"Out of the Furnace," which opens wide today, is a gritty, intense, no-holds-barred action-drama.
Of course, that's what you get with heavyweights Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, and Sam Shepherd all playing realistic, complex, salt-of-the-earth characters.
But there was also another character in the film that helped "Out of the Furnace" reach such bare-knuckled intensity.
"The setting is itself a character in the movie. It's kind of about place like this," Affleck tells Yahoo Movies in the Insider Access video above.
Co-writer and director Scott Cooper ("Crazy Heart") took his stellar cast to Braddock, Pennsylvania to capture the post-industrial degradation of the Northeastern town. Braddock serves as home to the Baze brothers, Russell (Bale) and Rodney (Affleck), whose lives are shaped by the waning opportunities available to them in Braddock.
"Being in the real place, feeling the rawness, having the locals being in the background, being the real people, getting to hang out with them, going to the real steel furnaces, learning the accent and everything from the locals—it all makes such a huge difference," says Bale.
"This was not a joke around set really," says Harrelson, who plays backwoods meth lord and illegal bare-knuckle boxing Don-King-wanna-be Harlan DeGroat.
The film is indeed serious and intense, but fortunately the cast offered us some suggestions for post-"Out of the Furnace" decompression.
See Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, and Woody Harrelson in the "Out of the Furnace" theatrical trailer: