Jackie Earle Haley talks ‘Criminal Activities’

Over the course of his big screen career, Jackie Earle Haley has worked with some of the finest directors in American cinema, appearing in Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island” (2010), Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” (2012) and Tim Burton’s “Dark Shadows” (2012).

Now Haley, who got his big break as athlete/troublemaker Kelly Leak in “The Bad News Bears” (1976) and earned an Oscar nomination for his work in “Little Children” (2006), is making his feature directorial debut with “Criminal Activities.” Playing in select theaters and available through video-on-demand services, the film is a tightly-constructed thriller about four friends who resort to kidnapping in order to pay back a debut owed to a mob boss played by John Travolta.

Haley said that his decades-long career as an actor prepared him for working with his cast, which along with Travolta includes “Boardwalk Empire” actor Michael Pitt, “Downton Abbey” heartthrob Dan Stevens and Haley himself as one of Travolta’s threatening associates.

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“I think having been an actor for so long, actors themselves place a little more trust in a director who is also an actor because they know that you know what they’re going through,” Haley explained.”Everybody has a little bit of a different process, and it’s good to figure out how to deal and work with those different idiosyncrasies, so there is that.

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Jackie Earle Haley talks ‘Criminal Activities’

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