Eric Bana Talks Filming in a Real Prison for 'The Forgiven' | In Studio

"Most of the cast were ex-offenders that had been trained to act, so we used real people," Bana told THR.

Eric Bana sat down with The Hollywood Reporter In Studio to discuss his new film, The Forgiven, and what it was like filming in a real maximum-security prison in Cape Town, South Africa.

The film, which also stars Forest Whitaker, takes place after the end of apartheid in South Africa and depicts Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Whitaker) meeting with a brutal murderer seeking redemption (Bana).

Bana told THR that while shooting in Cape Town, South Africa, they shot the film in Pollsmoor Prison, a real maximum-security prison that, “in terms of production values, we could not have ever replicated what you see onscreen for that budget, had we shot in a studio.”

He continued, “Most of the cast were ex-offenders that had been trained to act, so we used real people. There’s only a handful of actors in the film, and so that was amazing to work so closely within.”

Bana revealed that while shooting in the prison, he “tried to not let fear be a factor,” since his character, Piet Blomfeld, is a strong alpha male. “I knew that I had to really tackle those scenes without holding back and without being fearful, and they were really fantastic at making me feel comfortable in that environment.”

The Forgiven is out March 9.

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