IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Natalie Martinez Talks 'Broken City' Blu-ray/DVD and 'Under the Dome' TV Series

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 14:23 Written by  Jami Philbrick
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IAR EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Natalie Martinez Talks 'Broken City' Blu-ray/DVD and 'Under the Dome' TV Series

Actress Natalie Martinez first gained attention for her leading role opposite action star Jason Statham in Death Race, but has recently earned critical acclaim for her performance in two gritty action thrillers. The first was for her role in last year’s cop drama End of Watch, the second came earlier this year in director Allen Hughes’ crime noir film Broken City starring Mark Wahlberg, which will be available on Blu-ray and DVD beginning April 30th. 

In Broken City Martinez plays Natalie Brown, the actress girlfriend of ex-cop-turned-private eye Billy Taggart (Wahlberg). Early in the film, Taggart is arrested for the murder of the man who raped and killed Natalie’s 16-year-old sister. His police Captain (Jeffrey Wright) and the Mayor (Russell Crowe) decide to help Taggart by eliminating the evidence against him, making the murder look like self-defense, yet forcing him to leave his position with the police in shame. The film’s story begins when seven years later the Mayor asks Billy to return the favor and investigate his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones), who he believes is cheating on him. However, Taggart soon realized that things are not as they seem and the Mayor may be involved in several crimes himself. Meanwhile, the years of guilt start to weigh heavy on Billy and begin to tear a riff in his relationship with Natalie, who is still haunted by the ghost of her sister and is trying to move on with her own life. 

I recently had a chance to speak with actress Natalie Martinez about her work on Broken City, as well as her new TV series Under the Dome based on the novel by Stephen King. The up and coming young actress discussed Broken City, her character, working with actor/producer Mark Wahlberg, director Allen Hughes, her favorite cop genre movies, what she looks for when choosing a role, Under the Dome, her character on the show, and working with producers Stephen King and Steven Spielberg

Here is what she had to say:

IAR: To begin with, can you talk about Broken City and what attracted you to this project?

Natalie Martinez: What attracted me was it was very well written and then having Allen Hughes as a director, Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, and Catherine Zeta-Jones, it’s just the perfect cast for a movie, you know? To be a part of it was going to be huge for me and I like the fact that I’m playing an actress within a film because it was easy to relate and trying to find that the different aspects to kind of playing. She’s a strong character of a girl that went through a lot growing up and has me something of herself even with her relationship as well. It was a very interesting character to play and very interesting movie to be a part of.   

Can you also talk about the relationship between the characters that you and Mark Wahlberg play? Obviously there’s a lot going on with her family, his guilt, and her own desire to be successful as an actress. 

Martinez: It’s a story of redemption. He’s trying to do things right after what they went through, which was kind of a rough thing in the beginning. My family had experienced a very great loss and Mark Wahlberg’s character stood up for my family. He defended us, he was there for us, and that caused our love interest. We came together on such a dark note, that throughout the years we were good to each other, but we kind of just started growing apart. As where Mark’s character really wanted to make right what was wrong and I was just trying to make my life right and move on. So it was very interesting relationship and dynamic.

I know that this was a project that Mark Wahlberg also produced and really championed from the beginning. What was it like working with him as an actor also knowing that he was really making the film happen behind the scenes as well?

Martinez: Mark Wahlberg is a great actor and producer. He’s done such great work. It was great being part of a film that he had such an impact on. I have to thank him for my job really. He was one of the biggest pushers behind this to get me on this film. He’s a very genuinely nice man. He has great morals and ethics, and it was a pleasure to work with him. 

Did you audition for the role or did Wahlberg just recommend you for the part?

Martinez: Yes, I auditioned. He really kind of pushed for me because there were a few hundred other girls up for the part.

Can you talk about working with director Allen Hughes? Obviously he’s directed many films throughout his career but this is the first time he has helmed a movie without his brother Albert, so did he seem comfortable on the set directing by himself?

Martinez: I think with that dynamic of him and his brother, Allen had the part of being the actor’s director where he can really kind of sympathize, talk with us and get us to understand what we’re doing, where we’re coming from and what we want. So he’s an actor’s director for sure, and a great guy to work with. He wants to help you kind of get there and he’s willing to do whatever it takes, which is really kind of cool to be with. 

When you’re choosing different roles and projects to be a part of, what type of material are you looking for as you move forward with your career?

Martinez: You know, I kind of like to do things a little differently. I usually play the strong willed girl, which I kind of think people see me as and I see myself as too. So I kind of relate to those projects a lot more. Going forward I would love to participate in roles that push me. I like the whole action/drama thing and meaty roles where I can actually be a strong character. 

Do you see yourself doing something outside of the action/drama genre someday, such as a comedy perhaps?

Martinez: Yea, I think it would be fun to do a comedy. I feel like I’ve always gotten these genre roles and I have a really dry sense of humor. So it would be fun to do a comedy, but not the girl-next-door kind of funny, rather the girl that “you can’t believe she just said that” type of role. 

Broken City has a very noir feel to it and it’s kind of a throwback to the cop movies of the 70’s. Are there any films in that genre that you’re really a big fan?

Martinez: I love Steve McQueen! I just absolutely adore him. Papillon is one of my favorite films, with Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. I also love A Prophet, the French film. That’s one of my favorite underdog stories ever. So those kind of have a little feel of Broken City a bit, and Serpico too. But I’m an all around the board kind of movie fan. I do have a couple of good classics under my belt and Pappillon is one of them.  

Finally, can you talk about your new TV series Under the Dome? Are you shooting that now?

Martinez: Yes, it’s based on a book written by Stephen King and Steven Spielberg is producing it for CBS. It’s a sci-fi/drama, and we’re doing 13 episodes. We’re shooting the first season now and it will premiere in June.

What can you tell me about your role in the show?

Martinez: I’m in the sheriff’s department and basically this storm comes over the city and it’s everybody’s quest to figure out what’s happening and to kind of defend the city. It’s a thriller because they don’t know what’s going on. Whoever’s inside, you can’t get out of this dome, and no one else can get in. I think the character’s personalities and views will start to change once you have that sense of entrapment, so I think it’s going to be very interesting show to see how the characters develop.     

Are you a big Stephen King fan?

Martinez: I’m just terrified of him. The Shining is one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen in my life. I can’t watch a lot of scary movies because they really actually scare me but he’s a great writer.

Is it a dream come true for you as an actress to get to work with Steven Spielberg?

Martinez: It is! He’s one of the producers with his production company. We haven’t gotten a chance to meet yet, but I know he’s very hands-on and he watches all the dailies. He’s a big part of what we’re doing. We’re also working with a lot of the producers and writers of Lost, and with Stephen King too, so it is a great opportunity. 

Broken City will be available on Blu-ray and DVD beginning April 30th.

To read our interview with Mark Wahlberg about Broken City, please click here.

To read our interview with director Allen Hughes about Broken City, please click here

Under the Dome is scheduled to premiere on CBS in June.

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