About The Story
Inspired by a
critically acclaimed documentary, "The Thin Blue Line," about an
actual slaying of a Dallas police officer in 1976, writer/director Joe Carnahan
first developed "Narc" in 1994 as a short film entitled "Gun
Point" But the young filmmaker still had a fascination for the subject and
wanted to expand the 30-minute short into a feature film that could delve deeper
into a complicated murder investigation.
"The story just
stuck with me," remembers Carnahan. "It had a resonance that I really
wanted to go back to, which is rare for me. In fact, usually I write something
and it's out of my system, but in this particular case, I felt there were
things worth mining cinematically."
Point" into "Narc" and developing it into a film in which a very
dark event slowly comes to light from different points of view, Carnahan set his
story in the mean streets of Detroit and centered it around a disgraced police
officer who makes his way through the gritty drug underworld in search of not
only the truth about what happened to the slain officer, but also his own inner
"I was just blown
away by the script," says Ray Liotta, who was looking for a quality
screenplay to begin his venture into producing. "I loved the way it leads
you in different directions. It's structured in such a way that it kept me
guessing so that I never saw the end coming."
Liotta adds that he
also liked the depth that Carnahan wrote into each character. "Both Tellis
and Oak, are such complicated souls, and actors just don't come across roles like
these very often," says Liotta. "Too many characters are written as
either black or white, but these guys have a lot of underlying gray to them that
makes them more real."
According to Carnahan,
none of his characters are exactly who they appear to be on the surface because
people in real life are holding in a lot of emotions.
"Nick Tellis. for
example, is a very basic, decent man at heart, who is very troubled," says
Carnahan. "Like all of us at one time or another, he made a mistake, and
now he has to live with it. He becomes a tortured soul, and Jason Patric
portrays him with such an intensity and intelligence that I feel honored and
flattered that he made this character a part of his body of work."
Jason Patric was drawn
to the depth of the story as well as to Carnahan's passion for the project.
"Joe knew what he wanted from the movie and he had a real, naturalistic
style with the camera that he was always ratcheting up," says Patric.
"In that way, he not only furthered the story, but he also accentuated the
struggles that all the characters were going through."
Patric went on to admit
that in order to find the character of Nick Tellis, he looked to parts of
himself with which he wasn't particularly comfortable. "Everybody has a
certain amount of self-loathing," says the actor, "and Tellis found
himself in a position where he really had to stare right at his own weaknesses
and come to terms with them. Often people have to go on a brutal journey to find
out who they are and to get at the truth of things, whether it's the truth
about a murder or the truth about thems
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