Film-maker in role reversal

German film-maker Werner Herzog is taking a rare turn in front of the camera as a cold-blooded murderer in Jack Reacher, portraying a character he calls "the epicentre of evil".

Herzog cuts an imposing, glowering figure as The Zec, so it might seem an easy acting transition for the German to play really bad guys.

"People know that I'm good at it. They've seen me in other films. I'm just an obvious choice," he said. "And I know that in the few things and those limited things I'm doing as an actor, in what I'm doing I'm good. I leave a lasting impression."

The presence of Herzog - whose films and documentaries, from Fitzcarraldo (1982) to Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010), have earned critical acclaim on the art-house circuit - in an American blockbuster may seem a bit surprising.

But for Herzog, Jack Reacher is more than just a popcorn blockbuster.

"I think there is a very strong sense of stylisation. And you also don't see this kind of film noir very often," he said.

In order to coax the longtime film-maker to appear in front of the camera, Herzog said it took "first, good story-telling, a real good story, with good dialogue.

"And [American writer and director] Christopher McQuarrie is very good at dialogue."


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