From Captain America to avengers Endgame, the Russo Brothers — Anthony and Joe — have spent the past few years spinning their magic in creating cinematic universes. Now, they have set their eyes on India.
They are busy weaving a web of ‘desi’ stories backed by Indian talent as the brothers admit that working with Indian talent has turned out to be their special focus. In fact, it is proved by their collaboration with actor Dhanush in his upcoming action epic, The Gray Manas Joe reveals that the character was written especially for him.
“It was amazing working with Dhanush, and he is incredible in the film. He is an extremely gifted action actor with a great level of discipline and control over his body. He has two of my favorite fight sequences in the film,” Joe tells us over a video call.
The brother duo are action lovers, and it was during research when they stumbled upon the “fantastic” Dhanush.
“We had him in mind from very early on in the script stage. We wrote the role for him. And it was amazing to work with. I would love to keep working with him. He is a wonderful human being and a very talented actor,” adds Joe.
The duo’s tryst with India started when they came to the country to promote avengers film, and the experience left a lasting impression on their mind. Since then, they brought Chris Hemsworth to India for shooting a project, and worked with Priyanka Chopra and Raj & DK in another project.
Opening up about their love for India, Joe shares, “India has a strong and fantastic film business just like the US. It’s sadly not broken through on an international level consistently. There are so many talented actors, writers and directors. So we have made it a special focus of ours to try and bring some of that talent to the world through our stories, to try to bring India to the world through our stories”.
“We are impressed by the level of discipline and quality that Indian actors bring to the set, be it Priyanka or Dhanush. They are so prepared. They have worked so much in Indian cinema that they understand where the camera is, understand the type of performance. They are very well trained in all different aspects of performance,” he adds, revealing that over the years, they have compiled a list of Indian actors with whom they want to work with.
“However, right now, I am most excited about working with Raj & DK,” he shares.
When it comes to The Gray Manit was supposed to be their directing project after 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, But they were so consumed by the superhero world, that the project took a back seat. After wrapping up their Marvel story, they moved on to this new adventure, with Dhanush, Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans. The Netflix action thriller features Evans as a villain, Lloyd Hansen, set out to hunt a CIA agent (Gosling).
According to Anthony, the film reflects the truths and anxiety of the present world. “We always try to infuse our movies with the anxieties that we are feeling right now. When you are making an international spy thriller, you naturally have international political tones and connotations that come along,” he says.
The director continues, “Yes, we do think about the state of the world, and what is sort of giving us tension, concerns and anxiety. We tried to find ways of layering those ideas into our story in a fictional way, and a way that audiences could experience them in a way that’s not necessarily as intimidating as real life”.
“We live in a complicated world. And these two characters in this movie, Ryan Gosling’s character and Chris Evans’ character very much represent the opposite ways of doing things in the modern world,” he wraps up.