I recently got the chance to have an exclusive interview with Scott Adkins about his role in the new ‘Expendables’ film. Here, Scott talks about what it was like working with the best of the best in action cinema and how he got involved in the project in the first place…
(Photo: Mike Holdsworth)
Hey Scott. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your new film, ‘The Expendables 2’.
What’s the general plotline surrounding the film?
‘The Expendables’ come up against Van Damme, myself and a whole army armed with weapons grade plutonium. They need to stop us but they also want to kill us for something that happens to the team early on in the movie.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
I play a guy called Hector – he’s a mercenary/gangster and right hand man to Van Damme’s Jean Villain. They have their own army out in the Baltic states and have pretty much become crime lords in their chosen area. Hector is sadistic and enjoys the kill. He carries a huge knife and is more than ready to use it. He’s one of those guys that hopefully you will love to hate.
How did you get involved in the project in the first place?
I’ve done a few films with the producers in the past and they needed an actor to fill a villainous role and with my background in action films it made a lot of sense to put me in that role. It’s an honour to share the screen with all those action legends.
How would you say this film is different and unique to the original ‘Expendables‘?
First of all it’s much much bigger. The first film was a bit of an experiment, I don’t think they were sure how well it would work out but it did, so expect more of the same but on a much larger scale. I think this one has a lot more humour than the first. It’s an event movie with all of the major action stars doing what they do best and a throwback to 80’s action films. It’s for the fans.
The film stars the best action team you could imagine – Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jason Statham, Jet Li and Chuck Norris – with Simon West on board as director – what was it like working with the cast and crew on-set? Any good anecdotes?
It was amazing for me to be around these people who I have grown up idolising. If I saw these guys all on the same screen together that would blow my mind but to actually be there on set amongst them was sometimes a little overwhelming but it was the same for Bruce, Sly and Arnold, they loved it as much as anyone else. It’s something that may never happen again. I’m involved in an action sequence where Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis and Norris are firing at me and Van Damme in an airport, it was pretty intense to see the silhouettes of these guys coming at us with fully loaded weapons. I got to train with Arnie, Sly and Van Damme in the gym and picked up many tips and tricks and I learnt a lot from watching how these guys work. Randy Couture actually diagnosed an injury I had in my back that no physiotherapist had been able to figure out up to that point. I owe him a drink for that.
Let’s talk a bit about you Scott. What made you want to get into the industry in the first place?
I’ve always loved movies, especially action movies. It doesn’t get more cinematic than a good action scene and I grew up idolising guys like Bruce Lee, Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan. I was captivated by the physical prowess and dexterity of these guys and needed to be involved in their art form in some way. I’ve really never wanted to do anything else and when my father asked me why I’d chosen such a difficult profession to break into all I could say was “Dad, it chose me!” I never really had a choice.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pursue a career in the industry?
You have to be sure that you want it more than anything else because it can be a long hard road full of rejection and poverty. It’s the kind of business that leaves you uncertain of what the future may hold, will I ever work again? Where is the next job coming from? It has to be a passion, don’t just try to get into it because you want to be famous. If you really can’t see yourself doing anything else then work hard to improve yourself as an actor every day and do all you can to be the best you can be.
You’ve had a number of roles in various different film and TV projects – which actors/actresses have been your favourites to work with so far and why? Any good stories?
I loved working with Hugh Jackman and Matt Damon, they were both extremely nice down to earth guys, very smart and fantastic professionals.
What’s currently on your I-Pod right now?
I’m becoming old and boring, new music is hard for me to like. I’m still blasting out Oasis and Third Eye Blind.
If you could have dinner with three guests – (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
- Bruce Lee – the single biggest influence in my life, philosopher, innovative and a man so ahead of his time.
- Anthony Hopkins – my favourite actor.
- Chris Rock – who I think is the funniest man on the planet.
On your off-days, how do you like to kick back and relax?
I spend time with my little girl and my fiancé doing girly stuff. I try to round it off with some UFC viewing to make me feel like a man again.
What’s coming up for you in 2012? I understand you’ve got ‘Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning’ coming out soon and you’ve just finished working with Kathryn Bigelow….
‘Universal Soldier: Day Of Reckoning’ is something I’m very proud of, it’s an intense hard R action movie that also stars Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren. Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ was a great experience, working with a director who is at the top of her game, excited about that. I also have a zombie movie called ‘Re-Kill‘ coming out at some point which I think will be a lot of fun.
Thanks for the interview!