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Mark O’Brien talks ‘Arrival’ and working with Denis Villeneuve

Mark O'Brien

Mark O'Brien

Arrival is one of the most elegantly simple, powerful science fiction films in recent memory, and it works so well because, at its heart, Arrival is also a drama with a heartfelt story. Canadian actor Mark O’Brien sat down with me to talk about the iconic film, which is now out on Blu-ray, and to discuss the work of director Denis Villeneuve.

In Arrival, O’Brien plays Captain Marks, a soldier who has a rather by-the-books attitude, and works alongside Louise (Amy Adams) as she tries to communicate with an alien race that has shown up on Earth. Where Louis and physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) seem to gravitate closer to aliens, as they try to understand them, the military holds firm, even as it seems to struggle with answers.

Explaining his character’s motives in the film, O’Brien said, “I think, if you’re in a military atmosphere, and something comes in that’s unknown–like aliens–I think it throws your world completely out of whack.”

Amy Adams and Denis Villeneuve

Chatting about working with Canada’s own Denis Villeneuve, O’Brien had glowing praise to offer. “He’s an incredible director,” O’Brien said of Villeneuve, and he’s also “a goofball” who has fun on set between takes.

Asked what he would do to work with Villeneuve again, O’Brien said, “I’d do anything to work for Denis. I’d be his butler. He’s incredible. I’d do a dramatic reading of the phone book for him.”

Watch the interview above to see what O’Brien had to say about making Arrival, plus his upcoming work, including the next season of Halt and Catch Fire, the new series The Last Tycoon, and his work on the Toronto-shot film Anon starring Clive Owen and Amanda Seyfried.

Arrival is available to own now on Blu-ray, and Digital HD.