Magazine article Variety

‘Mustang’ Sealed ‘Kings’ Deal for Daniel Craig

Magazine article Variety

‘Mustang’ Sealed ‘Kings’ Deal for Daniel Craig

Article excerpt

DANIEL CRAIG has a simple explanation for how he wound up playing a recluse in the drama "Kings," the English-language debut from writer-director Deniz Gamze Erguven about the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Pic premieres Wednesday at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival.

"The answer is 'Mustang,'" Craig told Variety.

"Mustang" was Eguven's 2015 Oscar-nominated drama about five Turkish sisters. Craig recalled that he knew nothing about the film until he received a "for your consideration" screener.

"I watched 'Mustang' and I immediately watched it again because I was so blown away," he said. "So I did what I can occasionally do because of my celebrity and called up Deniz. That's the lucky thing about this job. So I told her, 'I would love to work with you if there's something you might have for me.' "

Erguven, who is of Turkish-French ancestry, had been working on the "Kings" project for a decade, researching the 1992 riots that were sparked by the acquittals of the four white Los Angeles policemen charged with assaulting African-American Rodney King in a widely seen video. Craig's character is the only white man in an area largely inhabited by African-Americans, Latinos and Koreans. He allies with a single mother, played by Halle Berry, to navigate the gathering chaos in the city to bring her kids home safely.

"There really are no bad guys in the film and it was a joy to work with Deniz - who never raises here voice," he recalled.

Erguven said "Kings" began to move quickly once she received an Oscar nomination for "Mustang" in early 2016. …

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