"This is what is different with Dolph: he cares about the story and the relationship between the characters in it."

 

Can you introduce yourself and your character?
My name is Zahari Baharov. I am 28 years old and I live in Sofia, Bulgaria. The character I portray in the movie “Command Performance” is Mikhail Kappista. He is one of the Russian president’s bodyguards, whose first day on the job turns out to be the most challenging day of his life.

How did you get the part and what was your reaction when you heard about the project?
I was windsurfing on the Black sea, when I received a call to audition for the project in Sofia. After meeting Dolph, I returned to my holiday and a few days later my trip was shortened again by a pleasant phone call.

How did you prepare for the role? Did Dolph Lundgren give you specific instructions?
Dolph and I rehearsed together off-set, to develop the relationship between the two characters, as they are complete opposites. Mikhail is a straight A student, never done a bad thing in his life kind of guy, and Dolph’s character Joe is a pot-smoking, ex-biker gang member who’s a drummer.

Have you done any action before?
I have acted in action movies before, but this was my first major role in this genre.

Was there anything you were apprehensive about?
Before we started the shoot I was concerned whether my filming schedule would fit around my performances at the National Theatre in Sofia, but as Shakespeare wrote ”All’s well that ends well”.

What was the most challenging thing for you in this project?
My challenge was to create a truthful character. A person who is professionally prepared for being an agent, but at the same time is a bit clumsy and scared, due to the extreme circumstances that he is put in.

How did you find Dolph as director?
As a Director Dolph doesn’t just “instruct”, he gives the actor space in which to be creative. I would accredit this to his vast acting experience.

Is he different from the other directors you've worked with?
Most directors of action movies concentrate only on the fighting sequences. They aren’t concerned that much about the truthfulness of the characters relationships. This is what is different with Dolph: he cares about the story and the relationship between the characters in it.

And how is he as a co-star?
Fun, reliable and highly professional.

Did you learn anything from him?
As Alice Cooper would put it “School’s out for summer”.

How was working with Hristo Shopov?
It is always an honor and great pleasure to work side by side with Hristo Shopov and Ivaylo Geraskov as they are two of our finest actors.

Is Shopov impressive or intimidating?
“Impressively intimidating”

How did you find the shoot? Is there some stories you'd like to tell?
Making the movie was fun, and I always had a laugh when we were rehearsing the shooting scenes for the cameras, because you get twenty people running all over the place with AKs shouting “BANG -BANG”.

Whilst on location in Moscow’s Red Square we were filming under pressure, because of the impending arrival of the real life President Medvedev. There were many security issues to deal with. It would have been an unforgettable experience if I had been wrestled to the floor by the very people I was portraying in the film.

Anything else you would like to say?
I would like to thank everybody who worked on the project, especially Dolph for giving me this opportunity. I’m really looking forward to seeing the movie.

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