I am influenced by old school movies like Sergio Leone films, 'Scum' with Ray Winstone, Mc Vicar, 'Rise of the Foot Soldier'. Snatch, 'Lock Stock', Guy Richie movies, 'The Business', 'Bronson', 'Chopper', 'Valhalla Rising', The Man Who Would be King, Enter The Dragon, Once Were Warriors, Dirty Harry Films. The grittier the better for me, I love characters with real faces no model looking people, people with bodies of all shapes and sizes, scars tattoos etc etc I like to watch a movie and think shit he looks rough where the hell did he come from or what kinda background has he had. If it has these elements I love it.
I never ever wanted to be an actor, before I worked in construction and had a Muay Thai school and fight promotion business, also I did street market trading for years . I was quite happy with that, until April 2008. I went to a casting with my girlfriend to give her a bit of security and support, the casting director came up to me and asked me to cast after my girlfriend. I was very blunt and said “no mate I am not interested”. Anyway 2 or3 phone calls later from him over a 3 he persuaded me to come in. I went in and cast and found out it was for a Jean Claude Van Damme Movie . I left and didn’t think no more of it. Then I get a call saying that JCVD really liked me wrote me in a role as gangster. 5 days later I had a meeting with him met his family. I spent 3 weeks on the set with him. He actually advised me along with his son to take up acting, I thought he was having a laugh but he was right. Since that project I've worked on over 50 productions, with some amazing directors such as John Woo, Nicolas Winding Refn, Jul Collona with films such as 'The Hangover 2', 'Only God Forgives', 'Far Cry' and many other adventures , I love it.
As for training I put in my castings etc what I believe fits the part from my own life experience’s or people I know, I have known some crazy people in my time who have been on the wrong side of the law, also fighters and people who I used to meet on my market stall. Actually the best training I had was working on the street markets on the outskirts of London and east coast of the UK, meeting so many characters. 2 very well-known directors (One actually won the award at Cannes), said don’t change anything you do with your acting it might take something away from you so I have stuck to that. Though I’ve been recommended to do a course with jack Waltzer who I've been told is the best in the business who would suit my style. I am always open to new ways of doing things let’s see, if a role needs it I will.
'Time Rush' is an amazing indie film shot on a shoe string budget, describe some of your preparations for your dichotomous character 'Brink' and his foreshadowing of the future.
Yes it was a very small budget, but now that has given Dean a platform to show what he can do. I think he learned a lot from this project, he also sold this film where many fail to sell their Indie feature, so that’s a great achievement indeed, something not to be scoffed at, a lot of people can’t get passed making a 10 minute short, so I take my hat off to him, and the director Daniel Zirilli, they really did a great job, a real team effort. They have a business plan and you be seeing a lot more of them I think, with bigger and better budgets.You just imagine what they both could achieve with bigger budgets!
He has actually inspired me and I am working on a project right now.
Getting back to Time Rush, Brink, I actually modeled his character on a former soldier friend of mine or was in the British army for a long time, he done tours of Northern Ireland when things were kicking off in a big way there, and Germany when the Berlin wall was up, I thought of him when I was playing Brink.
Discuss some of the action training you did for 'Asian Connection'. What is a non-movie specific workout regimen you follow?
For the physical stuff I just kept to my normal routine of 7 k’s running a day, Thai boxing, boxing and weights. Also training with guns, I also prepared with Motocross Bikes for the Bank Sequences in 'The Asian Connection', we had days flying around the back streets of Bangkok practicing on the dirt-bikes etc. that it was a great laugh. I am currently training for a role in Monte Carlo with me great A lister stars where I am a free diver so I am swimming 50 laps a day of the pool. So I train a specific way for a role.
I know you have a myriad of upcoming projects please chat about 'Brutal', 'Only God Forgives' and other newer projects, release dates and a bit about your character in the projects and storylines.
I filmed Only God Forgives a few years ago playing a British Gangster, Kristen Scott Thomas was great to work with it was an honor. I actually put a lot of energy into the torture scene. I was very pleased at Cannes where people actually walked out at my torture scene. I touched a few nerves there and realized I did a good job. If you can make people hate you, or are disgusted by you they will always remember you. I have actually gained roles from 'Only God Forgives' by people remembering me in that scene. I knew if Nicolas gave me that role I would make it very controversial, which I did.
'Brutal' is an amazing series which fight fans will love, featuring the amazing parkour legend David Belle, he plays Axel Chen, ex-special ops, is a nightclub bouncer. One night, during a fight, he kills one of his attackers. From then on, he's on the run, forced into fighting for a living, both to survive and prove his innocence. I play the main antagonist, I cannot say too much but its shot in such a classy way, pure class, the production team was excellent, casting, Save Ferris I have a lot of respect for and the director Julien Colonna , his vision with the writers have made something very special that I am very proud of. It is something people should really keep an eye out for. It’s a whole new concept and shot in such a gritty way. The whole script was a dream for me as i related so much to my character and put all my energy into my character Marcus, you guys will see very soon. David Belle is a very nice humble guy and so strong respect to him.I am currently working on an Indie British gangster film called 'The Beginning of The End', it’s a very gritty film, very real based on true events. The director and producers are currently unknown but I was approached and I like some they showed me , we have made something special, that will be released sometime in the future, some of the things in this project will for sure surprise a few people. I like to keep my cards close to my chest but I can confirm that I be the main lead Anti-hero in this project, The action is very real. With this team I will be working on 2 more projects over the next 2 years. I have a few others movies coming out in the near future which I worked on , some with small parts and big parts from Vikings to King Arthur, A Muay Thai trainer and more but I cannot comment any further due to contract obligations. I can guarantee though over the next 2 years you will be seeing a lot more of me, and very shortly I fly off to Monte Carlo for a great project with a superb actress so watch this space.
Being a bad guy on film, I interviewed actress Monique Ganderton, she says her 'Hit' is demeaning crazy characters, what do you feel your 'Hit' is and how does that perception help (or) hinder your work in the entertainment business. I think it is great to have a focus, and you are so good at being bad.
I love playing the bad guy plain and simple because I can relate so much to these guys. I've known enough crazy characters in my time to write a book, so in anything I do I put an element of these guys in it. It doesn’t hinder my work in the film business, being a bad guy in fact, it enhances it, and to be honest I have no interest playing the good clean cut guy, it’s boring.
I agree the bad characters have the most cool parts. Advise to young actors starting out, training, what to focus on? What is advise your were given that has stuck with you.
I say market yourself on what you are good at, be honest with yourself, don’t bullshit and say you can do things when you can’t, productions cost a lot of money and if you mess up on set, they won’t be happy. Target a specific area you are good at. Market yourself in a clean fashion and don’t put anything in the public which makes you look stupid or cheap. I have seen show-reels on YouTube that are cringe worthy, so be careful, people do watch them believe me. Always be humble work hard.
I had lunch with Danny Trejo 2 times when I was starting out. I actually met the guy by chance in a Café in Bangkok. He probably does not remember me but he gave me so much advice, he said, with my face and tats you never play the good guy only the antagonist or antihero, I've marketed myself in that since I started and now it’s paying off 100 percent.
I loved to work with Guy Richie, Rodriguez, Tarantino and actors Ray Winstone would be a dream.
Do you have a motto? A saying you live by?
I love making a honest living playing the bad guy.
Thanks for the interview Byron, we will catch up after your latest movie films, in the mean time check out these official sites @