Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jan. 31 2014, 5:00 PM EST
Last updated Friday, Jan. 31 2014, 12:00 AM EST
When Atom Egoyan approached Academy Award-winner Colin Firth to play Ron Lax, the real-life private investigator who assisted lawyers defending three teenagers charged with a multiple child murder in West Memphis, Ark., in the 1990s, the director knew he was bringing the actor a peculiar challenge – playing a man who can’t make a difference. No matter how much doubt Lax raised about the guilt of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr., the machinery was in motion: Somebody had to be found guilty for a heinous crime.
But Firth, who had worked with the renowned Toronto director on Where the Truth Lies, rose to the challenge, and agreed to appear in Devil’s Knot. At the Toronto International Film Festival last September, the actor talked about taking on one of the more counterintuitive assignments of his career.