Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopaths
Friday, October 26, 2012
Martin McDonagh has made a career writing dark comedies in which blood flows by the gallon, but his own story reads more like a Dickens novel.
The son of working-class Irish immigrants in London, he dropped out of school at 16. Just ten years later, McDonagh was an award-winning playwright, acclaimed for works such as The Beauty Queen of Leenane and The Cripple of Inishmaan. When he turned his attention to film, he won an Oscar for the short Six Shooter; and his first feature, In Bruges, was nominated for Best Original Screenplay. “I never ever imagined that I’d even have one play up, let alone be able to make a bunch of films,” he tells Kurt Andersen. “Those avenues weren’t really open to someone like me, I thought.”
McDonagh’s new movie Seven Psychopaths stars Christopher Walken, Colin Farrell, and Woody Harrelson. It’s a twisted caper about an aspiring screenwriter whose best friend kidnaps a gangster’s Shih Tzu. This isn’t the first McDonagh hitman who has a soft spot for his pet. “It's a critique of the sentimentality of male violence,” he explains. “As one of the characters says, 'You can kill a hundred women in a movie but you can't kill a fluffy dog.'”