Award-winning actors Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) and Jon Hamm (TV’s Mad Men) play cop-and-robber literally, in Warner Bros. The Town, an action-thriller about friendship and betrayal, love and hope, and escaping a past that has no future.
In the film, Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) is an unrepentant criminal, the de facto leader of a group of ruthless bank robbers who pride themselves in stealing what they want and getting out clean. With no real attachments, Doug never has to fear losing anyone close to him. But that all changed on the gang’s latest job, when they briefly took a hostage–bank manager, Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall).
Renner plays Jem, Doug’s closest friend and a kind of brother-in-arms, albeit on the wrong side of the law. Unlike Doug, Jem is resigned to the life he was essentially born to and has no compunctions about his criminal pursuits.
Renner observes, “Given their upbringing, Jem and Doug had to lean on each other throughout their lives, so they are definitely more like brothers than friends. But now Doug is veering away from the only life Jem has ever known and Jem is trying to reel him back in, to knock some sense into him, as if to say, ‘We’re bank robbers. That’s what we do; that’s all we are.’ The conflict between them lies within that.”
“Doug and Jem have a complicated back story,” comments Affleck, who also served as the film’s director. “They’ve been best friends since they were kids, but they have become very different people…people who would not be friends if they met today. However, because they have this shared history of loyalty and love they are bound to each other, and that puts a lot of pressure on Doug. Jem is always on the verge of being out of control, and Doug is the only one who has been able to make sure he doesn’t go too far.”
Meanwhile, Hamm portrays FBI Special Agent Frawley, who heads up a task force investigating bank robberies in Boston. “He is an outsider,” Hamm acknowledges. “But although he is not from Boston, he has a lot of experience with these types of crimes and has been there awhile, so he knows all the players.”
This latest string of robberies is frustrating Frawley because he knows who the perpetrators are, but still hasn’t been able to nail them. “It creates an interesting dynamic between my character and Ben’s character,” Hamm says. “A fundamental element of a good heist movie is the interplay between the good guys and the bad guys. Who’s going to win? But here, the line between the good guys and the bad guys is less defined because you can empathize with both.”
“I’m a huge fan of Jon’s, so I felt really lucky to have him in the cast,” states Affleck. “When I met with the real FBI agents, I noticed that they projected a certain kind of power and intelligence, and Jon conveyed that. He’s acutely smart and there is something about him that innately commands respect. It would be hard to imagine an actor who was more right for this role.”
Opening soon across the Philippines, The Town is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.