I recently got the chance to talk to Michael Budd about his role in ‘The Cold Light Of Day’. Here, Michael talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set and how he got into acting in the first place…
Hey Michael. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘The Cold Light Of Day’.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
Will’s family is kidnapped during their sailing trip in Spain. Will is a young Wall Street trader played by (Henry Cavill) and the people responsible confront him. This forces him to go in search for the truth.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
Sure! I play Esmael, a Mossad Israeli agent and hands to my boss Zahir, it was a very physical role as it involved hand to hand combat, driving a speedboat and rapid gunfire – which I enjoyed immensely. I also got to learn some Hebrew for the part which was very new to me.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I was first introduced to the project from one of Spain’s leading casting agents who was told I was doing some good work in the theater and on smaller projects.
How would you say this film is different and unique?
Well I think the cast is very diverse with actors coming from all over the world and the film itself is fast paced – loads of action, some amazing locations and performances and of course a twist I cannot mention. Also, Marbouck’s signature shots are very apparent and not to forget to mention the legend British Director of Photography Remi Adefarasin, OBE does a great job with the lighting.
The film stars Henry Cavill, Veronica Echegui, Bruce Willis, Sigourney Weaver, Joseph Mawle, Caroline Goodall, Rafi Gavron and Emma Hamilton – with Mabrouk El Mechri onboard as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
I enjoyed working with Henry Cavill – he’s a nice guy, great to work with – I don’t want to spoil the movie but I must say it was sometimes awkward trying to have a fun chats with Henry knowing in the next scene I have to beat the living crap out of him. So that was quite funny at times. And of course although this was a big film it felt like one big family atmosphere. On my first day arriving I met the producers and received a personal handshake from every single one of them. Also the cast was from all over the world so the general banter was always interesting and diverse. The director Mabrouk was very relaxed to work with and had a very strong vision for the film, which rubbed off on everyone and kept spirits high.
It was actually Mabrouk’s 33rd birthday on one of my shoot days and we all got to have some champagne to help him celebrate.
Let’s talk a bit about you Michael. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
I was actually a front man for a house music band back in Sydney, Australia and we were building to be very successful however we were young and a little unsure of how to fulfill our promise. And I really wanted to branch out into something, which I could grab with two hands for myself so acting became the one thing I felt I could get into that involved performance.
I understand your first role was in ‘The Matrix Reloaded’’ as Laurence Fishburne’s body double?
Yes I was very nervous when I arrived at Fox Studios in Sydney. The set was enormous; it looked like a huge circus. Then, from under the bright lights, emerge directors Larry and Andy Wachowski who introduced themselves and said ‘Welcome to our set’. They took a look at me, asked me to come back next week and then I met Laurence Fishburne. When I met Mr Fishburne he said I reminded him of his son and gave me the opportunity to work on a motion picture.
So I got to work with out a doubt one of the greatest black actors who has ever lived on a daily basis for over 200 shoot days – he is a really fun spirited guy and although he has a big presence and amazing deep voice a lot people don’t know he is quite funny! One thing I remember like yesterday was when I was driving a production vehicle on the lot and I crashed it into a side pole as I was backing it up and I was extremely upset. However Laurence came running out shouting out in a camp voice, “Don’t worry its only cosmetic darling!” and in an instance relived my tension to the situation! He is like that with everyone around him – upbeat and happy no matter how tough a shootday we had. After 200 shoot days the director liked my work ethic and cast me in my own role as a Zion Controller.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the industry?
Start with a few courses; maybe try your local ‘Actors Centre’ or somewhere similar, it’s a great place to network and work on your craft. Maybe consider from there full-time training and next think image; how do you want to be seen? Get a great headshot, and market, market, market!
Also, if you want to get into film, I suggest taking any job on a film set so you can understand the process and meet potential employers. If it takes a long time, don’t give up – I waited several years for another break in Hollywood. Just keep working your craft, and be ready when that opportunity finally comes.
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
- My beautiful Grandma, a French Jewish woman born in Nice, France who spoke seven languages fluently. I always felt that I had a wealth of knowledge at my fingertips when she was alive.
- Clint Eastwood – just can’t imagine film without the legend – enough said there.
- And no doubt Barack Obama, the first black President of the United States. Maybe I wouldn’t do the talking for once…maybe I will just l sit and listen.
What is your favourite holiday destination and why?
Havar Island off the coast of Croatia – beautiful place, great food and not to touristy yet..
What is your favourite word?
LOVE! I never get tired of hearing that word.
What’s coming up for you in 2012?
I am currently working my directorial debut film, ‘Life Of The Party’. I am currently looking at locations, storyboarding the film and generally prepping the project as we speak.
‘Life Of The Party’, is a quirky black comedy about three friends edging past their thirties who, in an attempt to hang on to their carefree youth, embark on an attempt to break the world record for the longest ever house party – 423 days. The three main characters – Jason, Kray and Sandra – throw a monumental party, but also set off on a voyage of self-discovery, facing their personal demons and coping with love and loss. I also star as Kray in the movie, and helped write some key scenes and characters. I am extremely excited about the film, and we’ll be shooting in the US in late 2012.
Thanks for the interview!