I recently got the chance to talk to Geoff Meed about his role as Macroy in ‘Fast Five’. Here, Geoff talks about working alongside some of the biggest players in the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise and about his own career as a stuntman….
Hey Geoff – thanks for taking the time out to talk to me. We‘ve got you here to talk about “Fast Five’, which is out in UK cinemas right now. What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
Brian has crossed over from the good side of the law to the bad side. After a certain event goes wrong, they all flee to Brazil, causing the baddest outfit of the Diplomatic Security Service to be dispatched to hunt them down.
Tell us a bit about your character and his role within the film…
I play Macroy, one of Dwayne Johnson’s strike team. We’re the team sent to hunt down the bad guys, but we’re mostly there as sort of background to Dwayne’s character, because he alone is a one man army.
Had you seen the other ‘Fast And Furious’ films before you signed on?
Yes, I’ve always been a big fan of the genre.
Why do you think the franchise is so popular?
Fast cars, good-looking girls and guys, exotic locations, and LOTS of action.
You’ve been on-set with some of the major players behind the franchise, like Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Jordana Brewster – what was it like working with them?
Vin is one of the nicest stars I’ve met. Very approachable to fans as well. We had literally hundreds of people in the streets watching us film in Puerto Rico. One day after Vin had wrapped, he walked up this really long, steep hill to take pictures, and greet everyone. He was up there for probably an hour. I’ve never seen a star do anything like that before. The most I spoke with Jordana was actually at an ADR (looping session). I was impressed to find out she was fluent in Portuguese. It was funny with Paul. He was pleasant with me, but we were all out to eat one night, and someone mentioned how our combat trainers had suggested I go on a real drug bust with them because of how well I had done in our combat training. I laughed and said, “Yeah, they won’t be shooting at the cops, they’re going to shoot at the dumbass white guy carrying the camera.” Paul laughed hysterically, and after that always said “Hi”, and spoke with me much more. He’s a really nice guy as well.
Ludacris plays both a role in the film and has produced a single for it – did you get to hang out with him? What’s he like?
Yes, Chris and I raced around on the Ducati motorcycles (what Gal Godot was riding in the film) in the parking lot at base camp while we were waiting to film in the big party scene. Nice guy. He said, “I think I’m going to have to get me one of these.”
Let’s talk about you, Geoff. You’re not just an actor, but you also had a career in stunt work – driving cars, fighting, etc – what made you want to get into that particular industry? Were you always a daredevil?
I was always sort of a daredevil I guess, or maybe just not that smart. I fell into acting out of boredom. I had been kicked out of college, and my parents called me home to keep an eye on me. At that time, my Dad had been relocated to El Paso, Texas, where I was bored out of my mind. As something to do, my Mom suggested I get into theatre with her. That’s how it started, but it was definitely nothing I had ever thought of doing before.
Is the stunt industry a difficult profession to get into and as bad as people make it out to be, what with the insurance and everything?
What makes the stunt industry difficult now, is it’s no longer about guys who are reckless. A lot of stuntmen now are professional divers, gymnasts, professional athletes. It’s a very close-knit business. It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.
What made you want to go into acting from that point in your life?
I couldn’t serve in the military because of surgical screws in my body and asthma, and I wasn’t a good enough student to go into business. Plus, I didn’t want a daily 9-5 job for the rest of my life.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in stunts or acting?
Honestly?… Find something else to do. Making a professional career in acting is the equivalent to playing the lottery.
What kind of roles would you say you go for? There’s such a wide variety it’s almost hard to pick out any particular genre….
90% of the time I’m going to be the bad guy. I was actually shocked I got hired for ‘Fast Five’.
You’re also one of a few actors to be in all of the CSI’s – which was your favourite to work on and why?
I really liked all three shows. I guess the role I did on ‘CSI Miami’ was better – because the character I played was such a bad ass – a convict who escapes prison, and goes out killing everyone who is trying to put him away without looking back. It was a great role.
Funnily enough, I was playing this game the other day – you played Tom Odell in ‘Elite Force’, didn’t you? You’re a bit of an ‘everything guy’ aren’t you?
Yeah, the casting director from ‘Voyager’, ‘Deep Space 9′, ‘Enterprise’, etc. knew me because I was constantly reading for those shows. Classic case of “who knows you.”
What’s coming up for you in 2011?
Went back and worked on the daytime show ‘Days of Our Lives’, and just played the bad guy opposite Elizabeth Hurley on the ‘Wonder Woman’ pilot. Hopefully the show will get picked up, and I will have a regular or recurring role on it. Also, I’m writing a SyFy original movie too. And I’m just hoping the success of ‘Fast Five’ brings some more opportunities in.
I left this question till last – you’ve worked with both Steven Segal and Chuck Norris – if all three of you went into an arena and fought against one another, who would come out victorious?
Ha, that’s my favourite question. You know, Chuck is older now, but he can still move. Steven gets flack because he wasn’t a professional fighter. Let me tell you, that guy is for REAL. As for the answer to your question… I wouldn’t last 30 seconds with either of those guys. I could probably outrun them, though.
Thanks for the interview!