David Ayer gives cop genre new twist with "End of Watch"

Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:26pm EDT
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Before he became a successful director, David Ayer was best-known for writing the 2001 crime thriller "Training Day," which won actor Denzel Washington an Academy Award for portraying a corrupt Los Angeles police officer.

Since then, Ayer has moved up to directing gritty films centered around the Los Angeles Police Department, including "Harsh Times" starring Christian Bale and "Street Kings" with Keanu Reeves.

On Friday, Ayer's latest movie, "End of Watch," which he also wrote, opens in U.S. theaters. It portrays Los Angeles police officers in a more noble light, and stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena as dedicated cops who are depicted going about their daily lives at work and at home.

Ayer talked with Reuters about his new movie, how it differs from his previous films and why he is secretly jealous of police officers.

Q: What made you decide to forgo police corruption and show the good guys on the force?

A: "Unfortunately for most people, when law enforcement enters our lives it's in a negative context - traffic tickets, or something bad has happened and we need help. We tend to only see cops at the worst times and never in the best of times. I have a lot of friends who are cops and I wanted to (show the positive side). This film is about two best friends and it shows what it's like to work the streets in a way few films have done before."

Q: Apparently you're a bottomless pit for cop stories. Where did the inspiration come from for this particular angle?

A: "I've always been struck by how cops would see heinous events on the streets and then have to go home and be a dad, a husband, and not bring the streets home. I was amazed by their ability to do that and thought there was great nobility in that."   Continued...