For John Goodman, playing Ed Davis a big role
John Goodman, who plays former police Commissioner Ed Davis in “Patriots Day,” Mark Wahlberg’s big-screen take on the Boston Marathon bombing, said that while watching the film for the first time, he was physically shaken when the cinematic bombs went off.
“I jerked up in my seat,” Goodman told the Track. “I physically gasped. I can’t believe what it looked like on film. It was incredible.”
Director Peter Berg integrated actual footage of the explosions on Boylston Street with his Hollywood re-creation of the attacks to produce a gut-wrenching re-enactment of that terrible day. And Goodman said some of the extras who were on the Weymouth set when the scenes were shot were also rattled.
“It was very sobering,” he said. “But I was struck by how, out of that disarray, how quickly the first responders were able to snap to and get those guys off the street.”
Goodman said the bravery shown by the victims, the first responders — as well as the way the city came together in the wake of the attacks — were the reason he took on the role.
“It’s a great city and the people showed that during this tragedy,” he said. “The city of Boston is a star of this movie and I hope they are proud.”
When he first met Davis, Goodman said he was immediately impressed with “how large a man he is.”
“Just height-wise,” he added. “He’s a commanding presence. And I was also taken with how jovial he is. He was very open to helping me with the role. He’s just a great guy.”
The former “Roseanne” star said Davis helped him with a lot of “little details” while making the flick.
“We were shooting a phone call he had with Vice President Joe Biden and I called him to ask what they were talking about,” he said. “We also talked about the relationship with the FBI and the cooperation there. I also noticed his relationship with ordinary police officers, how he knew all their names and who their family members were. So there was a big effort to get it right.”
So much so that in the film, Goodman is wearing the same scarf Davis wore to the marathon on Patriots Day 2013.
“The fact that they drilled down to that kind of detail is really kind of shocking,” Davis told us.
“It was an odd experience to live through.”
Davis, who’s seen the flick a few times now, thinks the movie was very well done.
“I was happy about the way it turned out, especially after talking to some of the victims,” he said. “They received it pretty well and that was my main concern.”
The former top cop was also impressed with how much detail the filmmakers were able to pack into the two-hour movie.
“I think people will learn a lot about the behind-the-scenes process that goes into an investigation like this,” he said. “And I think they really captured the resiliency of the city, how strong Boston is, to coin a phrase.”
“Patriots Day” will have its Boston premiere Wednesday and will be in theaters here Dec. 21.
File Under: A Marathon Undertaking.