The film is part mystery, with a dose of religious conspiracy surrounding the Shroud of Turin — a centuries-old linen cloth that bears the image of a crucified man that millions believe to be Jesus of Nazareth.
Walken's character, an insightful homeless man named Doke, delivers a monologue referencing the shroud during a pivotal moment in the film. It was a performance Walken said was "challenging" but one he wanted to get right.
Walken said filming gave him his first chance to visit New Orleans. He said that during breaks in shooting, he took walks in the French Quarter and watched cargo ships and paddlewheel boats maneuver the winding Mississippi River outside his hotel window.
"I hoped that I could be good in it," he said. "If you're an actor, you take parts as they come to you. When you read the script, you ask yourself, can I be good at it, and sometimes you're right, sometimes you're wrong."
"The Power of Few," a Steelyard Pictures production, opens in select theaters in Los Angeles, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, La., on Friday and is expected to open in other markets in coming weeks.