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OTRC: James Marsden of 'Straw Dogs': I like flawed characters

James Marsden talks to OnTheRedCarpet.com about 'Straw Dogs.'

Even though James Marsden comes across as the "good guy" in his new film "Straw Dogs," the actor said the roles in the film are sometimes less-than straightforward.

"I like flawed characters, I like complicated stories. This might be a movie that is going to be polarizing as far as how you feel when you come out of it," Marsden told OnTheRedCarpet.com in a satellite interview. "To me, it was just a great role and heroic in many ways but also, it was not so black and white that he was just the hero throughout. In the original, the Dustin Hoffman movie, Peckinpah always viewed him as the villain of the piece."

In the film, Marsden stars a Los Angeles screenwriter David Summer, who relocates with his wife Amy (Bosworth) to her hometown in the deep South. As tensions grow in their marriage, the locals begin to pose a threat. Alexander Skarsgard plays Amy's high school boyfriend who hasn't moved on.

The film is based on Sam Peckinpah's 1971 film of the same name, which starred Dustin Hoffman and Susan George as David and Amy Summer. In Peckinpah's version, the couple retreats to the English countryside.

"It ends with a massive home invasion, we'll go there and go backwards. I'm sort of a yuppie, Harvard grad, Hollywood screenwriter who's married to this actress and I'm working on this screenplay and we go back to her hometown in the deep south of Blackwater, Mississippi where we're met with some hostility from the locals and her ex-boyfriend is there," Marsden said. "I hire the guys to fix the roof to rebuild this house and they start to just close in. There's definitely a culture-clash between this southern, red neck community of hunters and my sort-of book-smart, like I said, Greenwich, Connecticut, Harvard grad guy. There's a little territorialism there and ultimately, it's a kill or be killed situation."

Marsden was the first actor cast for the role and recommended Bosworth to portray his wife in the film.

"I emailed Kate," Marsden continued. "We were very close friends and had a good dynamic and she's as brave as it gets - she's just like walking courage and for this role, it certainly takes someone with that."

Bosworth and Skarsgard dated after meeting on the set of the movie and bonded even after filming the infamous rape scene. It was announced in July that Bosworth and Skarsgard had broken up after two years of dating.

Skarsgard is best known for his role in the HBO series "True Blood." The actor also appeared in the film "Zoolander" and the HBO miniseries "Generation Kill."

Bosworth, 28, rose to fame after appearing in the 2002 movie "Blue Crush." She has since appeared in films like "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton," "21" and "Superman Returns"

Marsden, 37, is best known for his roles in the "X-Men" franchise and for appearing in films like "Disturbing Behavior," "Enchanted" and "27 Dresses."

"Straw Dogs" hits theaters on September 16, watch a trailer below.

Additional reporting by Jake Burch of KABC Television's entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).

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