He received wide acclaim for his performance as murderous scientist Darren Cross aka Yellowjacket in the superhero action adventure hit “Ant-Man.” Now, Corey Stoll’s new screen role couldn’t be more opposite: an incorruptible federal prosecutor in Warner Bros. Pictures’ new gangster thriller, “Black Mass.”
Based on a true story, “Black Mass” explores how a deal between ruthless gangster Whitey Bulger (Johnny Depp) and FBI Agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) enabled Bulger to expand his criminal empire with complete impunity.
In the film, the sands begin to shift for the unholy alliance between Bulger and the FBI with the new arrival of an federal prosecutor named Fred Wyshak. Played by Stoll, Wyshak is unimpressed by Connolly’s attempt to glad-hand him with favors and can’t be dissuaded by the agent’s double talk about his lead informant: Whitey Bulger.
“The previous federal prosecutor took a more hands-off approach and didn’t interfere with Connolly’s corrupt involvement with Bulger,” Stoll acknowledges. “Then Fred Wyshak takes over the office, and he can see that things are not adding up. Whitey Bulger is supposed to be this great informant, but he’s really not producing anything. If anything, information is flowing from the FBI to him, which is not the way it’s supposed to happen. The first conversation between them is about Wyshak letting him know there’s a new regime. He puts the first chink in Connolly’s armor.”
Stoll had the added pressure of having the real Fred Wyshak on set his first day of shooting. “It was a little nerve wracking at first,” he admits, “but it was also invaluable having him there.”
Stoll previously received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his performance as Ernest Hemingway in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris.” His latest film work also includes the thriller “Dark Places,” opposite Charlize Theron. In 2014, Stoll starred in three very different films: “The Good Lie,” with Reese Witherspoon; Shawn Levy’s dramatic comedy “This is Where I Leave You,” joining the ensemble cast with Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Jane Fonda; and Jaume Collet-Serra’s action hit “Non-Stop,” with Liam Neeson.
His other film credits include the Sundance competition film “C.O.G.”; Tony Gilroy’s “The Bourne Legacy”; “Salt,” with Angelina Jolie; Joel Schumacher’s “The Number 23”; and “North Country,” starring Charlize Theron.
Opening across the Philippines on October 21, “Black Mass” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.