a good match with Dolph"
way it was written there's a lot of depth to the character, he's
you tell us about your background as an actor who became a cage
started training as an actor over 20 years ago but I've always
been involved in some kind of physical pursuit, and when the
acting work dried up a little, I became a full time professional
cage fighter for two years. I fought in Wembley ring in London
that wins over the ex-UFC heavyweight champion Dan Severn, LA
street fighting raging Kim Leopoldo and I even beat up the referee...
do you go from just acting to cage fighting, did you do martial
boxed when I was younger, and when I haven't been acting I worked
in bars and I guess I had a few scuffles along that route, and
a lot of the roles I play are physical, so I need to be in condition,
so it's something that I was inclined towards anyway. So it's
plumbing into the world, at the level of where I could have done
the most money was at the top level. Once I got to a certain
standard at the top of the national level I've got some good
did you get involved in Command Performance, it was
a given you could be a good opponent for Dolph?
was luck, I think they were struggling to actually secure the
lead to play opposite Dolph, and put out a worldwide casting
call, and I cast right in London, on Friday before the week it
started, so I was booked to go on holdling so I cast in the morning,
flew out to Cannes in the afternoon, drove down [...], then got
a phone call that they wanted me back in Bulgaria, so I drove
28 hours straight to drop off the rental car, catch a flight
back home and flew out over here. But you know I think I'm a
good match with Dolph, in some respect he's been an inspiration
to a lot of people for many years, his physical presence is also.
do you approach the role?
role is different because usually much roles I play are me playing
myself are usually London-based films where my dialog is similar
to that I normally use. This guy was different in a way because
he's Russian, so I had to master a Russian accent, which I did
with a reasonable amount of ease, because I trained, then thought
about the character. And it's there in the writing, because if
the writing was poor, I could do nothing with the character.
The way it was written there's a lot of depth to the character
and I see he's almost Shakespearian it's tragic and Oleg is righteous
he's got a real descent reason for revenge, all the way through
the movie he's driven mad by sorrow, and goes too far.
that's what makes him different from other action films villains?
he's got issues and problems that would bother anyone. Anyone
would be mad if he saw his parents commit suicide to save the
shame of a prosecution against them[...] He actually wants revenge
but he takes revenge against the whole world, really it's a suicide
he's after more than revenge.
do you find Dolph directing actors?
think because Dolph works both sides of the camera he knows,
and this is the first role I think he felt when he saw my audition,
that I understood character, I knew everything that could be
down with him, so I was given a fairly free reign, obviously
constrained to the whole film. We discuss things, I maneuver
them a little bit, but he's very calm, considered he'll takes
suggestions from me but then if he feels strongly that there
should be a way they were originally written then we just go
there, cause I understand the director is in charge.
didn't have much time to train and prepare for the fights?
because we're both trained fighters, we don't need to. If you're
an actor it might take six months to learn how to fight, we both
know how to fight immediately. It's just a case of doing it without
anyone getting hurt. And to a degree when I was meant to attacking
him he'll be well what would you do? and I''ll be
what I would do is this and we follow it on[...].
So there's no moves in the fight that I find unreal, I don't
like fight where you think what didn't the guy move out
of the way? or why wouldn't he just grab him?
to stop him, stop being hit. At least it's messy, dirty, as real
as it can get. Because also the MMA has moved on slightly, from
when Dolph was fighting, so it's a new technique which he's not
that familiar with and I'd just stick a few of those in. And
also in this film Dolph isn't playing a fighter, he's playing
a guy from a rock band so he can't demonstrate too many of his
actual skills so he's kinda got dumb down his ability.
has to use more realistic techniques instead of karate moves...
dirty street fight techniques, that's what seems to work. But
he's so big and powerful, it was a struggle when we where doing
some of those I think, we don't wanna follow this route cause
he wouldn't let me do what I wanna do and I have to power through
it to get into position.
kind of other action scenes do you have in this movie?
big one is the fight scene, but there's a lot of explosions,
a lot of gun play, but to me the thing that really interests
me is the dramatic part of the character, the tragedy, I was
almost in tears[...] if your parents died in front of you, and
then this culmination of years searching for revenge and it comes
to you now, but even revenge isn't gonna satisfy your loss, that's
the tragedy of it, there is no source for it, there is no redemption,