Gavin Rossdale on Habit and Why He Wants a Constantine Sequel - VRGyani News and Media


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Gavin Rossdale on Habit and Why He Wants a Constantine Sequel

From director/co-writer Janell Shirtcliff, the wild action-dramedy flick Habit follows L.A. party girl Mads (Bella Thorne), who finds herself mixed up in a violent drug deal with product she got from a washed-up Hollywood star named Eric (Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale). With a crazy crime boss known as Queenie (Josie Ho) trying to track down answers for what happened to her money, Mads enlists her two best friends to join her in dressing up as nuns, in an attempt to escape with their lives.

During this virtual 1-on-1 interview with Collider, which you can both watch and read, Rossdale talked about how he got involved with Habit, acting with fellow musician Jamie Hince (from The Kills), the way he approaches sharing music with his kids, how much he enjoyed working with the women on this film, collaborating with Shirtcliff on another film that he wrote the script for, and his disappointment that there’s never been a sequel for Constantine.

Collider: This definitely seems like a wild and fun movie to make. How did it come your way? What were you told about it? What was the pitch like? What sort of tagline were you given, when this came your way?

GAVIN ROSSDALE: Yeah. I’ve known Donovan Leitch a long time, and he’s one of the main producers on it. He contacted me. I’ve done things with him over the years, but he asked me to come and meet (writer/director) Janell [Shirtcliff] and we went to the Chateau Marmont. I read the script and I really enjoyed it. Everyone goes to their own part first. You scan it to see how much you’re in it and to see what the dialogue is like. I liked it and I thought it was super spirited and spunky, and I liked it. I liked Eric. I liked my character for the basic human errors and sad fall from grace and just messy life. I found that interesting. It was more interesting than superhero stuff. I thought it was cool. And then, I met Janell and she was just a lot of fun. All she wanted to talk about was the art direction of the sex club that she was gonna shoot at, which has nothing to do with my character. So, I was like, “Okay, I like this girl. She’s a little crazy.” It was a really fun experience. I enjoyed it. It’s hard work on those indie movies, but I think Bella [Thorne] is fantastic and great to work with. Paris [Jackson] is a movie start, herself, and she’s amazing. And I got to meet Jamie Hince from The Kills. There were all of these different reasons to make it work and for it to be a good time.

When you’re acting in scenes with a fellow musician like Jamie Hince, is there an unspoken thing that you shared with each other? At the same time, could you have ever imagined that you would be acting in a movie together, as a collaboration, as opposed to something music related?

ROSSDALE: No. First, as I said, I love his band. He’s a really, really talented guy. It’s hard for me to find bands, consistently, with lyrics I love, and I’ve loved The Kills from the get-go. They fried my little brains, all the way through to their last record. What was funny was that I didn’t wanna say anything about it because we were there to act and he was originally an actor before he was a musician. I think he was so excited to be in a movie, and we played off of that. It was only at the end of working together, when we’re saying goodbye and swapping numbers and all that, that I was like, “I’ve gotta say, I just love your band. I didn’t let on for a few days because it just seemed weird. We were in that zone.” It was brilliant to do that. He was going off to make a new record. I don’t know that there would be any collaboration there, but I’d be open to it. He’s amazing.

Your character finds himself in a rather compromising position, with his character and with Queenie. How was it to shoot that whole sequence, tied and bound like that? Do you just have to mentally get to a zen place when you’re going to be stuck like that for a bit?

ROSSDALE: The most important thing in any performance based work or anything creative, you just have to lose yourself. For me, I just let go. When I first began acting, and I did some studying when I was young, it was good for me because I was a little up tight, or very uptight. I was a very shy person. I did this acting course, a place called City Lit in London. It was a professional actor’s refresher course, just to crack my exterior. I hadn’t come up through any kind of encouraging parenthood like, “Oh, you’re great. You’re Picasso.” I had nothing like that, so I was a little bit wary and uptight. My kids now see these YouTube stars who are amazing on camera. They’re so loose and incredible. I think it’s all about finding a way to be loose and finding a way to be open, so that’s what I did.

Do you listen to music with your kids? What have you taught them about the music you love and listen to, and what did they teach you, from music that they listen to?

ROSSDALE: Well, you’ve gotta be careful. I just play stuff. I don’t say, “You’ve gotta listen to that.” For me, it’s interesting because I hear them hearing the fourth in line from where it began. Sometimes I’ve played them the first band, or the original band. My eldest son was getting into a lot of Green Day and that sort of pop punk, so I just made sure to play the Sex Pistols, The Clash and X-Ray Spex, to show them the original versions of those bands. That’s as far as I go because you’ve gotta be careful. People claim people as their own for their generation. You don’t wanna be an old fart. That’s no good. Sometimes I find it a bit difficult with some people who just aren’t very good, and I think the original is better, so what I do is just play the original.

They’ve gone through a super heavy hip-hop phrase of really crazy stuff. There’s a lot of bad language that’s really confusing for kids because they hear that and they think it’s okay to speak like that, when it’s really not. That’s a bit of a dilemma. When it starts getting really overtly aggressive, that stuff is a bit challenging. But generally, you’ve gotta let them be. I think it’s a natural thing. For me, what do I know? With kids, it’s like mirroring. You just behave a certain way and act a certain way. I don’t want to be an annoying frequency that’s always chastising and being annoying. I’m a musician, and I have kids as well. I just try to behave well. My kids are really, really polite and they’re really funny. After that, it’s all gravy.

You’ve previously talked about how you’ve written a movie with Janell Shirtcliff. What can you say about that movie? How did that happen? What was that experience like, to write a movie?

ROSSDALE: Tis idea that I had is a love story in reverse. It’s like a horror-love story. It’s a love story that goes wrong. It’s so dark and so violent that I rang up Janell. I wanted to get a girl writer to help me, and I asked her to make sure that I had a really strong woman’s voice in it because I think that’s really important nowadays, not least when you look at what’s happening in Afghanistan. It’s a time for everyone to realize how strong women are. As the world evolves, that’s what we celebrate. I told her the idea and she was like, “Oh, my God, I’ll direct that.” So, she’s doing that, and we’ve got a friend of hers, Angie Simms, who’s a screenwriter, who I’ll go another round with, for the fourth draft. That’s been a really good experience. You wanna be in a great movie, but it’s quite difficult to get cast in movies. People are so specific with what they want and it’s quite hard. So, I basically wrote a movie that I could be in a lot.

Does that have a title?

ROSSDALE: Yeah, it’s called The Edge of Nowhere.

You’ve been doing some acting work for some time now. Did you have a moment or a project where you really felt like an actor and like you knew what that meant, as far as the craft of it all goes?

ROSSDALE: Usually, towards the end of the process on my last few days, I feel all ready and ready to go and like an actor. I’ll fail this audition and fail that audition, and I thought I did pretty good at auditions. Now, I get to self-tape. I was like, “Okay, I’m not gonna take this personally.” I never feel that good at anything. I think the secret to my longevity is that I’m always fighting to get better. The day that I feel accomplished and assured and overconfident is the day that it all dries up. Humility and desire to be better is the cornerstone of my entire creative life.

This film has such interesting, diverse female voices, from the director, to Bella Thorne, to Josie Ho. What was it like to work with Bella and with Josie, and how did they compare as scene partners?

ROSSDALE: You’re so right. We also had this girl Rain [Li], who was the cinematographer. I was very happy and proud to be on a movie with a first-time female director and a female camerawoman from Hong Kong, who’d had a lot of experience. To me, acting with other people is all about how you react and how you make it real. That’s the most mesmerizing thing about actors. It’s how they bring words to life and how you believe they create these worlds. And so, with Bella, I had this incredible experience where she’s so self-assured, she’s incredibly charismatic and really, really good. She’s quite masterful. She’s 23 or 24, and she’s probably had about 22 years of experience. She just brings a confidence that is beautiful to watch. I enjoyed her. She had a lot of power. With Jamie, it was interesting because it was his first movie, so even though he’s trained as an actor, he was second-guessing himself quite a bit. It just seemed to work. There were things he did that were great and really resonated, so he kept those. That was a whole different thing.

Working with Josie, she’s slightly bonkers. She had to maintain that big personality the whole time. Her husband was there and I remember saying to him, “She’s amazing. A little crazy, but she’s amazing. Is she always like this?” And he said, “Always. She’s always like this.” She brought this crazy energy. For the hostage scene, they came in and Josie had this really animated, big energy, and Jamie was more laid back and cool and street. They both had different versions of the script, so they were already at complete odds. It was an indie movie and Josie didn’t have an up-to-date version of the script, so Jamie freaked out. All of that stuff, I think is brilliant because it feeds into it. I was gagged, but I was trying to help because I knew the lines. I read them so much that I knew everyone’s lines. That gave it its own energy. There was this frenetic energy, not knowing which script to follow, at that point. It was brilliant. It was genius.

Constantine is a movie that has a lot of fans who all really love the film. With everything that you’ve accomplished in music and now in acting, are you surprised that that’s the project that people talk to you about so much? Was there a time that you realized that this movie was going to follow you, no matter what else you did?

ROSSDALE: I don’t think about that. I love it. People come up to me about different things. I get plenty of love for the other stuff as well. But for sure, for the acting, people love that. The biggest confusion I have is how are they making 17 versions of every other movie and Constantine doesn’t get a sequel? When I did the song for John Wick, I saw Keanu [Reeves] a couple of years ago, when that came out, and I said to him, “Why is there no Constantine sequel?” And he said, “I guess it didn’t make enough money.” It’s that whole commerce thing. I think that if enough people showed more love, maybe we’d get a sequel. That was a lot of fun. Who knows what the hell was going on in that film, but it was amazing. I loved it. Didn’t they do a TV series of it? It’s ridiculous. It’s so silly. It’s a shame. If you think of all the terrible sequels that come out, that’s art for you.

Habit is available on Digital and Blu-ray/DVD.

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