what resonates is that drive to seek out everybody you care about—ensuring they’re protected and what’s doable once we all work collectively. We’re unified beneath a typical menace. I noticed that within the script, and I additionally noticed who my character was. He’s, how ought to I say it, completed the key circle of his life. The love of his life is gone. And to him, whether or not he lives for one more 50 years or one other 50 minutes makes no distinction.

Scott Glenn in 'Greenland'
Scott Glenn, Gerard Butler, and Morena Baccarin in ‘Greenland’ STX Leisure

How was working with Gerard Butler?

Gerry was nice—each he and Morena Baccarin have been very beneficiant with our scenes collectively. I work a sure approach, and I all the time have. When a scene begins, I do not know the place it’s going to go. I don’t know precisely what I’m going to do, or what the viewers goes to see, they usually allowed me to go along with it. That’s all I would like.

What drove you to maneuver out to Idaho as a substitute of the standard actor haunts like New York or Los Angeles?

I used to be drawn right here as a result of, for my part, it’s probably the most lovely nation you’re ever going to see. Our home sits at round 6,000 toes. When we’ve snow, we’ve a number of the biggest snowboarding within the decrease 48 states. Throughout the summer time, there’s mountain climbing in every single place and roads made by God for our bikes. It’s a fantastic place for me to get again into impartial earlier than I am going out to do that loopy factor I made a decision to do for a residing. The air is clear and the water is evident. My spouse is a potter, and a superb artist. She has a studio on our land so she will be able to simply stroll throughout our property to do her work.

What sort of bikes are you driving now?

The principle bike I experience now’s a BMW, however I’ve had all types of sport bikes, Ducatis, Triumphs. In case you can identify it, I’ve had it. I’m actually wanting ahead to getting again on a monitor once more, so I can do excessive speeds, makes some turns, and all the enjoyable stuff that goes with that.

What are you doing for health today?

I’ve completed one type of martial arts or one other since I used to be a child, after I’d already completed wrestling and boxing. The primary martial artwork I actually studied was tang soo do, which is a Korean model that has a little bit extra emphasis on placing. However most just lately, I spent an extended weekend with one of many nice masters of Russian systema, this man Vladimir Vasiliev. I realized so much from that have and some new strategies I’ve been taking part in round with. One of many parts I introduced into my coaching is the concept the exercise has simply as a lot to do together with your respiration because it does together with your bodily exertion.

Are you able to give us an instance of what which may appear like?

As an example, doing pushups which might be fully synchronized together with your respiration—inhaling as you slowly press your physique up, then return again down, all whereas nonetheless inhaling. Then earlier than you start your subsequent pushup, begin to exhale, and repeat that course of all whereas exhaling. It lets you focus in your respiration extra deeply, in addition to opening up your senses to locations the place chances are you’ll be feeling stress or pressure. Not solely that, however sluggish pushups are simply more durable by nature. One other nice one is a variation to fist pushups, the place you open your fingers slowly till they’re mendacity flat on the bottom and your weight is evenly distributed on your entire knuckles. I’m nonetheless engaged on it, however you is perhaps taking two minutes simply to do one pushup. Sixty seconds down, then 60 seconds again up.

How necessary is authenticity while you’re performing?

I imagine that no matter character you play, there are components of their life exterior of the scenes—hobbies, occupation, behaviors—which might be innate to them. For instance, beginning with City Cowboy, there’s a approach bull riders tie the rawhide round their gloves. I wished to discover ways to do it realistically, utilizing my enamel and one hand. I received comfy with it by truly doing it a thousand occasions a day—150 occasions earlier than breakfast, after breakfast, and so forth. By the point I used to be doing it in a scene, I didn’t have to consider it. I solely do it in two scenes, however having that pure reflex introduced a brand new stage of authenticity for me. There have been a couple of bull riders who noticed the film and thought maybe they’d discovered a bull rider to play the half or that I used to be a severe bull rider. There aren’t many compliments higher to get than that.

Do you’ve got extra examples of that on-the-job coaching?

For The Transport Information, I received director Lasse Hallström to get me a job gutting fish for 2 hours each night time within the kitchen of the resort we have been staying in. I hoped for cod, as a result of I knew there was going to be a scene the place I’m on my boat gutting a fish and I wished to have the ability to do it with out pondering. I didn’t need to be looking at my fingers. I wished it to appear like I’d been doing it my entire life.

What’s been your most bodily function in a movie?

The character Stick, the blind sensei to Matt Murdock in Daredevil, was one of the vital intensely bodily for me. I spent numerous hours with my trainer, Dan Anderson. He has a martial arts studio referred to as Anderson Martial Arts on the nook of Broadway and Canal in New York Metropolis. Principally, after I wasn’t on set in Brooklyn filming the present, I used to be with my sifu (trainer) taking part in with knives. I most likely spent extra time working with the stunt individuals on our present than the remainder of the solid due to the extent of motion we have been doing.

I just lately had a dialog with a NASA astronaut, Mike Massimino, who says watching The Proper Stuff impressed him to go to area. What do you bear in mind about taking part in Alan Shepard?

Actually? [Laughs]. That’s nice. The toughest half about that film was I knew there have been going to be two individuals taking part in Alan Shepard, me and the true Alan Shepard. That’s as a result of our director, Philip Kaufman, was going to be utilizing information reel footage in addition to our performances. So there have been issues I wanted to get proper. Alan Shepard is true handed, whereas I’m very left handed. I bear in mind waking up within the morning in San Francisco and I might use yarn to tie my left hand to my belt loop so I used to be compelled to make use of my proper hand.

I’ve to ask about Vertical Restrict, which got here out 20 years in the past in December 2000. I heard that was a loopy shoot, filmed at these rugged areas in New Zealand’s Southern Alps and K2.

Vertical Restrict was an enormous journey for me. Proper from the start we began rehearsing and coaching in Queenstown, New Zealand. There have been numerous days put aside for the solid to change into comfy with all of the gear we have been going to be utilizing. I bear in mind sooner or later they took us to those frozen waterfalls exterior of Queenstown, and we realized about going up ice with picks. I used to be already a reasonably addicted rock climber at that time, however I had by no means climbed ice earlier than then, and simply fell in love with it.

What did you discover compelling about mountain climbing?

The factor about mountain climbing is, exterior of the bodily problem, there’s a component the place it’s essential to be analyzing the rock face for the perfect route. Your means to climb is reliant on the choices nature places in entrance of you. For mountain climbing, you’ll be able to just about go anyplace there’s ice, so as a substitute of taking a listing of your choices, you are taking a listing of your self. It’s good to be trustworthy about your skills, particularly in case you have somebody following behind you.

Have been you ready get numerous mountain climbing in throughout that manufacturing?

On one of many rehearsal days they have been attempting to corral the solid again to the resort, and I simply stored going up one of many waterfalls we’d been climbing and mentioned I couldn’t return with them. Our mountain climbing advisor and information, Barry Blanchard, who’s arguably among the best on the market, simply checked out me and mentioned, ‘You’ve fallen in love with this haven’t you?’ I had. He advised me if there was a scene within the film the place I wanted to ice climb, he’d educate me every little thing he may. So I began to pester Martin Campbell about placing an mountain climbing scene within the film. When he lastly cracked, Martin turned to me with the entire solid round, and mentioned, ‘You’re turning into an unbearable youngster. If I provide you with an mountain climbing scene will you shut up and do every little thing I inform you to?’ I mentioned sure. From that time on, any day I wasn’t working, I had my very own helicopter, a giant Thermos of English breakfast tea, and Barry fucking Blanchard instructing me to ice climb.

What have been these mountain climbing days with Barry like?

We might go to this place referred to as the Darwin Ice Bowl, which was proper on the fringe of the Tasman Glacier. There we’d climb throughout these nice seracs of ice. I little doubt spent extra days climbing than I did performing in that film. I simply beloved it. Sitting in that helicopter after some nice climbing, with the solar setting over Karakoram mountain, with among the best climbers on this planet. It doesn’t get any higher than that. These moments are every little thing.

Greenland is now obtainable on demand 

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