Doug ColemanPart of the fun to be had with Gangster Squad was the over the top violence, almost cartoonish in its execution, which began very early on in the film with two cars going in the opposite direction.

Stuntman and Director Doug Coleman is the man behind many of the best moments in the film and we spoke to him about his time with the Gangster Squad and how his parallel career as Unit Director has been informed by his background and what the future holds.

  • On the importance of the period of a film.

The period is so important as far as developing the characters and their movement, the way they hold their weapons, the way they drive their cars, the way they fight.  The period of the film is key, and making sure that it’s all about the behavior from that period.

The actors in Gangster Squad doing their own stunt.

Sean and Josh Brolin they trained very very hard for the fights, they both have a great physical ability.  Josh is just superior in terms of remembering all the fighting techniques and choreography and so on and so on.  I spend a lot of time helping with the actors and training them so they can do as much on camera as possible.

On the stunt in The Gangster Squad which presented the greatest challenge.

I think the elevator fight, at the beginning of the film, it was tough because I wanted to have the claustrophobicness of the small elevator, so we built on set an elevator to scale, which is very very small.  And to out four guys in there that were going to a big battle, where 3 of them end up not walking out of there – was very very challenging. But after working on it and putting it all together, I am very pleased with the outcome.

On how stunt work informs directing.

Just being around the process.  But again it’s all about the storytelling and the characters, so that’s what has been important to be, learning how to work with a director and direct the action sequence itself with his vision of the characters and the story.

On Winter’s Tale.

Well you know, it’s going to be a beautiful film, the combination of the lighting and the editing and the primarily the late 1800’s in New York City, actors and a majestic horse, it’s going to transport the audience into a Winter’s Tale.  I am very very excited about that film, Russell Crowe is amazing, Colin Farrell is just incredible – a great cast and the film, like so many was an ambitious undertaking but I hope the best for it.