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Red Right Hand Directors Say Orlando Bloom ‘Wiped Himself Out’


You’ve never seen Orlando Bloom like this before. In Red Right Hand, theThe Lord of the Rings, and Carnival Row star plays Cash, a gruff, gritty, and internalized alpha male trying to stay out of trouble. Fate won’t have it. Despite Cash’s efforts to live a quiet life while caring for his recently widowed brother-in-law and niece, he is forced back into the services of kill-happy kingpin, Big Cat (Andie MacDowell).




If you love moody action films boasting elaborately choreographed shootouts and a breathtaking climactic ending, then Red Right Hand, directed by Ian and Eshom Nelms (Everyone is Doing Great, Fatman), is your next go-to. But if you’ve seen the film’s poster, one immediate question comes to mind: Are those really Orlando Bloom’s thick veins busting out of his bulky biceps and forearms? No photoshopping here, folks. “They are [his],” laughed Eshom Nelms.

“Eshom and I were working with the artist [for the poster],” Ian Nelms went on, “and we’re like, ‘Dude, whose arms did you use for that?’ He goes, ‘Those are Orlando’s.’ He sent us the picture, and it’s just Orlando hanging out behind the set with a pump on like that, and we’re like, ‘Dude, that’s ridiculous.’”


“There was a point where Orlando was literally doing, near the end there, two workouts a day,” Eshom Nelms added of Bloom’s incredible physical transformation in the film, which hits theaters February 23. In this exclusive MovieWeb interview, The Nelms Brothers shared more about the project, Bloom and MacDowell’s jaw-dropping turns in the film, and the big news about a potential second season of their breakout hit Everyone is Doing Great. Dive in.


How Orlando Bloom Came On Board

Red Right Hand

Release Date
February 23, 2024

Director
Eshom Nelms , Ian Nelms

Writers
Jonathan Easley


Written by Jonathan Easley, Red Right Hand, takes place in the rural mountains of Odim county, where a tight-knit family, guided by Cash (Bloom), hopes to move away from their troubled past and just tend to the family farm. When Big Cat (MacDowell) forces motorcycle-riding Cash into taking three sketchy jobs, it pushes him and his morality to the edge, blurring the lines between good and evil. The film also stars Chapel Oaks, Garret Dillahunt, Brian Geraghty, James Lafferty, Alexandra Park, and Scott Haze.

“Look, everybody’s fantastic [in the film]—everybody. But I will say, you’ve never seen Orlando and Andie like this before… so get ready,” shared Ian Nelms, adding:

“We had an absolute blast working with Orlando. We actually sat down with him after our film
, Small Town Crime
was released around 2017. He watched that and we had a great sit down with him after it. And we were just chewing the fat, talking about movies, talking about what he was interested in doing as an actor, what we were interested in doing as filmmakers. Then when this script came across our desk from Jonathan Easley, and we both kind of looked at each other and said, ‘Wow, I think if we could get Orlando to do kind of
a transformational performance
in this, if he would be up to take that challenge, this could really be interesting.’”


Related: Orlando Bloom’s Top 10 Movies, Ranked by Box Office Numbers

The brothers quickly sent Bloom the script and, “He was really excited,” Nelms went. “He has a penchant for motorcycles, and he was just into a total immersion. He was so committed to the dialect and to the physicality of Cash.” Brother Eshom quickly noted: “And even how he built that character through the costume with the designer there—and his hair, his face, even the way he walked, and the shoes that he picked.”

Orlando Bloom’s Insane Transformation

Orlando Bloom in Red Right Hand
Magnolia Pictures


Bloom spent months building the deeper layers to the character and immersing himself in the Kentucky dialect. “He really worked his ass off on this film, and then of course, he hit the gym as you can tell. He looks fantastic in it,” Eshom Nelms said. “But everything was well thought out. From a lot of what we were seeing in Kentucky in those rural areas—the places we were shooting—he just really transformed and just disappeared into that role. He really just wiped himself out making this thing because it was definitely a transformation for him.”

Curiously, the directors had seen a couple of Bloom’s early films done earlier, which further sparked their interest. “He was doing really interesting things like this movie called Retaliation, there’s another one called Zulu, and we could see the embers burning in him,” Ian Nelms added, “but not quite to this degree. So, we were like, ‘Oh man, this would be amazing if this pops off.’”


Is That Really Andie MacDowell?

Andie MacDowell in Red Right Hand
Magnolia Pictures

You’ve loved her in films like Sex, Lies, and Videotape, and other hits like Four Weddings and a Funeral and Groundhog Day, and TV’s Maid and The Way Home. Like Orlando Bloom, MacDowell loses herself in the role. Big Cat doesn’t just have an edge. There’s a sense of foreboding whenever she appears on screen. Of casting MacDowell, Ian Nelms shared:

I wish we could say that we knew Andie could do this off the top, and that we chased her down and made her read it, but honestly, she got the script through her manager, who had found it and said, I really think you’re going to like this… She read it, loved it, and came after us and said, ‘Boys, I know this; I want this.’”


Related: These Actors Got Way Too Deep Into Character

Eshom Nelms added that MacDowell was already on their initial list to play the character, but never thought she would do it. “Ian and I really enjoy outside-the-box casting. We like to cast someone we think is going to surprise you in what they can pull off. We’re huge fans of her work… like, freaking Sex, Lies, and Videotape and Groundhog Day are some of our favorite movies, We just thought it was so far outside her wheelhouse so when she came to us… like, ‘Are you kidding? Andie McDowell talked to us about it?’ How awesome phenomenal is that?”

Nelms Brothers making Red Right Hand
Magnolia Pictures


The brothers met with MacDowell and, “She was already sort of simmering with some Big Cat,” Ian Nelms said. “She had this amazing leather pants on and this top that kind of went with it, and she was already pseudo in character, we felt. She was very pleasant and wonderful, but she also had an edge about her. She was telling us, ‘You know, a lot of people don’t know that I can channel this, but I can certainly, boys. I can do this… this is going to be a blast for me. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into this.’”

An Update on Everyone Is Doing Great

Everyone Is Doing Great cast on a couch
Hulu


Everyone is Doing Great debuted back in 2021 but Hulu didn’t pick up the comedy after its first season. The show found One Tree Hill stars James Lafferty and Stephen Colletti playing a couple of befuddled creatives struggling to regain their previous relevance and success. The Nelms Brothers were executive producers of the series created by Lafferty and Colletti. Fan rumblings and other behind-the-scenes maneuvers ensued to see if the show would have a second life. Ian Nelms shared an update with MovieWeb:

“We actually have finished a second season. Second season is shot, edited, and Fifth Season, who is our sales rep, is shopping it right now. And I don’t want to give away too much, but we have definitely had a few offers from a major market, and we’re sorting out which one we would like to go with. And that will be our first distribution of the second season. And obviously more territories will follow. The second season is awesome.”


Eshom Nelms quickly commended Lafferty, Colletti, and the entire cast and crew. “They just keep getting better with every season. I’m really impressed with the work they’ve all done.”

“A lot of the writing duties are being shared by that interacting group, the top four there—Cariba [Heine] Alexandra [Park], Steven, James. Yeah, it’s a really collaborative effort between the four main characters, especially as to where their storylines and characters are going. For them, I think that was obviously part of the allure of doing something like that; a project that they have control in and that they’re involved in so much in so many different ways… they’re able to sort of take these characters in any which way they feel could.” Red Right Hand will be in select theaters and on digital February 23. Watch the trailer below:




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