Goon: Last of the Enforcers is the sequel to Goon, the surprisingly successful 2011 indie-comedy about a bouncer from Massachusetts named Doug Glatt (played by Seann William Scott) who begins a career as an enforcer for a minor-league hockey team in Halifax. In the new film, six years have passed. Doug and his love interest, Eva (Alison Pill), are now married and expecting a child but their happiness is complicated by injuries and rival players that threaten Doug’s career.
Wylie Writes sat down to chat with actors Wyatt Russell and Marc-André Grondin about the upcoming film, working with director Jay Baruchel, and growing up from Goon’s indie roots.
In Goon: Last of the Enforcers, Montreal-born Grondin returns to his role as Xavier LaFlamme, a talented hot-shot player that Doug was initially brought on the team to protect in the first film.
“The first [Goon film] was amazing, but the second one was the best,” Grondin said. “It was probably the most fun I’ve ever had on a set.”
“We were doing night shoots,” Grondin said of the experience of filming Goon, which was shot primarily in Winnipeg in the middle of winter, “so we would be there from 11 PM to 11 AM. The whole shoot was kind of like in a daze, always inside. You could go outside a bit, but not a lot because it was minus 40 and stuff. It was a lot of fun, but we were all weirded out waking up to go to work and watching a hockey game because it was like 7 PM. Eating Tim Hortons because it was the only thing open. This time it was a bit healthier. There was sun. We could go outside.”
“Jay [Baruchel] changed the whole thing too. I think Jay’s approach was not to copy the first movie and just try to do something different. To take another step. All of the characters are getting older and more mature and I think he wanted to do the same thing with the movie.”
Wyatt Russell’s character, a young enforcer who threatens Doug’s position on the team and serves as the film’s main antagonist, is newly introduced in the second film. Despite being the new-guy-on-set alongside a cast and crew that were already tight knit, Russell claims that he felt immediately welcomed and at home.
“It was a good match,” said Russell. “Hockey was something that I had done before in my life and I thought that I could bring some interesting qualities to the character. It all kind of fit together.”
Russell is certainly no stranger to skates. The actor, who is the son of Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, played professional hockey in the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands before retiring from the sport due to a persistent injury in 2010. He maintains that it was more than the opportunity to return to the ice that drew him to Goon: Last of the Enforcers.
“I didn’t want it to just be a shitty movie about a hockey player,” he said. “When I talked to Jay, it was so clear that they weren’t just trying to capitalize on [the success of Goon]. He was actually trying to do something different: escalate the fights, make it more of a super-hero type movie.”
“It’s a popcorn movie. It’s an experience. It’s fun,” Russell continued. “To me, that’s a big part of movies. It doesn’t all have to be Moonlight or Manchester by the Sea. It can be an exciting good time with a good story and characters that you care about.”
“I think [the film] brings a lot of humanity to every single character,” Grondin added. “I think it’s close to the reality of an athlete. When you get older your body changes and you cannot be the same guy that you were when you were 22. You need to change the way that you play if you want to survive in this environment. If you keep doing the same thing, it’s not going to work. It brought an interesting arc. The first movie was the same thing: there’s a lot of jokes and blood and bad words but, at the end of the day, there is something really intelligent on the page.”
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