The tale of writer/director Troy Duffy is one fraught with high drama and caustic rumour.
Duffy is the force behind The Boondock Saints, the cult 1999 action epic that has achieved near mythical status amongst its legion of fanatics. But the story behind the making of that film was even more intense than any of its ample on screen gun battles.
Duffy was a struggling Boston screenwriter tending bar before Miramax honcho Harvey Weinstein rolled out the red carpet and gave him the keys to his kingdom. Then, after much heartache, Weinstein unceremoniously dumped Duffy’s mini-masterpiece onto DVD, where it became a surprise hit.
The entire ordeal was documented — painfully — in the searing 2003 film by Tony Montana and Mark Brian Smith called Overnight in which Duffy is painted as a raging, uncouth and abusive monster.
It’s a portrait that the filmmaker has yet to make peace with.
“That was a real kick in the head out of nowhere,” says Duffy of the notorious picture.
“These two guys were my friends and I let them shoot for three of the most tumultuous years of my life and they edited together the worst of it. It’s all bulls— of course. Everyone involved in making Boondock had a great time making it.”
There must be some truth to his words. Duffy was in Toronto recently promoting the long awaited sequel to his calling card opus, The Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day. Opening this week, the film sees all principal leads from the first movie happily return.
Sean Patrick Flannery and Norman Reedus once again apprear as the pious, pistol packing, vigilante Irish-American brothers intent on righting wrongs and cleaning up their streets. Cast additions include Julie Benz (TV’S Dexter) and, most triumphantly for Duffy, Easy Rider himself, Peter Fonda as a lethal Mafia Don.
“We went after Peter,” admits the director. “We almost felt like we were anointed having him in the film, like we were the next Hollywood rebels, getting the torch passed down. I think he liked being cast against type and that’s how I work with actors, defying expectations.
‘In the world of Boondock, high risk is always high reward.”
– The Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day opens on Friday