Mystery, criminality and action, The Equalizer delivers on every count, telling the story of a retired intelligence officer (Denzel Washington) compelled to return to the dangerous world he abandoned when he meets a girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) at the mercy of Russian gangsters. We spent five minutes with Marton Csokas, who plays one of the mobsters in the film.
ELLE: Did you enjoy playing Teddy (a sociopath) in The Equalizer?
Marton Csokas: I had a good time with him, finding a way to make this person exist, in a convincing and amusing way.
ELLE: You’ve played a lot of bad guys…
MC: Bad is a subjective term. There is no all-consuming badness, there’s no all-consuming goodness. That’s the joy of being a human being.
ELLE: The roles are pretty dark though – are you an optimist or a pessimist?
MC: I try and cultivate an optimistic, lighthearted and neutral state of awareness among it all.
ELLE: If you had to have dinner with any of the characters you’ve played, who would you choose?
MC: Edgar Stark in Asylum. He’s unpredictable and intelligent. A fascinating study of what it is to be human in an extreme way. He suffered from morbid jealousy. You’d have to watch the knives and forks.
ELLE: And if you could choose any actor to spend the day with?
MC: Meryl Streep. She’s head and shoulders above the rest.
ELLE: The Equalizer is a reboot of a 1980s TV series. Do you have a box-set obsession?
MC: I’m not a box set person. Two films I have enjoyed seeing lately are Only Lovers Left Alive (I’m listening to the soundtrack a lot, too) and Under The Skin.
ELLE: You’re covered in tattoos for The Equalizer. You must have spent a lot of time in make-up?
MC: The people who were doing it were very experienced, so they made it relatively painless. But it took two days to put on, and I had to be very still.
ELLE: Do you have any real tattoos?
MC: Now we’re getting personal.
MC: I can never come up with anything that I ever want to spend my whole life with. I love tattoos and the work that goes into them. But for me, I like an empty canvas.
ELLE: How would your friends describe you?
MC: Lunatic. Zen. Passionate. Unpredictable. Deep-thinker.
The Equalizer is in cinemas now