Patrick Wilson, who stars in the new film The Ledge with Liv Tyler, plays a religious extremist, but admits that the real advice he got for the movie was from the Bible. “I think there are bits and pieces of people that you meet along the way in life. I probably did more research with the Bible for this role that I have really for anything else,” Wilson told Uinterview exclusively. “It was such a fable and he just kept going off the deep end that I had to feel like where was this supported from.”

Writer and director Matthew Chapman is also a descendant of Darwin, and Wilson says his beliefs helped him develop the story and characters. “Well, he wrote a book about his studies of the monkey trials,” Wilson told Uinterview. “So if you mess with him and you understand his views, but as devoted as he is to his theories and his thoughts, what struck me about him was, in studying this and traveling through the South and these deep beliefs that people had, there was never a sense of, ‘This is not me, I don’t like it, this is terrible, against what I felt,’” he says. “Even though he says he’s an atheist, there’s no judgment on the Christian, or even the devout Christian, and I think that’s really important.”

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Q: Hi Patrick, this is Angel from Dallas, Texas and I had a few questions about your new film. In the movie, you play a religious extremist. Did you know any people like that in real life? - Angel

Not really. I think there are bits and pieces of people that you meet along the way in life. I probably did more research with the Bible for this role than I have really for anything else. It was such a fable and he just kept going off the deep end that I had to feel like where was this supported from. Matthew [Chapman], our writer and director, was very receptive to… ‘Hey, can I say this quote from the Bible, it’s from this verse…’ ‘Yeah, throw it in there.’ So I thought those things gave him a real leg to stand on, truthfully, even though it’s completely whacked out as far as some people believe. I just kept going back to the Bible, truthfully, which is an odd thing to say. I kept going back to the Bible to find this very disturbed man.

Q: Thanks. And the writer-director is a descendent of Darwin. Did that affect any direction he gave you in the film? - Angel

Well, he wrote a book about his studies of the monkey trials. So if you mess with him and you understand his views, but as devoted as he is to his theories and his thoughts what struck me about him was, in studying this and traveling through the South and these deep beliefs that people had, there was never a sense of, ‘This is not me, I don’t like it, this is terrible, against what I felt.’ Even though he says he’s an atheist, there’s no judgment on the Christian, or even the devout Christian, and I think that’s really important. You know, I grew up in the Episcopal Church, so you can play these characters and you can see their extremes, you know, but if anything he just comes from a wealth of knowledge and passion for evolution and religion and science that just made the story that much richer, truthfully.