Patrick Stewart has long been known for his on-screen roles as a fearless leader and unflinching good guy, though there is always more to an actor than their most well-known roles. The British thespian is recognizable to American audiences for as Captain Jean Luc Picard in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and as Professor X in “X-Men,” and has spent decades elevating his acting skills to a level few have ever approached.
Next month, Stewart will shed his noble persona for a role unlike any he has ever played in “Green Room,” a horror thriller from the mind of writer and director Jeremy Saulnier. Saulnier last directed “Blue Ruin” in 2013.
In “Green Room,” an unsigned punk rock band, The Ain’t Rights, witness a backstage murder at the middle-of-nowhere club they are booked to play. After witnessing the crime, the band is locked in the green room by club owner and neo-Nazi leader, Darcy Banker, played by Stewart. Banker and his boot-wearing compatriots begin a standoff with the young punk rockers, one which can only end in violence.
The movie first screened at the Cannes Film Festival 2015 and the Toronto International Film Festival 2015, and received positive feedback from both events.
Joining Stewart on screen will be Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, Joe Cole, Callum Turner, Mark Webber, Eric Edelstein, Macon Blair, and Kai Lennox.
While the entire cast lends itself well to the film, watching Stewart in such a violent and calculating role is as captivating as it is terrifying. According to Saulnier, Stewart’s role fits in perfectly with the overall atmosphere of the movie.
“This is a blunt-force narrative,” he said during an interview, “meant to be experienced viscerally, in your guts, and the clash between the out-of-town punks and the local neo-Nazis was merely a jumping off point. As the plot develops and the situation spirals out of control, the ideology and affiliations that set the stage for conflict are completely stripped away. I didn’t want it to be about politics, I wanted it to be about momentum.”
Momentum begins the moment Stewart’s character is introduced, and the ball never stops rolling until a somewhat unexpected slow-down to culminate the movie. Leading up to the release, two trailers have been released thus far, one a red-band trailer, giving viewers a much more encompassing preview of the movie in all of its gory glory.
While some may find the movie’s adult content difficult to handle, any fan of the thriller genre will find themselves quite at home for just over 90 minutes as neo-Nazis and teenage punks square off in a horrifying and gripping fight. While the outcome may be a mystery, one thing is for certain: not everyone will survive.
“Green Room” is set to release in New York and Los Angeles on April 15, with a nation-wide opening scheduled for April 29.