I recently got the chance to talk to Andrew Harwood Mills about his role in ‘Mercenaries’. Here, Andrews talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set and what’s coming up for him in 2012…
Hey Andrew. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘Mercenaries’.
It’s a pleasure.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
A group of mercenaries are sent to the Balkans to rescue a U.S. Ambassador who is being kept prisoner by rebel soldiers.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play a Serbian soldier called Grigory who is sent to kill the Mercenaries after they have rescued the Ambassador. Grigory is very professional, very determined and extremely ruthless. He’s an excellent soldier which is why his commanders send him in first. He’s a bit of an expert with his AK-47 and rocket launcher!
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I was sent the script and asked to play the part. I must fit the description of ‘ruthless killer’ pretty well I guess. They said I’d be taught how to fire machine guns and rocket launchers and that I’d have a Serbian voice coach to teach me how to speak Serbian. It sounded like a good challenge so I said yes.
How would you say this film is different and unique?
The film is set in the Balkans but was completely shot in Britain… and the majority of the characters are from the Balkans or the U.S. but were all played by British actors.
The film stars Robert Fucilla, Billy Zane, Kirsty Mitchell, Geoff Bell, Vas Blackwood and Rob James-Collier – with Paris Leonti onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
Everybody was great to work with. It was a bit of a struggle because it was very cold and muddy but everybody helped each other out and we kept each others spirits up. Robert was the first person I met on set. He had an extremely calm energy and was very friendly. He was the perfect person to meet first and he immediately put me in a really good mood. Then inside a huge military tent I met Paris and the majority of the cast and crew. They were awesome… full of stories and jokes.
I chatted to Geoff Bell about growing vegetables. He advised me to try growing purple sprouts… which I still haven’t done yet! I’ll definitely grow them this year. I love sprouts! I got on pretty well with Rob too. We spent quite a few breaks watching rutting deer in the woods while he told jokes. He’s a really funny and sociable guy.
Let’s talk a bit about you Andrew. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
I remember watching a Behind The Scenes program about ‘Superman The Movie’ with Christopher Reeve when I was about six years old. It showed them dangling Christopher Reeve from cranes on a rope. I remember thinking “that’d be a fun thing to do”.
You’ve been in a number of different films and TV projects – who have been your favourite actors/actresses to work with so far? Any good stories?
I was in a forest near Rome in Italy working on a feature film called ‘At The End Of The Day’… in England it’s called ‘War Games’… and I was sat by a river eating my lunch when suddenly a small scorpion appeared by my feet and stood there and watched me eat. He watched me for about two minutes then walked away. I’d never seen a scorpion in the wild so I thought it was brilliant. The next day I had just finished my lunch and was sat drinking coffee in a field when a Praying Mantis landed on my left knee. It looked at me for about ten seconds and then assumed the ‘praying’ position. I thought it was great, even better than the scorpion I’d seen the day before, until it suddenly started running up my leg towards my groin. I jumped up, shrieked like a little girl and spilt my coffee. Everybody laughed at me. The Mantis just ran away into the grass. During my time filming in Italy I saw all kinds of different animals including crazy boars, a big black snake and the most aggressive rooster I have ever seen… oh yeah, and a really lovely dog called ‘Canoni’ which I think might mean ‘big dog’ in Italian. I love how being an actor allows me to discover new things and new people and places.
What is currently on your I-Pod right now?
The Doors, The Shins, The Beatles, Jean Michel Jarre, David Bowie and The Complete Dad’s Army Radio Drama Collection.
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr… because I love The Beatles. I love their creativity, personalities, music, humour… everything. Maybe we’d meet up with Paul somewhere after dinner.
What is your favourite word?
It changes all the time. I currently don’t have one. My favourite word in 2001 was ‘haberdashery’.
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
I’m playing a violent and funny sociopath in a film called ‘I Am Nothing’ directed by Adam Rowley. It’s a film about three men who kidnap some people and try to force them into giving them a password that will allow them to make a large bank transaction. It’s a very clever, entertaining and poignant story… it’s going to be a great British film. I’m also going to be starring in a really funny movie about twins who reunite after 30 years. I can’t really say any more about it but it’s going to be an excellent film.
Thanks for the interview!