Linus Roache On His Most Recognizable Role And Keeping A Dark Secret In The Apology [Exclusive Interview]

How was it working with Janeane Garofalo? I know she’s obviously known for more comedy, but this is more dramatic. But she gets to have a little bit of fun, mostly at your expense.

She just makes me laugh. I mean, she’s just one of those people that she’s always got a funny — she’s got a wisecrack coming out. So sometimes I was having to stay inside of my deep angst and pain and she would just still make me laugh. But yeah, I didn’t really get to do a lot with her, so it’s just really that scene towards the end in bed. But I think she’s wonderful. Yeah.

Well, with a first-time filmmaker, it sounds like you really worked closely with Allie or Alison, Alison Star Locke. Did you and Anna have the opportunity to make suggestions and make it a more collaborative process? I mean, you have so much on-set experience. That must have been a really valuable asset.

Oh yeah. Allie was completely welcoming of all of the input. And as I said, there was a lot of time going over the script via Zoom. I had long meetings with Allie on my own. Anna had long meetings with Allie on her own, and then we would come together. So there was a good long buildup, a rehearsal process. But of course, once you get on the floor in person in the actual situation and the cameras are there and the stakes rise … but there was enough prep that we were then free to let go and let the fireworks happen, as they say. Again, let them happen on camera and not overthink it too much. But Allie’s just a great collaborator. She really is. And I’m not just saying this, I think she’s a really great talent and this is just one of the first things she’s done. So we’re going to be watching a lot of really powerful stuff coming out of this woman.

Yeah, I’ll be looking for what she does next, for sure. But I know at first in “The Apology,” there’s some unfinished history between you and Darlene, Anna Gunn’s character. And I like that it starts with this flirtation between both of you. That’s already compelling. You don’t necessarily need it to go anywhere else. There’s already kind of a dark seeded thing happening and then it gets more and more disturbing. Was it secretly a little fun to keep peeling back the layers of your character like that?

Oh yeah. Yeah. I think that was it. I basically worked … it was funny. You just triggered a memory there of my process of … I can’t remember the names. I had names for different aspects of Jack as it develops, and there was one which I called Rabid Dog, which is when he’s kind of fully just out, but I can’t remember the first one. There was Charming Jack and then there’s Honest Jack and there’s just like these little facets. So I wanted to kind of almost color code when they happened. But then again, you don’t want to overthink it. That was the foundation. And then it was all about what’s happening in the moment. And as you said earlier, we were lucky enough to shoot pretty much in sequence, which really helps.

What role do you get recognized the most for right now? Do you get recognized a lot? Is it “Mandy?” Is it from Thomas Wayne?

It’s funny. I’m really happy I’ve become one of these actors that some people go, “Oh, you are the guy in ‘Vikings.'” And then they don’t put it together with, “Oh, he’s the guy that was in ‘Law & Order,'” or, “He is the guy in ‘Homeland,'” or, “He was Jeremiah Sand in ‘Mandy.'” Or a lot of times I used to get recognized for being the Purifier in “The Chronicles of Riddick.” I never know, really, what people are going to pick up on. But yeah, I think it was probably more not recognized but remembered for “Vikings,” actually. Funnily enough, a lot of people saw that show.

I know you’re having quite a good year. I mean, you’ve got “The Apology” and then you have “My Policeman,” which is getting some awards buzz. And it must be quite a compliment for you, for Harry Styles to be playing a younger version of yourself. That’s pretty awesome.

Yeah, it’s the new string in my bow, isn’t it? I’ve been Batman’s dad and now I’m the older Harry Styles. So yeah, maybe there’s one more to come. But no, it was very flattering to be asked to do that. And I did get to spend a bit of time with Mr. Styles and he’s a delightful young man, so that was a lovely project to be part of, very much.

Last question: Would you advise against the family getting together to watch “The Apology” this Christmas? I mean, is this a Christmas movie in your eyes?

I don’t feel I’m qualified to answer the question, having not seen the movie. I suppose it depends what your tastes are. If you like a bit of a thriller and you’re tired of happy Christmas movies and you want something with a bit of punch and a catharsis and a bit of irony in it, then yes, it’s definitely your cup of eggnog. But yeah, not if you’re looking for “It’s a Wonderful Life” or something.

“The Apology” is in theaters and streaming on Shudder and AMC+.

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