Over the last four decades, Jean Reno has carved a unique niche as cinema’s go-to European hitman so it makes perfect sense why he was chosen to star in Cold Blood Legacy, a movie that takes full advantage of Reno’s badass reputation.
In case you’ve missed the trailers, Cold Blood Legacy stars Reno as Henry a legendary retired hitman who lives in peaceful isolation in the Rocky Mountains. When Henry rescues a woman from a snowmobiling accident though he soon finds himself uncovering secrets that force him to return to his old lethal ways.
Late last month we were lucky enough to speak to Reno about his role in Cold Blood Legacy and uncover exactly what it was about Henry that appealed to the veteran action actor.
UNILAD: What was it that attracted you to the role of Henry and why did you want to star in the film?
Jean Reno: Well, I had read the script maybe a year ago, maybe more than a year, and they wanted to do the film in French but we couldn’t move forward because of the international markets.
Then we lost a producer and a director so it took to come together so Frederic Petitjean[the writer and director] decided to direct.
But I liked the fact that [Cold Blood Legacy] was about these two characters [Henry and Charly], who were alone together for a moment like this, and we get to know them through these face to face interactions, you know? And we get to know what really motivates them.
UNILAD: You read the script a year ago? That surprises me because Henry seems to be based on characters, similar to ones you’ve played in the past like Leon and Victor the Cleaner, did you have any influence over the script at all?
Jean Reno: I didn’t work on the script, Frederick did all that work and drew inspiration from some of my earlier roles like Leon.
UNILAD: We don’t really learn that much about Henry in the film, about why he’s so deadly or where he comes from, can you offer any insight on that?
Jean Reno: Yeah he’s somebody who was working for drugs laboratories on contract and before the story starts he killed his partner, which is when the story kind of begins for me, but through [his time with Charly] he becomes more human. You know he’s a tired person who’s kind of feels he’s finished with life.
UNILAD: So when did you come on board the project then?
Jean Reno: I was on from the beginning, from when Frederic was just the writer before he became the director.
So I got the script when, as I said they wanted to make the film in French – that was right at the beginning – but when came on board I wanted to make it more international.
You know this is a story that could take place in Canada in any isolated place really.
UNILAD: And am I right in saying that this was Frederick’s first time directing?
Jean Reno: Yeah it was his first movie but Thierry Arbogast was on board as Director of Photography and the pair worked very closely to get the look of the film right.
I’ve known Thierry for nearly 20 years, he’s a very humble man but a real professional and he’s friends with Frederick as well so.
UNILAD: I would like to talk about that magnificent opening assassination it was really clever and amazingly shot, can you tell me a little more about it?
Jean Reno: Well thank you, thank you [laughs] the first scene is completely Frederic’s idea but I loved filming it and thanks for mentioning it.
For me thought my favourite stuff was filmed in the cabin, later on, you know? I like the face to face stuff that’s what I like.
Cold Blood Legacy is available on DVD and Digital from 2nd September.
More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism.
Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV.
He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.