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BOONDOCK SAINTS: ORIGINS — Troy Duffy Promises To “Flip the Superhero Paradigm 180 Degrees” With New Series!

BOONDOCK SAINTS: ORIGINS — Troy Duffy Promises To “Flip the Superhero Paradigm 180 Degrees” With New Series!

Director Troy Duffy, the creator and driving force behind the franchise, has spent recent days providing fans with exciting new details of his highly-anticipated ‘Boondock Saints: Origins’ television series.

The latest update comes via the official ‘Boondock Saints’ Instagram account. Check it out below: 

“BOONDOCK SAINTS: ORIGINS Our series will flip the superhero paradigm 180 degrees. Rather than safeguarding the public from on high like the heroes of comic book lore, the Brothers will be part of the community they protect. And they will do it without the aid of vast wealth or supernatural powers. With an innate sense of right and wrong, the boys take it all on, from the everyday unfairnesses that infuriate us to the most extreme, gut churning injustices that seem to confirm the presence of evil in our world. In terms of the lower offenses that would certainly not require a bullet, think of the last few things you saw just going about your day that pissed you off; an incident of road rage, the loudmouth drunk in a restaurant cursing with children present, parents abusing their kids in public, the macho shithead who can’t take a hint, the unbending meter maid who gives a ticket to someone who was trying to make change, a cop or employer abusing their authority. These situations and hundreds more like them are familiar to all of us. Connor and Murphy will confront and rectify these everyday transgressions in their own unique way and give many of us a satisfying “do-over” each time. The boys’ solutions will run the gamut, from funny to smart, from brutal to touching, from compassionate to zero tolerance. But only in the extreme will it require a bullet to the head. And it is here, on their dark side when the kill switch is thrown, that a deeper seduction begins… more to come. T.duff #boondocksaints #justice#BoondockOrigins #ironsides

More on this as it develops! In the meantime, check out Duffy’s other recent posts on the series and keep your eyes peeled for new info via the Official Boondock Saints pages on Facebook and Instagram.

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Director Troy Duffy Reveals Further Details On ‘Boondock Saints: Origins’ Television Series

Director Troy Duffy Reveals Further Details On ‘Boondock Saints: Origins’ Television Series

It’s a great time to be a Boondock Saints fan! Director Troy Duffy, the creator and driving force behind the franchise, has revealed even more details on the highly-anticipated ‘Boondock Saints: Origins’ television series.

The latest update comes via the official ‘Boondock Saints’ Instagram account. Check it out below: 

“BOONDOCK SAINTS: ORIGINS. The brothers arrive on our shores at this very moment in our history, when our civil liberties are being tread upon and the American Dream itself is crumbling before our eyes. We walk by things everyday that should outrage us, things that we have sadly accepted as our new reality. The series will allow us to look at these issues with fresh perspective, to look at them through the eyes of the Brothers. To them, such things cannot be accepted because this place is supposed to be different, supposed to be better. America is special. More to come… #boondocksaints #prequel#BoondockOrigins”

Earlier this week, Duffy offered fans their first glimpse into the new series, also via an Instagram post:

“BOONDOCK SAINTS: ORIGINS The TV series will be a rebooted origin story starting in present day. Rather than a retelling of the movies in TV form, the show will be a reimagining of the tale that will allow deeper exploration of the characters and elements of Boondock. Our story centers around Connor and Murphy MacManus, two fraternal twin brothers In their mid twenties who are living as illegal immigrants in Boston. Originally from Ireland, their idealized concept of life in America is confronted as they witness injustice and unfairness in the U.S. As the boys deepen their ties to their new community, they begin to protect it and we watch them rise into shadowy vigilantes that the press eventually dubs, “The Saints.” More to come… t.duff #boondocksaints #bdsOrigins

More on this as it develops! In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled on the Official Boondock Saints pages on Facebook and Instagram.

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Troy Duffy Offers New Details On Highly-Anticipated ‘Boondock Saints: Origins’ Series!

Troy Duffy Offers New Details On Highly-Anticipated ‘Boondock Saints: Origins’ Series!

Director Troy Duffy, the writer and driving force behind the 1999 feature film and its 2009 sequel, has offered up new details on a long-awaited new entry to the  ‘Boondocks Saints’ franchise. The update comes via the official ‘Boondock Saints’ Instagram account. His update on the ‘Boondock Saints: Origins’ television series  can be read in full below:

“BOONDOCK SAINTS: ORIGINS The TV series will be a rebooted origin story starting in present day. Rather than a retelling of the movies in TV form, the show will be a reimagining of the tale that will allow deeper exploration of the characters and elements of Boondock. Our story centers around Connor and Murphy MacManus, two fraternal twin brothers In their mid twenties who are living as illegal immigrants in Boston. Originally from Ireland, their idealized concept of life in America is confronted as they witness injustice and unfairness in the U.S. As the boys deepen their ties to their new community, they begin to protect it and we watch them rise into shadowy vigilantes that the press eventually dubs, “The Saints.” More to come… t.duff #boondocksaints #bdsOrigins

More on this as it develops! In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled on the Official Boondock Saints pages on Facebook and Instagram.

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Director Troy Duffy Discusses His Vision of the ‘Boondock Saints’ TV Series

Director Troy Duffy Discusses His Vision of the ‘Boondock Saints’ TV Series

troy-duffy-2016

‘Boondocks Saints’ creator/director Troy Duffy recently updated sat down to answer some fan questions about his beloved franchise. During the session he offered up some information on a potential ‘Boondocks Saints’ prequel, in the form of a television series, might lead. Duffy describes the series as a “rebooted origin story.”

Check out the video to hear more about his vision. You can find all of the fan Q&A session on the official Facebook page for Boondocks Saints, located at www.facebook.com/boondocksaintsfans/.

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The Ballad of Clifton Collins, Jr.: The Man On Life, Philanthropy & ‘Prison Ramen’

The Ballad of Clifton Collins, Jr.: The Man On Life, Philanthropy & ‘Prison Ramen’

clifton-collins-jr-feature-2015

When Clifton Collin Jr. first came onto our radar, about six years ago, he was generating a buzz in Hollywood. With high profile roles opposite some of Tinseltown’s biggest names, he quickly turned the heads of fans and critics alike. His credits are as eclectic as the characters he plays in films such as “Traffic,” “Boondocks Saints 2: All Saints Day,” “Star Trek,” “Transcendence” and Guillermo del Toro’s “Pacific Rim.” With each passing day, his creative fire burns more intensely as he continues to shine in every project he takes on. 2016 will surely go down in the books as Clifton’s breakout year with roles in John Hillcoat’s “Triple 9” and HBO’s highly anticipated new series, “Westworld,” starring Ed Harris, Ben Barnes, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal and Sir Anthony Hopkins.

Clifton’s drive and determination goes further than the silver screen. His latest and most ambitious challenge is as an author. “Prison Ramen: Recipes and Stories from Behind Bars,” hitting stores this November, is a collaboration with his long-time friend, Gustavo “Goose” Alvarez. A unique and edgy cookbook, “Prison Ramen” takes readers behind bars with more than 65 ramen recipes and stories of prison life from the inmate/cooks who devised them, including contributions from celebrities such as legendary guitarist Slash (Guns n’ Roses), Shia LaBeouf, Samuel L. Jackson and many more. Truly a labor of love, a portion of proceeds are donated to Homeboy Industries, a charity for which Clifton has an unending admiration. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Clifton Collins Jr. to discuss his unique career, the genesis of “Prison Ramen: Recipes and Stories from Behind Bars,” the challenges of bringing it to life, his upcoming projects and much more!

It’s been about six years since our last interview. It was right after your role in “Star Trek” and right before “Boondock Saints 2.” How has life changed for you in that period of time?

That is a very big question! How much time do you have? [laughs] It has been huge. I never thought I would see myself as a published book author for starters, so that is pretty exciting. The charity involved with the book is even more exciting.

Let’s touch on that first. I know from following your adventures online you are very involved with Homeboy Industries. How did you get involved?

Goose and Clifton

Goose and Clifton

I was first fascinated with Father Greg [Boyle] when I was in high school. I was 14 years old and some of the mandatory reading was his award winning book, “Tattoos On The Heart.” It is a book that demonstrates so much compassion and empathy, the likes of which I have never understood until recently. We all grow up certain ways and learn certain things that we agree with or don’t agree with. Father Greg reminds me of the Spencer Tracey character in the old classic “Boys Town” with Mickey Rooney. He is really that guy. I went to visit my buddy Gustavo Alvarez, who we call Goose, in Chino Penitentiary after their big riot and he came off of lockdown. I had just finished shooting “The Experiment” with Forest Whitaker and Adrien Brody, which was around five or six years ago. We had our little riot, a fake movie riot that we were shooting in Iowa. After shooting it, I saw that my buddy Goose was in a real riot in Chino. I was petrified and was hoping he was OK. When I got back to LA and they were off lockdown, I saw him. He pitched me this idea of wanting to do a cookbook — a ramen in prison cookbook.

Ramen, in prison, is a staple food. It is also currency where each ramen is worth a dollar. The thing about ramen is that these guys get together and do big spreads. A spread is where you put a few ramens together. Anyone who happens to have any commissary vegetables, extra seasoning or any extra stuff will come by and put it in. You basically get to sit down in what is essentially a family environment and, obviously, in prison you are going to be missing family a lot. Visitation is a very big thing. When the riot was over, they wouldn’t let any of the black guys back into their cells and left them out in the cold to freeze. Even though the riot involved a lot of the Mexicans and the blacks, there was still compassion. Believe it or not, there are a lot of beautiful rules in prison that I wish civilians in the free world exercised because this would be a much prettier place. Goose got all of this extra commissary and made it for the guys out in the cold. He made a bunch and he wanted to feed them all and give them some kind of comfort because the guards weren’t letting them back in. Most of the guards were already gone, they took off. [laughs]

I said, “Damn! This is a great idea! We can make the ramen book but how do we sell the message of compassion? You were just in a giant riot and almost lost your life and now you are cooking a meal for these guys. Everyone is trying to help each other now that it’s over but how do we convey that message?” It led me back to Father Greg and Homeboy Industries. I hadn’t seen him in forever. I went down to Homeboy and I didn’t even know he was there but when he saw me, he got up and gave me a big hug. He said, “Son, what are you doing here? It is so great to see you! What have you been up to?” It was such a profound heavy moment. Mind you, the moment before that was me walking into Homeboy Industries and seeing all these rival gang members interacting. Let me tell you, in my younger days I would have been on one side or the other and certainly not in the middle! To see everybody there, had it been a dream, I would have been waiting for someone to start the rumble. It was anything but a rumble. If it was a rumble, it was a rumble of love and compassion. I saw everyone helping each other and sharing a kinship and a deep, profound desire to become better people and not hate one another. It was so moving to me. Going in there really touches your heartstrings.

Judd Nelson, Father Gregory Boyle and Clifton Collins Jr.

Judd Nelson, Father Gregory Boyle and Clifton Collins Jr.

How did you and your friend/co-writer Gustavo “Goose” Alvarez originally cross paths?

Goose and I have been friends since we were 15 years old. He was gangbanging at a younger age. At the time, I had affiliations with friends from Inglewood, Culver City, Watts and 83rd Street. Some of these people I am still really good friends with today. I grew up in a broken up family. My dad was an alcoholic and my mom wasn’t present. When my stepdad came into my life, my sister and I became the B family. My grandfather, Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez, picked up the slack when he could, which was pretty much any time I needed it! He was always, always there. Not everybody has that. It was comforting to have them as a support group. For me, it was never a neighborhood thing, it was just my group of friends. I knew they would fight for me. When I ran away from home, they gave me food, money and made sure I stayed out of trouble and stayed in school.

Speaking of friends, Goose and yourself have some amazing contributors to “Prison Ramen: Recipes and Stories from Behind Bars.” What can you tell us about those and how it ties into Homeboy Industries?

'Prison Ramen: Recipes and Stories from Behind Bars'

‘Prison Ramen: Recipes and Stories from Behind Bars’

We have been so blessed! We had Mr. Cartoon, who is a famous L.A. tattoo artist. He does so many great things. It started out with him, Danny Trejo and Estevan Oriol. Then I went to one of my number one mentors, Samuel L. Jackson. I got on the phone with him and said, “I could use some help with this.” The book really just started out with Goose’s stories but every ramen recipe, and they are all real ramen recipes, has a story. Each story has a little insight on life. It shows you how to be grateful or thankful for what you have because once you are locked up it’s a little too late. Hopefully, it is a way to deter these young kids from taking the wrong path. In LA County alone, it costs $100,000 to $150,000 a year to incarcerate a juvenile. That isn’t including mental health, educational services or any of these other things. For adults, it is $45,000 to $65,000 a year. With privatized prisons there is no incentive to rehabilitate for the people who own the prison because they don’t want their cash cows leaving the prison and becoming contributing members of society. They would rather keep them down and have them come back and visit. It’s like Motel 6, “We’ll leave the light on for you.” Right? In this case, Homeboy Industries does rehabilitation, education, tattoo removal, anger management and more. It is the most successful rehabilitation and reentry program in America. They are doing what prisons were supposed to be doing in the very beginning. The root word of penitentiary is penance but that is long gone because the corrupt, greedy people want to make money off of the privatized prisons. Father Greg is the exact opposite. he wants these kids to come out and be successful. He will put rival gang members together and it shows that you can overcome your greatest obstacles. If you can love your enemy, who is also your brother, that is a big challenge. I don’t know of many people in my business that hate each other that would overcome those kind of obstacles.

Everyone has really come to bat. Danny Trejo gave me some beautiful stories. I have known him since I was about 15 years old, before I even started acting. It’s funny because he has some very close friends that he has done time with and are family to him and to all of us really. When he is telling me this story, his shorthand is so tight. He will be like, “Hey Manny! Make sure you give him that recipe. You know, the one we used to eat over there in the corner of the other wing.” That was all he had to say. He didn’t have to say the ingredients or anything! Manny was like, “Yeah! I got it homie! Don’t worry!” I literally have the recipe handwritten over here on my board right now! It was the most fascinating thing! Those guys have been out of the penitentiary for a long time now but you touch on one little memory associated with food and they can pull the recipe out of the air just from that memory! It was amazing to me! [laughs]

There were so many great contributions to this book. Taryn Manning stepped up and gave me some stuff. Shia Labeouf gave me a beautiful, heartbreaking story about his craft and how he could have lost it. Clancy Brown has played a juvenile in the pen in “Bad Boys” with Sean Penn to the famous CO in “Shawshank Redemption” so his perspective is as an actor who has been on both sides of the story. That isn’t even taking into account the research he has done on the prisons, which is really insightful. Father Greg also gave me a great spread. We have a story from a correctional officer who ended up serving time because she got into a relationship with somebody. There are a lot of really heartfelt stories. There are also some really funny ones. For example, Jacob Vargas did a spin. Troy Duffy and I did one for Romeo from “Boondock Saints.” Actually, the Romeo story in this cookbook is actually one of the scenes from “Boondock Saints 3.” I think you might be the first to be hearing this! It’s not a secret now that I have said it to you! It is pretty dope! Troy didn’t know about spreads and once he was here and heard about the book Goose and I were writing, he got turned on to it and next thing you know he wanted to incorporate it into the story. Troy is going to be doing a couple interviews with Goose and myself in regards to the book. They will be little three-minute clips that talk about the story.

Clifton Collins as Romeo in 'Boondock Saints 2'

Clifton Collins as Romeo in ‘Boondock Saints 2’

When can we expect the release of the book? I know it is available for pre-order through Amazon, as I pre-ordered it myself recently.

You’re a rockstar, Jason! I love ya! [laughs] Yeah, the release date is November 3, 2015, which also happens to be Goose’s birthday!

Will you be hitting the road for any promotion when it comes to the book? What are you looking at there? I know you have been super busy with your acting work.

Clifton Collins, Jr. is no stranger to the red carpet.

Clifton Collins, Jr. is no stranger to the red carpet.

For sure! I have been very busy. I have “Triple 9” opening in Berlin. “Man Down” with Shia LaBeouf and Gary Oldman in the Toronto Film Festival and it opens in Venice. There is a lot of great stuff going on. I also have the new HBO show, “Westworld,” which I am very excited and proud about. I have to tell you, you will be excited too! With that all said, everyone around me is really supportive of this book and its charity. Homeboy Industries has their 5K run coming up in late October and I am going to be there. I will also be doing the New York Comic Con, which is October 9, 10 and 11. I will be doing a book signing there, so they are letting me out for that. I am a big believer in Homeboy Industries and Father Greg. I have never met a man with so much love in his heart. This whole world could use a lot more love!

Writing a book is an intense process. What is the biggest thing you took away from the process not only as a writer but on a personal level?

Wow, you know, it has been a lot. Goose and I sit back and laugh. When I was first starting the project, Slash gave us a great story and a recipe. He had totally forgotten about it. When I initially told him about it and mentioned ramen, his eyes lit up. There are a lot of fond memories that come with the days of struggling and you find out later, now that they have money, they will still do it. One of the things that Slash told me was, “Clifton, you can’t look at the mountain, bro. You have to take one step at a time.” He started telling me about the “World On Fire” album, which he is on tour with right now with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators. He said, “You think I could have finished this album if I looked at the mountain as a whole? It is so daunting. I couldn’t have. I started with a riff here and a lick there and I build on to it.” I directed the video for it called “Gotten,” which features Adam Levine and Slash. When he first played the song for me, all I heard was the guitar because at that point it was all he had written. That was way before I had any intentions of directing the video and I had no clue I would.

One of the biggest projects you are a part of is HBO’s “Westworld.” I am sure you can’t tell us too much at this point. However, I am curious to hear what you can tell us about what you’ve been putting into the role both physically and mentally?

Oh, man! So much has been going into this project. As you know, my grandfather was a contract player for John Wayne. He did a lot of Western’s like “Rio Bravo,” “Chisum,” “Strange Lady In Town” and all those pictures he did back in the day. This is my first real opportunity to dig into something real for me. It’s a Western! I mean, I am riding a horse with fuckin’ Ed Harris! [laughs] I was telling one of my study partners yesterday, as we were going over a really big scene for a really big episode for my character and Ed’s, that I never stop having those moments where I want to pinch myself. Ya know, Ed will be talking to me and I will have a moment when he is talking to me where I kinda zone out and look at him. I kind of shake my head and think, “Oh, my god. Is that Ed Harris as a cowboy?!” [laughs] He is such a badass! To be able to do this is a really magnificent experience.

Clifton's saddle holds a special tribute.

Clifton’s saddle holds a special tribute.

There is a lot of love and awareness for my legacy, specifically my grandfather and his connection to the Westerns. There are a lot of things coming in from that and it is fascinating to get lost in these western towns and be on horseback. With the type of acting I like to do, I really like to be seduced by the world and be taken into it, so much so that it is easy to forget there are crew people standing around. I love my crew to death and they are my family and I would do anything for them. They would do the same for me but, in those moments when I am actually doing it, I like to pretend they are figments of my imagination. To be sitting there and doing all of these things, I have to tell you, makes it a true dream gig. It puts me back into bed with JJ Abrams and that family, which I absolutely adore, along with people like Chris Nolan and Jonah Nolan. There is so much passion for this project, I think everyone is seduced by it, truth be told! It doesn’t matter if you are on camera or not! Both JJ’s crews and Nolan’s crews, a lot of these guys I have worked with before on many projects, so it is always great to work with so many talented people. It is also a challenge because it is a very ambitious project. I think it is HBO’s most ambitious project. That said, I have never been a part of a project that was this ambitious with this many hard workers. There isn’t a single person on set I can’t count on. They are all A+, top of the chain and working overtime even when they aren’t on the clock. That is a special thing!

Clifton Collins, Jr. in the drive's seat.

Clifton Collins, Jr. in the drive’s seat.

Let’s take a second to focus on your grandfather. Was he one of the catalysts who made you explore the craft of acting? Was there a specific moment that lit the fire in you?

Yeah, there was actually. Sometimes, you are so deep in the forest you can’t look at the trees, smell them or know they are there. I have always been a natural class clown, which I think makes me a good candidate for the business I chose to go into! [laughs] They tried to get me in when I was a kid but I just wasn’t having it. There was a moment when I was teaching martial arts with my cousin as a teenager. I had all of these kids coming up to me asking me if I was an actor. I had such low self-esteem because of my immediate family, my mom, my father who was no long present and my stepdad who was a complete asshole. There are always doubters and naysayers and we have to all go through that as human beings. My mom told me I would never make it and I would starve to death. She said, “Don’t call me when you need money.” My aunt and uncle laughed in my face. Not the uncle who is my grandfather’s son, as he has always been there for me come hell or high water. My grandfather was the one voice that was constant. Truth be told, I was a little embarrassed to even ask him. I was 17 years old, hungry and needed some kind of mentorship. My grandpa was complaining how nobody followed in his footsteps. I just thought my cousin or sister could do it. He said to me, “Son, you can do it.” I was taken aback and I said, “You think I can do it?” He said. “Yes.” That was all I needed to hear!

That is amazing! Look how far you have come, Clifton!

There have been some struggles, Jason! Don’t get me wrong! There have been plenty of moments! [laughs] I was talking to Goose just yesterday. I was telling him about when I was doing “Capote,” I was sitting in that jail cell thinking, “Damn. What else can I do if this whole acting thing doesn’t pan out? I can run cable. I can carry flags. I can set up those lights! Maybe I can get out of this cell and shadow one of these crew guys because I do like being on set!” [laughs] That is when I got into directing with the music videos and stuff.

Clifton Collins, Jr.

Clifton Collins, Jr.

What is next for you behind the camera? Do you have your eye on anything specific?

Yeah, feature work. Goose and I actually just turned in our first real novel that is not a cookbook! It is loosely based on some of his experiences in prison. Obviously, you have to bend some of the truths and combine characters together. This is something I gave to Samuel L. Jackson years ago, before the last two times Goose got locked up! [laughs] It’s great now because he is two years clear, is completely legit and has book money and stuff like that. Samuel read this and it is something he wanted to produce and it is something I want to direct. It is something I am very, very passionate about. We just turned the actual book in two weeks ago to the agency, so now we are going to start the screenplay. I hope to be done with it in a few weeks. We turned that book over in about two weeks and it was a 500-page book! I was hustling! [laughs] The guys on set asked me what I was doing over Labor Day weekend and if I was going out. I was like, “No. I am going to stay at home and finish writing this book.” They were like, “You are writing a book? The cookbook, right?” I said, “No! We are done with that! This is an actual prison novel!” They were a little surprised when I had plans to finish it over a weekend! [laughs] And I sure did! You hump it! You get up at 5 a.m. and start writing and write all day. You shut off the phone, get in the zone and hunker down. I just keep writing and didn’t let any distractions get in the way. It’s a beautiful thing when you are passionate about something and you get to make your living on it. It may be a struggle but you are still having fun. Even when you are a kid having hard times, it’s not going to stop you from playing. If you are passionate about it, it is kind of like playing.

As you mentioned, you and Slash are friends. You recently did a series of interviews with him for his upcoming horror flick, “The Hell Within.” What can you tell us about the project?

Slash and I are dying to get into something. He sent me a script recently. However, “The Hell Within” is something he is very passionate about. His director, Dennison Ramalho, is an amazing talent. I have seen some of his work and clips from his reel. Slash, obviously, is Guitar God. He is the Ghandi of Guitar Gods. He is so zen. [laughs] He is masterful in so many other things as well. Film is certainly one of them. He is such a student of the horror genre. He blows my knowledge out of the water! This guy knows the music, the score, the directors, how they did it, the black and whites, the colors, the new ones and the old ones. He found this badass and when he was telling me the story, I knew it was going to be really good. They are doing a little fundraising project for it and the fans are going to be involved. It is really dope. Slash is one of those people who is so good to his fans. It is something that my grandpa did and Danny Trejo does but it is so great to see someone like Slash have the kind of love and interaction he does with his fans. I am constantly learning from him because I can be so much better and I am longing to be. I am so grateful to have these great examples around me to help me out! I can definitely tell you Slash is very passionate about this project and it is going to be badass. I can’t wait to have another conversation with you about the actual film when it is done!

Clifton Collins, Jr. and the amazing cast of 'Stung'

Clifton Collins, Jr. and the amazing cast of ‘Stung’

I am looking forward to it! Speaking of horror, I have to tell you, I loved your work in “Stung” a few months back!

That was great! That was like my version of “Them.” That was a classic, practical effects, very little CG flick. Obviously, the little things flying around were CG and that was a funny thing to shoot and watch as all these German extras are running around like things were chasing them! It was hilarious! [laughs] The practical effects and puppeteering were amazing. Talk about a mind-fuck when you are shooting! To make that crew disappear and sit there and pretend there is a giant wasp in there as I am feeding a larvae to Matt O’Leary with Lance Henriksen was crazy! I was like, “Did I really steal that transporter from Star Trek and end up somewhere in Berlin with this house with wasps? What the hell is going on here?” [laughs] I had quite a few of those where am I moments on that project.

I had the chance to talk with director and Lance Henriksen, who both had a blast as well.

Yeah! Lance is a legend! Lance was so much fun to hang out with. He dragged me to a place in Berlin to do an autograph signing. I was going to go into Berlin and explore. He said, “Yo, kid. Why don’t you come with me. They would love to have you and you are going to make some cheddar. Come with me!” [laughs] I was like, “How am I gonna say no to you, fucker! Let’s go!” [laughs] I took off with him on a train and we went to a signing. I hung out with him that weekend and it was just awesome!

Clifton Collins, Jr. lights up any screen he is on.

Clifton Collins, Jr.: A man capable of lighting up any screen he is on.

Looking back on your career and evolution as an artist, what is the best lesson to be learned from your story and experiences?

I would say to focus on your passions. Focus on you and just go for it. Never underestimate yourself. My grandfather said, “Clifton, always have confidence in yourself.” I have been blessed to have the mentors that I have along the way reiterate those things, be it Samuel L. Jackson, Slash or Joe Mantegna. I have been so blessed to have so many wonderful people around me who support me in different ways. It is so easy to start doubting and think we can’t do it. That brings me back to Homeboy Industries. When I walked in there, any problems I had were out the window. When you get the perspective of kids who have way less than you and have been left on Skid Row at 7 years old, to see these kids come out of that is amazing. Some of these kids are coming into Homeboy at rock bottom. Maybe they are in a wheelchair or have tattoos all over their face. You think, “Wow. This is the moment where you decided you can actually do something with your life? Not when you were walking around, ditching school, gangbanging or whatever other trouble you were getting into?” The triumphs of the human spirit, it’s determination and resilience, is a beautiful thing. There are people who are willing to let all their past conditioning and negativity go to become productive members of society. It is really a testament to who these kids are and I admire them in so many different ways.

Clifton Collins, Jr. exploring the world.

Clifton Collins, Jr. exploring the world.

As we wind down here, what should we be on the look out for over the next few months?

I have to be honest, this is the first year where I haven’t had 12 films on deck to come out. However, this is the first year where I have had something like “Man Down,” which reunites me with Steve McAvey, who produced “187” with myself and Samuel L. Jackson. Then I have “Triple 9.” Are you aware of the cast in this movie?

Absolutely. Kate Winslet, Norman Reedus, Aaron Paul, Gal Gadot, Woody Harrelson and yourself. It goes on and on! Not too shabby in my opinion.

Yeah! It’s gangbusters! I have already seen the film! Working with John Hillcoat was a true joy. To be working with Nolan and Abrams again, along with the entire cast and crew on HBO’s “Westworld,” truly is amazing. With these projects, the cookbook and giving back to a charity in a way I have never been able to do before, I have a full plate! I couldn’t be happier about it! I have some hard work that is fueling my heart and it had brought me to a whole new level. I am truly blessed!

It is awesome to hear that! You know it is funny. When we spoke six years ago, I believe the title of the piece was “The Hardest Working Man In Show Biz.” It looks like I am going to have to duplicate that title!

Yeah! I absolutely remember that now! I love it! Thanks for your time, Jason I really appreciate you!

The pleasure was all mine and we will keep spreading the word! I am sure we will be talking again sooner than six years!

We absolutely will! Talk to you soon, brother!

For all the latest developments from Clifton Collins, Jr., visit his official website at www.cliftoncollinsjr.com. Connect with him on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Pre-Order “Prison Ramen: Recipes and Stories from Behind Bars” on Amazon. The book hits stores on November 3rd, 2015.

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The Boondock Saints: Cult Classic Launches Digital Comic Series On ComiXology

The Boondock Saints: Cult Classic Launches Digital Comic Series On ComiXology

Troy Duffy

Troy Duffy

ComiXology – the revolutionary cloud-based digital comics platform – announced today that the comic book series based on Troy Duffy’s cult-hit The Boondock Saints and published by 12-Gauge Comics is now available across comiXology’s entire platform via iPhoneiPadAndroidKindle FireWindows 8 and the Web. The digital comic debut coincides with the nationwide Blu-Ray release of The Boondock Saints II: Director’s Cut on October 1st.

The franchise continues to thrive worldwide in popularity each year with an ever-growing fan base, so extending the brand into the world of graphic novels was the next logical step.  Fully intertwined with the film series and written by The Boondock Saints creator/writer/director Troy Duffy and comic scribe J.B. Love, the comics follow the further adventures of the MacManus Brothers and their mysterious father and “Original Saint,” Il Duce.

“I’m thrilled to have The Boondock Saints comics come to comiXology because they capture all of the exciting, intense, and poignant moments of The Boondock Saints with their cool Guided View reading experience,” said Saints creator, Troy Duffy.  “ComiXology really has a cinematic way of presenting comics.”

With stunning art by Toby Cypress (Batman: Bloodborne, Rodd Racer), Guus Floor, and Chris Brunner (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, Loose Ends), the comics have been met with universal praise by the fans, and 12-Gauge publisher Keven Gardner is ready to take the series to a wider audience than ever before.

“Working with Troy Duffy and this great group of creators has been an amazing experience,” said 12-Gauge publisher Keven Gardner, “and by partnering with comiXology we’ll be able to get these new stories in front of Boondock fans all over the world.”

“We’re really excited to have comics from the original creator of the cult-classic movie The Boondock Saints on comiXology and this speaks volumes about the eclectic and ever-growing library of comics available all-day everyday on our platform,” said Chip Mosher comiXology’s VP of Communication & Marketing. “Now The Boondock Saints fans worldwide will be able read these new adventures on comiXology’s platform.”

Comics already available include “The Lost Gig,” starring the beloved character Rocco and the MacManus brothers in a lost scene from the original The Boondock Saints film, as well as the 6-issue “In Nomine Patris” saga, which is the perfect companion to The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day film. Conceived as a “deleted and extended sequence,” the comic series expands on the story and characters from the sequel and delves deeper into the secret origin of Il Duce.

With over 40,000 comics and graphic novels from more than 75 publishers, comiXology offers the widest selection of English language digital comics in the world. ComiXology’s availability across the iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows 8 and the Web makes it the best digital platform for newly interested, current and lapsed comic and graphic novel fans worldwide.*

 

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Director Troy Duffy Discusses The Past, Present & Future Of ‘The Boondock Saints’

Director Troy Duffy Discusses The Past, Present & Future Of ‘The Boondock Saints’

Troy Duffy

Director Troy Duffy is a Hollywood success story, albeit not your typical one. When he shot his independent film on a shoe string budget over a decade ago, he had little idea of the impact that it would have moviegoers. The “Boondock Saints” phenomena started as it exploded into a limited number of theaters in 1999. Boasting an amazing story, brilliant touches of humor and more action than you could shake a stick at, it didn’t take long before word of this unique film to spread like wildfire. Before he know it, Troy Duffy found himself being heralded as an overnight sensation. They say that the spotlight burns hot and as we have all seen too many times in the past, it doesn’t take long for Hollywood to turn on you. After a few scrapes with industry insiders, negative press and an unflattering documentary was released, it seemed that the odds couldn’t have been more stacked against him. What Hollywood didn’t count on was the fact that Troy Duffy is a fighter at heart. The “Boondock Saints” franchise continued to grow at an astounding pace and spawned one of the most rabid fanbases of all time. It is the fan dedication that has continued to fuel Duffy’s creative fire through the years. Everything that the fans have given to him throughout his career is starting to pay off in spades as there is a plethora of irons in the fire for this beloved franchise! Icon Vs. Icon’s Jason Price recently caught up with Troy Duffy to discuss the origin of the “Boondocks Saints” franchise, it’s expansion in to new mediums and the other projects he has in store for devoted fans in the months and years to come!

A lot of people know you as the director of “The Boondock Saints,” one of the biggest cult sensations of our time. What initially attracted you to filmmaking?

Ya know, it has always been a part of who we are growing up. We all have those movies that we love. I came out to Los Angeles to be a musician, while I was doing that I simply wrote a script one day. I had a friend give me a script, so that I could copy the format and write down this story I had bouncing around in my head. That was “Boondock.” Through the deal-making process, I got the opportunity to direct it as well. I guess I sorta fell into it. I am not one of those guys who went to film school and all of that stuff. It was a creative pursuit. I may not have written a script or directed before but I knew, creatively, what to do. It was a fly by the seat of your pants sort of thing! That was backed up by, in my head, “Oh, I’ve done this before. I have watched a million movies and I love all of these things!” That is how it happened.

Troy Duffy

Who were some of the biggest influences on you as a director? Any specific directors?

I don’t know if it was directors, so much as the movies themselves. When we are shooting, any shot we do from behind, we call the “Goodfellas” shot. That would mimic that iconic shot when you are following the guy into the joint, they walk from the back, into the kitchen, through the restaurant and to the table. It is more about the movies for me. When I started out, I probably couldn’t have named more than five to seven directors, ya know? Since then, I have gotten my favorites but, in terms of influences, it was more of the movies themselves that influenced me. I loved the crime genres, “The Godfather” and “Goodfellas.” I LOVE “Apocalypse Now.” I was also influenced by a bunch of movies that you wouldn’t necessarily associate me with, like “The Fisher King” and “The Outsiders.” In terms of a romantic comedy, I liked “When Harry Met Sally,” and as a dude, that is the type of romantic comedy I want to see.

“The Boondock Saints” is definitely a film which has inspired many up-and-coming filmmakers. What can you tell us about how the idea came to you? Was there suddenly a light bulb that turned on?

Yeah, my brother and I were in this band together in Los Angeles. We were living in a pretty seedy neighborhood at the time, like most artists do. We were working at the bar to pay the bills, trying to get by and writing music when we could. There was crime everywhere, man. I came home one time to a guy robbing my place. All of that stuff compiled to the point where I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. The police couldn’t do anything, so I just took out my frustrations on paper. The rest is history.

Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flanery have both done some amazing work in their careers, both before and after “The Boondock Saints.” What intrigued you about them and led to their casting?

The film that started it all...

I really liked them both and when we got them together it was weird — they finished each others sentences! My brother happened to be at the bar when I got them together. He took me outside and said, “Troy, those are the guys!” Everybody was kinda feeling that way. It was very a natural thing. The other thing that I kinda had worked out in my head at the time was that I had written a movie that I wanted to see as a movie fan. I wrote it and thought, “Wow! Cool story! I would like to see this. I would definitely go see this movie.” Even if I hadn’t written it and it was a story from someone else, I would have gone to see this movie. We really didn’t want to cast movie stars in the film. Every time that it had happened up until that point, it was like some big movie stepping down to do independent film to reclaim some kind of street cred. When people go into the movie theater with the baggage of seeing some huge movie star, no matter how good the story or the performance is, it still takes five or ten minutes to forget that it is some movie star and get on with the story. I was dead-set against going too famous with those roles. We wanted the feeling that Norman and Sean had — up-and-coming talent that you may not have heard of before.

Looking back on those two films, what do you consider the biggest obstacle that presented itself along the way?

The biggest obstacles when you are making a film are always time and money. Your money dictates how much time you have and what you can and cannot do. There are a lot of times that you get as prepared as you can and you get out there and shoot your ass off with great actors. There are a lot of solutions to the money and time problems that you have to be able to roll with along the way. There were entire scenes in “Boondock” that were cut out or written differently. For example, there were some dream sequences which we had to lose. That is always the biggest obstacle, for any filmmaker, time and money.

Since the original film, you created an amazing sequel and some great comic book tie-ins for the franchise that weave the story together so well. As a fan, I am curious to know how far you have things mapped out in your head, in terms of the whole story of “The Boondocks Saints.”

Troy Duffy doesn't pull any punches...

It is something that I am always thinking about. There are a million things you can do when you set pen to paper. It is really an open range right there! I am always thinking of little things. I like to wait until things hit me. I will be walking down the street and BOOM! Out of nowhere, I think, “Wow! That would be a great idea!” It is one of those things where, along with writing other scripts and exploring other stories, it is something I am always thinking about. In terms of step-by-step, dot-by-dot — What have I planned for the future of “Boondock,” like a part three or something like that? Those ideas are still coming in, though I can say, “Yeah, some of it I have thought about and I have a good map to go by but it is not all there yet.” It is something that I don’t want to rush.

I know there have been some rumblings of bringing “Boondock” into the realm of television. What can you tell us about the potential of that medium?

It is a cool idea and we are exploring that option right now. To me, television is at the point where it has probably eclipsed film. We are seeing so much quality in cable network shows right now. It is really blowing everyone out of the water. Because they are cable network shows, depicting violence isn’t as big of a deal as it is on network television. I love shows like Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Deadwood, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones and The Sopranos, obviously. In that format, you can use curse words, which in this particular story is a hallmark of ours! Not having the restrictions of network television placed on you, it frees up an artist to explore a lot of options. I am pretty excited about that prospect. I am also intrigued by the time frame. In a film, you have two hours to tell a story. In a season of television, you have 13 or 14 hours! You can really get deep down into these characters. That is why I am really excited about a television prospect for “Boondock,” because we could really see where Connor and Murphy came from and expose all of the Saints lore. We could explore where they got their rosaries or how the prayer came about — all of these things that fans have questions on. We could go into those areas and see how these things were brought to them. That is what I like about the whole TV thing and why it is something I am really into — there is a lot of freedom, a lot more possibilities to explore the story and a lot more “Boondock” for the buck! That being said, it doesn’t expunge the possibility of a “Boondock 3” movie either! You can do both if you are really killing it!

The world and the Internet changed immensely since you released the original film. As a fan, I see how hard your team works to spread the word on all things “Boondock.” How do you feel social media impacted you as a businessman and a director through the years?

The change has been exponential, man! It’s exponential! The idea that you can communicate directly with the fanbase and tell them about events you are having and they will show up in force, has made the world a lot smaller. It has allowed us to consolidate our fanbase, tap into it and keep them informed of anything we wish. If we do announce a television show, a video game or “Boondock 3,” they are instantly aware of it. That didn’t exist back when we did the first movie and it has helped in every way. It keeps you connected to your audience and it keeps them informed. It has been crucial in growing the franchise.

'Boondock Saints: The Video Game'

Speaking of “The Boondock Saints” video game, it is creating quite a buzz. What can you tell us about putting that project together?

Last year at SXSW, I hooked up with a company called Critical Mass. They were fans of “Boondock,” first and foremost, and that is what I was looking for in a gaming company. They really understood the characters and the story. There is always that sense when you go video game that these gamers might not have the sense of everything that is going on and somehow it will all get lost in translation. With Critical Mass, I didn’t feel that. They knew EVERYTHING about the story and they had a great pitch, so we started working with them. I am really excited about it!

There is so much involved with creating a video game and doing it right, like you said. Do you have a timeframe on when we might expect it?

I can’t put a time limit on it. Right now, it all depends on a few things falling into place. That being said, it could be a couple of years or much sooner than that.

Have there been any unique challenges in bringing “Boondock” to the realm of gaming with Critical Mass?

Yeah, just in the expansiveness of video games themselves, ya know? I am not into gaming, so I had my friends show me all of the games that they love, so that I could start figuring out in my head the type of game that we wanted to go with. The worlds and universes they can create in video games are fuckin’ unbelievable! They are exponential, expansive and huge! To me, the biggest surprise was, “Oh, this isn’t like fuckin’ Pac-Man!” [laughs] There are stories behind everything, entire new venues you can go to, characters that you can be, interact with and play. In terms of surprises in the video game world, my biggest one was the endlessness of what you can do in the world of gaming and the coolness of that. You think of “Boondock,” you think, “A bunch of guys go into a Mafia stronghold and start taking out the bad guys.” In a game, you can do anything — cruise ships, bank jobs, interrupting criminals during their committing of crimes, anything! That is what has been the coolest thing for me and the biggest eye opener!

Let’s touch on potential film projects. Last time we spoke, I know you were leaning toward “The Good King.” What’s happening on that front?

Troy Duffy

Troy Duffy: Plotting More "Boondock" Adventures

“The Good King” and I have another script called “The Blood Spoon Council,” which is a serial killer thriller. “The Good King” is a black comedy. The basic story is that a ne’er-do-well Prince’s father dies, he becomes king. Then he and his debaucherous best friend, the Duke, completely ruin the empire through their philandering and drinking. “The Blood Spoon Council” is about a vigilante group that hunts down, captures and executes serial killers. Then they deliver them to the doorstep of the FBI. Those are both being spit-shined by me every fucking other day. I am spit shining those and figuring where we have to go but right now we have a couple of “Boondock” irons in the fire. I am moving forward on “Blood Spoon Council” with this one company that I can’t name right now. It is all going terrifically, it is just a matter of which ball drops in first, ya know what I mean?

Absolutely. It’s a great place to be!

Yeah, it’s not too shabby! [laughs]

Something else that changed greatly in the years since you first came on the scene is the movie industry itself. What are your thoughts on its current state?

Well, there are things that depress me and there are things that excite me. Like anything else in life, there is a flip-side to every coin. For me, the movies based on comic books are being overdone. I mean, it seems that any comic book from a while back is being done now, just for the sake of it. The have a brand and they go for it. I understand the business behind it but a lot of these movies are getting pretty formulaic but the flip-side is that some of it will kill it! I mean, “Iron Man,” I fuckin’ love “Iron Man!” “Transformers” is pretty damn cool and the “Batman Begins” stuff, I loved it. But that is a trend that I would like to see slow down. Another thing that kinda gets me is, what you hear today in Hollywood in these meetings is about the family dollar. They want the whole family to go see a movie and again, I understand the business behind that, but the movies that I grew up with and the movies that I love ain’t family movies, ya know? I didn’t go see “Deliverance” with my mom. [laughs] That grittiness that we used to have in film, I would love to see comeback and you can see it here and there. It’s slowly coming back. I would like to see movies being made for the sake of telling great stories and yes, there is a business to it for sure but I would like that to sometimes be ignored, a little bit more than it is.

'The Boondock Saints'

As I said earlier, I know you guys have really taken a lot of time to carefully grow your brand. With so many irons in the fire, I was curious what a typical day consists of in the “Boondock” world?

Well, I have got a great team of people running things on my end. In terms of my day, I have a lot of creative work to do, so on the business side of things, I am really grateful to have the right people around to handle that. I spend my day, either writing scripts, tuning up old scripts that I am going to go out with at some point or I am into carpentry. As a matter of fact, as you called me here, I am hanging a door that I made. It’s a big barn door that I made for the side entry of my house. I’ve got saw dust all over me, buddy!

As a fan, I think I speak for all of us when I tell you we appreciate all of your hard work as well as your team. What can we as fans do to help support and grow the franchise?

“Boondock” fans don’t generally need to be prompted to do anything, man! [laughs] They are always there for you, like as soon as we announce an event or a party, they show up in force. I don’t know if you know this but Rocco [David Della Rocco] and the guys [Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus] are out here at SXSW and have been doing conventions, like Comic Con, all across the country. They show up at these things and the “Boondock” fans are showing up in force and they are having the time of their lives! I would just say, keep rollin’ how you’re rollin’ everybody and we might have some good surprises coming up here for you! Keep your eyes and ears open because we are on it!

We discussed misconceptions about you in the past and I think you really put those to bed in recent years. What is the best part about being Troy Duffy these days?

Available Now!

I guess it is having a little more freedom. I remember “Boondock I” and even Boondock II,” we had to work very hard just to work hard. By that I mean, we had to get the movie to a point were we could actually go out physically to do it, shoot it and do our thing! It is getting a little easier. Now, people are coming to us sometimes and I don’t have to beg and plead for every last dollar to make a film. To me, the best part is that we have some freedom now because we have proven our point twice now by doing two very small independent films that had an effect on the audience and did some very big numbers. We no longer have to convince anyone. I love it because now we don’t have to sell people, ya know?

Absolutely! It is an exciting time to be a fan.

Yeah!

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up this weekend. What are you doing to celebrate the big event?

In keeping with my carpentry thing, I have built a bar in back of my house. I will be having some friends over here and drinking some green beer!

Not a bad way to spend the day! Thanks for your time, Troy! We look forward to all you have in store for us. Thanks for your time!

Thank you! Take it easy, Jason!

For all of the latest news and developments from Troy Duffy and everything Boondock Saints, visit the official website at www.boondocksaints.com! You can check out Icon Vs. Icon’s original interview with Troy Duffy at this location – Click Here!

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Kevin Chapman Talks ‘Person Of Interest,’ Upcoming Projects And More!

Kevin Chapman Talks ‘Person Of Interest,’ Upcoming Projects And More!

Kevin Chapman is certainly becoming a familiar face in Hollywood these days. He has spent the past decade developing an incredible body of work which runs the gambit work from critically acclaimed, big budget films such as “Ladder 49” and “Mystic River,” to cult film favorites like “The Boondocks Saints” and “Black Dynamite” to a host of well received television series, such as “Cold Case,” “Brotherhood” and “Rescue Me.” It is his dedication to his craft and incomparable work ethic that has continued to garner the attention of the powers that be in the entertainment industry. He is living proof that hard work and persistence pay off as his journey has taken him from an ordinary guy working for The City of Boston to locations around the globe where he has starred alongside legends of the silver screen. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Kevin Chapman to discuss how he got his start in the entertainment industry, the amazing projects that he has been a part of and his latest role as part of an ensemble cast for CBS’ ‘Person of Interest’.

A career onscreen is not what you originally sought out. What can you tell us about how you got started on your journey in the entertainment industry?

Kevin Chapman

I had been working in a different capacity for a director by the name of Ted Demme (“Who’s The Man,” “Beautiful Girls,” “The Ref,” “Blow”), who has since passed away. I was working with him and Denis Leary on a movie called “Monument Ave.” Teddy kept looking at me, kinda wild eyed, and one day he said, “Can you act?” I said, “I think I am intelligent enough to.” So, he gave me a script and I went right home and read it. I had lunch with him and Denis the next day and told them my interpretation of the character that they were interested in having me play. Ted said, “Can you get three weeks off from work? I’d like for you to play this guy.” I was petrified! I didn’t really have any idea of the process of filmmaking. I got through that and it was such a pleasant experience that, when another film came to town, I auditioned and got a small part in “The Cider House Rules” and then “In The Bedroom.” One day I said to myself, “I can do this!” and I quit my job at The City of Boston on a Tuesday and moved to Los Angeles on a Saturday! I studied with a lot of acting coaches and once I got the part in “Mystic River,” that was the thing that kinda kicked the door open for me!

That’s great. It definitely seems to be panning out for you!

It is one of those things that, when I have it all figured out, maybe I will do something else! The process of bringing someones words off of a page and bringing them to life is something that I find extremely fascinating. Placing some level of emotion behind the words that are on a page, you can really give different interpretations or different meanings to what is written. I have worked with some amazing filmmakers and amazingly talented people on television. It has truly been a great experience.

I am curious to know some of the influences who helped shape the actor we see today both on-screen and off?

I have learned a lot from many different actors. I mean, obviously, when I got into this business, I just wanted to meet a guy like Sean Penn. I never thought I would appear in movies with him, ya know?! It is really hard to single out any one individual, just because I have learned so much along the way. I remember when I was on the set of “Mystic River,” I was so excited to meet Clint Eastwood. It wasn’t so much that I wanted to tell him how great he was, I wanted to get some advice from him on acting. I remember I walked up to him one day on set and he said [in Clint Eastwood voice] “Welcome aboard, kid!” After I was a little more comfortable with him, I said, “Could you give me some advice?” and he said, “Listen” and just walked away. It was the most simple advice that I had ever received in my life but that is what acting is — responding to something that is said to you. It so simple! [laughs] But when he said it, it hit me like a ton of bricks! Like I said, it has been great. I have worked with some of the greats! I worked with Al Pacino, John Travolta, Joaquin Phoenix, Dennis Quaid, Kevin Bacon — guys with huge, huge careers and I have learned a little something from each one of them along the way.

Your latest project is CBS’s “Person of Interest.” What can you tell us about your character, for those unfamiliar?

On “Person of Interest,” I play Detective Lionel Fusco, who is a detective in the NYPD. In the pilot episode, you will see that Lionel isn’t a very nice man! [laughs] Lionel is, how can we put it, on the dark side of things! He is a corrupt cop involved with a whole group of corrupt cops who are taking down drug dealers and stealing their money, along with many other things that are unethical and on the wrong side of the law. What happens is that he discovers that Reese, played by Jim Caviezel, had received some information on a meeting and was spying on a meeting that he shouldn’t have been spying on. Lionel was instructed to take Reese out to Oyster Bay and dispose of him. On that journey, Reese is able to turn the tables on Lionel. Before Reese decides to kill Lionel, he looks at him and says, “I see the good in you. If you ever hurt anybody again, I will be the first one to kill you. I am going to allow you to live. In return, you have to give me the information from inside the police department that will help me on my journey that will help me apprehend those involved and prevent crimes from happening.” That is pretty much how Lionel gets hooked in. In the first couple of episodes he is kinda trying to figure out how to shake Reese but as the storyline progresses, Lionel realizes that the work that Reese, and later on when he meets Finch, is something that is good. As the storyline progresses, you can see Lionel turn more to the light side of things. There is one particular episode where there is a small child missing and Reese is explaining this to Lionel and he says, “What happened?” Reese responds with, “What do you care? You’re corrupt.” Lionel says, “I am still a cop and it’s a kid.” I think that is a big turning moment for Lionel Fusco. From that moment on, you can see that he is no longer doing this work for Reese because he is forced to but he is doing it because it is the right thing.

There are a lot of interesting aspects to this project from the cast, to the writers, to the characters themselves. What attracted you to this role?

Kevin Chapman

It is a redeemable character and also when I look at characters, I look for truth. If you notice my body of work, I never play something so far off the trail that a viewer would be sitting at home and say, “Oh, come on!” Whenever I pursue a job, I try to pursue something that rings true, ya know? For me, Lionel rings true. I could see the truth in this guy. I think the best characters to play are the ones with this sense of duality, the type where you don’t know whether they are right or wrong, and it is left up to the viewer to decide whether he is a good guy or a bad guy. And of course the redemption side of the character is appealing to me as an artist.

I am really excited about the response that we have received for “Person of Interest.” It is fantastic, we have a great team in front of and behind the camera! What excites me so much about the show is that if you take Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson, Taraji P. Henson and myself and line us up shoulder to shoulder and look at us — talk about four very different people! When I saw the cast, I was like, “Wow! This is just great!” because a lot of the television that you see now is very plain, the people all look the same, ya know? Everyone has hair gel, six-pack abs and is incredibly sexy. For me, it just doesn’t ring true. The cast that we have for “Person of Interest,” you look at and think, “Yeah, I can see that.” Having Jonathan Nolan, basically running the show, is truly amazing. He wrote the last two “Batman” movies, “Momento,” which was a phenomenal film, and “The Prestige.” He is a incredibly, incredibly talented individual. You also have JJ Abrams godfathering everything and making sure it all goes the way that it is supposed to and Greg Plageman is the show runner with an incredibly talented writing staff. In my opinion, this show, “Person Of Interest,” is really something special.

You guys have been shooting in New York. What has that experience been like for you?

Oh, New York is unbelievable! I shot a seven episode arc for “Rescue Me” but all of that stuff was kinda controlled in a contained environment. We weren’t out on the streets, we were always in an apartment or the hospital, always a controlled environment. Jim Caviezel and I were shooting on Lexington Avenue one day. We were literally nose to nose having a conversation but the camera was across the street, so people couldn’t see it. As we are doing our lines, a little old lady came down the street and literally walked right inbetween us! [laughs] And just kept right on going! I mean, there was maybe 12 inches of space between Jim and I! [laughs] That is how close we were standing! It was unbelievable! [laughs] There was another one where Michael Emerson and I were out in Brighton Beach. There is a scene where my character is getting a hot dog and he approaches me and we continue to have a conversation as we move down the street. The train was running overhead and we do the scene. I get the hot dog, he comes up behind me and we stroll down the street. In a couple takes, the train would pull up and people would come pouring out into the station. A couple of times, I literally had to elbow people to get out of my way so that I could stay next to him and the camera could catch us coming down the street. It was pretty funny!

What has been the biggest challenge for you on this project as an actor?

I don’t know if it is a challenge per se, but what I like to do, the more I play characters, is to take the journey with them. That is the biggest thing. I can only speak for myself, but when you play a character that you have all figured out, I find that to be boring. What is great about Lionel and what I think is one of the most challenging things, is that we have a great writing staff and when they send out the script, you are never really sure where your character is going to go in the next episode. You haven’t seen the script for the following episode. You try to bring truth to what they are sending you and I think the challenge in that is not knowing where the journey goes from there after that last page in the episode that you are currently shooting. That is pretty much how I view things.

You have played a diverse range of characters in your career. Do you have a role you consider your personal favorite?

Sean Penn and Kevin Chapman

I can’t really say that I have a favorite role but my favorite experiences were probably “Mystic River” and “Ladder 49.” “Mystic River” was a remarkably successful film with an iconic director and an iconic cast, two of my co-stars in the film won Academy Awards that year. Sean [Penn] won for Best Actor and Tim Robbins won for Best Supporting Actor. That film was one of my favorite experiences just because we all spent so much time together. We shot all day and we hung out all night. We did table reads on our own and it was a remarkable learning experience for me to be around more than 200 years of filmmaking in a social setting. I mean, I was hanging around with Tim Robbins, Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, Marcia Gay Harden, Laura Linney and sometimes Clint [Eastwood] would come out with us as well. Look at that group of people and imagine sitting down with them for dinners and hearing them talk about when they did this film or that film or hear Tim talk about when he directed this movie or Sean discussing his films, it was unbelievable, an amazing experience. “Ladder 49” was great as well. We actually went through the entire Baltimore Fire Academy during the day and rode with different engines to experience it first hand. I rode with Engine 33 at night. So, I would go to the Academy all day and then go to the firehouse at night and stay there. We would have dinner and talk to the guys and really were able to experience the world of firefighting first hand.

Is there a role or genre you haven’t tackled yet you would like to take a stab at in the future?

I have done some comedy in the past and I did some episodes of “Rescue Me” and a film called “Black Dynamite.” I guess I would kinda like to lighten things up a little bit and maybe take on some more comedy stuff. That really interests me.

You have been part of two very unique films that have become cult classics, “Boondock Saints” and, as you mentioned, “Black Dynamite.” Did you have any idea starting out these films would take on a life of their own?

Kevin Chapman

“Boondock,” not so much, but “Black Dynamite,” how I got that was I was at the gym and Michael Jai White approached me. He came up to me and said, “Hey, I have been a big fan of your work. I am making this movie and I really would like for you to play this character.” So, I said, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, here is my address. Drop the script by and I will take a look.” I come home from the gym and Michael Jai White is sitting in my driveway with the script! [laughs] I read the first 15 pages and I ran to the phone to call him at his house. I said, “I’m in!” That was a very, very funny movie! “Boondock Saints” was one of those things, much like “Monument Ave.” I had met Troy Duffy, the director, and Chris Brinker, the producer, when I was working for The City of Boston. I was spending time with them when one day Troy Duffy said, “There is a character in the movie named Chappy.” That is my nickname. He said to me, “I think it is destiny for you to play Chappy in this movie!” So, I said, “Yeah! OK! Great!” Unfortunately, they didn’t end up shooting the movie in Boston, they shot it in Toronto for budget reasons. I went up to Toronto to play the part. Chris Brinker, who produced “Boondock Saints,” and I have since produced a movie together called “Lonely Street” with Jay Mohr, Robert Patrick, Joe Mantegna, Nikki Cox, Ernie Hudson and Katt Williams. It was a small little movie we made but it was a great experience and, since that outing, Chris has invited me to produce another movie with him which we are in the process of doing right now.

That is great. Can you tell us a little bit about that film?

Yeah, the film is called “Whiskey B” and it is about a cop who infiltrates the hierarchy of the Aryan Brotherhood. By infiltrating the organization, he pretty much brings it down.

Is producing something you see yourself doing even more in the future?

Yeah, I think so! I honestly believe that producing that first film has really helped me with my acting. I see things through a different set of eyes now. Putting a film or a television show together is kinda like having a sports team. You have the quarterback who is the star of the team and gets all of the accolades, but it doesn’t mean that the guard who is blocking for him isn’t as important as that quarterback, ya know? So, it is kinda like putting together a sports team, that is the best way to equate it. But yeah, it is definitely something that I can see myself doing more of.

I know you have to run but I thank you for your time today! We are looking forward to your future projects and wish you the best of luck, Kevin!

Thanks so much! I really appreciate your time! Talk to you soon!

Check out Kevin Chapman’s official Facebook page for all the latest news on his upcoming projects! While you’re at it, swing by the official site for CBS’ ‘Person of Interest’ and check out past episodes of the show!


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‘Boondock Saints’ Graphic Novel Launches November 21st At Los Angeles Barnes & Noble!

‘Boondock Saints’ Graphic Novel Launches November 21st At Los Angeles Barnes & Noble!

'The Boondock Saints'

TROY DUFFY and J.B. LOVE – the writers behind The BOONDOCK SAINTS’ initial foray into comics will be signing the collected GRAPHIC NOVEL edition at BARNES & NOBLE in LOS ANGELES and they’re bringing DAVID DELLA ROCCO as well!

TROY DUFFY’s original BOONDOCK SAINTS film is one of the most successful independent movies of all time, with a fiercely devoted fan base – with nearly 5 million online followers of the franchise. With the hit comic series “IN NOMINE PATRIS”, creator/writer/director TROY DUFFY launched the first “Saints” story to take place outside the iconic films. Written by Duffy and comic scribe J.B. LOVE, the comic series is the perfect companion to the films.

The story masterfully interweaves the events of the BOONDOCK SAINTS II: ALL SAINTS DAY with brand new material to reveal the secret history of the original saint, NOAH MACMANUS (IL DUCE) as he wages a bloody war against 1960’s New York’s Underground Crime world. The storyline is intercut with brand new adventures of the BROTHERS MACMANUS (The Boondock Saints) doing what they do best; doling out their special brand of justice to those that deserve it. “In Nomine Patris” brings a new chapter of the Saints saga to life while revealing the family legacy that created this trio of “Shepherds”.

Featuring a forward by Connor MacManus himself – actor, SEAN PATRICK FLANERY – Join Troy Duffy and his comics team in this thrilling new Saints Adventure by pre-ordering the collected edition. This special trade paperback collects all six comic issues, never before seen art, a cover gallery, behind the scenes sketches and more. This is the collection the fans have been waiting for!

BARNES & NOBLE will HOST the first signing of the Graphic Novel before it’s available in stores! The FIRST 200 Guests will Receive a FREE COPY of the Exclusive Comic, “THE LOST GIG” starring fan favorite, ROCCO. The FIRST 100 GUESTS will also receive a FREE BOONDOCK SAINTS POSTER.
The Signing is November 21st at 7pm at the BARNES & NOBLE at THE GROVE at Farmers Market (189 Grove Drive Suite K 30, Los Angeles, CA 90036. The Store Phone Number is 323-525-0270.) For Additional Event Information please visit http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/74348

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Review:  “Off The Boulevard” – A Behind-The-Scenes Look At The Entertainment Industry

Review: “Off The Boulevard” – A Behind-The-Scenes Look At The Entertainment Industry

The documentary “Off The Boulevard” gives a behind-the-scenes look of the entertainment industry. Seven independent artists share their struggles, failures and accomplishments while dedicating themselves to the pursuit of their artistic dreams.

Musicians Keith Jackson and Nick Nicholson, filmmakers Troy Duffy and Jeff Santo, actors David Della Rocco and Sanel Budimlic, and stand-up comedian Bob Rubin share their journeys while struggling and persevering on the path of independence. The documentary also includes insights from industry stars, including Peter Fonda (“Easy Rider” and “Ulee’s Gold”), Joe Mantegna (“Criminal Minds”), Gilby Clarke (Guns ‘N’ Roses), Sonny Barger (Hell’s Angels), Dan Haggerty (“Grizzly Adams”), and Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam).

Let’s get the nit-picky technical out of the way — which, overall, consisted of a few minor problems. The film was clumsy in parts, especially when the camera lens peered through a car windshield and, in another part, an airplane window. I was trying to listen to the narrator but couldn’t help but notice a bird pooped on the windshield. A few times the camera was out of focus, sometimes it was not centered. There were a couple instances with audio problems but, as Tripper said in “Meatballs,” it just doesn’t matter!

I soon forgot about these technicalities because it’s not about cinemotography, it’s about the meat of the film — the story. It took me a little ways (about 20 minutes or so) to become fully on board but when I did, I was rockin’ and rollin’ and felt a part of the conversation. It’s like meeting someone new — give the person a chance before passing judgement because if they turn out to be cool — or even awesome — it was worth the time.

That’s what happened with “Off The Boulevard.” I kept watching and soon became engrossed with these men, from the well-known Duffy of “Boondock Saints” fame to the lesser known Budimlic of “Jake’s Corner,” who although not mainstream yet has a powerful and moving story to share, a story he shares with modesty (hint hint … nudge nudge … Budimlic and Santo are working on “Made in Bosna.” Google it.).

I love the laid-back aspect of “Off The Boulevard” because these men share personal and difficult aspects of their lives — from Budimlic fleeing the Bosnian/Serbian war and living in a refugee camp for 7 months before coming to the U.S. to Duffy fighting to get paid for the first “Boondock Saints” (which grossed $150 million). I felt like I was sitting in the room while they discussed their hopes, dreams and failures.

I became engrossed. How could I not?

This movie has heart: from Budimlic first learning to act when soldiers frequented his home during the Bosnian/Serbian war to loot, forcing him to act like this was fine so he could stay alive — “We don’t need this anymore! Go right ahead!” — to a peek at Santo’s documentary “This Old Cub” where his father, famed baseball great Ron Santo, silently puts on his prosthetic legs after losing the limbs to diabetes (I did not just tear up, I cried).

This movie has humor: how could it not with in-your-face Bob “The Rube” Rubin, who’s philosophy is if you don’t get my jokes then go f- yourself?

This movie has anger: Duffy fighting tooth-and-nail to get his cult classic “Boondock Saints” filmed only to later fight even harder to get payment for himself, his producers and the principal cast. Duffy also fought — and stills continues to fight — against the stereotypes about his character expressed in the documentary “Overnight,” which left viewers with the image of Duffy as extremely arrogant and prone to explosive outbursts.

Above all, “Off the Boulevard” is about dedication to achieving your dreams, which all these men share, especially Nicholson, a country singer and military veteran who perseveres through bad gigs and managers until, finally, his sweet tunes hit the right ears and his hit-song is played on the radio! Yes, money would be nice. Fame? Of course! But with true artists, it’s about a dream they are drawn to with a mystical urgency. These men don’t sing, write, act or direct simply because they want to, they do it because they have to.

The film is like Dr. Seuss’s “The Places You’ll Go” for adult independent artists, which is ironic because Santo teaches at a film school. Save yourself a class fee and check this movie out for well-knowns and not-so-well-knowns sharing the reality behind the curtain of Hollywood — red carpets, paparazzi, corporate, oh my!

This reality is also conveyed through honest words-of-wisdom delivered by men who have been there, are still there, and know. Jackson (“The Glass Heroes”) sharing, “I don’t want anyone to tell me what’s good or bad, I’m gonna figure that out on my own.” Della Rocco (“The Boondock Saints”) commenting, “There’s only a few of us that can live this life.” Duffy remembering, “Sometimes you (Santo) and I will be sitting there crying into our beers, looking at each other, and then we’ll both start fucking laughing because it’s ridiculous. Kids don’t know how bad this can get.”

If you’re a dreamer — isn’t everyone, more or less? — if you’re an aspiring filmmaker, actor or musician, or if you’re like me and simply enjoy an inside look at the human spirit and seeing celebrities unveiled as everyday human beings, watch this film.

“Every artist must take a risk. With that risk everything becomes uncertain, the destiny you hope for, the destination you move towards, all is uncertain. When you are in these waters of uncertainty, the rules for every artist is to hold tight to one living thing and one living thing only: Your Dream. It’s that life that survives.”

“Off the Boulevard” is directed by Jeff Santo and written by Santo and Christie Collins. For details, check out www.santofilms.com. — Kate Vendetta

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