In the Netflix series The Grey Man, Jessica Henwick and Less often Jean Page pull the strings as villains wreaking havoc for Ryan Gosling’s stubborn hero, Sierra Six. Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, “The Grey Man” is an international action thriller about a Sixth, elite CIA agent who is hunted by another operative named Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans) after he discovers evidence of high—level corruption in the agency.
Page, best known as Duke Hastings of Bridgerton, plays CIA Director Danny Carmichael, who stops at nothing to make sure Six doesn’t reveal her dirty secrets. Henwick, who played the heroic Colleen Wing in Marvel’s “Iron Fist” and Bugs in “Matrix Resurrection,” plays Suzanne Brewer, Carmichael’s subordinate, who must keep an eye on Lloyd as the mercenary’s methods become more and more extreme.
Screen Rant interviewed Jessica Henwick and Less often Jean Page about their villainous image in “The Gray Man”, working with the Russo brothers and the joy of not being involved in many crazy scenes of the film.
Screen Rant: I really liked “Grey Man”. World-class action. Jessica, you’re familiar with big franchises, but what’s it like to work with Russo on something of this level?
Jessica Henwick: Amazing. There’s a reason they’re at the top of the game. I think they’re both so talented. It’s a great sign when you see directors that actors work with all the time, and now I understand why. They are really cooperating, very generous. They treated us to sugar on the set.
Less often-Jean Page: (laughs) I think that’s the whole secret. The actors return for chocolate.
Jessica Henwick: It’s an addiction.
Less often-Jean Page: A large amount of chocolate in the creative process of Rousseau.
And how did you work with Rousseau, less often?
Less often-Jean Page: It was fantastic. Working with these guys, you get incredible creative freedom. I think the very first conversations with them were that they said, “We want you to go crazy with this character. We want you to have fun. We want you to bring something unexpected and something exciting.” And they really fulfilled their promise.
Everyone on the set had space for incredible creativity, and their standards were very high. Besides, these guys are only pushing themselves at this moment. There’s nothing in the movies that they wouldn’t do. They have not shot a single large-scale action movie or episode. So they’re kind of pushing their own records at the moment. And being a part of it is not an easy task.
You are both villains in this piece. What motivated you both to play the bad guys in this movie?
Jessica Henwick: It’s more fun that way. It’s more fun.
Less often-Jean Page: Oh, it’s much more fun!
Jessica Henwick: I’m just sad that I didn’t wear a mustache.
Less often-Jean Page: I mean, we could arrange it.
Jessica Henwick: I was the only villain without a mustache.
Less often-Jean Page: I mean, technically it was more of a goatee situation [with the character Less Often], you know? I’m not going to tolerate this slander on the moustache.
But you guys are also the smartest. The film has 9 large-scale scenery, incredible action, violence, explosions, but you guys were smart because you stayed away.
Less often-Jean Page: We are above that. We don’t get our hands dirty with things that troglodytes deal with.
Jessica Henwick: We’ve been doing this for a long time. We know what happened.
And you just finished The Matrix, right? Have you had enough action?
Jessica Henwick: I’m full. I had several injuries and I told my agents that I wanted to play a role in which I would sit or stand in every scene. I don’t want to move, I don’t want to run, I don’t want to fight. And they said: “Here’s the biggest action movie Netflix has ever made.”
Less often-Jean Page: Why don’t you do it?
Jessica Henwick: Go and do it. And I read it and fell in love.
Both of your villains are very smart, but at the same time very mean. I’d say Carmichael is particularly nasty. Did you have fun playing?
Less often-Jean Page: Very fun. In my opinion, the biggest difference between villains and heroes is that villains have no moral barriers between them and their goals. This way you have more of an open field to stumble upon. You can really try to find a level of trickery that the public might like. There is escapism in enjoying bad people. So you’re trying to file this.
In the next one, would you like to take part in the action and actually fight Ryan in “Grey Man 2”?
Jessica Henwick: Do you want to act?
Less often-Jean Page: I would take everything. I don’t mind explosions in the background, like a puppeteer. It’s the difference between being Nick Fury in the background or Thanos in the background. Like, where will it go? Who knows?