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Joel Edgerton Describes The Real-Life Event That Inspired 'Felony'

How a department store security guard helped inspire a major motion picture.

With additional reporting by Josh Horowitz

In Joel Edgerton and Jai Courtney's new thriller "Felony" - now in theaters - the two Aussies play cops with extremely varying levels of integrity. However, although some devastating events involving the police have taken front and center in the media as of late, Edgerton -- who also wrote and produced the film -- says that his inspiration was something much more personal.

"When I was a kid, I was in a department store -- like a big Westfield -- and I always saw anyone with a uniform, and I thought, 'they're just good people,' " Edgerton told MTV News. "Because they're wearing a uniform, they have authority. I saw this security guard, [and thought] 'oh, he's a good person.' "

Then, as you may have guessed by now, things quickly took a sharp left turn.

"This woman walked by, and he turned to a security guard and he said something really lascivious about this woman," Edgerton continued. "I was like, [gasps.] It didn't make sense to me! It's impossible, he's a good person, he has to do everything right."

Edgerton added that portraying men (and women) in uniform being "normal humans that make mistakes" was the driving force of the film, but he also told MTV News about a few other movies that served as his inspiration for "Felony."

"Movies like 'Cop Land' [inspired 'Felony']... 'Cop Land' is a great movie," Edgerton added. "[Movies] where you do get a look inside the police force, and you do get to see mistakes being made, and the drama actually happening like that internally... Another movie that kind of influenced us in the way the movie concludes, without giving any spoilers away, is a movie called 'A Separation.' You're dealing with ethics and morals, but you're drawing the audience in, to say 'you sit in the driver's seat, and you tell us what you think. What's your compass, and how does that sit with regards to crime and punishment?' "

Good question.

"Felony" is in theaters now.