We haven’t seen much of the new movie The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, which premieres at Sundance this week — not even the trailer is out. But we do know that it takes place in Romania and tells the story of a young man (Charlie Countryman, played by Shia LaBeouf), who falls for a Romanian girl (played by Evan Rachel Wood). The girl, however, is already spoken for by a vicious Romanian mob boss, hence the title’s prophecy. Check out a gruesome photo of LaBeouf from the film, below.
Wood compares the film to 1993 Quentin Tarantino-penned romantic crime thriller True Romance. “It has a vibe of True Romance. It’s a passionate, tender love story surrounded by chaos, violence, and crime,” she says. And, like True Romance, it also has moments of humor. Wood said Rupert Grint’s part in the film helps the actor shed his Harry Potter stigma and added a lightness to the dark movie. “Rupert Grint is amazing in this film. It was such a brilliant idea to cast him. It’s hilarious.”
LaBeouf, who has a reputation of going the distance for roles, like drinking moonshine to learn about his character in last year’s Lawless, reportedly took acid for a scene in which Charlie Countryman sees his dead mother while in a drug-induced state. LaBeouf wouldn’t comment on the report, but did say there isn’t much he wouldn’t do for a role. “As long as I am challenged and somewhat terrified, I am attracted to the project,” LaBeouf told EW via email.
Wood says she was excited to work with her co-star, noting that he comes onto set “like a hurricane.” “It’s refreshing to work with an actor who’s willing to throw himself so deeply into the role, into the project.”
Both actors were enamored with the film’s setting, shooting for six weeks in Bucharest, Romania. While LaBeouf’s character is an American who travels to Romania, Wood had to adopt the accent, with the help of a dialect coach. “I really tried to listen to the locals,” she says of the accent. “Kids would hear me do a scene and come up to me and start speaking Romanian to me and I wouldn’t understand. They thought I was playing a game with them,” she said.
“Romania was amazing,” LeBeouf added. “It really is a character in the movie and brings an authenticity to the film and helps the audience to escape into the world that our characters are living in.”
Wood, who recently announced that she and husband Jamie Bell are expecting their first child, is known for her daring roles, starting with 2003’s controversial film Thirteen and running throughout her career, including last year’s HBO film Mildred Pierce. But Wood insists motherhood won’t change her choices. “I think I’ll still take whatever roles inspire me, whether they be daring or not. I think I want to keep being me.”
The Sundance Film Festival runs January 17-24 in Park City, Utah. The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman is also entered in competition at the Berlin Film Festival.