- Title: Role as racist 'Detroit' cop took actor Poulter to 'frightening place'
- Date: 3rd August 2017
- Summary: DETROIT, MICHIGAN, UNITED STATES (JULY 24, 2017) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) WILL POULTER, ACTOR, SAYING: "Being involved in this film, I've definitely learned that a great deal of work has been done and certainly some progress has been achieved. You only have to look at the current Detroit police department to see the change. In 1967 it was 95 percent white, huge racial bias, many kind of antagonistic arrest practices and racially motivated police work. Nowadays, James Craig is an African American man, he is the chief of police and it is the most diverse police force in the country, so that in it of itself speaks to the progress that has been made."
- Embargoed: 17th August 2017 00:48
- Keywords: Detroit movie Will Poulter Kathryn Bigelow police
- Location: DETRIOT, MICHIGAN, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, UNIDENTIFIED FILM LOCATIONS
- City: DETRIOT, MICHIGAN, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, UNIDENTIFIED FILM LOCATIONS
- Country: USA
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Film
- Reuters ID: LVA0066SGTNIL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The sadistic, racist police officer at the center of the movie "Detroit" may be one of the more terrifying characters seen on film this year.
Playing him was equally frightening, according to actor Will Poulter.
"You have to momentarily convince yourself that just because someone belongs to a different ethnicity group they are a threat to you or that they are immediately a criminal," said Poulter, 24, who portrays a white Detroit cop who taunts, pistol-whips and beats up a group of black men and two white women in an hours-long interrogation during the 1967 Detroit riots.
"You are not forming your opinions on any kind of truth or rational basis, you're having to accept ignorance as the thing that informs all of your behaviors and it's a quite frightening place to be," he added.
Director Kathryn Bigelow's "Detroit" is based on a hitherto little-known incident that ended with the police shootings of three black men. Reviewers have called it powerful but painful to watch.
Poulter's character, Krauss, is a composite of some of the actual Detroit police officers who were later tried and acquitted of any crimes over the incident.
Deadline.com film critic Pete Hammond called his performance "the epitome of evil," while A.O. Scott of the New York Times said Poulter played the role as "a callow sociopath."
"Detroit" opened in major U.S. cities last week and expands to movie theaters nationwide on Friday.
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