The pulp crime thriller tells the story of a criminal (Cusack) who bides his time at a seedy motel, waiting for his boss (De Niro) after killing several men and making away with a mystery bag, which he has been instructed not to open.
Da Costa recently answered a few questions about her role in the film.
Tell us about your character in "The Bag Man."
I'm playing Rivka. She is the femme fatale, a very mysterious girl. She gets involved with John’s Cusack character and they develop a relationship. She’s very witty and sharp. As the movie progresses, her layers are peeled away and people will be able to see what this girl is all about. The question that lingers in the air is, what does she know about the bag? How is she connected to the other characters in the movie? Everything is a big mystery.
Whose choice was it to have you dressed up like Wonder Woman?
The director, David Grovic, gave me total freedom to be involved in the creative process of my character - including her wardrobe. On the one hand my character, Rivka, is the femme fatale. On the other hand, we were looking to play against stereotypes. As such, starting off looking like Wonder Woman not only sent an interesting message to the audience but it also gave both “Jack” and “Lizard” the opportunity for some witty dialogue. I changed my clothing almost as many times as I changed my hair color! Which was pretty interesting considering the story took place in a 24 hour time span!
Did you have to do some training for the firearms and action sequences?
I did my own stunts, which was really cool. I trained a couple of days with the stunt coordinator to make sure I wouldn’t hurt myself. I also went to a shooting range to learn how to handle a gun, shoot etc… But once I got there I was too frightened to pull the trigger!! Luckily when I was doing the shooting scenes, I really got into my character, totally forgot my fear and was able to pull the trigger :)
Tell us about your scenes working with Robert De Niro. What was that experience like? How was he to work with? How did you prepare for those scenes?
It was an experience of a life time! The guy is a legend. I grew up watching his movies, so to act opposite of him was a mind-blowing experience. I learned that he is not only amazingly talented, he is also a very giving actor. David Grovic, John, Robert and I went to dinner the night before our first scene together. That helped to get me over my nerves. Our scenes were first in New Orleans so by the time we were shooting together in NY he had become just another 2 times Oscar winner 6 times Oscar nominee!! I knew that working opposite John and Robert I needed to feel 100% prepared, so I worked for 2 months developing my character. I also had the help of acting coach Larry Moss who helps me with my projects.
Tell us about working with John Cusack. What was he like? Did you have any funny moments on set together?
It was fantastic!! He is so passionate about the acting craft! He is very creative and always open to new ideas. He was the perfect partner in crime. I learned a lot from him! We had many funny moments… John loved to surprise me and do something different than what we rehearsed. There was a scene when I was semi conscious lying on the bed. In rehearsal he helped me up and walked me to the bathroom. When the cameras rolled he picked me up and carried me into the bathroom. I got such a shock while at the same time I had to keep my eyes closed and a semi conscious look to my face. When we got into the bathroom and the director yelled cut John was laughing so hard he almost dropped me.
Tell us about working in New Orleans. What was it like? What did you enjoy most about the city?
It was one of the most fun cities I’ve been to. The thing I enjoyed the most were the people. They are so lively! The great music and the flavor of the food reminded me of my home country, Brazil. I felt right at home.
Tell us what your acting goals are now that you’ve arrived in Hollywood.
I just want to be able to continue doing projects that excite and challenge me! I think that's the only way to grow in life.
Are you more in demand now that you’ve worked alongside talented actors such as Robert De Niro and John Cusack?
Yes ;) I think working with such talent and renowned cast definitely catches people’s attention!
Are there any upcoming projects you’re working on?
I’m very busy promoting The Bag Man for the next couple of weeks. I also have a movie called “Breaking at the Edge” coming out this summer with Milo Ventimiglia, Gabriel Macht, Andie McDowell and Louis Gossett junior, where I play a pregnant woman that suffers from Bipolar disorder. I have 2 great projects under discussion. I'm very excited but I'm also very superstitious, so I can't talk about them until everyone's signed on the bottom line!
For more about The Bag Man visit: http://www.thebagmanthemovie.com