Not many actors have the ability to make the ladies swoon and the guys envious (Johnny Depp, of course, is up there), but under-the-radar film and television actor Timothy Olyphant can. The star of now-defunct series 'Deadwood' and FX hit 'Damages', Olyphant is simultaneously super-friendly and intimidating.

Moviefone.ca sat down to talk with Olyphant at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival, where his latest film, 'High Life', had its premiere screenings. Olyphant plays an ex-con fresh out of jail who's searching for the clean life, free of drugs and crime. But things take an unexpected turn when he meets up with his old pals for one last heist.

The movie looks at the issue of redemption – can all of us truly be forgiven for our trespasses? Or are some of us just bad? Olyphant spoke with us about the film, and what it's like to make a movie in a bitter Manitoban winter.

Not many actors have the ability to make the ladies swoon and the guys envious (Johnny Depp, of course, is up there), but under-the-radar film and television actor Timothy Olyphant can. The star of now-defunct series 'Deadwood' and FX hit 'Damages', Olyphant is simultaneously super-friendly and intimidating.

Moviefone.ca sat down to talk with Olyphant at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival, where his latest film, 'High Life', had its premiere screenings. Olyphant plays an ex-con fresh out of jail who's searching for the clean life, free of drugs and crime. But things take an unexpected turn when he meets up with his old pals for one last heist.

The movie looks at the issue of redemption – can all of us truly be forgiven for our trespasses? Or are some of us just bad? Olyphant spoke with us about the film, and what it's like to make a movie in the bitter Manitoban winter.

I've been a fan of yours since 'Go'...

Thank you very much!

It was quite the role: A drug dealer in a Santa Claus hat.

It's the role that keeps on giving.

A lot of your roles seem to centre on drugs, or overall sketchiness and shadiness. What's the deal with that?

Hey now, that's not true! [Laughs] My roles don't centre around drugs at all! Shadiness is different – it's drama. We're making movies! You've gotta have conflict. I'm attracted to roles that are unpredictable, and if I can get my hands on something like that, I'm thrilled. I like performances where you don't know what's coming, moment to moment. I think at this point in my life, I'd like to play more good guys than bad guys.

What made you want to be a part of 'High Life'?


I loved the script right off the bat. It was all those things I'm talking about: it's fun, the characters are great, there's nothing pretentious about it...it had a tone that I really liked.

One thing that stands out is the great chemistry amongst the cast.


The cast was fantastic. That group of guys was awesome. We had a great time together, had a lot of fun. Everybody was thrilled to get their hands on the material, and you could tell because we'd rehearse endlessly – usually over drinks. [Laughs] More and more layers would develop as we rehearsed, and it quickly became very nuanced.

The unstable ex-con role – how was that to play?

The job was a blast. I like the whole denial aspect of it. I like that this character didn't see himself as the problem. I loved the way we found the humour throughout.



Yes, there's that one car scene...

Isn't it unbelievable? We shot that from beginning to end, with no cuts. It was such a f---ing blast. The best thing about that is every single take (which is about 15 minutes) takes on a life of its own. It's like doing a play – it's not better or worse than the night before, it's just different.

This was filmed in Winnipeg, in winter. How cold was it?


It was f---ing freezing. The day that was extremely cold...let's not f--- around here...it was ridiculous cold...I couldn't even find the director because I couldn't see any of their faces. They were all wearing some Discovery-Channel-we're-going-to-the-top-of-the-Alps outfits. It was like -40. I don't even remember what the scene was about, none of us cared, because it ended up being about acting like you're not f---ing cold. It was crazy.

'High Life' opens in theatres on January 15, 2010.