Escape Plan will be available on both DVD and Blu-ray February 4th in the US and February 24th in the UK!
"Crave Online: You did play a bad guy in Scorpion King: Rise of a Warrior. Was Ambushed a very different character?
Randy Couture: Yes, Sargon was definitely the antagonist in that movie. A little bit different theme obviously, the sword and sandal type film which was a lot of fun. This was a little more modern, this day and age but still a lot of fun.
And probably a more complex character in Ambushed, right?
Definitely a more complex character. I had to spend some time with my acting coach and come up with my own backstory to figure out how to relate to this character and the things that he did. That took some time and was definitely a challenge for me.
What have you learned about acting since this whole thing started for you?
The whole thing is to first of all not act, to try and find a way to relate to the character and the objectives that the character has and tell the truth. You don’t always have that luxury of being able to delve into your own stream of experience to do that, so that was the challenge with this character obviously. You still have to find a way to tell the truth or nobody’s going to buy you in that role. I’ve never done half of the things that this character did. Coming up with a backstory and basically creating a circumstance, even though it’s imagined, creating the circumstance so that you can behave appropriately is kind of the trick.
What acting coach are you working with?
The gentleman’s name is Barry Primus and he’s a great guy. He’s been in the industry for quite some time, worked with some very, very top actors. From start to finish he’s done a little bit of everything in the industry. I’ve been with him for a few years now and it’s been a great relationship.
What’s harder, to memorize lines or train for a fight?
I don’t find the memorization process difficult. Fortunately, it’s not like stage acting where you have to remember your entire part from start to finish and walk out and deliver it. I have a very strong memory. I think as a foreign language and literature major in college, it prepared me in some ways for this because that rote memory is strong so you just [prepare] each day for the scenes you’re going to do. Sometimes they’re a little heavier than other days but most of the time it’s not an issue. There is some similarity in being in the same place for months at a time doing the same thing over and over and over, which is akin to being in a 10 or 12 week training camp getting ready for a fight, getting ready for that one night to go out and perform. There’s a similarity in that.
This movie is your first fight scene with Dolph, right?
Against Dolph and Dolph’s character, yes. Obviously Dolph and I have been in fight scenes together but we were on the same team in The Expendables so we weren’t fighting each other necessarily, but it was fun. He’s a big physical guy, a good athlete and probably of all the other Expendables, the only other guy with some real combative sports background. He did Karate at a high level for a very long time, so I had some fun working with him and getting to do those fight scenes.
Randy Couture: Yes, Ronda and Victor Ortiz are both in the third movie and both great at what they do. Ronda for all intents and purposes is the queen of mixed martial arts right now, and Victor Ortiz is a very, very accomplished professional boxer, both getting ready for competition so it was fun to be around and get to know both of them on a more personal level. Both very, very good fighters and good people.
How is Ronda making the transition for her first movie?
I was actually very impressed. She showed up every day ready to go, prepared. There was no drama, no issues, no nothing. I know my own experience going into my very first movie was a little overwhelming and it can be kind of nerve wracking when you don’t know what to expect. I thought she handled it with grace and ease. She did a great job.
Will we see her as a very difference character than we know her as in the ring?
You know, I think that Sly had her in mind when he wrote the character of Luna so I don’t think it’s going to be a huge stretch for her on the acting front to portray Luna in a real way. Obviously being an Expendable is a very physical thing and Ronda is a physical athlete so she’ll pull that off with no problem.
Back to the fight scene with Dolph in Ambushed, there are some shots where you’re punching down at the camera. Were you essentially straddling the camera for those shots?
Yeah, we had to get a little creative and it was an interesting night because of all nights to shoot in L.A., it poured down rain. So [we were] on the top of a parking structure downtown with this kind of surreal backdrop of the skyline of Los Angeles, and pouring rain. There’s no fake rain in this. It’s actually raining that night so we knew we had to get it done start to finish. Who knows when it’s going to rain again? Definitely a lot of fun but a challenge.
You have to use your strength to hurt women in this movie. Is that hard for you to wrap your head around?
It was certainly, again, difficult to relate to that but you get into the moment, you get into the character. You’re with other actors who are also in that moment and willing to put themselves out there so I think it came off well and we worked together and got it done. I think it’s good.
What was your experience as the producer of Ambushed?
You know, I was happy to be able to get that credit and to be instrumental in bringing all the pieces together, but other than that initially, it didn’t require a lot of work or focus on my part. I have a great team of people working with me, Brett Norensberg at Gersh and Sam Spira as part of my management. They helped me take care of all those things so I can focus on the task at hand which is playing this bad guy.
Randy Couture: We just finished shooting Expendables 3 so I’m free and clear of that. Obviously there’ll be some voiceover work and things to pick up as they get into the editing process. I’m excited to start to see some of the finished product and see what Patrick Hughes has put together.
Were there any new physical challenges on Expendables 3?
Being in a foreign country and grinding out 12-14 hour days for six days a week is always a challenge, both mentally and physically. I enjoyed the process, got to do some things I hadn’t done before that were a lot of fun. Spent a lot of time in a lot of scenes with Dolph Lundgren again and also with Wesley Snipes who was fun to be around and had a really, really good time working together.
As much as the action, one of the great things about the Expendables movies is the dialogue between all the guys. Did you have some fun lines to exchange with Snipes?
Absolutely, some good stuff happens and I don’t think there’s anybody better than Sly at coming up with those one-liners kind of straight from the locker room, straight from guys being guys. He does a great job. Patrick relied on him to fill instances where it felt like he needed to fill something and put something in. It always came out great, we laughed a lot and had a great time. To work with some of these stunt coordinators and the respect that they show me and allow me to have a say in what I’m comfortable doing and what I think should be done has been fun. J.J., with Expendables 3, was remarkable. He is a great coordinator and I think you’re going to like a lot of the stuff that he does in Expendables 3.
That’s J.J. Perry? I met him a couple years ago. He did Safe with Jason Statham. Did he not work on the previous Expendables?
No, he did not. It was the same crew of stunt people but it was Chad Stahelski from 87Eleven was the one for Expendables 2. So I didn’t get a chance to rub elbows with J.J. in 1 or 2. It was great. I think everybody’s going to appreciate a lot of the things we got to do in this movie.
J.J. always puts himself in some of the scenes as some of the background fighters. Did he do that in Expendables 3?
You know, a lot of that stuff gets shot in second unit. I would suspect that. I know he was very hands on everywhere. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him turn up.
Post UFC, what is your workout these days?
I still train, I still do some grappling. I don’t spar nearly as much as I used to obviously. I do a lot of strength conditioning. I’ve got a great staff and a great group of guys at Xtreme Couture in Vegas. When I’m home, I’m there and when I’m not I’m trying to find a gym that I can get a good workout in.
Since Ambushed is such a different role for you, what other sides are you looking to explore?
I’ve always loved the western genre. Some of my favorite movies have been from that genre. I think we’ve seen a little bit of a resurgence in western films with True Grit and some of the others that have come out. That’s something I would love to be involved in. I think that something in comedy or the romantic comedy genre would be fun for me and something that would be a little bit different that most people wouldn’t expect.
Maybe you could actually get the girl in a movie.
That would be something new.
Have you ever talked to Stallone about writing something in the MMA world?
No, I haven’t talked to him about that. Conversations we usually end up having are, “Okay, what’s the next installment of The Expendables going to look like? Where does the story go? What are we going to do? Is it going to be someplace warm this time for crying out loud?”
Do you think there’s going to be Expendables 4?
There’s already talk of a 4. I don’t see how 3 isn’t going to be successful and nobody does this better than Sly. He’s got a great group behind him with Avi Lerner and Lionsgate and Millennium so I don’t see how there’s not going to be a 4."
"So, Patrick Hughes, an Australian director made Expendables 3. How was that experience and does Pat direct or does Sly direct?"
“No, no, no, Pat directed, he was very good and Stallone was actually very happy with him from what I could see and really took a backseat. I’ve done a couple of movies, let’s see with Sly, I’ve done one, two, three and this is the fourth so you know, two of them he directed and he tends to kind of take over but he was quite good on this one, relaxed, because he believed in Patrick and he said so. I think everybody felt good about it and well, I think people feel it’s going to be the best one so far. It’s a grittier kind of movie, there’s some great one liners, it’s kind of more brutal and there’s the cast as well of course.
"Pat is of that generation, he would’ve seen you as Ivan Drago and all that and he wasn’t intimidated by the cast?"
Well you know, I’m sure he was a little bit, you know by me and by Arnold and by Jet Li and Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson and a few others as well…"
Here are new pictures from 'Grudge Match' 'HomeFront' 'Maggie' & 'Fast 7'
In case you missed it from yesterday's news post, here is that awesome Jean-Claude Van Damme video again!
Here is a great comment from Daniel (not to be confused with Dan) who summed up my thoughts exactly,
"Fuck! We need a big budget Jean-Claude Van Damme movie NOW!!
It could be about an old martial artist entering UFC, another Timecop movie. Let him play the bad guy in the next Fast and the Furious movie!!!!"
Lastly, here is an awesome fan drawn picture of Jet Li from Expendables 2!
Have a good weekend everyone, see you all Monday!