Tag Archive | "martial arts"

MASTER Z: IP MAN LEGACY – New Poster and Trailer Featuring Michelle Yeoh, Dave Bautista and Max Zhang Unveiled!

MASTER Z: IP MAN LEGACY – New Poster and Trailer Featuring Michelle Yeoh, Dave Bautista and Max Zhang Unveiled!

Check out the new poster and trailer for director Yuen Woo-Ping’s MASTER Z: IP MAN LEGACY. The film stars Max Zhang (The Love Clinic), Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Infinity War), Liu Yan (Young Marshal, Badges of Fury), Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians, Crouching Tiger) and the legendary Tony Jaa (Ong-bak Series).

Synopsis: Legendary action director Yuen Woo-Ping draws on a stellar cast (Michelle Yeoh, Dave Bautista, Tony Jaa, and Max Zhang) to create a hard-hitting martial arts blast worthy of its place in the celebrated IP MAN universe. Following his defeat by Master Ip, Cheung Tin Chi (Zhang), tries to make a life with his young son in Hong Kong, waiting tables at a bar that caters to expats.  But it’s not long before the mix of foreigners, money, and triad leaders draw him once again to the fight.

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Action Superstar Scott Adkins Discusses ‘Ninja 2: Shadow of a Tear’ And More!

Action Superstar Scott Adkins Discusses ‘Ninja 2: Shadow of a Tear’ And More!

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When it comes to high octane action cinema, Scott Adkins is the most dynamic and exciting performer working in industry today. His latest film is another example of how this dynamic performer can light up the screen. In ‘Ninja 2: Shadow of a Tear,’ Adkins reprises his role as Casey Bowman, a martial artist whose life of domestic bliss has been shattered by a savage act of violence and must fight to avenge as well as survive. His target: a sinister drug lord flooding the streets with deadly meth cooked at his remote jungle factory. Kane Kosugi (Fight the Fight, Ninja Masters), Vithaya Pansringarm (Only God Forgives, The Burma Conspiracy), Mika Hijii (Ninja, Alien vs. Ninja, I’m Coming to Get You) and Tim Man (Bangkok Adrenaline, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li) also star. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with Scott Adkins to discuss his longevity in the industry, the challenges of bringing an action film to the screen, what the future may hold for him on-screen and much more!

Scott Adkins

Scott Adkins

Last time we spoke, you were doing press for ‘Universal Soldier 4’ at which point you had sustained some injuries which kept you out of the action game for a bit. What can you tell us about the physical challenges injuries you took and the road back?

Six weeks before ‘Universal Soldier,’ I tore the ACL in my left knee. It is a terrible injury to have, especially if you are a footballer or martial artist. All through ‘Universal Soldier,’ ‘El Gringo’ and ‘Expendables 2’ I was injured. I also picked up another injury in my back. It was a slipped disk that was pushing on the nerve which led to my losing feeling in my left arm. Basically, when I had the operation on my knee, I was able to rehab my neck as well but I couldn’t do any action films for a good six months. I gave myself eight months because I knew how important it was if I was going to come back the same guy I was before the ACL injury. I needed to rehab it properly and have the best surgeon.

It is good to have you back in action. How are you feeling now?

It is feeling really good now! You pick up some sort of injury on most of the films I do. That is just the way it is because we are trying to give people what they want in terms of action!

'Ninja 2: Shadow of a Tear'

‘Ninja 2: Shadow of a Tear’

Your latest film is ‘Ninja 2: Shadow of a Tear’. What expectations or goals did you have when taking on this project and returning to the character?

We just wanted to make the lead character, Casey, more interesting for the audience. I think with the first film, he was a little bit bland and not very proactive. The character in the script was a kid out of his depth just trying to survive. We were a little disappointed with how the character was perceived in the first film, so we wanted to shake things up at the very beginning. A typical staple of the ninja movie is revenge, so we figured right from the get-go; we would have something happen to Casey’s wife. She turns up dead and for the rest of the movie Casey is on a revenge mission, hell bent on making the people who killed his wife pay. That was enough to drive the character forward and make him more interesting.

This film is another example of what a great team director Isaac Florentine and yourself make. Having worked with him extensively, what do you feel he brings to the table as a director and how do you feel he has evolved along the way?

Isaac is fantastic with the way he moves the camera. He is a very glossy filmmaker given the budgets you have to work with; which aren’t very big. We don’t have a huge shooting schedule either. With him and Ross Clarkson, who is the director of photography who we always work with, he can make a film look glossy and impressive. Isaac is a dear friend of mine. He is pretty much the guy who discovered me back in the day when I did ‘Special Forces’ in 2003. I am an actor who does a lot of martial arts films, so if I am going to do a martial arts film, I want to do it with Isaac Florentine. He is the best in the business. There is nobody better in the western world at making a martial arts film. We are the perfect team really! We have worked together so many times now we have a short-hand together. We know each other’s strengths and there is no bullshit. We can just say what we think and get on with it! We are both there to make the best film we can.

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As you mentioned, Isaac Florentine was the man who discovered you. What are your recollections of meeting him for the first time?

It was a phone call, the first meeting we had. He rang me up and told me he had seen the show reel I had sent to him. He said he was very impressed and he wanted to find something to work with me on. The first time I met him is when I did ‘Special Forces’ and we filmed it in Lithuania. We became very close friends after that and whenever we go overseas to Hollywood often times I would stay at his house. He helped me find my feet in Hollywood. He is like my Hollywood uncle!

Scott Adkins

Scott Adkins

I wanted to talk a little about one of your costars in the film Kane Kosugi. What was it like working with him on this project?

Working with Kane was absolutely fantastic! You couldn’t ask for a more humble guy, which is even more impressive when you see how good looking he is! He is in fantastic shape. He is one of the best martial artists I have worked with in my life and I have worked with a lot. He is a very good actor who has everything going for him and he is still so humble. He is a real gentlemen and a joy to work with. It is amazing to me that he is not a bigger star. I honestly don’t understand it. I think he is phenomenal and would really love to work with him again.

I think many times when people see you films; they might not give a lot of thought of what goes on behind the scenes in terms of preparation. What can you tell us about the process of preparing yourself both physically and mentally for a film?

Physically, you need to stay in shape all year round. You can’t just think “I have a martial arts film coming up, I better start going to the gym.” I am always in the gym. I am always trying to improve myself physically and I step up the training a bit when I know there is a film just around the corner so my body gets used to the abuse I am going to put it through. Mentally, you have to accept it will be a really tough shoot. We do things we shouldn’t be able to do in the time frame we have to do it. All the action that is packed into their movies, we only have six weeks to shot them. We are certainly competing with action films that have three months to do what they do. It is very arduous, so you just have to get into that mental space where you are ready to go through some pain and accept the fact you will be very tired.

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The fight sequences on this film are very impressive. What can you tell us about the fight choreography and the guys you are working with to bring the action to life?

Tim Man, who is the fight choreographer for his film, is an exceptional martial artist. He is really flexible and a great kicker. He is also an experienced stuntman who has worked with Tony Jaa and people like that. He had a very small team that consisted of Brahim Achabbakhe, who was second in command, and two other Thai guys, who did a fantastic job considering it was a smaller film. They choreographed all the fights before I arrived in Thailand. They would send over videos of them in the gym where they had already been blocking out the moves and everything. They were truly fantastic and went above and beyond the call of duty. They were very prepared and that is main reason why the fights are so good in ‘Ninja 2.’

What do you consider some of the biggest challenges you faced on this film?

I can’t pin it down to one scene. Everything was difficult because of the huge workload. I think I performed thirteen fights in the whole movie, which was at least two fights a week. The fight scenes were done over two days, generally. There was one week where I had three fight scenes. For an action scene, you are filming it for the whole day and because you have so little time, you are pushing and pushing and trying to do as much as we can. It really is very difficult, so making this entire film was very challenging. When it comes to doing the drama, you are so tired from the physical stuff that it affects you as a dramatic actor in some stages. I don’t think people who do action movies get enough credit.

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As someone who pours their blood, sweat and tears into action film such as this, do you find it frustrating these films don’t get bigger releases?

It is, yeah. I suppose martial arts films have always been a niche market and sometimes they are in vogue and sometimes they are not. Because of the CGI, the Superhero stuff and all of that, you can pretty make an action movie with anyone now, where in the 1980s you needed the real deal. It is a frustrating time, especially where films would normally make a good amount of money with the home video market, of course that is very problematic now with the piracy that goes on. Hopefully, the next time martial arts comes into vogue, maybe I will be lucky enough to jump aboard the bandwagon!

Scott Adkins

Scott Adkins

As one on of the biggest names in the genre, who are some of the other guys in the industry you look to for inspiration?

I love the guys like Donnie Yen and Tony Jaa. Michael Jai White is a guy who I have worked with a few times. It is people like that who I look up too. You know, there aren’t many people coming through right now because it is hard to produce these films and make your money back is they are going straight to DVD, so I think some people look elsewhere. It is also very difficult to do an action film on a low budget because you need that time to get the shots and flesh out all the action.

You are not a one-dimensional performer. Even though you are great with action, you also have dramatic chops. With your recent and upcoming projects, you seem to be spreading your wings a bit and delving further into the dramatic side of film. What can you tell us about that?

‘The Legend of Hercules’ is coming out January 10th and for me that is quite a different role. I play a character who is older than myself, he is a king. There is some action for me movie but mostly it is a dramatic role. That is me trying to stretch myself as an actor, take on better roles and get into more mainstream movies. Hopefully, it continues because I love acting as much as I love martial arts. I generally love film, so for me to do as much as I can inside that arena is all good by me.

Is there a particular role or genre you are eager to tackle in the future?

I love sci-fi and I have always wanted to do a western but I don’t see myself moving away from action films because that is what I am good at and it is what people expect from me. I understand that. However, when I get older and I can’t do all this stuff anymore, I will have to be a dramatic actor, won’t I?

'Ninja 2: Shadow of a Tear'

‘Ninja 2: Shadow of a Tear’

Hopefully that is a long way off but you seem to be well suited for that as well! Looking back on your career so far, how do you feel you have evolved as an actor and martial artist?

I improve every movie because there is no substitute for experience. I think it is evident if you look at my back catalog. As a martial artist, you improve as a screen fighter when you work on the movies but you don’t necessarily improve as a martial artist. I do train a lot and I feel I am getting better as a real martial artist. When I was younger, I put more emphasis on flashy kicks than I did on real, applicable techniques and, certainly, I am more into that now.

There are so many different elements that go into what you do. To what do you attribute your longevity in the industry?

This is the only thing I ever wanted to do in my life, so I didn’t give myself any other option. There have been times when the offers weren’t coming as often as I wanted them to but this is genuinely my passion and what I love to do, so I have always stuck at it. It all comes down to hard work and dedication.

I can’t speak with you and not mentioned the terrific work you have done with the “Undisputed” films. When you first got involved with those films, did you have an idea your role would have the impact it has on audiences?

I had no idea Yuro Boyka would be such a great character that everyone seems to love. You couldn’t see that coming. He is the villain of ‘Undisputed 2.’ We tried to make him honorable, unlike your stereotypical villain, which certainly helped people warm to him. For the villain of the movie to be so well received was really unexpected. Obviously, that gave us the opportunity to do ‘Undisputed 3,’ where the villain turned into the hero and people seemed to like him even more. I didn’t expect it, no. However, I think I understand why Boyka is so successful. He is one of these guys who don’t take any shit and everybody wishes they could be that guy for one day. I think that is the appeal to him, along with him being a tough guy with a lot of honor. He is not a pretty boy, he is just a rough and ready dude that people can respect and get behind. I think he represents the blue collar, everyday guy who is put upon and gets through it with his toughness. I think people really respect that about him.

Scott Adkins

Scott Adkins

Any there any plans to explore the character in another film at the moment?

We are trying to get ‘Undisputed 4’ off the ground. We are going through some drafts of the script now and everything is falling into place. I really want to get on with it but I am not the only one making the movie, so we are trying to let everything fall into place. Hopefully, it will happen this year.

As you mentioned, this is a slow time for action cinema. As a guy who is at the forefront of the genre, what are your thoughts on the state of action cinema and where do you hope to see it progress in the future?

For my point of view, I love to see stuff that is done for real. CGI and all of that stuff is great. It looks fantastic and brilliant. You can create worlds in a way you haven’t been able to before and make films that were never thought possible. Ultimately, in the back of my mind, I always know it is not real. When I see something done for real with stunts, martial arts technique or some gravity defying leap, it resonates more with me. I hope we can get more films like ‘The Raid’ that are using people who can do it for real, that is what I like to see and grew up loving. That is what I try to represent as well. I do believe there is a place for both but it does seem very CGI, comic book heavy, at the moment. I like all of that stuff but I miss the real deal as well. Let’s hope it comes back!

Absolutely! A lot of people can look to you as an inspiration. What is the best advice you can pass along to those looking to pursue a career path similar to yours in the current climate?

In the current climate, don’t expect it to be easy. At the end of the day, you have to put your acting first. If you can do martial arts and are a physical guy that is great but acting is what is most important. Don’t expect it to come easy. No one is going to make it in this business without hard work and dedication. Sometimes, if you get a lucky break, you probably aren’t ready for it anyway. It is good to have to climb up the ladder, to be turned down, punched in the face a few times and told you are rubbish and not going to make it because it builds character. Just be ready to be go through all of that because it is a tough business.

Thank you again for your time today, Scott. It has been a pleasure! Best of luck to you with all of your projects in 2014!

Thank you, Jason.

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ONLY GOD FORGIVES: Vithaya Pansringarm Discusses His Role In The Film!

ONLY GOD FORGIVES: Vithaya Pansringarm Discusses His Role In The Film!

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Vithaya Pansringarm is truly exceptional success story. At 54 years old, he started his acting career only five years ago. Armed with an exceptional scene presence and strong work ethic, Pansringarm landed top billing opposite Ryan Gosling in Nicolas Winding Refn’s latest project.’Only God Forgives’ is a gritty thriller set in the seedy underbelly of Bangkok. Julian (Ryan Gosling), an American fugitive from justice, runs a Thai boxing club as a front for his drug business. His mother (Kristin Scott Thomas), the head of a vast criminal organization, arrives from the US to collect the body of her favorite son, Billy. Julian’s brother has just been killed after having savagely murdered a young prostitute. Crazy with rage and thirsty for vengeance she demands the heads of the murderers from Julian. But first, Julian must confront Chang (Vithaya Pansringarm), a mysterious policeman—and figurehead of a divine justice—who has resolved to scourge the corrupt underworld of brothels and fight clubs. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently sat down with Vithaya Pansringarm to discuss how he got his start in the movie business, his role in ‘Only God Forgives,’ his evolution as an actor and much more!

Vithaya Pansringarm

Vithaya Pansringarm

You have a very interesting story when it comes to how you got involved with the film industry. What can you tell us about how you got started on your journey as an actor?

It all happened by accident! [laughs] Actually, my wife and I have our own business. We own a dance school in Bangkok. I am married to a lovely American lady who happened to be a ballerina in New York. We met in New York and we came to Thailand, where we opened a small dance school. Today, the school has over two hundred students! We had been very successful in running the ballet school. What happened was, one night, I went out with a friend and I met a cameraman. He saw me and he invited me to act in a short film. That is how it happened! After I did the short film with him, this cameraman got a job working on an American movie in Thailand. In that movie, they couldn’t find a particular character for the film. My friend the cameraman said “Why don’t you call Vithaya?” I got cast in the film with Nu Image. It happened six years ago and that is how it happened.

Who are some of your biggest influences as an actor?

As an actor, I love Jack Nicholson, Samuel L. Jackson and Christopher Walken. I have seen a lot of their work and I am always quite impressed. Sir Anthony Hopkins is another. I like all of these actors because I too am in my fifties, you see?

Your latest film is Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Only God Forgives.” How did you get involved with this project?

After I worked on several overseas productions that had come to shoot movies in Thailand, the casting director in Thailand started to know me. When the casting director received the script from Nicolas, she called me! She said “This Danish director is doing this movie and I have read the script. I think you would be perfect for this project.” She asked me to audition for “Only God Forgives.” That was about three years back. At the time, she said Nicolas liked me but he was doing “Drive,” so the whole project was put aside. After “Drive,” Nic decided to do the film and I had to re-audition for the character. He decided he was going to use me for the film and that is how it happened.

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What can you tell us about the role and what intrigued you about the character?

After I read the script, I said “My goodness! This character is very unique!” It is not a typical character you see in many projects. The title is “Only God Forgives,” and when I read the script, I said “Wow! Nic wants this guy to be God! What type of God are we talking about?” I think Nic understood when he moved the movie to Thailand; it was involved with the Thai society, culture and beliefs. I became God in terms of the God that people in my country believe in, which is almost like and angel has someone in a trance. He can be a human being but there is a spiritual power inside of him – energy. When Nic said to me at one point “This character is powerful but he has to have energy inside.” I knew exactly what he was trying to say. you are almost like a statue. People see a statue and they can respect it because the stature represents something. Little by little, we tried to create the character of Chang. In the script, after executes somebody or kills somebody, he goes into a karaoke bar. He does that to purify himself of the power that has come out of his hands. We created this character during the pre-production and as we shot the movie, we tried to also fine tune his personality and have it come out in a unique way. We created Chang, in a way you cannot duplicate. It is so original and could only be in “Only God Forgives.”

Vithaya Pansringarm

Vithaya Pansringarm

I know you have been involved with the martial arts for many years. How did your training affect the creation of this character?

It had a big impact, very much so! When Nicolas said, “You have to be like a statue.” I immediately thought of my martial arts field. I have been involved with the Japanese fencing called Kendo for the past 28 years. In Kendo, when we fight, it is almost you hold the sword in a way where you become one. You hardly move and you focus your energy on your opponents. I said to myself, “That is what I am going to do in this film.” I am going to focus my energy to the camera, the lens and the character I am with. You don’t know what the expression is on my face but you can feel what is in my heart. That is my key. The whole time I act in this film, it is more than just acting because I have to use Chi, which is the inside energy. It is all about martial arts in this movie.

What do you consider the biggest challenge you encountered with this role?

First of all, when I first received this opportunity to meet Nic for the first time, I just finished a Thai movie where I played a Buddhist monk. Even though I am an Asian man, I’m a big guy! At the time I met Nic for the first time, I was 103 kg. Nic said to the casting director “I like Poo but I think he is too big.” Poo is my nickname. The character is an ex-boxer, you see. As soon as the casting director told me that, the next day I started going to the gym without even knowing if I was going to get the role or not. I just put in 100%! I went to the day almost every day for eight months. I dropped 20 kilos with physical exercise! Then when Nic saw me again, we didn’t say anything but he know I had committed to the project. They provided me with a personal trainer and a Thai boxing coach for another three months. For me, at 53, doing these things is very challenging! [laughs]

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Nicolas Winding Refn is making quite a name for himself. What did you learn from him while working together?

One time is not enough when it comes to learning from Nicolas! [laughs] When you work with Nicolas, you discover he really does his homework! He knows exactly what he needs to do on the set but at the same time he is very flexible. He is not a director who comes in and tells you this is how to do something. He asks you how you feel, what you want to do and what you want to create with him. That is one thing I really loved about working with him! In technical terms, he knows his camera work. All you need to do is use your own imagination and try to understand what is in his mind and what he wants. Also, when he works and it is perfect, it is not enough. He would always say on set “It’s perfect! Let’s do it again.” He would say that for the next 15 to 20 takes! [laughs] I learned that from him. Even if you think something is perfect, you can be even more perfect than you think! That is what I learned from Nicolas.

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A Must-See Film!

How do you feel you have evolved as an actor since you first started out?

Oh, wow! First of all, it is really wonderful. At this point, my wife and I have the successful dance school and it is doing well but acting is like a new chapter in my life. Some of my friends are now retiring or some have started caring for their grandchildren. I have found a whole new career! It is almost a new life for me with mew opportunities and new friends. I feel I have become more creative and I enjoy it, very much so!

Your story is one many people will find inspirational. What do you think is the best lesson that can be learned for your extraordinary journey?

I try to do my best in everything I have the opportunity to do. I work hard and do my homework. I would tell people to never give up. I started acting at 50, as I said. I didn’t dream big, it just happened. In situations like that, you just have to keep doing it and doing your best. To people who want to have the same opportunity, keep doing it and one day it will happen! For me, I am very grateful for the opportunity of working with Nicolas, Ryan [Gosling] and Kristen Scott Thomas. I could never ask for any better project than this one!

Is there a particular type of role you are anxious to tackle in the future?

You know, you have seen me on the scene becoming more of a symbol of violence but I would love to do drama! I think comedy is hard, as is making people laugh! If I had the opportunity to do drama, I would very much look forward to a challenging role! I think it would be interesting for me!

Thank you so much for your time today! You were fantastic in this film and we look forward to your future work!

Thank you very much, Jason! Thank you!

Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Only God Forgives” hits Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013.

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Bruce Lee Returns To The Silver Screen In ‘I Am Bruce Lee’ Documentary

Bruce Lee Returns To The Silver Screen In ‘I Am Bruce Lee’ Documentary

'I Am Bruce Lee'

On Thursday, February 9th and Wednesday, February 15th the new feature length documentary film, I Am Bruce Lee, will be released exclusively for a two-night screening event in 150 theaters in 60+ cities across the U.S.

I Am Bruce Lee is the first documentary to truly tell Bruce Lee’s story in his own words and actions, as well as through the eyes of a diverse cast of international stars from the worlds of film, television, music and sports.

The film’s original interviews feature a broad spectrum of worldwide stars, including UFC President Dana White who calls Lee the “Father of Mixed Martial Arts,” NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, boxing champions Manny Pacquiao and Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, UFC stars Jon Jones, Cung Le, Stephan Bonnar and Gina Carano, actor and star of the hit show ‘Modern Family’ Ed O’Neill, Academy Award Nominated actor Mickey Rourke, the Black Eye Peas’ Taboo, Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon Lee and his wife Linda Lee Cadwell, among many others.

I Am Bruce Lee presents a rich cinematic view of the life of Bruce Lee, and features the best of Bruce Lee’s groundbreaking martial arts action films, punctuated with an evocative score and rarely seen archival footage. Working with Bruce’s daughter Shannon Lee, the film features previously unseen home movies and interviews, classic photos and dynamic visuals and graphics. “My family and I are so proud of this film, which truly portrays the legacy of my father and his incredible story,” says executive producer Shannon Lee.

The documentary is produced by award-winning studio Network Entertainment, the producers of 2010’s Academy Award shortlisted documentary Facing Ali, and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Pete McCormack.

Network Entertainment Presents I Am Bruce Lee. Produced by Derik Murray, Executive Produced by Paul Gertz and Shannon Lee, Directed by Pete McCormack. Run Time: 94 minutes, Genre: Documentary, Rating: This film is not rated.

Cities and Ticket info: www.iambruceleemovie.com 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BruceLee 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/iambruceleefilm

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Danny Huston Discusses His Villainous Role In ‘The Warrior’s Way’

Danny Huston Discusses His Villainous Role In ‘The Warrior’s Way’

Danny Huston may be the son of legendary director John Huston and half-brother of Anjelica Huston, but he spent the past decade blazing his own trails in Hollywood. His career started behind the camera, following in his father’s footsteps, but soon evolved into playing a plethora of roles. Quickly becoming a recognizable face on the silver screen, Danny Huston is about to make one of his biggest impressions yet on moviegoers. Sngmoo Lee’s “The Warrior’s Way,” is a tale where Eastern and Western cultures and traditions collide and Huston is at ground zero.

The film centers around Yang (Jang Dong Gun), the world’s greatest swordsman, abandoning his warrior clan to start a new life in the American Badlands. “The Warrior’s Way” is a visually dazzling modern martial arts adventure with stunningly choreographed fight sequences and gravity-defying stunts. In an original, gorgeously realized journey into a mythical past, writer and director Sngmoo Lee seamlessly marries the cinematic traditions of East and West. Korean superstar Jang Dong Gun, Kate Bosworth, Danny Huston and Academy Award-winner Geoffrey Rush star in this epic story of revenge and redemption. Icon Vs. Icon’s Jason Price recently sat down with Danny Huston to discuss his journey in the entertainment industry, his influences and how they played a role in “The Warrior’s Way,” bringing a character from the script to the screen and much more!

Danny Huston

Tackling a career in the entertainment industry is often not for the faint of heart. From what I have read, you didn’t initially set out to end up where you are today. What can you tell us about that journey?

Well, I had no intention of becoming an actor at all. I was just, as a director, waiting for my projects to get made. I was waiting for this sort of eternal green light for a studio or some financing entity to give me permission to make my films. Things were taking forever! Fellow directors, out of the kindest of their hearts, would offer me small roles here and there and the roles gradually got bigger. The next thing I knew, I was an actor! [laughs]

I am curious to know who has been most influential to you as an actor?

I suppose my father. I really approach acting from a filmmaking point of view. I just feel that I am servicing the story and trying to tell it as best I can. My father was not only a great storyteller and filmmaker, as you know, but he was a great actor. People say to me that I seem to like playing villains a great deal. My father played what is probably one of the greatest villains in film history in ‘Chinatown.’ He has been very influential on me.

What was it about the script or the character in particular that drew you to your role in ‘The Warrior’s Way’?

It had this wonderful Sergio Leone quality about it. I almost imagine my character being scored by Ennio Morricone. Just to name a few other Italian movie influences, the townsfolk and the carnies reminded me of a sort of Felleni movie. It just had this wonderful little kaleidoscope of different influences and genres along with a delicious villain for me to play. The character has certain complexities but is also bound in a sort of romantic, slightly perverse, obsessed way to this girl who scarred him for life, who is played by Kate Bosworth.

What is your process for bringing a character like The Colonel from the script to the screen?

In this particular case, he was very formed by the costumes, the mask that he wears, which is very tight against my face and forced me to speak in a particular way, the way that he is rather vain, he is compulsive, he doesn’t like dirt and he is caught in this dust bowl of a place. These qualities were key for me to transform the character into the delicious villain it became.

Your family has quite a history with the American Western. How did that play into your performance? Was it something that was in the back of your mind going into the project?

Yes, very much. I was influenced by the westerns that I used to see when I was a kid, not necessarily that my family have been involved in or the western that I shot prior to this called ‘The Proposition’ that Nick Cave wrote that featured Guy Pearce, Ray Winstone, Emily Watson and was directed by John Hillcoat, which was a very violent western set in Australia. ‘The Warrior’s Way’ is more of a fable, more ‘Sergio Leone,’ I suppose. Those types of films were something that I really loved as a kid. The villains in those films like Eli Wallach and so on, were something that influenced me a lot as a boy. The film, in a way, is shot not unlike a memory, it has this nostalgic feeling to it. Those are the types of qualities that I tried to bring into the piece but also connected with as I was making it.

Danny Huston and Sngmoo Lee

There is quite a buzz about the film and its director/writer Sngmoo Lee. What was it like working with him and what do you think he brought to the table?

Well, he brought the script to the table and his vision. It was very specific, concise and clear, especially with all of the green screen that was going on as we inhabited this world that wasn’t in front of us, so we have to imagine it. He was extremely helpful there. He knew what he wanted. Of course, we were free to interpret what direction he was giving us but he was very clear in broad strokes in regard to what he asked of us. Working with green screen at times can be very confusing because you don’t really know what you are looking at, so he was very, very helpful.

There is a ton of action in the film. What can you tell us about your experiences with the stunt team on the film? I imagine you can learn quite a lot from those seasoned veterans.

Yes! Working with the stunt guys was really fantastic! We really had to choreograph a rather complicated sword fight. One of the big highlights of the project for me was working with Kate Bosworth, shooting the sword fighting scene. It was a lot of fun to do and very physically demanding! We were both bruised by it afterwards — but proud of our bruises! [laughs] It made you feel like you did an honest day’s work! It was a good feeling! [laughs] We broke the shooting schedule up, it happened right around Christmas, so we shot for about three days and wrapped for Christmas and then we started back up after the holiday. That gave us enough time to catch our breath and go back and refine what we had done. We are very proud of it because over 90% of what is there is us, the actors. Hopefully, that makes it kind of gritty and real as there is no trickery.

As you mentioned, you are also surrounded by some great talent in this film. How would you describe your experience performing with Kate Bosworth, Geoffory Rush and specifically Jang Dong-gun who may be a new talented face to American audiences?

Jang Dong-gun is a quiet, respectful, powerful young actor. He certainly knows how to use stillness which is something that my character, The Colonel, could use! [laughs] Working with Kate, well, I knew Kate before doing the project so it was great to be able to spar, literally, with someone and know that we could really trust each other and not hurt each other too badly! Geoffory Rush, I am a big, big fan of his, how could one not be? I wish that I had more scenes with him but the scenes that I did have with him I took great delight in working with him.

Looking back on the experience, what was the biggest challenge in making this film?

The biggest challenge, honestly, was the weight of the wardrobe. The mask, the large leather coat, the guns, the sword, the hat, the wig were all very constraining at first. It was hard to even move with all of that stuff on me and around me. Finally, it became something that really helped to define the character and I was able to use it as a way to express The Colonel’s movements. He can’t see out of mask, out of one eye, so the other eye becomes very active. The speech, as I mentioned, is very difficult because the mask fits so tightly to my face. All of these things were really restricting at first, if not daunting, but ultimately helped me to define the character.

Obviously you are on quite a role as an actor. Kudos to you! Is there a chance that we might see you behind the camera as a director again in the future?

I have been developing a project over the past 10 to 15 years called ‘Day of The Dead’, a book that I have been optioning. In a way, it has become a bad habit and a costly one to option the book time and time again! [laughs] It is hard for me to convince the author that I am actually going to make it! I am hoping to get into production on that next year. I have a lot of momentum on that now, so there is no reason that it shouldn’t happen at this point. I hope it does!

Looking back on your career how do you think you have evolved in your craft since starting out?

One role feeds the next, somewhat. The films that you make don’t necessarily come out in the order in which you made them in but they are influences that you take from one film to the other. More than anything, I used to love hanging out on my father’s film sets. I loved spending time with directors and seeing how they form and make a film. Hopefully, I will be able to apply those experiences when I get back in the saddle and make my own.

You have played so many different roles throughout your career. Is there a particular type of film or genre that you are anxious to tackle in the future?

I feel that I approach stories and films from more of a storytelling point of view, so the whole script is what matters to me. Even if my part is very small, I still want to be a part of something that I can respect and that excites me while working with people that I respect and that excite me.

What is the best advice that you have for anyone who would like to make their career in the film industry?

I suppose that with technology the way that it is today, my advice would be to go out and make a film. Stay true to yourself and don’t allow anyone to stop you from doing that. One can literally go out and make a film with their iPhone at this point!

Very true!

Yeah, with a good bit of editing software, you can do it. All you have to do is have a vision.

What other projects are on the horizon for you in the immediate future?

‘The Conspirator’ is coming out from Robert Redford. It is the story of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. I play Joseph Holt who was responsible for prosecuting the first woman to be hung. It is a beautiful and elegant film directed by Robert Redford that I am very proud to be a part of. That is the next film that will be coming out.

Anything that you would like to say to the fans before I let you go?

Well, I hope that they go out and enjoy ‘The Warrior’s Way’. It is a real spectacle — a ballet for boys! [laughs] It certainly struck me as being an extremely elegant piece of filmmaking and a delicious fable.

Thank you so much for your time, Danny. We are big fans of your work and we hope to talk to you again very soon! It’s been a pleasure!

Thank you very much!

– –

The Warrior’s Way will be released to theaters on December 3rd, 2010.

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New iPhone App For ‘The Warrior’s Way’ Unleashed!

Relativity Media and Zeitgeist Games bring to you the new The Warrior’s Way iPhone application!

Experience The Warrior’s Way for yourself by wielding the legendary steel of the greatest swordsman alive in this new iPhone app! Choose between four different swords and engage in a mock sword fight with other users.  The app’s sound effects make you feel like you are in the middle of the action. With photos and trailers from the film, this app promises to make a warrior out of anyone.  The Warrior’s Way hits theaters on December 3, 2010.

Get the The Warrior’s Way iPhone application at this location >

More information on The Warrior’s Way:
The Warrior’s Way, a visually-stunning modern martial arts western starring Korean actor Dong-gun Jang who plays an Asian warrior assassin forced to hide in a small town in the American Badlands. Rounding out the ensemble cast are Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns), Oscar®-winner Geoffrey Rush (Shine), Danny Houston (The Kingdom), and Tony Cox (The Hustle).The fantasy action film was written and directed by newcomer Sngmoo Lee, and is being produced by Barrie Osborne (Lord of the Rings), Michael Peyser (Hackers) and Jooick Lee (Seven Swords).http://www.iamrogue.com/thewarriorsway

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New Posters and Images From ‘The Warrior’s Way’

New Posters and Images From ‘The Warrior’s Way’

In theaters December 3, 2010, The Warrior’s Way is a visually-stunning modern martial arts western starring Korean actor Dong-gun Jang who plays an Asian warrior assassin forced to hide in a small town in the American Badlands. Rounding out the ensemble cast are Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns), Oscar®-winner Geoffrey Rush (Shine), Danny Huston (The Kingdom), and Tony Cox (The Hustle).The fantasy action film was written and directed by newcomer Sngmoo Lee, and is being produced by Barrie M. Osborne (Lord of the Rings), Jooick Lee (Seven Swords) and Michael Peyser (Hackers).

Check out the brand new theatrical posters and stills for the film and it’s stunning trailer below!

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‘The Warrior’s Way’ – New Theatrical Poster For The Visually Stunning Film

‘The Warrior’s Way’ – New Theatrical Poster For The Visually Stunning Film

In theaters December 3, 2010, The Warrior’s Way is a visually-stunning modern martial arts western starring Korean actor Dong-gun Jang who plays an Asian warrior assassin forced to hide in a small town in the American Badlands. Rounding out the ensemble cast are Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns), Oscar®-winner Geoffrey Rush (Shine), Danny Huston (The Kingdom), and Tony Cox (The Hustle).The fantasy action film was written and directed by newcomer Sngmoo Lee, and is being produced by Barrie M. Osborne (Lord of the Rings), Jooick Lee (Seven Swords) and Michael Peyser (Hackers).

Check out a brand new theatrical poster for the film and it’s stunning trailer below!

Posted in Blog, Movies, TV and More!Comments (2)