'No Sudden Move' cast reveal how Steven Soderbergh shot thriller during pandemic (exclusive)

·Contributor
·4 min read

Watch: Benicio Del Toro and Brendan Fraser on shooting No Sudden Move during COVID-19

It seems that it takes more than a global pandemic to slow down Steven Soderbergh, who was at his efficient best while shooting 1950s-set crime thriller No Sudden Move.

The film, which is arriving in the UK via Sky Cinema and NOW after a Stateside release via HBO Max this summer, follows small-time criminals carrying out a simple job which rapidly becomes complicated.

Soderbergh had planned to shoot the movie in April 2020, but was scuppered by COVID-19, and ultimately made it under tight health restrictions in the autumn of last year.

Read more: Songbird director reveals pandemic filming measures

"His process changed quite a bit because everybody had to wear a mask and everybody had to get tested every day. He created a bubble, so the process was a little bit different," said Benicio Del Toro, speaking to Yahoo.

Benicio Del Toro and Don Cheadle star as small-time crooks in Steven Soderbergh's crime thriller 'No Sudden Move'. (Warner Bros)
Benicio Del Toro and Don Cheadle star as small-time crooks in Steven Soderbergh's crime thriller 'No Sudden Move'. (Warner Bros)

Del Toro portrays Ronald Russo who, along with Don Cheadle's Curt Goynes, is tasked with taking a family hostage while one of them (David Harbour) is sent to retrieve a crucial document.

The star, who has previously worked with Soderbergh on movies including Traffic and Che, said the filmmaker was just as speedy as ever while working in a COVID-19 bubble.

Read more: Soderbergh pens Sex, Lies and Videotape sequel in lockdown

He added: "If anything, it has gotten sharper and he has gotten quicker. He's a really fast director. He'll get you home early every day. We finished the movie, I think, 10 days before we were scheduled to finish. 

"I don't think his tactics have changed, but it was a different way of doing this film in Detroit. It was different because of the circumstances. 

"He was invictus. No one got sick, so it was quite a successful bubble that he created."

Brendan Fraser said the cast of 'No Sudden Move' were made closer by COVID-19 filming challenges. (Warner Bros)
Brendan Fraser said the cast of 'No Sudden Move' were made closer by COVID-19 filming challenges. (Warner Bros)

Brendan Fraser, who plays mob fixer and organiser Doug Jones, agreed with Del Toro's assessment of Soderbergh's efficiency. 

He noted that the atmosphere of an ensemble cast banding together to get a movie made under adverse circumstances really helped the final film.

Read more: Doug Liman discusses pandemic heist movie Locked Down

"Interestingly, with all of the requirements to say six feet and socially distanced apart from each other, we kind of became a lot closer and we took better care of one another," said Fraser.

"We were more concerned about how everyone was doing and feeling, checking in with each other and being really mindful and careful."

Watch: Amy Seimetz and David Harbour on the efficiency of Steven Soderbergh

As is common for Soderbergh, he wore a lot of hats on the set of No Sudden Move, acting as cinematographer and editor as well as calling the shots from the director's chair.

Amy Seimetz, who plays Harbour's wife and mother of his kids, said Soderbergh works with a "wonderful efficiency" as a result of his many roles on the set.

"There's a little bit of anxiety when you're an actor with the way that he shoots where you're like 'am I getting it correct?' because he shoots like one or two takes," she said.

Read more: Five essential Steven Soderbergh movies

Seimetz added: "You know that if he doesn't like what you're doing, he's not gonna let you f*** up his movie. 

"He's camera-opping and he's the one that's editing it, so if he doesn't like what you're doing, it's gone. He's just going to turn the camera off you or he's gonna edit you out of the movie."

Amy Seimetz and David Harbour play a married couple blackmailed by a criminal gang in 'No Sudden Move'. (Warner Bros)
Amy Seimetz and David Harbour play a married couple blackmailed by a criminal gang in 'No Sudden Move'. (Warner Bros)

Harbour said he marvelled at Soderbergh's "very efficient filmmaking", despite the numerous fresh challenges on this set.

"I hope that other studios don't catch on that there are people in the world who can do this because all of the luxury of taking a little bit of time with something will be done," he said. 

"I think we were under-budget and well under-time finishing this movie because of the genius of the way he works."

Read more: Steven Soderbergh reveals he almost made a Bond movie

During the most deadly and persistent pandemic in a century, only Soderbergh could still complete a movie more quickly and with less money than he had planned.

No Sudden Move is available via Sky Cinema and NOW from 9 October and on digital download from 10 September.

Watch: Trailer for No Sudden Move

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