While some filmmakers go the mysterious or fanciful route with their titles, there are just as many who tell their prospective audiences exactly what they’re going to see. “Man on a Ledge,” which opened Friday (January 27), is about as literal a film title as you can get.
When MTV News caught up with the cast recently, we asked them to explain the inherent intrigue in the title, as well as why the film has so much more going for it than just a man and a ledge.
“[The film is about] a desperate man in a desperate situation,” star Sam Worthington said of his character and the man on a ledge himself, Nick Cassidy. “As the movie goes on, we get to see why he’s there and how’s he’s going to get out of it.”
Worthington went on to say that “Man on a Ledge” takes a few cues from action films like “The Negotiator” and “Phone Booth.”
“I like those movies. I’ve always said I like doing movies that I would go and see and this is in the same vein as those movies,” Worthington said. “It’s exciting, thrilling and interesting for the audience because they’ve got a lead character who they’re wondering, ‘What’s going to happen next?’ ”
“The basic premise of the movie is that there is a man on a ledge, and the great thing is that there is so much more behind that basic premise,” added co-star Elizabeth Banks, who plays determined hostage negotiator Lydia Mercer. “Why is he there? What is he there for? What’s really happening? Those are all the questions that my character has and I get to sort of be the surrogate for the audience.
“The whole time we’re watching the movie we’re learning more about what’s going on. I’m the truth-seeker of the movie, I’m really interested in understanding why he’s there in the first place,” she explained. “Sam’s character says to me at one point, ‘You need to listen, I’m prepared to die’ and what he’s really saying is ‘Even if I die, I need you to carry on and tell everyone what happened,’ and that’s the great mystery of the movie. The action that drives the movie is, ‘What the heck is going on here?’ ”
Jamie Bell, who plays the man on the ledge’s younger brother, conceded that the title basically sells the film.
“It’s quite literal,” he said.
“I think that’s what throws people off,” offered Genesis Rodriguez, who plays the girlfriend of Bell’s character. “They’re like, ‘Oh, it’s a movie about a man on a ledge.’ It really isn’t. There’s more to it.’ You should check it out because you don’t know it all.”
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