11.14.18

Benicio Del Toro, Patricia Arquette & Paul Dano Discuss Showtime's "Escape At Dannemora"

"Escape At Dannemora," the new Showtime limited series, is based on the stranger-than-fiction account of a prison break in upstate New York in the summer of 2015 that spawned a massive manhunt for two convicted murderers. The prisoners were aided in their escape by a married female prison employee with whom they both became sexually entangled. It stars Oscar winners Benicio del Toro and Patricia Arquette, and Golden Globe nominee Paul Dano.

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>>> THANKS, EVERYBODY. THANKS SO MUCH. WELCOME TO BUILD. I'M YOUR HOST, RICKY CAMILLERI. TWO PRISONERS ESCAPED AND LED POLICE ON A 22-DAY MANHUNT. IN THE DAYS THAT FOLLOWED, DETAILS OF THEIR PLAN AND THE LIVES THEY LED BEHIND BARS GREW INCREASINGLY STRANGE. FROM A GUARD'S OBSESSION WITH ONE OF THE PRISONER'S ARTWORK TO AN AFFAIR BOTH MEN WERE HAVING WITH A WOMAN BY THE NAME OF JOYCE MITCHELL. THIS STORY IS BEING BROUGHT TO LIFE IN WHAT I THINK IS THE BEST LIMITED SERIES SHOW TO COME ACROSS, YET IT IS THRILLINGLY DIRECTED BY BEN STILLER AND STARRING BENICIO DEL TORO, PAUL DANO AND PATRICIA ARQUETTE. LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT "ESCAPE AT DANNEMORA.”

>> SO YOU'RE A 51-YEAR-OLD WOMAN WHO HAS BEEN WITH THE SAME MAN FOR 20 YEARS? 21 YEARS? SO WE CAN HAVE AN ADULT CONVERSATION.

>> OKAY.

>> DID YOU HAVE SEX WITH THESE TWO INMATES.

>> NO.

>> WE'RE JUST FRIENDS.

>> WHAT'S GOING ON WITH YOU AND TULLY.

>> MAYBE WE CAN ARRANGE A GET-TOGETHER SOON.

>> I'M DOWN THERE EVERY NIGHT. I'M CUTTING THE PIPE. I'M DOING THE WORK. ALL YOU DO IS SLEEP.

>> NOBODY KNOWS ABOUT A MARRIAGE EXCEPT THE PEOPLE IN THE MARRIAGE, AND SOMETIMES EVEN THEY KNOW NOTHING.

>> I WANT TO BE A PART OF YOUR DREAM. \M IF YOU FEEL THAT IT'S REAL I WON'T DROWN \M \M\M YOU FOCUS ON SOMETHING IN YOUR MIND. \M\M

>> FEEL IT IN YOUR HEART. \M\M

>> AND YOU COMMIT TO IT. \M\M

>> IT WILL COME TRUE. \M\M BUT ONE THING I LEARNED, WE'RE WINNING. \M\M

>> WHATEVER YOU MADE THEM TO BE WHEN THEY WERE IN THERE, THEY'RE IN A LOT DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES NOW.

>> SURE, THERE'S A DARK SIDE, BUT THERE'S ALSO A VERY HUMAN SIDE.

>> DID YOU ASK HER WHY SHE WAS DOING THAT?

>> NO, I KNEW THERE WAS A GRAY AREA.

>> WOULDN'T IT BE CONVENIENT TO BE THE ONLY PERSON WHO LIVES TO TELL THE STORY?

>> I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG. I MEAN, NOT REALLY WRONG. \M\M

>> HEY, EVERYBODY. PLEASE WELCOME FROM ESCAPE AT DANNEMORA, BENICIO DEL TORO, PATRICIA ARQUETTE AND PAUL DANO! [ APPLAUSE ] GUYS, CONGRATULATIONS. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. I THINK THAT TRAILER PERFECTLY CAPTURES THE TONE OF THIS PIECE, WHICH IS THAT IT'S SCARY, IT'S WEIRD, IT'S KIND OF FUNNY. AND IT'S THRILLING. ELTON JOHN IS KIND OF PERFECTLY USED. AND I THINK IT'S ACTUALLY MAYBE USED IN THE SERIES, AS WELL. FIRST THINGS FIRST. I'VE ALWAYS THOUGHT OF BEN STILLER AS A PRETTY SERIOUS DIRECTOR, EVEN WHEN DOING BROAD COMEDIES. BUT I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE SEE BEN STILLER'S NAME ON THIS AND THEY SAY, HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? WHERE IS THE GUY WHO DIRECTED "THE CABLE GUY" COMING FROM TO DIRECT SOMETHING LIKE THIS? I STAND BY "THE CABLE GUY,” PERSONALLY. WHAT DID YOU THINK WHEN HE FIRST APPROACHED YOU GUYS AND SAID I'M DOING A SEVEN-EPISODE SERIES BASED ON THE TRUE STORY OF THE ESCAPE FROM THE CLINTON CORRECTIONAL FACILITY?

>> I ALWAYS WANTED TO WORK WITH BEN. WE HAD BEEN WANTING TO WORK TOGETHER AS DIRECTOR AND ACTOR FOR A LONG TIME. AND I HAD BEEN INTERESTED IN THE STORY, SO I WAS REALLY EXCITED THAT -- TO BE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH BEN ON THIS MATERIAL.

>> FOR ME, YOU KNOW, I LIKE HIM AS AN ACTOR, LIKE HIM AS A DIRECTOR. MET HIM AND HE BROUGHT IN THE SCRIPT. AND WHAT I NOTICED IS THAT HE WAS FULLY COMMITTED AND TO SOUND LIKE IT'S A CLICHE, BUT LOOKING FOR THE TRUTH. YOU KNOW. AND BEING AS REAL AND AS CLOSE TO WHAT HAPPENED AS POSSIBLE WAS LIKE THE WAY HE APPROACHED THE WHOLE SHOW. AND I REALLY ENJOYED COLLABORATING WITH HIM.

>> I THINK SIMILARLY, YOU'RE FEELING BEN'S OTHER FILMS ARE REALLY WELL-MADE. EVEN THE BROADER COMEDIES THAN "CABLE GUY.” "TROPIC THUNDER," "ZOOLANDER.” WE SEE HIM AS ONE OF THE BIGGEST COMEDIANS IN THE WORLD. BUT WHEN SOMEONE GETS THE CHANCE TO STEP OUTSIDE -- JUST A LITTLE BIT OUTSIDE OF WHAT WE THINK THEY ARE, USUALLY THERE IS A GOOD REASON FOR IT. AND I THINK IT OFTEN ALLOWS AN ARTIST TO REALLY FULLY EXPRESS ANOTHER PART OF THEMSELVES. AND I THINK BEN DID THAT. I THINK HE DID A REALLY INCREDIBLE JOB.

>> ALSO, USUALLY ON THESE THINGS, DIRECTORS DON'T SIGN ON FOR THE WHOLE PROJECT. THEY DO ONE EPISODE. SO TO HAVE THAT KIND OF VISION THROUGHOUT, I THINK YOU HAVE A REAL THROUGH LINE OF -- OF THE STORY AND THE PACING AND EVERYTHING. THE LOOK, ALL OF IT.

>> YOU KNOW, THE THREE OF YOU DELIVER WONDERFUL PERFORMANCES. BUT YOU DELIVER A PERFORMANCE THAT WALKS A VERY FINE LINE. IT'S REALLY INCREDIBLE TO WATCH. AND I DON'T THINK -- I WONDER IF YOU FEEL LIKE YOU COULD PULL SOMETHING LIKE THAT OFF WITH MULTIPLE DIRECTORS COMING THROUGH FOR EACH EPISODE. BECAUSE IN EACH EPISODE THERE IS A CONSISTENT QUESTION OF WHETHER OR NOT WE'RE WITH YOUR CHARACTER, WHETHER OR NOT WE EMPATHIZE WITH HER, LAUGHING AT HER OR LAUGHING WITH HER. AND YOU DELIVER EACH MOMENT PERFECTLY IN A SOMEWHAT AMBIGUOUS WAY AT TIMES FOR AUDIENCES. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT CALIBRATING THAT WITH BEN?

>> WELL, I DEFINITELY REALLY WANTED TO MOVE AWAY FROM THE CONCEPT THAT I HAD TO BE EMPATHETIC. THE AUDIENCE NEEDED TO CARE ABOUT HER, NOT CARE ABOUT HER. JUST COME FROM A PLACE WHERE YOU'RE TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT HOW SHE PERCEIVES THOSE MOMENTS. WHAT'S UPSETTING HER, WHAT SHE WANTS IN HER LIFE. WHAT SHE'S DISAPPOINTED ABOUT. YOU KNOW, JUST GROUNDING IT BACK IN YOURSELF INSTEAD OF GOING ON THE OUTSIDE AND WONDERING HOW EVERYONE LOOKS AT YOU FROM THE OUTSIDE IN.

>> AND WHAT ABOUT YOU GUYS WHEN IT CAME TO PLAYING THESE TWO REAL-LIFE MEN WHO WERE CONVICTED MURDERERS AND ESCAPED FROM PRISON? BECAUSE SO MUCH OF YOUR JOB IS ACTUALLY SORT OF GETTING THE AUDIENCE ON BOARD WITH THEM FOR THE FIRST FEW EPISODES OF THE SERIES.

>> WELL, I LET THE WRITER TAKE CARE OF THAT, YOU KNOW. AND YOU JUST TRY TO MAKE IT AS CONVINCING -- MY JOB IS TRYING TO MAKE IT CONVINCING FOR THE AUDIENCE AND -- BUT REALLY, THE WRITER HAS TO MAP THE JOURNEY OF THE CHARACTER. I MEAN -- AND I THINK THE WRITERS DID A REALLY GOOD JOB OF MAKING THOSE ARCS AND THEN WE CAN -- AS AN ACTOR, AS AN INTERPRETER, YOU CAN GO IN AND MAYBE CHANGE SOMETHING HERE OR PLAY SOMETHING A LITTLE BIT DARKER OR LIGHTER. AND, YOU KNOW, GAUGING WHAT EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BUILD UP TO BECOME. SO, YOU KNOW, THAT'S -- BUT IT'S -- IT'S THE WRITER, REALLY, THAT HAS TO -- AND I THINK BEN ALSO IS A WRITER, TOO, YOU KNOW. HE KIND OF UNDERSTANDS THE JOURNEY OF THE CHARACTER, SO HE WAS VERY GOOD TO COLLABORATE, YOU KNOW, TO THROW IN IDEAS, YOU KNOW. I MEAN, THESE ARE TWO OF THE BEST ACTORS ANYWHERE. SO IDEAS WERE COMING OUT, OUT IN THE OPEN, AND BEN WAS ABLE TO PUT THAT STUFF TOGETHER SO THAT EVERYONE COULD, YOU KNOW, GET -- BECOME BETTER. YOU KNOW?

>> THERE IS THIS SORT OF CHANGE IN YOUR PERFORMANCES, AS WELL, I THINK, ABOUT NEARING THE END WITHOUT GIVING ANYTHING AWAY. WE KNOW THESE GUYS ESCAPED. THAT'S A REAL-LIFE STORY. IT'S IN WIKIPEDIA, GUYS, NEWS ARTICLES. THERE IS THIS IDEA WHERE SOMEONE STEPS IN AND SAYS THESE GUYS WERE ONE WAY ON THE INSIDE AND NOW THAT THEY'RE ON THE OUTSIDE, THEY'RE KIND OF COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PEOPLE. AND WE HAVE SORT OF BEEN WATCHING THE SHOW AS THAT. WE HAVE WATCHED THE WAY YOU EXIST AS THIS KIND OF COOL, CALM, COLLECTED GUY BEHIND BARS. BUT OUTSIDE OF PRISON, YOU'RE SORT OF THIS FERAL ANIMAL AND IN SOME WAYS IS LUMBERING AND FOOLISH WHEN IT COMES TO INTERACTING WITH THE REAL WORLD. THAT'S A CHANGE IN YOUR PERFORMANCE. WAS THAT SOMETHING YOU JUST SAW IN THE WRITING OR SOMETHING YOU WERE EXCITED TO TRY TO PULL OFF?

>> WE TALKED ABOUT THAT. YOU KNOW, IT HAPPENS OUT THERE. I USED TO HAVE A DOG, GREAT DOG. AND HIS NAME WAS GRECO. AND GRECO AT HOME, HE WAS A TYPE OF DOG, REALLY SWEET. AND OBEY ORDERS AND ALL OF THAT STUFF. AND ONE DAY WE TOOK HIM TO MALIBU. AND HE WENT CRAZY. HE JUST STARTED RUNNING, AND WE WOULD CALL HIM UP AND HE WOULDN'T STOP AND HE WOULD COME AND RUN AND RUN. AND IT WAS JUST LIKE -- AND YOU REALIZED THAT, YOU KNOW -- AND WE WERE LIKE THAT. IT'S WHAT THEY CALL HOME COURT ADVANTAGE. YOU PLAY BETTER AT HOME IF YOU'RE A TEAM. YOU PLAY BETTER THAN AWAY. AND I THINK THAT MATT IN JAIL WAS THE ALPHA. AND OUTSIDE WITH ALL THE DISTRACTIONS AND A LITTLE BIT OF ALCOHOL -- [ LAUGHTER ] -- THAT MADE HIM A COMPLETELY DISORGANIZED AND FLAWED ESCAPEE.

>> WHEN YOU GUYS WERE DOING THE SCENES, PAUL, DID YOU -- ESPECIALLY BETWEEN -- AND WITH YOU, AS WELL, PATRICIA. DID YOU GUYS PLAY A LOT OF DIFFERENT WAYS AND MULTIPLE DIFFERENT TAKES? WHEN I WAS WATCHING, I WAS SO SHOCKED WHEN HUMOR WOULD SUDDENLY POP UP OUT OF IT. AND IT WOULD BE ALMOST SOMEWHAT -- THERE WOULD BE ALMOST A SLAP STICK MOMENT OF SOME KIND IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS ESCAPE. LIKE WHEN BENICIO POPS HIS HEAD OUT OF A TENT AND SAID, YOU CLEAN THIS SHIT UP. THAT IS ALSO IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS INTENSE ESCAPE. ARE YOU GUYS ONSET KIND OF TRYING AS MANY DIFFERENT OPTIONS AS POSSIBLE?

>> I THINK WE HAD ROOM, RIGHT, TO EXPLORE, TO MESS AROUND, TO PLAY, TO ASK QUESTIONS. BEN WAS A VERY GIVING DIRECTOR. I MEAN, BEN IS INCREDIBLY SPECIFIC IN TERMS OF THE LOOK OF THE SHOW, THE DETAILS OF THE REAL ESCAPE. THAT, YOU KNOW, JUST USING REAL PEOPLE FROM THE ESCAPE. USING REAL EX CONS AS OUR EXTRAS. HE REALLY -- BUT WITH US, HE WAS -- I WOULD SAY VERY GIVING. SO I THINK WE GOT TO MESS AROUND. I DON'T THINK WE WERE LOOKING AT IT LIKE LET'S MAKE SURE THERE'S A FUNNY MOMENT IN THIS CRAZY SCENE OR WHATEVER. THAT COMES FROM THE SCENE. THERE'S SHIT ALL OVER THE BATHROOM, THAT'S -- SOMEHOW THAT'S FUNNY. I MEAN -- SO AND IT'S JUST THE CHARACTERS. THE WHOLE THING IS THESE PEOPLE PUT INSIDE OF THIS VERY PETRI DISH OF A PLACE, AND, YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE TO BUST OUT OF IT IN SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS EMOTIONALLY, INCLUDING WITH HUMOR.

>> PATRICIA, YOUR HUSBAND IS PLAYED BY ERIC LANGE, WHO DOES A PRETTY INCREDIBLE JOB IN THIS SERIES, AS WELL. WHAT WAS IT LIKE DOING THE SCENES WITH HIM?

>> WELL, HE'S A REALLY TALENTED ACTOR, AND, YOU KNOW, VERY DIFFERENT THAN THE CHARACTER THAT HE'S PLAYING IN THIS. IT WAS FUN WORKING WITH HIM. I MEAN, I THINK THEIR RELATIONSHIP -- HE'S SO OPEN AND HOPEFUL AND LOVING AND EVERYTHING, KIND OF LIKE A BIG DOG OR SOMETHING. BUT ALSO I THINK SHE'S COME TO RESENT HIM AND FEEL LIKE A CARETAKER FOR HIM AND TAKE HIM FOR GRANTED AND ALL OF THAT STUFF. ERIC WAS HAVING A BLAST WITH HIS PART. HE WAS CRACKING UP ALL OF THE TIME IN BETWEEN TAKES. AND COMING UP WITH A LOT OF GREAT IDEAS. AND I THINK REALLY ENJOYED THAT CHARACTER AND THAT MAN.

>> DID YOU HAVE FUN WITH YOUR PART? OR WAS IT DIFFICULT PLAYING SOMEONE WHO IS KIND OF A BIT OF A BALL OF RESENTMENT, NO MATTER WHERE YOU THROW HER? [ LAUGHTER ]

>> THAT'S FUNNY. YEAH, NO. IT WAS REALLY FUN PLAYING SOMEBODY LIKE THAT.

>> DID EITHER OF YOU -- OBVIOUSLY, RICHARD MATT HAS PASSED AWAY. BUT DID EITHER OF YOU -- WERE YOU ABLE -- I THINK DAVID IS IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT SO MAYBE HE CAN'T HAVE VISITORS?

>> NO, BEN STILLER GOT US IN THERE.

>> REALLY?

>> YEAH, HE FINDS A WAY. WE GOT TO MEET DAVID SWEAT, AND THAT WAS REALLY -- IT WAS INTERESTING. IT WAS ACTUALLY HARD TO WALK INTO A PRISON AND TALK TO A HUMAN BEING BEHIND THE GLASS OR THE BARS FOR SEVERAL HOURS, WHICH WE DID. IT WAS REALLY IMPORTANT, THOUGH, TO REMEMBER AND SEE THAT THAT PERSON HAS OTHER -- OTHER PARTS TO THEMSELVES BESIDES THE PART THAT WE KNOW IN THE NEWS, THAT THEY KILLED SOMEBODY. AND THAT THEY'RE IN PRISON. AND SO THAT WAS A HELPFUL REMINDER, BUT A PAINFUL ONE. VISITING THE PRISONS IN GENERAL I FOUND REALLY HARD. IT'S -- THE ENERGY, THE SMELL. JUST THE DENSITY OF THE AIR, THE SENSE OF DANGER. ALL OF THE PRISONERS DESCRIBED THE ADRENALINE DRIP, YOU KNOW, THAT YOU'RE FEELING WHEN YOU'RE IN THERE. JUST HAVING TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF, PROTECT YOURSELF. AND SOMETHING DAVID SWEAT TALKED ABOUT WAS THAT YOU HAVE TO BASICALLY TUCK PARTS OF YOURSELF AWAY. YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE TO PUT UP SOMETHING. AND SO THAT WAS I THINK AN IMPORTANT ELEMENT TO THE CHARACTER THAT CAME FROM MEETING HIM.

>> DID YOU THINK -- DID YOU PULL SOME OF THAT FOR WHEN YOU WERE PLAYING THE SCENES, AS DAVID SWEAT IN PRISON? I THINK SPECIFICALLY THE ONE OF HIM YELLING AT A GROUP OF GUYS FOR PLAYING DOMINO TOO LOUD.

>> YEAH. I MEAN, I THINK ALL OF THEM SAY THIS, BUT I THINK DAVID SAID IT AND ERIC JENSEN SAID IT. YOU HAVE TO STEP TO SOMETHING RIGHT AWAY. IF YOU DON'T, YOU'RE -- YOU KNOW, YOU'RE PREY. YOU KNOW, YOU'RE TOAST. SO -- BUT AGAIN, REPRESSION, RIGHT? THE CELLS -- PUTTING SOMEBODY IN A CELL. THE FRONT THAT WE SORT OF HAVE TO PUT UP AND NOT DEAL WITH ANY OTHER PARTS OF OURSELVES, BECAUSE WE CAN'T HAVE ANYBODY SEE IT, AND YOUR SLEEPING SPACE IS EVEN VISIBLE. ALL THAT GETTING PUSHED -- ALL THOSE PARTS OF YOURSELF GETTING PUSHED DOWN I THINK CREATES A LOT OF WHATEVER IT IS FOR RAGE OR I DON'T KNOW -- YOU KNOW.

>> SURE. WHAT ABOUT JOYCE? WERE YOU ABLE TO TALK TO HER?

>> I MET DAVID SWEAT, BUT I DIDN'T WANT TO MEET JOYCE, BECAUSE I HAD WATCHED JOYCE ON MATT LAUER AND LATER INFORMATION CAME OUT. SO I KNEW SHE HAD BEEN LYING ON MATT LAUER AND TO WATCH HER LIE WAS INTERESTING. BUT I ALSO KNEW FROM PEOPLE THAT WE HAD MET -- BECAUSE BEN BROUGHT IN SO MANY PEOPLE THAT WERE EITHER GUARDS OR WORK IN THE SEWING ROOM. I KNEW BOTH THESE GUYS. THEY SAID SHE WAS VERY LITIGIOUS AND ALWAYS LIKE, I'M GOING TO CALL YOUR SUPERVISOR ON YOU, AND I'M GOING TO WRITE YOU UP. AND I REALLY DIDN'T WANT HER TO DICTATE THE TERMS OF THE SHOW OR INSERT HER MANIPULATIVE ASPECTS, BECAUSE EVEN WHEN THE ESCAPE HAD HAPPENED, AND IT STARTED TO COME OUT THAT SHE WAS SOMEHOW INVOLVED AND SHE HAD HER LAWYER SEND OUT A LETTER TO THE PRESS SAYING, YOU KNOW, CEASE AND DESIST, STOP USING MY CLIENT'S PICTURE AND HER NAME IN RELATION TO THESE CRIMINALS. I WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH THEM. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS. SO I DIDN'T REALLY WANT TO SIT THERE WITH TILLY AND HAVE HER TALK ABOUT HOW THIS SHOW IS GOING TO RUN.

>> YOU KNOW, I WAS WATCHING THE SHOW, AND I HAD SCREENERS, SO SOMEONE WAS IN THE ROOM WITH ME, I THINK, WHILE I WAS WATCHING THE SHOW. AND THEY CAUGHT A FEW MINUTES OF YOUR SCENE AND THE FIRST THING THEY SAID RIGHT AWAY WAS, THAT IS ONE OF THE BRAVEST THINGS I'VE SEEN A PERSON DO ON TELEVISION, WHAT SHE'S DOING. AND I SAID, WHAT DO YOU MEAN? AND SHE SAID, SHE'S HOLDING NOTHING BACK. SHE WANTS NOTHING ABOUT THIS CHARACTER. SHE DOESN'T WANT TO HIDE ANYTHING ABOUT THIS CHARACTER. DID IT FEEL THAT WAY FOR YOU, AS WELL, IN DOING THE PERFORMANCE?

>> YEAH, WE TALKED ABOUT THAT BEFOREHAND. THIS IDEA -- I SWEAR TO GOD, YOU -- YOU MIGHT SEE ANYTHING ELSE IN THE MOVIE BEFORE YOU'RE GOING TO SEE A MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN WITHOUT A PLAYBOY BUNNY BODY IN THE BRIGHT LIGHT OF DAY, HAVING SEX AND ENJOYING HER SEXUALITY AND BEING UNAPOLOGETICALLY SEXUAL. THAT'S A REAL THING THAT HAPPENS IN THE WORLD EVERY DAY. MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF PEOPLE. AND YET IT'S SOMETHING THAT'S, LIKE, SO STRANGE. WE HAVEN'T SEEN IT IN FILM. I DON'T KNOW WHAT WE'RE DOING HERE IN FILM. WE'RE NOT REALLY TALKING ABOUT HUMAN BEINGS.

>> SHE'S NO HERO, THOUGH. AT THE SAME TIME.

>> SHE'S NO HERO. BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER. HERO OR ANTI HERO. HUMAN BEINGS ARE SEXUAL. WHAT BODY TYPE IS ALLOWED TO BE SEXUAL. WHAT AGE GROUP ARE YOU ALLOWED TO BE SEXUAL? WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO LOOK LIKE TO BE SEXUAL AS A HUMAN BEING? TO HAVE NEEDS, TO WANT TO BE LOVED, TO ALL OF THESE THINGS. SO I WAS EXCITED ABOUT THIS CONVERSATION ABOUT TALKING ABOUT WHY ISN'T -- WHY IS THAT SO ABNORMAL? IT SHOULDN'T BE. SO I THINK WE ALL KIND OF WERE TALKING ABOUT A LOT OF DIFFERENT ASPECTS. AND DRILLING DEEPER INTO IT. BUT, YEAH, IT'S SCARY.

>> BENICIO, WHAT KIND OF RESEARCH DID YOU DO FOR RICHARD MATT, CONSIDERING HE'S NO LONGER HERE WITH US?

>> I READ THE SCRIPT, READ TRANSCRIPTS. MET WITH -- I WAS WITH PAUL AND BEN FIRST TIME THEY MET DAVID SWEAT, SO I MET DAVID SWEAT.

>> WHAT DID DAVID TELL YOU ABOUT RICHARD MATT?

>> UH -- I DON'T KNOW. WELL, HE WAS INTO MOVIES. HE WAS A BIG FAN OF "THE SOPRANOS.” THE DETAILS, WHEN THEY ESCAPED. YOU KNOW, THE DETAILS WAS LIKE THE THINGS THAT THEY DID, THE THINGS -- HOW THEY CLEAN AFTER THEY WERE CUTTING THE SHEET OF METAL AND ALL THAT STUFF THAT THEY WERE DOING. THOSE DETAILS WERE REALLY GOOD. A LITTLE -- A COUPLE OF THINGS MADE IT INTO THE STORY. BUT THERE WERE A LOT OF TRANSCRIPTS. AND YOU COULD REALLY PUT A PERSON TOGETHER FROM READING LITTLE THINGS ABOUT MOMENTS IN HIS LIFE. ABANDONED AS A CHILD, GREW UP IN AN ORPHANAGE. WAS IN JAIL WHEN HE WAS MAYBE IN HIS TEENS FOR THE FIRST TIME. ESCAPED OUT OF JAIL, OUT OF AN ORPHANAGE WHEN HE WAS A KID. ESCAPED OUT OF JAIL WHEN HE WAS IN HIS TEENS. GOT CAUGHT AGAIN. IN AND OUT OF JAIL. AND THEN THE THING THAT REALLY, LIKE, MADE IT REALLY INTENSE WAS THE FACT THAT HE MET HIS FATHER FOR THE FIRST TIME -- I THINK THIS IS TRUE -- IN JAIL WHILE HE WAS IN JAIL WHEN HE WAS 19 OR 20. THAT'S THE FIRST TIME HE MEETS HIS FATHER.

>> HIS FATHER IS IN JAIL TOO?

>> HIS FATHER IS IN JAIL TOO, AND HE MEETS HIM IN JAIL. SO, NOW, WHEN YOU GET THAT AND YOU PUT THAT TOGETHER, YOU THEN SEE SOMEONE -- HOW -- IN ORDER TO SURVIVE, PERHAPS CRUELTY, LACK OF EMPATHY IS KIND OF LIKE THE WEAPONS TO SURVIVE. AND YOU START PUTTING THE CHARACTER AND PUTTING THE CHARACTER TOGETHER. BUT THEN AGAIN, LIKE PAUL WAS SAYING, EVEN THE WORST OF PEOPLE, THEY HAVE MOMENTS -- AT SOME POINT, SOMEONE LIKED THEM. AT SOME POINT, THEY CHARMED SOMEONE. YOU KNOW. SO THEN YOU START CREATING THESE CHARACTERS THAT ARE LIKE CONVICTED MURDERERS THAT YOU FEEL AS YOU'RE WATCHING IT. AND I'VE WATCHED MOST OF THE EPISODES. YOU FEEL SOME KIND OF -- AT LEAST YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE ENTERTAINED BY WHAT'S HAPPENING. BECAUSE THEY MIGHT BE CLEVER. AND SO I THINK THAT'S WHAT -- PART OF WHAT WE DO AS ACTORS, IS MAKE THAT SO THAT IT'S NOT JUST ONE NOTE, YOU KNOW.

>> I THINK ALSO JUST THE FACT THAT THE HISTORY, THE REAL HISTORY OF MATT SHOWS THIS CONJURING ASPECT HE HAD. PEOPLE DON'T BREAK OUT OF JAIL ONCE, LET ALONE MULTIPLE TIMES. I MEAN, IN DIFFERENT INSTITUTIONS. THE GUY KIND OF HAD A MAGICAL ELEMENT OF THE CAPACITY TO MAKE THIS -- THE IMPOSSIBLE HAPPEN. SO SOMETIMES I THINK ALSO WHEN YOU'RE LOOKING AT A CHARACTER -- I MEAN, THERE COULD BE MANY MOVIES MADE JUST ABOUT MATT. AND THE CRAZY ADVENTURES THAT MATT HAD. SO, YEAH. I THINK IT'S A REALLY FASCINATING --

>> THAT'S AN IDEA.

>> FRANCHISES.

>> "THE OLD ESCAPE.”

>> BUT THE BOTTOM LINE, IT'S -- A SAD -- A WASTE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF TALENT. A TALENT OF HUMAN LIFE THAT WENT THE WRONG WAY, YOU KNOW. SO WE HAVE TO RECOGNIZE THAT. I RECOGNIZED THAT AS THE ACTOR WHO GOES TO PLAY THIS.

>> HE'S THE KIND OF PERSON THAT PEOPLE WANT TO SURROUND THEMSELVES WITH, EVEN WHEN HE'S INCARCERATED. WE HAVE A GUARD PLAYED BY DAVID MORRIS WHO WANTS TO BE AROUND MATT AND WANTS TO KIND OF -- KIND OF WANTS TO HANG OUT WITH HIM AND PLEASE HIM. AND I THINK YOUR CHARACTER AT THE SAME TIME WANTS TO PLEASE HIM, AS WELL. YOU KNOW, HE HAS NO IDEA WHY HE WENT BACK FOR HIM, BECAUSE THERE WAS AN ELEMENT OF HIS CHARACTER AND HIS PERSONALITY THAT HE FELT THE NEED TO PLEASE AND TO IMPRESS, I THINK.

>> I THINK SO, FOR SURE. AND I THINK WE SOMETIMES NEED THINGS FROM OUR FRIENDS OR OUR -- YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU'RE IN PRISON, WHATEVER THAT RELATIONSHIP IS. AND I DON'T KNOW THAT -- WOULD DAVID HAVE HAD THE SAND TO GO THROUGH THIS WITHOUT MATT HAVING, YOU KNOW, THE VISION. BUT WOULD MATT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DO IT WITHOUT DAVID, YOU KNOW, BEING ABLE TO SORT OF ENGINEER SOME OF THE PRACTICAL AND TECHNICAL ELEMENTS OF IT. YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT WAS A SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP IN THAT REGARD.

>> ONE THING I DON'T THINK WE'VE MENTIONED IS THAT IT IS A HUGE-SCALE PRODUCTION. NOT JUST FOR THE FACT THAT IT IS SEVEN EPISODES, BUT A -- ESSENTIALLY LIKE AN INTERIOR PRISON WAS KIND OF BUILT FOR IT. AND I'M NOT SURE THE YARD. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, THE CINEMATOGRAPHY IS STUNNING AND BEAUTIFUL AND VERY SPECIFIC AND COLOR-COORDINATED AND INCREDIBLE TO WATCH. I DON'T THINK I'VE SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT ON TELEVISION RIGHT NOW. BUT CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE SETS THAT YOU GUYS WERE USING? AND THE REAL LOCATIONS. I KNOW THE MANHOLE THAT YOU COME OUT OF IS THE ACTUAL PLACE THEY ESCAPED FROM, RIGHT? SEVEN QUESTIONS. GO.

>> YEAH, SO IN THE NORTH YARD, THE YARD IS THE YARD AT CLINTON CORRECTIONAL. THE MANHOLE --

>> PRISONERS WERE INSIDE WHILE THEY WERE SHOOTING ON THE YARD.

>> WOW!

>> YEAH. YEAH. AND, AGAIN, THAT'S BEEN --

>> BEAUTIFUL SHOT THAT'S KIND OF LOOKING DOWN ON YOU GUYS AS YOU'RE WALKING THROUGH THE YARD, HAVING THAT LONG CONVERSATION.

>> THAT'S A SHOT OUTSIDE THE WALL -- ABOVE THE WALL.

>> WOW!

>> COULDN'T BRING THE CRANE IN. AND A ZOOM LENS. YEAH, YEAH, YEAH. IT'S INCREDIBLE. IT'S A GREAT -- YOU KNOW, IT'S AN AMAZING SHOT.

>> YEAH.

>> AND YOU HAVE NOT SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT. THAT YARD. IT'S REALLY A SPECIAL -- I MEAN, SPECIAL. BUT IT'S REALLY SINGULAR LOCATION. AND THE IDENTITY OF THE ATMOSPHERE IS SO MUCH BASED ON WHERE YOU ARE. THAT IS CLINTON CORRECTIONAL, WHICH IS DIFFERENT THAN OTHER PRISONS. SO I THINK WE WERE LUCKY TO GET TO GO ACTUALLY WORK THERE, ALONG WITH THE GIANT SET THAT WAS BUILT IN QUEENS.

>> HOW OFTEN WERE YOU ABLE TO SHOOT IN THE YARD OF CLINTON CORRECTIONAL? WAS THAT LIKE -- DO YOU HAVE, LIKE, TWO DAYS AND THEN YOU HAD TO GET OUT OF THERE?

>> WE DID SOME INTERIORS AND EXTERIORS, GOING IN AND OUT OF THE PRISON. AND YOU GUYS DID TWO DAYS?

>> WE DID THE NORTH YARD. WE DID IT IN THE FALL. AND THEN WE DID IT IN THE -- IN THE WINTER. SO WE DID IT SOMETIME IN SEPTEMBER AND THEN WE DID IT IN FEBRUARY OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

>> HAD TO CHOREOGRAPH THE WHOLE FIGHT OUTSIDE OF THERE.

>> RIGHT.

>> AND WORK ON THAT. AND CHOREOGRAPH AND CHOREOGRAPH THAT, BECAUSE YOU ONLY HAVE LIMITED TIME ON THE YARD. AND THAT PRISON YARD ITSELF IS VERY RARE. IT'S A TURN OF THE CENTURY PRISON. THESE OLD BLOCKS, COLD -- YOU KNOW, REALLY HARSH KIND OF ENVIRONMENT. HE SAID THEY CALLED IT LITTLE SIBERIA UP THERE, BEN SAID.

>> I WAS JUST GOING TO SAY THAT. THAT WIDE CRANE SHOT, IT REALLY LOOKS VERY, LIKE, STONE-BASED. AND THEY'RE KIND OF LIKE DOING PULL UPS AND PUSHUPS OFF OF WHAT LOOK LIKE ROCKS.

>> YEAH, IN THE OLD DAYS THEY USED TO ACTUALLY LET THE SNOW PILE UP AND HAVE SKI JUMP COMPETITIONS OFF OF THAT. THERE'S ACTUALLY A BIG HISTORY OF THAT PARTICULAR YARD. PEOPLE'S GARDENS AND WHO GETS TO MOVE UP THE RANKS AND GET A SPACE IN A GARDEN. AND WHICH GROUP, YOU KNOW, KIND OF DIFFERENT GANGS HAVE DIFFERENT AREAS. AND --

>> WOW. LET'S TAKE SOME QUESTIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE. WHO HAS A QUESTION? HEY THERE.

>> HELLO. HI. I'M A NEW YORK STATE TROOPER. AND I REMEMBER HOW BIG A DEAL THIS WAS DURING THE ESCAPE. SO MY QUESTION WAS, HOW MUCH DOES THE SERIES FOCUS ON THE LAW ENFORCEMENT ASPECT? THEIR POINT OF VIEW. AND ALSO, CAN YOU -- DID YOU GUYS RESEARCH BY TALKING TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OR DID BEN STILLER, TO GET THE STORY RIGHT? CAN YOU ELABORATE ON THAT?

>> YEAH, WE DID TALK TO LAW ENFORCEMENT. I TALKED TO A C.O. THAT ACTUALLY WAS IN THE JAIL WHEN MATT -- RICHARD MATT WAS THERE. AND I ASKED HIM, YOU KNOW, WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT RICHARD MATT? AND HE SAID, YOU KNOW, HE REALLY KEPT TO HIMSELF. HE NEVER STOOD OUT. HE WAS A NORMAL INMATE IN A WAY. SO THAT WAS REALLY INTERESTING FOR ME. YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE THIS CONVICTED MURDERER WHO IS NOT SOMEONE THAT YOU REALLY -- A BAD GUY, REALLY. AND -- BUT THEN THERE IS THIS SIDE OF HIM, LIKE -- THERE'S -- IT ADDED ANOTHER DIMENSION TO MY THOUGHT ABOUT THE CHARACTER. BUT WE MET WITH MANY LAW ENFORCEMENT. AND, YOU KNOW, THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU DO. YOU KNOW, AND IT'S -- YOU KNOW, YOU ACTUALLY GOT THE PROBLEM BACK IN THE BOTTLE. YOU KNOW. SO THANK YOU.

>> THE C.O. WHO WAS WITH TILLY WHEN SHE GOT ARRESTED WAS THE C.O. IN THE MOVIE WHO IS WITH. SO SHE GAVE ME A LOT OF INFORMATION ABOUT THAT. I THINK IT'S VERY IMPORTANT --

>> OH, THE GUY IN THE GROCERY STORE? IS THAT THE ACTUAL --

>> OH, NO, NO, NO. THE FEMALE GUARD THAT'S WITH TILLY.

>> OH, YEAH.

>> WHEN SHE FIRST GETS ARRESTED WAS WITH TILLY WHEN SHE FIRST GOT ARRESTED. HER EARLY DAYS IN JAIL. BUT ALSO, YOU KNOW, HE HAD GONE -- DAVID HAD GONE -- SWEAT HAD GONE TO JAIL FOR KILLING A POLICE OFFICER. SO THAT'S -- WAS AN IMPORTANT THING. AND IMPORTANT TO BEN. WHILE THESE GUYS ARE CHARMING AND HUSTLERS AND ALL THIS STUFF, TO ALSO SHOW THE OTHER SIDE OF IT. THAT IT'S NOT PRETTY.

>> IT'S FROM OUR POINT OF VIEW, BUT BEN WENT THROUGH GREAT LENGTHS TO INCORPORATE THAT STUFF, INCLUDING THE STATE TROOPER SHOT, SWEAT WAS WITH US. THE SERGEANT WHO OVERSAW THE MANHUNT WAS WITH US A LOT. A LOT OF THE GUYS WHO WERE ON THE TEAM THAT FOUND RICHARD MATT WERE THERE WITH US. BEN, LIKE, WENT AS FAR AS HE COULD TO BRING THOSE DETAILS INTO IT.

>> I ALSO THINK THE -- WITHOUT GIVING ANYTHING AWAY, DOES A -- IT GOES TO GREAT LENGTHS TO SHOW WHAT DAVID SWEAT DID TO GET INTO PRISON AND SORT OF TELL THE STORY OF A TROOPER THAT I THINK WOULD RARELY GET TOLD IN A PROJECT LIKE THIS.

>> YES, YES. I AGREE WITH YOU. AND THE WAY IT JUST FOLLOWS THE STATE TROOPER IS JUST BEAUTIFUL.

>> NEXT QUESTION.

>> HI, GUYS. MY NAME IS MIEESE. AND YOU TALK ABOUT WORKING IN A LOT OF THESE REALLY INTENSE ENVIRONMENTS AS ACTORS. IS THERE ANY KIND OF PRE PERFORMANCE RITUAL THAT YOU USE TO GROUND YOURSELF TO ALLOW YOURSELF TO CREATE?

>> DON'T GIVE AWAY YOUR MAGICAL SECRETS. [ LAUGHTER ]

>> MYSTERY, MYSTERY! MYSTERY, MYSTERY!

>> I THINK IT'S FUN FOR EVERY -- YOU KNOW, DIFFERENT FOR EVERY CHARACTER, RIGHT, AND JUST WHAT'S THE ENERGY. THAT YOU'RE TRYING -- YOU KNOW, SORT OF STEP INTO AND CULTIVATE. AND THEN ALSO, YOU KNOW, ANOTHER ELEMENT OF THAT IS WE DID THIS FOR SIX MONTHS. LIKE, HOW DO WE -- CAN WE LEAVE THAT BEHIND? HOW DO WE LEAVE THAT BEHIND. YOU KNOW. SO I THINK RITUAL IS A NICE THING. AND, YOU KNOW, A FUN THING. AND I THINK IT'S FUN TO ALSO DISCOVER WHAT IT IS FOR EACH CHARACTER.

>> I DEFINITELY FELT WHEN WE WERE SHOOTING IN THE PRISONS, THE WAY WE WERE GOING THROUGH, YOU KNOW -- GOING BACK TO OUR START MARK, BUT WE WOULD HAVE TO PASS THROUGH AN ACTIVE, LIVE HALLWAY OR SOMETHING WITH PRISONERS COMING AND GOING AND GUARDS. I FELT LIKE, FIRST THINGS FIRST. THIS COULD BE DANGEROUS. WHEN WE VISITED THE -- WE WENT TO THE ACTUAL TAILOR SHOP WHERE THIS ALL HAPPENED. AND THE WOMAN WHO TOOK OVER TILLY'S JOB WAS SHOWING US AROUND. THESE GUYS ARE WALKING AROUND WITH 14-INCH SCISSORS. THEY SAID WE'RE GOING TO WALK YOU THROUGH. AND WE CAN'T WALK YOU BACK. BECAUSE ONCE THEY HAVE SEEN YOU, WE CAN'T GO BACK THAT WAY. SO FOR ME BEFORE THE EVEN PREPARATION, THAT'S A LUXURY. I WAS JUST LIKE, I WANT TO LIVE AND MAKE SURE EVERYONE IS OKAY. NOTHING GOES DOWN. I WANT TO KNOW WHERE TO GO. AND I JUST COULDN'T GET OUT OF THOSE PRISONS FAST ENOUGH. THAT'S HEAVY AND KIND OF SCARY.

>> DID ANY OF THE PRISONERS RECOGNIZE YOU GUYS AND BEN FROM ANY OF YOUR MOVIES OR ANYTHING?

>> IN THE --

>> WHEN YOU WERE TOURING THE PRISONS, WALKING AROUND?

>> YEAH.

>> I JUST WANT TO KNOW IF A PRISONER SHOUTED "FOKKERS!”

>> I DON'T REMEMBER THAT.

>> SOME SHOUTING OCCURRED.

>> THE OTHER THING, TOO -- THE OTHER THING ABOUT THE RITUAL AS AN ACTOR OR AS -- YOU KNOW, THAT YOU DO. BUT THERE'S SOMETHING THAT FOR ME A LOT OF IT HAS TO DO WITH DECOMPRESSION. SO WHEN YOU FINISH SHOOTING. LIKE, MUSIC ALWAYS IS KIND OF LIKE -- AS I GO HOME AFTER A DAY OF WORK AND AS I GO TO WORK, YOU KNOW, IT'S MUSIC IS ALWAYS KIND OF LIKE SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU KIND OF LIKE GET FOCUSED OR GIVES YOU SOME ENERGY OR MAKES YOU, YOU KNOW -- RELAX.

>> I THINK THERE'S TIME FOR ONE MORE QUESTION. WHO -- WHO HAS IT? YOU HAVE IT.

>> HI. SINCE THIS IS A SHOW ABOUT A PRISON BREAK, I WANTED TO KNOW, WHAT WERE EACH OF YOUR FAVORITE PRISON BREAK MOVIES OR TV SERIES?

>> MINE -- OKAY. I'LL TAKE THIS BECAUSE I'M SITTING HERE. "PAPILLON" STEVE McQUEEN AND DUSTIN HOFFMAN. I SAW THAT WHEN I WAS A KID. AND I THOUGHT THAT WAS LIKE A GREAT, YOU KNOW -- I THINK THAT'S A -- FRANKLIN SCHAFFNER WAS THE DIRECTOR. GREAT AMERICAN FILM MAKER. ONE OF THE MOVIES I LIKE.

>> IT'S NOT REALLY A PRISON BREAK MOVIE, BUT I LOVED AS A PRISON MOVIE "MIDNIGHT EXPRESS.” VERY TENSE, SPECIAL. YOU KNOW, VIBE IN THERE.

>> A FILM CALLED "A MAN ESCAPED” BY ROBERT BRESSON IS A VERY GOOD FILM.

>> I HAD A FEELING YOU WOULD GO THERE.

>> YEAH.

>> GUYS, I LOVE THE SERIES --

>> HANGS OUT IN NEW YORK CITY. THAT'S WHY.

>> GUYS, I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH. IT'S AN INCREDIBLE WORK. CONGRATULATIONS ON ALL OF YOUR PERFORMANCES. AND THE GREAT SERIES OVERALL. IT PREMIERES ON SHOWTIME THIS SUNDAY, I BELIEVE. SO PEOPLE CAN CHECK IT OUT. PLEASE GIVE A HUGE ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR PAUL, PATRICIA AND BENICIO. [ APPLAUSE ]

>> THANK YOU!

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