The Kid is a dark movie, packed full of abuse, murder, crime and robbery.
Set in 1879, it revolves around Rio (Jake Schur) and Sara (Leila George), a brother and sister running away from their abusive uncle (Chris Pratt), only to encounter the legendary outlaw Billy The Kid (Dane DeHaan) and lawman Pat Garrett (Ethan Hawke), who they soon become entangled with.
“I have always loved westerns,” director Vincent D’Onofrio tells Metro. “I also started to think about a coming of age story. So I combined the two. I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to put a kid in between Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid?’ I really wanted to tell an American saga.
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Vincent D'Onofrio talk us through The Kid
D’Onofrio doesn’t shy away from the film’s more immoral moments, though. In fact The Kid has an extra edge and emotion to it because of the incredible cast that he has assembled, each of whom he has a deep and personal relationship with.
“My life these days is about loyalty and friendship. I am trying to keep good karma in life. These guys are that to me. Ethan Hawke is one of my best friends, I taught Ben Dickey acting, Dane DeHaan is such a genuine person.”
“I have a particular way that I direct. It requires trust and a lot of no nonsense. The idea of being a genuine person and not full of s*** helps for good work. I really do believe that when people are upset and smiling in this film it is all genuine. There’s no nonsense going on.”
Obviously, the one person D’Onofrio was closet to on set was Leila George, his daughter, and he calls filming with her was an “incredible thing for a dad to experience.”
“That added to the familial feel of the film. All of the guys know her. She knows how I feel about them. They know how I feel about her. Because she put a lot of us to shame some days, with her commitment, with how smart she was, with how well she took direction. I was very proud of her.”
Rather than being perturbed by working with her dad, George found it liberating to be in such a “safe” space.” Not only was it a “dream come true” to work so closely with her dad, but she also revealed in being surrounded by so many close friends and family, including Hawke, who she describes as a “quiet mentor.”
But some scenes were much more peculiar to shoot than others, though.
“I am in a lot of intense scenes,” says George. “The set was so small, too. So, you know, when you’re doing a scene where Chris Pratt is holding you by your neck, throwing you around, screaming at you, and my actual cousin is beating me up, and my dad is sat in the corner of a room with a monitor on his lap, there are a lot of real emotions in the room.”
“It was very surreal. But I just loved having the freedom and trust to do what I can do, and what my dad knows I can do.”
The Kid hits theaters on March 8.