25 03 2011

The Lovely Paz Vega plays Catarina in Cat Run.

Texan Writer and Director John Stockwell‘s latest film, Cat Run, will be released nationwide next Friday, April 1st.

This sexy, action-comedy stars Paz Vega (Spanglish), Janet McTeer (Tideland, Tumbleweeds), Christopher McDonald (Happy Gilmore), Tony Curran (Gladiator, Underworld: Evolution) Scott Mechlowicz (EuroTrip), and DL Hughley.

The Lovely Paz Vega plays Catarina in Cat Run.

In CAT RUN, Mechlowitz stars as Anthony, who has always dreamed of being a famous chef and his best friend Julian who only thinks about women. With neither ambitions really working out, the childhood best friends decide to start a detective agency. Unfortunately for them, on their first case they must help protect a sexy, high class escort who holds the key evidence to a scandalous cover up. The two bumbling detectives soon find themselves running from the mob, a corrupt US Senator, and a ruthless Mary Poppins-like assassin – all aiming to stop at nothing to hide the truth. It’s just an average day for two bumbling losers.

Scott Mechlowicz plays Anthony and Alphonso McAuley plays Julian in Cat Run.

“From first reading the script, we knew that CAT RUN had commercial appeal.  We are excited to bring a film to audiences that is both entertaining and funny with an offbeat, edgy energy at its core—a combination not typically seen in theaters,” said Perkins.

Don’t mess with Janet McTeer she’s deadly in Cat Run.

Director John Stockwell answered some questions in the production notes for the film.  Here is some of the gold from the Texas native.

THE PRODUCTION  Q&A with Director John Stockwell

1: Tell me a little something about the movie.

CAT RUN is an out-there, girl-on-the-run type movie. It was originally set in Virginia, in the United States, when I got the script initially. And Producer Bill Perkins and I were working with Ram Bergman, who had just shot Brothers Bloom in Serbia, and he had a good experience shooting there. So I did a scout, and I loved it. I thought it offered up a whole host of interesting opportunities, however, it would be very difficult to shoot and pass off as any city in the United States. So a decision was made to shoot Serbia as Serbia. It was an amazing place, but it would have been very difficult to pass off as the US. So a decision was made to move the setting of the movie to Eastern Europe. And I think it really benefited the film.

2. CAT RUN has a very distinctive style. Did you pull or did you draw from any of your previous films or experiences while shooting?

I think CAT RUN is probably more adult and less bubble-gum than my previous movies. But it does have some overlap with Turistas, but is a much funnier version – it really is about Americans getting into trouble abroad. And Turistas went to a very dark place, and didn’t have a lot of humor; CAT RUN has that humor that adds an entertaining, fun value for the audience. As far as the style and overall look, we all wanted a very stylized, distinctive, slightly heightened reality.

3. What drew you to this project?

What drew me to CAT RUN was the opportunity to do something irreverent, that broke the rules, where you were able to push the boundaries to shock and entertain. To also blow up the conventions and traditional rules that you normally have to adhere to when you make a studio movie.

4. Talk about working with all the cast members.

Paz Vega was great to work with; I had previously seen her in Spanglish, and Sex and Lucia. I think in Spanglish she was just learning English. I think she had not done a lot of traditional action, so it was both exciting and challenging for her to pull off some of the more stunt-driven work in the movie.     Scott Mechlowicz was really excited to have this role, he came on with a boatload of ideas. He would always be questioning, in a good way, why this, why not that. But he’s one of those guys that you say okay; he can play the more sober, serious, less traditionally handsome guy, but still be attractive. I mean he was the nerd of the movie, but in reality, I think women really like him.     Janet McTeer was brought a Julie Andrews/Mary Poppins style to the movie, with a much more of a bad-ass edge. She is nothing like the character in real life, but you wouldn’t know that from seeing the film. She is the most refined, educated, graceful person. I don’t think she had ever fired a gun before this movie.     Alphonso McAuley came in and completely understood the script – he was very funny. He’s big without being off character – he just got it. He’s great. And we sort of knew at that point that he was our Julian, no matter who else wanted to do it.     The character of Dexter was a challenge, both because he’s a triple amputee, and he’s one of the characters that were very unique and distinctive. Both the producer Bill Perkins and I had a very strong sense of the type of actor we wanted, and when D.L. Hughley became available, we knew that he would be perfect for the character.     Christopher McDonald plays William Krebb, Secretary of Defense, and he definitely can play the bad guy and can do it in his sleep. But he was interested in playing a more mischievous, fun-loving villain, not just the typical bad-guy you would expect

5. The soundtrack is very unique and different, is that a major part of this film?

Music is a big part of this film and Bill Perkins, our producer, and I had to make certain decisions in advance of shooting, because we had a few on-camera songs that we wanted the actors and/or extras to be singing, lip-syncing, or dancing to. We had pre-cleared a couple of songs – and I think they were crucial.

6. What was it like, filming in Montenegro and Serbia?

I think there was apprehension about shooting in Serbia. However, at the end everyone came away with a really good filming experience overall. I actually enjoyed Serbia more than Montenegro, it’s much more traditionally beautiful, and I think it’s great for the movie. Montenegro is very beautiful, and most people would go to Belgrade for holiday, which I loved because it had grittiness and authenticity to the city. It feels a little lawless, but in fact it’s incredibly safe. We had a great experience in both places.

7. Is this your first time working with Bill Perkins and LLeju Productions?

Yes, this is my first time working with Bill Perkins and the LLeju team – but hopefully not my last time. Bill is definitely the most unique person I’ve worked with in the film business. He approaches things, both from a business and a creative perspective. And most importantly, he has a love for films, especially ’80’s films – he can quote lines from every ’80’s movie. You know, as much as he’s a successful businessman, he’s a real passionate cinema person, and that results in a producer who will be creative and work with you. And he never worried about the financial or the technical side. Bill didn’t know all the rules coming into the industry, and even if he did, he didn’t really care. So he would break whatever rule he wanted to break, whether knowingly or unknowingly – and that’s my style.

8. What made you decide to make the jump from acting to directing?

I think I always knew I wanted to be a director, and I felt like acting was a good path to being a director. A lot of the directors I admired had been actors before. And I knew that as an actor, I get to be on the set, can ask lots of questions – basically is a pest and learn as much as I can – and no one can dismiss me. I went to NYU film school and was acting at the same time, and I knew I wanted to be a director because as an actor for better or worse, you can’t really take responsibility for the final product. I wanted to take ownership of the product in some form or fashion, because if the film doesn’t work, it was something I did or didn’t do right. Of course it’s a very collaborative medium, and there are many factors that come together in a film, but at the end of the day, the director is the one running the ship.

For all my Dallas Peeps!!

Opening Date Theaters for Dallas:

AMC Grapevine Mills

AMC Mesquite

Cinemark Grand Prairie

Cinemark 17 Dallas

CAT RUN was written by Nick Ball and John Niven and produced by William O. Perkins.  Mark Urman’s Paladin will be working with LLeju on securing theaters nationwide. The film will be LLeju Productions’ third theatrical release, previous titles include: the Liam Neeson and Christina Ricci thriller After.Life, and Gangster’s Paradise: Jerusalema, about a young hoodlum’s rise from a small-time criminal to a powerful crime entrepreneur during the turbulent years before and after the fall of apartheid.


Founded in 2008, LLeju Productions (pronounced “yay-who”) is a filmed entertainment production, financing and distribution company dedicated to stirring the emotions of audiences worldwide with unconventional and thought provoking material. Regardless of the genre – if a project is unconventional, risky or thought provoking – LLeju welcomes the opportunity to be “offbeat”. LLeju’s past films include After.Life, starring Liam Neeson, Justin Long, Christina Ricci and Josh Charles; Unthinkable, a psychological thriller which starred Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Sheen, Brandon Routh and Carrie-Anne Moss; and Gangster’s Paradise: Jerusalema, about a young hoodlum’s rise from a small-time criminal to a powerful crime entrepreneur during the turbulent years before and after the fall of apartheid.




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