...you did two films in succession with Jean-Claude Van Damme [Timecop (1994) and Sudden Death (1995)]. Yes, and I have another one coming out in January.
So I take it you must enjoy working together, considering this is the third time.
I enjoyed working with Jean-Claude, and I enjoy doing that kind of action, and trying to do it differently. I'd seen martial arts films dating back to Bruce Lee, and everyone was in love with slow motion and all that stuff, and I wanted to do the opposite. I thought the script, the actual story [for Timecop] was really clever. I remember Universal came up with a phenomenal ad line for the film, which was "His wife was killed ten years ago. There's still time to save her."
I just thought that was so intriguing. The film that I've just finished with Jean-Claude, [Enemies Closer], I'm kind of proud of. It was done on a very low budget, and in a very short amount of time, and I think this is a Jean-Claude Van Damme no one's ever seen. He plays an absolutely, flamboyantly, lunatic, evil person who... I think you'll have to see it, but he's funnier than you've ever seen him, he's nuttier than you've ever seen him on screen, and there are no curves. So he'll be one way, and then at a 90-degree sharp angle, he'll do something that is so cruel and so violent.
I thought, to create that kind of character, with this really unexpected persona for Jean-Claude, would be really interesting.
He can pull off these really good performances, can't he, as we saw in JCVD.
Yeah, when I saw JCVD, I saw that he could be funny. And in this one, he's truly funny, and truly deranged, and quite, quite lethal. I said when we started, "I want this guy to be a mix of JCVD and Hannibal Lecter".
Does he still do a lot of martial arts, or should we expect a more low-key thriller?
Oh, he's quite savage. There's not a lot of martial arts, but there's a great deal of fighting. But it's not balletic. It's really violent, really vicious.
Well, I look forward to seeing that. You once said that filmmaking is a process of failure, because you always find blemishes in your work. But with a greater gap of time, isn't it easier to appreciate what you got right about your earlier films?
No. It's harder, and gets harder all the time. Because you raise the bar, and you expect more. You can see better, so to me, the gulf between where I am and the people who I admire is widening, not narrowing.
Peter Hyams, thank you very much.
Savage action and Van Damme playing a deranged lunatic? Well I'm sold, I can't wait to see this. It would be interesting to see Van Damme playing villains more often now, I think that most of us could agree that his role was one of the highlights of Expendables 2. The release date for Enemies Closer is still vague but this interview claims that it will be out in spring 2014.
From left to right: Emilia Clarke, Brie Larson, Margot Robbie, Boyd Holbrook, Garrett Hedlund
The Raid was a big hit among action fans and now the teaser trailer for The Raid 2: Berandal has been released:
Harrison Ford did an interview for Paris Match and briefly mentioned working on Expendables 3. Here's the translation (with some mild spoilers):
"As a democrat, did you settle your accounts with the republican Arnold Schwarzenegger on the "Expendables 3" set?
No! When he was Governor of California, he was doing an annual conference on the environment and asked me twice to come and make the opening speech. I didn't know him that well but we had much fun. I only had scenes with Sylvester Stallone who I didn't know much either but who impressed me with his talent. He's an intelligent man who steered his own boat, works hard and is very generous with his partners.
Do you still do your own stunts?
Getting up in the morning is already a stunt these days! The only action scene including me was on a helicopter, hanging on a cable. So nothing too dangerous."
He went on to say that he still enjoys acting, has no plans for retirement and wouldn't rule out playing Han Solo or Indiana Jones again.
Lastly we have these pictures of Tony Jaa and Ronda Rousey practicing their moves on the set of Fast And Furious 7, taken from Tony Jaa's facebook page: