'Zero Dark Thirty's' Jason Clarke on the Film's Torture Scenes: 'I'm Not Here to Question the Ifs, Ands or Buts' (VIDEO)
While the climax of Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty somewhat obviously focuses on the physical hunt for Osama bin Laden, the beginning of the film opens on a decidedly more controversial act: the torture of detainees in order to try and secure information that leads to the terrorist leader.
And while the film’s motive for showing these acts is to simply chronicle the events leading up to bin Laden’s capture, star Jason Clarke says that he was never interested in judging his interrogator character’s behavior, no matter how questionable he might personally find it.
“That’s very straightforward,” he told Celebuzz. “As an actor, I’m not here to question the ifs, ands or buts, or my, Jason’s standpoint. I’m here to portray a real person and real events, and do them justice to the best that I can.”
Clarke observed that it was doubly important to remain objective about the events in the film since they were once actually performed by a real person.
Simultaneously, Clarke said that the torture scenes set an unusual tone for the film which indicates right off the bat that it’s not going to be either a newsreel-style retelling nor a heroic dramatization of the hunt for bin Laden.
“It brings the audience straight into this film, and it impacts you in a way that you’re not really expecting,” he said. “And it keeps going, even though we know the beginning and the end, the way it draws you in, this film is constantly telling a narrative in a way we’ve not experienced before.”
Zero Dark Thirty opens nationwide December 19. Watch Celebuzz’ full interview with Clarke, and then the film’s trailer below. What do you think of the controversy surrounding its depiction of torture? Let us know in the comments section.