Tiger Raid is the debut film by upcoming director and screenwriter Simon Dixon and follows the story of two Irish mercenaries Joe (Brian Gleeson) and Paddy (Damien Moloney) who are travelling the deserts of Iraq with orders to kidnap an Iraqi woman.
With the film out this week, we spoke to Brian Gleeson (son of Brendan and brother of Domhnall, in case you were wondering) on playing the role of the fragile Joe, the importance of good dialogue, and a certain upcoming Steven Soderbergh film.
What drew you to the role of Joe in Tiger Raid?
It’s a very dialogue-driven thriller, with two Irish mercenaries kidnapping an Iraqi woman. It is something very different and relies on the dialogue.
How did you prepare yourself for your role as Joe who is somewhat in a fragile state of mind?
I like the word fragile. Part of the role was getting into shape. We trained for about five to six weeks. The character relies on the dialogue and that is what I loved. We all sat down together for a read through of the script. Where he is going and why he is saying the things he is saying are the things I thought whilst reading the script.
There is some dark humour in the film. Is this something you liked about the script?
Joe and Paddy make jokes about certain things like women and people watching would think they are horrible and laugh at them in a way of saying how could they think like that. The humour was about the way to make them seem real.
How was it working with director Simon Dixon and Damien Moloney, who plays Paddy?
Simon just let the camera roll. None of the film was improvised but we would be in character most of the time. That is something you want in a director. He was great. Damien and I got on really well. I could not ask for a better partner in crime. We kept each other relatively sane. We would have guns and shoot at each other just to keep us both sane.
You said the script for Tiger Raid was dialogue heavy. Is this something you look for in a script?
It depends. Sometimes there is a lot of dialogue in a script but it is not very good or you can only have a few lines but the rest of it is not good. Dialogue is needed in Tiger Raid to bring out the characters. It all depends.
How long did the film take to shoot?
We were out in Jordan for four weeks in total but the actual shooting was three weeks. This is not uncommon for films these days. It is a different part of the world over there. It feels like I was there for much longer but it was only three weeks. Temperatures would reach up to 60 degrees and we were there in full army gear.
What was your favourite part of Tiger Raid to shoot?
It will probably be the last scene. We shot the last scene in the last couple of days and basically flew back home the day after. We were all at the stage of being totally exhausted and happy. It was what we were all waiting for.
Are you currently working on any new projects?
I am currently shooting a new Steven Soderbergh film Logan Lucky with Channing Tatum and Adam Driver. It’s about two brothers who attempt to pull off a heist in North Carolina. It’s different to Tiger Raid. People will probably laugh a lot more.
Tiger Raid is out in cinemas on October 7.
Words by Steven Brown