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Exclusive Interview with “Overlord” Actor Wyatt Russell

By Karis Fuller

Arts & Entertainment Editor

Overlord” was released in theaters on Nov. 9. The movie is set hours before D-Day (June 6, 1944) and follows the actions of five survivors as they ambush Nazi-occupied France for a crucial mission. With the apocalypse stirring, the surviving paratroopers face some rather unusual enemies. Actor Wyatt Russell plays a key role in the film, and has appeared in several movies, including “22 Jump Street” and “This is 40.” Compared to these, “Overlord” has a darker, gorier theme.

Russell plays Corporal Ford, a “hard-headed individual whose team is caught in a tricky predicament.” He spoke about his character and the challenges he faced in his role. “It was physically demanding,” he said.

“Maintaining high energy was hard for three and a half months,” Russell said. Along with the physical exhaustion, the cast worked with dangerous equipment. “None of the gun fire was CGI (computer-generated imagery),” he said. “That’s what made the movie fun.”

Russell worked with producer J.J.Abrams who is known for producing films including “Star Trek” and “Mission Impossible: Fallout.” “It was great, knowing that as you’re acting you are being graced by the hand of J.J. is very confidence-boosting,” he said. Most of a producer’s work appears after the bulk of filming is completed. “It’s always good news when a producer doesn’t come to set [often],” Russell said.

When the film opened, Rotten Tomatoes gave it an 81 percent positive reaction. Anthony Uly, senior international business major, saw the movie on its opening date. “If you ever wished that ‘Saving Private Ryan’ was a B-movie (low-budget movie) splatterfest, it [Overlord] totally is. I really enjoyed it,” Uly said. “The cinematography was pretty good, overall storyline was unexpectedly great, and I liked the female lead; she gave me a little Wonder Woman tease.”

Russell described the movie as a “popcorn movie,” something that people go to see in the theater. “I want it to be a movie [for the audience] to go with their friends and see something that people put a lot of effort into,” he said.

Many World War, apocalyptic films have appeared over the years, but “Overlord” takes to the imagery of the apocalypse even further through the use of pyrotechnics and lack of green screens. “The best World War II movie has already been made— ‘Saving Private Ryan’— that changed the way a generation saw that war,” Russell said. “You’re not reinventing the wheel; just [looking at] a different take.”

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