Your new movie Evolution War - in a few words, what is it
about, and what can you tell us about your character in it?
In Evolution War, my character is a disgraced war criminal forced to
raise an army of machines to battle mysterious creatures taking over the
earth. There is, of course, some surprises we arenít revealing yet in
the story, but itís sci-fi adrenaline at itís best! Angel-D is a prior
musician with quite an attitude, but the vulnerabilities become more
evident as the plot unfolds and the true enemies are evident. With very
few humans scattered throughout, in order to fight a battle against the
creatures that have taken over the planet from the underworld, the only
possible solution is to reprogram the machines to form an army.
Sometimes, however, things donít go exactly as according to plansÖ
did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how much of Tracey
Birdsall can we find in Angel-D?
I like to leave Tracey Birdsall at home when I create my characters!
Again, she looks like me for the most part, but sheís much more coarse
in her thoughts and actions.
I donít draw from other things (method) like I did in the early days.
I like to imagine how they think, move, talk, right down to which facial
muscles they favor - and let them evolve. I like to think of it as more of
a birthing process. When my character feels something, Iím not replacing
it with another experience, Iím feeling what theyíre feeling and
living in the moment. Itís a much more raw way to go about things, to
just live it in real time.
From what I've seen, Evolution
War is a quite action heavy movie - so how did you prepare for that
aspect of the film? That said, how much fun is it to act in such energetic
So much fun! I always like to make a joke about the lack of
competition. Not because most actors donít ďthinkĒ they want to do
what I do, moreso because itís so grueling I believe many would
quit - I mean, this is tough stuff. To go through the physical activity,
battles, running for your life on a daily basisÖ itís really
physically demanding. Add on top of that the emotional turmoil of living
it, the tons of dialogue that has to roll off your tongue, and the extreme
heat or cold in which youíre shooting. The reality would really clear
the room of most actors, yet I enjoy it more than anything in the world.
I prepared for that aspect with heavy training (I wanted her to be
leaner and stronger than Sienna in Rogue
Warrior: Robot Fighter), a more
restrictive diet to also help lean up (basically cut dairy out of my
already very restrictive vegetarian diet), and upping my protein intake
How did you get involved with the project in the
Iím not exactly sure, but Neil Johnson (the
director) [Neil Johnson
interview - click here] basically put a script in front of me that
I couldnít refuse and told me we were going to be shooting soon (i.e.: I
wasnít going to have the same ample prep-time I was used to). That
aspect of it was a bit frightening as I like to prep for at least 6 months
- but I trusted him. He said to me that although I like to prep that long
that he didnít think I needed to - that thought was stressfulÖ but he
was right. At least now I know. I think you train your brain to create a
character so many times over and over, and it remembers the process and
To what extent could you identify with Evolution
War's sci-fi theme, is that at all a genre especially dear to you? And
do you have any explanation why your career seems to gravitate towards
that genre of late?
Itís actually really nice that a
comedy I did was released several weeks ago (Whoís
JennaÖ?) because I aim not to get pigeonholed. That said,
science fiction is my love, and action goes hand in hand with that love.
My child self is extremely happy with what I get to do each day :)
Besides, when youíre shooting action, you donít have to go to the gym
on shoot days (besides dropping for 100 pushups now and then). The guns
and weapons are upwards of 30 pounds, and youíre constantly
What can you tell us about your
director Neil Johnson [Neil Johnson
interview - click here]? And since this isn't the first time you
have worked with him, also do talk about your former collaborations a bit!
Besides being one of the best directors out there, Neil is extremely
brutal in pushing you to get just the right shot/emotion. He likes to wear
you down until you just canít take anymore and then he gets exactly what
he wants. You see, when youíre doing end of the world extremes, thatís
exactly how the character would feel and look. So although itís brutal
to get run down on a daily bases (and heíll conduct my emotions like
Iím a whole orchestra), the whole purpose of doing the shoot is to get
it right. We are both so extreme in our work that we will do whatever it
I do believe that although we had worked together on several
productions before, that what we did before Rogue
Warrior: Robot Fighter was to earn each otherís trust and
respect. Itís quite difficult in this industry to find others with such
extreme passion for our work. Now when we work together we know that the
sky is the limit. I know that thereís no end to his brilliant ideas and
unique perspective, and he knows that he can write whatever he wants and I
can deliver it. Itís not just about skill, itís also about a lack of
ego. We both genuinely love what we do and take it before all else.
Warrior: Robot Fighter, and prior to shooting Evolution War,
we also shot over 220 days on The Time War together. Itís extreme
dedication at itís finest.
can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
Neilís sets have really morphed over the years that Iíve worked
with him. They used to resemble other sets I had worked on in attitude and
ďwhat to expect.Ē There used to be the expected loose canons and the
expected princesses and several large egos. Not anymore.
Whatís changed over the years is the seriousness and professionalism.
I mean, sure we have fun but itís very intense. Everybody is always so
happy to be there as heís developed a reputation, so thereís very
little chatter, no cell phones until the shoot day is over, and my pet
peeve - no scripts in hand. I think Iíve scared other actors in my
interviews as I always point out that I expect everyone else to be overly
preparedÖ It is a career and a job. Basically, everyone whoís super
professional (crew and cast), drama free and ego free - gets to maybe come
back and play next time.
$64-question of course, when and where will Evolution War be
released onto the general public?
Evolution War is
due to be completed by late summer of 2018! I will definitely send you an
update when I have itÖ
Any future projects
you'd like to share?
Between Evolution War and The Time War, thatís taken up
most of my last couple of years! The Time War, due to itís sheer length
and complexity, will take a while to complete - but itís going to be
worth the wait!
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Anything else you're dying to
mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
Where was it
shot? Probably the most interesting question of the whole film! Iíll let
you ask Neil that one so that I donít give away classified information!