With his deep, dark eyes, thin face, and history of working with Spike Lee, James Ransone has all the makings of a perfect fit for Lee’s remake of South Korean revenge classic Oldboy, currently filming in New Orleans with Josh Brolin as a man going after his captors after being imprisoned for more than a decade. But Ransone, who replaced Nate Parker in the part of a doctor working with co-lead Elizabeth Olsen’s character, goes totally against type. He plays a good guy, different from other well-known twitchy parts he taken on, such as drunken, delinquent Ziggy on HBO’s The Wire, or a robber in Lee’s 2006 thriller Inside Man.
EW spoke to Ransone by phone in Los Angeles after Hurricane Sandy hit New York City, where he lives. The actor, who said he found out about his part in the movie “super last minute,” shot down those criticizing Lee even remaking Park Chan-wook’s beloved 2003 thriller, and talked about he and Lee getting along “because we’re both antagonistic,” witnessing Brolin’s drastic weight gain and weight loss for the part – 35 pounds gained in one week, then 19 pounds dropped – and being a (our opinion: refreshingly down-to-earth) middle-class actor in Hollywood. READ FULL STORY