Justin Theroux is following in Harrison Ford’s footsteps in Apple TV+ ‘s new series “Mosquito Coast”. Based on the novel by the actor’s uncle Paul Theroux, the story was turned into a movie in 1986 starring Ford, Helen Mirren and River Phoenix. Now, the “Leftovers” star is getting a crack at the lead, telling ET Canada’s Morgan Hoffman he had to “work hard” at pretending the movie version and Ford’s take on the character didn’t exist.
“Harrison’s performance, I thought, was fantastic, but again, it was one of those things that I had to work hard to forget it and really focus on the material that we were doing,” he says in the virtual interview. “But I think we probably came to a lot of the same conclusions.”
Theroux is also open to any comparisons between the two versions of the story about an idealist who uproots his family and moves them to Latin America, finding themselves on the run from the U.S. government.
“It’ll be for better minds and mind to make any comparisons. I hope there aren’t too many and I hope there are some,” he says.
Playing the part of Theroux’s on-screen wife is Melissa George, who says Theroux is the one who nudged her to audition for the role.
“I got the role within 24 hours. It was great,” George says.
“It was one of those things that I thought, we worked together briefly once before a while ago, and she just popped into my head and I thought, oh, she could be fantastic,” Theroux says of his co-star. “I saw her tape of what she did. And she was fabulous.”
The pair worked together briefly on David Lynch’s cult film “Mulholland Dr” in 2001, a memory that is still strong for George.
“I love Justin so much and I remember we worked together on ‘Mulholland Dr’ 20 years ago and there’s a famous scene where he says, ‘this is the girl’ and I’m singing my heart out for him and it’s Justin and I,” she recalls. “Twenty years later we’re now in a jungle in Mexico fighting for our children and for our lives and it just tickles me so much that he’s just there with me in this journey and he’s such a gentleman.”
“The Mosquito Coast” lands on Apple Tv+ on April 30.