What is the plot of ‘Mercy?’
‘Mercy’ tells the story of an ex-military doctor named Michelle (Leah Gibson), who finds herself in a deadly battle for survival when the Irish mafia family, the Quinns (Jon Voight and Jonathan Rhys Meyers), seize control of the hospital at which she works. When her son (Anthony Bolognese) is taken hostage, she is forced to rely upon her battle-hardened past and lethal skills after realizing there’s no one left to save the day but her.
An ex-military doctor finds herself in a deadly battle for survival when the Irish mafia seize control of the hospital at which she works. When her son is taken… Read the Plot
Who is in the cast of ‘Mercy?’
‘Mercy’ stars Leah Gibson (‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’) as Michelle, Jonathan Rhys Meyers (‘Mission: Impossible III’) as Sean Quinn, Oscar-winner Jon Voight (‘Heat,’ ‘Mission: Impossible,’ ‘Transformers’) as Patrick Quinn, Sebastian Roberts as Ellis, Anthony Konechny as Ryan Quinn, Patrick Roccas as Johnno, Anthony Bolognese as Bobby, Bradley Stryker as Mick, Caitlin Stryker as Agent Cruz, Mark Masterton as Danny, Ryan Russell as Nurse Kevin, Bobby Stewart as Dr. Terrence, and Marc-Anthony Massiah as Frank.
Moviefone recently had the pleasure of speaking with Oscar-winner Jon Voight about his work on ‘Mercy,’ what he brings to a project, performing violent scenes, performing with an Irish accent, his character’s relationship with his sons, working with Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Leah Gibson, collaborating with director Tony Dean Smith, and his work on acclaimed filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola’s upcoming ‘Megalopolis.’
You can read the full interview below or click on the video player above to watch the interview.
Moviefone: To begin with, Patrick Quinn is a great character for you to play, did you recognize that when you first read the script and what were some of the aspects of the character you were excited to explore in this film?
Jon Voight: I think because I’ve gotten to a certain age, people are coming to me with roles that are suitable, and that I have to play a patriarch of this kind, even though he is a very negative kind of character or comes from that culture. But it was exciting to me in a certain sense, it seemed like a good opportunity to express many things. An opportunity to work with Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who I think is a sensational actor, and a great talent. Then we introduced this wonderful gal Leah Gibson too. So I was excited to work on this piece. I thought I could help it. When I came into it, I said, “Well, I think I can do something with this thing.”
MF: Can you expand on that idea? Are there certain projects that you are offered that you feel like your presence in the movie can help elevate the film?
JV: Well, I think I’m very collaborative with the directors and producers to do something that has a meaning for me. I thought that I could enrich the family dilemma and not make it so black and white in a certain sense. These people are human, you want to find out what their humanity is and see what their thinking is. So you are really getting to know these people, and when we get to know people, you root for them a little bit. You hope they can pull things off. Then you see somebody who’s going way off the road like Jonathan’s character, my son Sean, in the picture. Yet he’s very exciting because he’s so brilliant at this kind of negativity, this character. He can bring it forth, he can scare you, and that’s what he does in this film. He’s really a brilliant actor and this is a role very suitable for him. So we had things that we could do and then I was able to, I think, add something to it as well.
MF: I loved the Irish accent that your character has in the movie. Was that already in your actor’s bag of tricks or did you work with a vocal coach to get it right?
JV: No. We worked with people. They have people who work with accents, and the young woman that worked on it with us, I found to be excellent. She was able to work with all of the people in our group, which was a team of this family of criminals. She got us all up to a certain level. But we were working with Jonathan Rhys Myers, who’s from County Cork, and knows those accents. He can do any kind of accent, and we had to be authentic next to him, which was a big challenge. But he was always encouraging and helpful.
MF: You have a particularly violent scene where your character is threatening another member of his crew. Was it fun to shoot that sequence and act really menacing in that moment?
JV: Yeah, it was fun, actually. But I mean, I said, “We have to have this in the picture.” I said, “Because you have to know who he is. He has to be dangerous. You have to see why he’s the head of this group.” Do you see what I mean? And he establishes that in that one gesture. So then you say, “Oh, this guy, there’s a reason why he’s the head of this wild group.”
MF: Do you look for moments like that when you’re reading a script, a moment that really explains who the character is very clearly for the audience?
JV: Well, it’s in the storytelling of things, yes. It’s very important that people know who he is. That’s a seminal moment. That’s a step, “Boom, there he is, like that.” He can go like that. He can turn and, “Boom, he’s dangerous.” Of course, in order to run a mob, you have to be that dangerous. You have to have that kind of capacity to scare the hell out of everybody else. To say, “Well, you play games with me and it’s going to be a certain kind of violent ending.” That kind of thing. That was an important moment, actually. But the other thing is that each of the young men in it who played my team, the muscle in that piece, they did a great job. They worked hard on it, and they did their accents beautifully, but they really cared about it. They’re nice little pieces of that film that are given over to these cameos, and I really thought the cast came up to the challenge.
MF: Patrick has two sons, Sean and Ryan, and he clearly favors Ryan over Sean. Can you talk about that family dynamic and how it is the catalyst for what happens at the hospital?
JV: Well, he has two sons in the picture, and he’s a fellow that came from Ireland as an alien to this country and found a home here at one point. He came from a violent background in Ireland, but he really was concerned about his older child, Sean. He was concerned about this child because he was going in the wrong way. That’s really something because he’s from a family that’s equated with some violence too. But he was going off the deep end, getting involved with terrorists, alcohol and all this stuff. So he came to this country, came to the States to actually change the direction of his son, and his other son, Ryan caught the idea and was on his way to a healthy life apart from the family and was encouraged by his father. But Sean went the other way and became a destructive factor. That’s what we see in the film, a man dealing with a son that’s dangerous to himself and to others. I think it’s an interesting dilemma. So you feel for the father that he’s lost his son to this, and that becomes a richer part of the film. I was excited to explore that dimension and to work with this great actor, Jonathan Rhys Myers, and of course Leah Gibson, who plays the American military hero of the picture, and is a considerable actor and a very new face.
MF: Did you know Jonathan Rhys Meyers before making this movie, and what was it like working with him on ‘Mercy?’
JV: I had made one film with Jonathan, and we both liked each other so much. We were so appreciative of each other’s talent. Steven Paul, the producer of this film, had worked on the other film and in order to get this film made, he called Jonathan and said, “Well, Jon Voight’s going to do it.” Then Jonathan said, “Well, if he’s going to do it, I’ll do it.” Steven then told me, “Jonathan Rhys Meyers is going to do it.” So I said, “Well, if Jonathan Rhys Meyers is going to do it, then I’m going to do it.” So he captured us both by using our affection for each other to get this movie made. I have an affection for Jonathan that should be said. I really like him, and I know him only a little, but I know a lot about him and I know his talent. So a lot of it is real, it’s just the way I deal with him. His response to me is real in a certain way because he sees me as a certain kind of figure, and I could be his father. Do you know what I mean? What does a father mean to him, you see? So we had a lot of exciting energy there. I really like this fella, and I hope I work again with him. His performance here is really quite amazing.
MF: The movie is kind of like ‘Die Hard’ in a hospital, and in those terms, Leah Gibson definitely plays the John McClane role. What was it like working with her and watching her lead this project?
JV: Well, she’s a terrific person. The first time I met her, I recommended her to Steven Paul, the producer. I said, “I think she can do this.” I laughed with her, I must say, I was just delighted in talking to her the first time I spoke to her. But since then, I’ve seen work she did on a stage piece that was absolutely phenomenal. So she’s a big talent, and she had never played a part like this, actually. So it was an unusual transition, but she had all the physical capability and she’s a serious actor. So it was a great thing for her to be the movie star in this piece.
MF: What was it like collaborating on this project with director Tony Dean Smith?
JV: Well, this director, Tony Dean Smith, he thinks of himself as a writer, essentially. He’s written several scripts. He’s young and he’s looking for ways to express himself. He was editing a picture that we had done before, a picture called ‘Dangerous Game: The Legacy Murders’. The director of that film, Sean McNamara, is a wonderful filmmaker, and he recommended Steven to me and said that he was talented. He said, “Look at this fellow, because he’s got some talent.” There was several things about him initially in ‘Dangerous Game,’ his understanding of the music of the film, and his choice of the music for the Temp Dub. Well, he was very good at that, and he was a good editor. He knew film. He had a nice way about himself with actors. You could tell he had a lot of gifts toward this, very smart, very hardworking, and all this stuff. So Steven gave him a chance to direct it and I think he came through very beautifully with a limited schedule and all of that too. So you have to be pretty smart about where you put the camera and how you deal with it, and how you stay on point and stay on schedule. But, he did a good job, and that’s wonderful. I’m so glad for him because I think he deserves to be in this business and do more pieces now.
MF: Finally, what was it like for you working with Francis Ford Coppola on the upcoming ‘Megalopolis,’ and watching the acclaimed filmmaker execute his vision for the project that he has been working on for over 40 years?
JV: Well, it’s a very ambitious film. It’s unusual in this time to see somebody step out and do something that no nobody’s ever seen before. This is a time when everybody’s trying to follow somebody else, and he didn’t. He’s saying, “This is my vision.” People would maybe try to take him off that over the years, but he said, “No, this is what I want to do.” I was very honored to be part of it, that I could work with him again, because I worked with him on ‘The Rainmaker,’ John Grisham‘s movie with Matt Damon. We got along very well. So he said, “Well, there’s a part in this for you.” He stuck by his guns too, as people probably said, “You’re working with Jon Voight, are you out of your mind?” Whatever it is. He said, “No, he’s a person I’ve worked with before. I get along with him. I like him.” So I was honored to be working on the film. Then they had these great actors. Adam Driver is a wonderful actor, a very unique personality, and a serious artist. The same can be said of Shia LaBeouf. Shia LaBeouf, of course, I worked with him on ‘Holes’ and on his breakthrough performance in ‘Transformers.’ I really love this fellow’s work, and he has a very powerful role in ‘Megalopolis.’ Then I was able to work with Aubrey Plaza, who was somebody I had no real connection with, I hadn’t seen some of the things that she had done. But boy, I think she’s such a gifted person and has enormous talent and potential. So these three are three of the top actors of this generation. So Francis was very clever about that. We’ll see what happens. This is an unusual piece. No one’s ever seen anything like it before. I’m interested to see how it’s going to finish up.
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‘Mercy’ is set to release in select theaters on May 12th and on digital May 19th.