Director Steven Soderberg makes a triumphant return to the big screen with his excellent heist thriller Logan Lucky.

Set in West Virginia, the film centers on Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum), a former high school football star, now a divorced construction worker, who adores his young daughter. When he loses his job, he hatches a plan to rob a NASCAR racetrack, incorporating his brother (Adam Driver) and sister (Riley Keough) in on the heist, along with a colorful side crew, lead by explosives expert Joe Bang (Daniel Craig). The film brings out Soderbergh’s innate skills in creating indelible characters and weaving a clever story in which you’re curious to see how they do it and are always rooting for the robbers.

ScreenPicks spoke exclusively with Jack Quaid, who stars as one of Joe Bang’s younger brothers, Fish Bang, who is also in on the heist. The actor talked about working with Soderbergh, finding the character and bringing that West Virginia vibe to the film.

Q: Honestly, what’s it like to work with Steven Soderbergh?

Jack Quaid: I’ve worked with a lot of great people and I feel what makes them so great is that they are just film nerds. I’m a film nerd, too, so I love working with them. But Soderbergh is unlike anyone I’ve ever worked with. I didn’t necessarily know this, but when you get there, he is not only the director but also the DP. So he’s filming you, is right behind the camera. He takes that footage he filmed from that day in a little digital drive that he has and takes it to a room at the hotel we were staying that he made into an editing suite and starting editing that night. I don’t think I ever did more than three or four takes throughout the entire production. Most of the time we’d wrap by lunch, which was so quick.

At first it freaked me out, and then it was like, “Oh, this is really nice!” So yeah, he’d take the footage back and start editing it. There were times I’d be in my hotel room and I’d get a call, “Hey, this is Steven, come down to the room. We’re going to watch a cut of the movie.” So a couple of times throughout the production, I would get to see the movie with chunks missing. And those chunks were just stuff we hadn’t shot yet. I remember one day I was watching the footage and it was like, “Oh, that was me this morning!” I’m watching myself from 9am that day at 6pm. I think once he was done with principal photography, that night he had a cut of the movie, which is crazy! I’ve seen the completed movie and there were some changes but the basis of what he did in that hotel room were still there. I’ve never seen anyone do that. I don’t think I will again. I loved it because I got to know what movie I was making.

Q: Tell me the story behind your character’s name. It’s just too good.

JQ: Fish Bang? That was just what was written and I was like, “Cool! I’m so excited to play a guy named Fish Bang!” I found out I got the part in a weird way. I was at a party and somebody came up and told me I was going to be in the Steven Soderbergh movie. I didn’t believe them obviously, what do you mean? So the next day I called my reps and said, “This probably isn’t true but I heard this last night.” And they said they’d check. Fifteen minutes later, they’re like, “Yeah, you’re going to be in it.” Then they sent me the script and I did it. That’ll never happen to me again. Like a lot of stuff I’ve acknowledge on this film that’ll never happen to me again.

Then I got there, and they wanted to put me in this wig and a hat and it was so cool. I got to pick out my tattoos. It was sooo fun to play that character.

Q: And Brian Gleeson [who is Irish] as your brother, you two were quite the pair!

JQ: He was amazing. I think the reason I enjoyed the experience so much was because I was never onscreen without him. When we had our days off together, we hung out and became really great friends. A lot of the stuff we did before the camera started rolling, we did a lot of improv to get to know who these guys were and their dynamic together. I think maybe I’m the younger brother but I act like the older brother, stuff that might not be apparent on screen but that we came up with.

Q: Then you throw Daniel Craig into the mix as your eldest brother… wow, he was amazing. How was it working with him?

JQ: He is such a nice guy, like the nicest possible dude. I just had a chance to watch Road to Perdition for the first time. He was so good in that. It isn’t a surprise but I loved how much fun he was having [on the Logan Lucky set]. He was having a blast, I can tell you that.

Q: I guess you were the only American in the band of brothers, right?

JQ: That is what’s so amazing. Of the Bang brothers, I’m the only legit American. The other two are killing it, and they have a totally different accents. Then you have Seth MacFarlane an American doing a British accent. We’re changing a lot of stuff up.

Q: Showing West Virginia is a new light was also something unique about this movie. What kind of research did you guys do?

JQ: I hope we did it pretty authentically. Before the movie they had us watch a documentary called The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia, which is about a family, the Whites, that’s their name. It’s set in Boone County and they are kind of this notorious outlaw family. That’s how we got the inspiration for our accents and to show that life.

Q: What did you learn about it that fascinated you?

JQ: We can look at them and be like, “Oh, they’re crazy!” but they’re not. They are just a family that loves each other in just a certain set of circumstances. The familial bond is like really tight. And that is something we tried to bring into our movie. They can be cantankerous with one another but at the end of the day they really love each other. I think you can see that, especially with Channing and Adam and everybody.

Q: What are some of your favorite heist movies?

JQ: Ocean’s 11, of course. Baby Driver, incredible. I love The Italian Job, the Mark Wahlberg one. Oh, Inside Man! I don’t know, there’s just something so satisfying about watching someone steal something and get away with it. There’s some kind of vicarious fantasy stuff going on there.

Logan Lucky opens in theaters this Friday.

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