Two towering cinematic figures like Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan unite in the new action thriller from director Martin Campbell (Casino Royal, Golden Eye), THE FOREIGNER (in theaters this Friday).

An important player in the story is the secretive and lethal Sean Morrison, played by Rory Fleck Byrne (The Quiet Ones, the series Harlots).

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with the young English actor about this film.

How excited were you about playing a supporting role that has so much meat like this one?

The thing that attracts me the most is playing layered, complex characters. It is predominantly an action film, but what really sets it apart is the direction of Martin Campbell, we all remember his Bond films. He is incredibly astute and intelligent, and really wants to talk to the actors about the characters. He allows the time for all of those layers to rise to the surface and reveal themselves through the course of the movie. I feel very honored.

Sean is hard to define. Is he a guy that is just adapting and trying to survive?

Yes, we are all trying to survive. That is a good word for him. He didn’t have a great childhood or a stable background, so he is just doing what he knows. Someone like Pierce Brosnan’s character takes a young man like him under his wing, shows him love and affection, so of course that person is going to do what that man tells him to do. I approached him as a younger version of Pierce’s character. He is someone that is doing bad things, but you feel that there’s a good guy inside. This role could have been cast in a very stereotypical way, but Martin Campbell sees deeper and wider than that.

I’ve talked to other actors that have worked with Pierce Brosnan and everybody says that he is the nicest guy in the world. How was it to share those scenes where he switches into a menacing mode?

It was a dream come true. It won’t fully hit me until I see the film at the premiere. He is so warm, and such a great person to converse with! He recently sent me the most beautiful email. He is fully connected with his art. I’ve learned a lot from him, and is someone that you always want in your team.


Talking about great men… If I shared a scene with someone like Jackie Chan, I think that I would ask him to punch me!

That’s how I felt, man. “If Jackie Chan kicks me, I would never wash my body again. Oh my good. It’s an honor!”

I assume that he is very much in control when it comes to action scenes, right?

Yes, he works in tandem whit his fight choreographer and they keep adjusting and changing things. I was very impressed with them and the stunt team. They were always ready and focused.

THE FOREIGNER will be released in theaters on October 13.

The story of humble London businessman Quan (Chan), whose long-buried past erupts in a revenge-fueled vendetta when the only person left for him to love – his teenage daughter – is taken from him in a senseless act of politically-motivated terrorism. In his relentless search for the identity of the terrorists, Quan is forced into a cat- and-mouse conflict with a British government official (Brosnan), whose own past may hold clues to the identities of the elusive killers.