At the 2010 New York Comic-Con I had a chance to speak with Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody about his role in Predators, the reboot of the sci-fi/horror series made famous by Arnold Schwarzenegger and director John McTiernan back in 1987.
The Predators DVD/Blu-ray is scheduled to hit stores next week, and Brody talked freely about the chances of his coming back for the already-planned Predators sequel, as well as how he's dealt with the cold reception from those who don't think he can play an action star.
If you don't know, in Predators Brody played Royce, a longtime black-ops soldier turned mercenary who is taken hostage along with a group of elite killers to serve as "game" for a trio of Predators who are doing some leisurely hunting on a far away planet. Over the course of the film Royce goes from being a cold, calculating loner, to a killer who slightly cares about helping those around him survive. Quite an arch.
All joking aside, here's what Brody had to say about his Predators experience:
Screen Rant: Are you contracted for a Predators sequel?
Adrien Brody: I would have to do one, essentially - I mean I'd obviously have some creative input in it if it... But I would want to do one, the point of doing this (when I signed up to do this) was to help be an asset in the film so that it was successful enough to be worthy of a sequel and potentially several sequels and to reprise that role and let it evolve. So that was the initial goal. I have no news if they will do another one but obviously the ending of the film sets up room a sequel. So that would be the goal, anyway.
SR: What would you character Royce be like in this next film, based on where Predators left him?
AB: "Well he's proven that he can be savage - now he's bent from that whole experience. What I wanted to portray was to go beyond Hollywood's conventional depiction of strength - purely physically imposing men annihilating the enemy. I think there's something fun and exciting about that but it's limited, and what I wanted to do was create a complex, tragic, flawed villain, essentially, who is your hero in this story. A guy who is not necessarily a likeable person and in spite of his less admirable qualities you still have to root for him and rely on him over anybody else to save you.
In my research and in considering a lot about what this character would be like I kept thinking about the level of loneliness that a man like that would experience, living in isolation, putting his survival above anyone else's. So he's somewhat broken and in the end there is this spark of humanity...a realization in this distilled hunting zone...dealing with a nemesis that is more vicious and more by the book than he is kind of gives him new perspective so that he can evolve.
So it will be interesting - I'm not the writer on it - but it'd be interesting to see how they take that evolution. It's exciting to play a character like that, and also I think my goal was to play a solider that young men and women today who are intimate with soldiers - who have either had to serve or had family members who have served - will see that character and see elements that are truthful and that are complex and that they can relate to. Not just a chance for me to annihilate everything sight and have some one-liners... I think the goal was do something a bit more but also to keep it playful; Predator had a huge effect on me as a teenager, I love that film."
SR: Is there anything the Predators DVD/Blu-Ray that you were particularly proud of that got cut from the theatrical version?
AB: I don't know if there are deleted scenes - I just got it last night and I looked at it quickly. I think what's cool is the commentary...that's a big bonus you get with a DVD. What I like about a DVD is that you have it on deck and if there's a scene that you really like or wanted to check out it's right there for you a second away that's pretty fun. I think the behind the scenes stuff is great, seeing the making of bits.
SR: How has the transition into an action star been?
People were kind of shocked at me doing this role - they dismissed it and there was a lot of talk about 'Why would they hire me for it?' What's important for me is that the people that employ me do not have the perception that I'm limited in my capacity to play a character that's dissimilar from anything else that I've played, truthfully. And also, for myself, I love to push the boundaries - it's the point of being an actor.
I'm basically the fan who was in the audience who took [Predators] very seriously and pursued it and petitioned for the opportunity to play this role and then was finally granted that opportunity (against all odds) and then killed myself to get into a place where not only would I be physically believable as someone who could endure the obstacles of combat, but did the work to create something to not only pay homage to McTiernan's Predator and Schwarzenegger's work...but then bring my game [to it].
That was very exciting and kind of a dream come true for me, and so what was shocking to me initially was all this kind of talk by fans; but they kind of didn't realize I represent them - I represent them more they can imagine.
I for one wasn't mad at Brody for his portrayal of Royce in Predators. I think the guy adds interesting to dimensions to any role he plays, truth be told, but that's just me. In any event, would you like to see Adrien Brody return for a Predators sequel?
You can pick up the DVD/Blu-ray release of Predators on October 19th.