Sebastian Stan and Julianne Moore on protecting the twists of new Apple TV+ thriller Sharper

Sharper exclusive image
(Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Sharper, Apple TV+'s new all-star thriller, is hiding some big twists and turns in its two-hour runtime. Speaking to Total Film in the latest issue with John Wick: Chapter 4 on the cover, director Benjamin Caron and actors Julianne Moore and Sebastian Stan are keen to protect the mystery of the new movie. Here's what they had to say about it, as well as an exclusive new image from the film that you can see above.

"I don't know how you guys are going to write about it!" laughs Caron. "But we need to protect this story as much as possible." When Moore is reassured the plot will be kept secret even if she accidentally lets something slip, she relaxes. "I appreciate that," she says. "It's challenging to talk in this interview because I don't want to mention… [redacted]." Stan adds: "It's very difficult knowing how much to reveal. I want to preserve how I felt when I read it of sudden onion layers being peeled back."

What can be revealed is that the movie follows a group of Manhattanites plotting their way to the top. Moore plays Madeline, the elegant partner of a billionaire who slinks into each room in perfectly tailored silk ensembles as if she's gliding through melted butter. Stan, meanwhile, plays charming con man, Max, in a role that he says, "reminded me of movies like The Usual Suspects or a darker Ocean's Eleven."

Stan's much-beloved portrayal of Bucky Barnes sharply contrasts with devious Max and further establishes Stan as one of Hollywood's most intriguing leading men. He grins as TF reminds him of some of the more morally dubious entries in his filmography, from cannibals to abusive husbands to Mötley Crüe's Tommy Lee. "It's not just wanting to play dirtbags," he insists. "The director and your co-stars are, for me, the biggest piece of the puzzle."

His Oscar-winning co-star Julianne Moore, who also acts as a producer, is about as bona fide a movie star as they come, and her star power helped bring Sharper from page to screen. She credits her success to refusing to be boxed in by what a Julianne Moore role is expected to be. "A lot of the time I get told, 'I thought of you for this script,' and they’ll send it to you, but they thought of me because of something I just did." Moore, instead, is drawn to projects that surprise audiences and herself. "I want to be surprised," says the actor, "Usually, having been doing this for as long as I've been doing it, you can get ahead of the screenplay, and I see what's being set up. But when I read it, I really didn't see… [redacted] coming."

Sharper is released on Apple TV+ on February 17. For more about the movie, pick up a copy of the new issue of Total Film to read more of the interview with Moore, Stan, and the rest of the cast, which hits stands (and digital devices) this Thursday, February 2. Check out the covers below:

John Wick: Chapter 4

(Image credit: Lionsgate/Total Film)

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(Image credit: Total Film/Netflix/Lionsgate/Paramount)
Freelance Writer

Leila Latif is a freelance journalist, broadcaster, film critic, and self-described "haver of hot takes". She used that power (and years of experience) to cover TV and film for a wide variety of outlets such as GamesRadar+, Total Film, Little White Lies, The A.V. Club, SFX, BBC Culture, and many more. 

With contributions from