We're big fans of Scott Adkins around here, and it's nice to know the feeling is mutual; we had Scott on the AITH Podcast twice back in the day, and here we are talking to him again, this time for his adventure flick LEGENDARY. In the film, Scott plays an explorer who, along with a ragtag team, seeks a mythical sea beast in China, all the while having to thwart a deadly rival (played by Dolph Lundgren).
In the below interview, Scott and I talk about LEGENDARY, working with Dolph (this is their third film together), expanding his filmography, and what the future holds (is there another UNDISPUTED flick in the cards?).
Thanks for taking the time to chat, Scott. Always great to talk to you.
It’s never a problem for Arrow in the Head.
LEGENDARY is something of an old fashioned adventure, monster movie. We haven’t seen you do a movie like this before.
Yeah, I try to do different things. It would be depressing if I was playing “Boyka” all the time, wouldn’t it? [Laughs]
Are you a fan of monster movies in general?
I wouldn’t say I’m a big fan of the genre. Obviously you have greats like JURASSIC PARK that set the standard. But I like an adventure film. When it was pitched to me, it was as a sort of Indiana Jones-type film. You have these people who are trying to save an endangered species, one they don’t even know exists for certain. Then of course you have Dolph’s character, who is a hunter and just wants to kill them for his own selfish reasons. Actually, when they first approached me to do the film, they wanted me to do the Dolph Lundgren part, but then I guess they spoke to Dolph and he liked that role, and so they offered me the Travis part. But I like to dip my toes in different genres, for sure.
This is just the latest collaboration between Dolph and yourself. Did it work out that way because you had worked together before?
No, it was coincidental, really. It’s strange because it’s two action guys together in a film that isn’t an action film, so I know it can be a bit misleading to people who are expecting it to have martial arts or gunplay. It’s important for people to know it’s more of a family adventure film. It’s not one of these scary monster movies, it’s quite light-hearted.
Yeah, it’s funny because you think there’s going to be a big fight between you and Dolph, and then there is one that lasts about two seconds.
Yeah, we got a holiday on this one. [Laughs]
What is like working with Dolph now that you’re so familiar with him?
I love Dolph, he’s really down to earth and a genuinely nice guy. He comes from a martial arts background, like I do, so we have a lot to talk about. He’s a very easy-going guy, you can sit down and just have a chat with him like he’s an ordinary guy, and we like to keep ourselves ordinary. He’s a funny guy, as well.
Can you talk a little about shooting in China and what the location brings to the film?
Well, it looks great, the location we were filming at. It was a really difficult shoot, to be honest. In China they do things very differently. They’ve never heard of a trailer, they don’t know what a trailer is. I don’t want to be like, “Oh, I’m an actor I need my trailer,” but when you’re in the Chinese heat just hanging around, not even shooting, and the sun is beating down on you, it can be quite difficult. Whenever I make a film in China, there is that to contend with. And when you’re really tired and not rested very well, it can knock it out of your performance too.
How about filming the monster scenes? Was it a case where a guy is holding a pole with a tennis ball attached at the end of it?
It was a bit of that craziness. It was actually three Chinese guys in green suits running around with a dragon head. It was humorous, it wasn’t scary. But you just have to get on with it, haven’t you, the absurdity of it.
I guess you really put your acting skills to the test in that case.
[Laughs] Yeah, I tried.
Have the producers talked about doing a sequel?
No, there’s been no talk about that. Not on my end, anyway.
You spoke about dipping your toes into other genres earlier; what other genres do you want to try out?
I love watching films that are set in medieval times, I’d love to be in something like King Arthur. I’d love to do a medieval zombie film, with knights fighting zombies, something like that. [Laughs] I’d love to play a knight. I’d love to play a Musketeer. I’d love to do as much as possible, to be honest, but of course in my heart it’s always the action films.
I saw that you’re going to be in the new Sacha Baron Cohen movie, that’s something new.
Yeah, I am. That’s correct. I don’t want to say too much. In fact, I’m not going to say anything. I am a huge fan of Sacha’s ever since Ali G, I think he’s a genius. Actually, on the UNDISPUTED films, when I was doing Yuri Boyka, we would joke it sounded like Borat. It was actually pretty last minute; they needed to fill a part and it seemed like I could do the job. I was reunited with Louis Leterrier, who directed me in UNLEASHED way back in the day, I had a tiny part in that. The script is really funny and out-there and shocking.
There’s this rumor going around that you’ll be in THE RAID remake; maybe it’s just wishful thinking on the fans’ part. Any truth to that?
I don’t know why people think I’m going to be in it. I would love to be in it if the opportunity arose, of course, but there’s nothing really to talk about other than I’d be interested.
Is it possible to pin down what your favorite experience making a movie has been thus far?
I guess I’d have to say THE EXPENDABLES 2, just because of the amount of famous faces and icons in it. To be on the same set as all those guys at once was amazing, just to listen to all of their stories, that was enjoyable. Some of the ones I’m most proud of are the NINJA movies, but they’re not enjoyable experiences because I spend a lot of myself on those, it’s really hard work, it’s really tiring. The final product is enjoyable but making it is really difficult.
Are you going to make another NINJA or UNDISPUTED?
Yeah, I think yes on UNDISPUTED. We’re all fighting for it, don’t know why it has taken so long, but I think the producers had bigger fish to fry, but it’s something they’re interested in doing. We’re just working through the script and getting it where we want it to be, but I think some news should be coming soon on that. I hope, fingers crossed.
Thanks, Scott, always a pleasure to talk to you.
Thank you, I really appreciate your interest.