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‘Need for Speed’ Exclusive: Dominic Cooper on His “Detestable” Character and the “Stunning” Film

Need for Speed Dominic Cooper
Film District/EA Games

To the delight of car-racing gamers, ‘Need for Speed‘ will be among the next phase of games getting the big-screen adaptation. The project was announced a while ago with ‘Breaking Bad’ star Aaron Paul attached as the lead. Aside from the already filled-out cast, ‘Need for Speed’ details have been scarce as of late, so we chatted briefly with Paul’s co-star Dominic Cooper while he was promoting the upcoming ‘Dead Man Down‘ to get the latest info.

While Cooper was overseas filming the upcoming miniseries ‘Fleming,’ based on the life of 007 creator Ian Fleming, we got a chance to chat with the actor briefly in promotion of his upcoming actioner ‘Dead Man Down’ [expect the full interview to come next week]. When we asked him about ‘Need for Speed,’ Cooper said:

I’m so excited about that project, because, again, it’s about meeting a director and going, Yes, this person has the right vision for this and they know what they’re doing. He [Scott Waugh] knows how to handle this more than anyone. He’s raced cars and stunt driven, and he wants to make a film that is reminiscent of those classic ’70s, proper car-racing films – not the kinds that are just sort of a flashy car advertisement. He wants to make a really beautiful, stunning film with these incredible machines in it and with an in-depth, proper character-driven story.

In regards to his character in the film, Dino:

Again, I’m playing some sort of horrible… [Laughs] A guy who is trapped in a position and forced into doing something absolutely terrible. So I need to sort of get that balance again of finding a guy who’s quite detestable actually on the page, and then I need to sort of work out how we as an audience will be able to sort of identify and have some sort of sympathy for him. I think for me that’s what will be essential about him. I’m really excited about it, and I love cars as well.

This seems true to form with the description of the film provided a while back — “a local street racer (Paul) who partners with a rich and arrogant business associate (Cooper), only to find himself framed by his colleague and sent to prison. After his stint in the joint, he joins a New York-to-Los Angeles race to get revenge. But when the ex-partner learns of the scheme, he puts a massive bounty on the racer’s head, forcing him to run a cross-country gauntlet of illegal racers in all manner of supercharged vehicles.”

‘Need for Speed’ is currently set for a February 2014 release, while ‘Dead Man Down’ hits theaters next week, March 8. Check back later to read our full interview with Dominic Cooper, including working with director Niels Arden Oplev, Noomi Rapace and Colin Farrell, and his thoughts on ‘Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier.’

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