"I'm always the bad guy, aren't I?"
Garret Dillahunt is laughing that yet again, he's playing a character who's after someone else's son -- on his current television show "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," he's Cromartie, a Terminator who relentlessly pursues the Connors, and in his upcoming movie "The Road," out November 26, he's a nameless gang member who's another kind of killing machine. But just because his character has no name does not mean it's a bit part.
"No one has a name in 'The Road,'" Dillahunt explained. Like Cormac McCarthy's novel from which it's adapted, "The Road" features characters such as the man, the boy, the wife, the old man and the veteran. "Viggo Mortensen plays the man," Dillahunt said. "Kodi Smit-McPhee is the boy, and I play the gang member. We all have names like that, because it's not important, almost, in this post-apocalyptic world they create."
As the man and the boy try to make their way south for the winter -- perhaps the man's last winter, since he's coughing up blood along the way -- they hide from just about anyone they encounter, in fear that their few previous belongings and foodstuffs might be forcibly taken from them. Or worse.
Marauding bands of cannibals are also on the road, since food is so hard to find, now that nothing grows after what must have been a nuclear war or some other worldwide catastrophic event. The man and the boy watch from afar as one such band parades by with captives earmarked as food and sexual slaves. They find a seemingly deserted house where people are locked in the pantry, so they or at least their limbs can be eaten later (one man is alive, but has lost his legs to the cannibals). And they find a campfire with a headless baby being roasted on a spit.
But while they're pretty good at dodging a lot of the dangers, early on, the man and the boy are confronted by a smaller gang, or at least one gang member, played by Dillahunt.
"I try to take Viggo's son from him," Dillahunt said. "It's pretty clear in the Terminator mythology that John Connor has to be eliminated for Skynet's future to be secure. The needs in 'The Road's are a lot more selfish and personal. It's about hunger, all kinds of hunger."
So what does he plan to do with either John Connor or the unnamed boy if he ever got them? "I love the kids!" Dillahunt laughed. "Hold it, pedophilia? Who said that? I just love kids. I love to steal them. I'm an excellent babysitter."
Have you read "The Road"? What did you think of it? What scene are you most looking forward to seeing on the big screen? Do you think the film can capture the same sense of isolation and desperation as the book did?