The Los Angeles Times interviews actor Forest Whitaker about his role in REPO MAN. Whitaker, who has a black belt in karate, enjoys the chance at a rare action role, but says he was ultimately drawn by the science fiction themes in the story:
The whole concept of ‘What do you own?’ — we should at least be able to own ourselves,” he says. “This whole concept of healthcare [taken to the extreme] — how much will we do? In this case, we’re giving people parts that save their lives, but ultimately we feel we own them.”
The film was made nearly three years ago but could hardly be more timely, echoing the recent sub-prime meltdown and current healthcare reform debate.
“Yes, it touches on both,” Whitaker notes. “Being overextended — the company’s desire to not be paid back. This is shown with real clarity in the film, when Remy’s forced to live the life they want him to live in order to make payments. In some ways, it becomes a life of slavery.”