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INT: Oded Fehr

08.09.2007by: Matt Withers

The sit down with Oded Fehr was interesting, mostly because you rarely get a chance to be in the presence of a real person who is that stoic, along with being ridiculously good looking. Maybe not the first dude you'd want to go grab a beer with, but let me tell you, if you were in the shit you'd want him on your side.

Oded Fehr

What separates this movie from the previous ones?

I think what has evolved is the circumstances in which they find themselves. The last movie you’ve got this infection taking over the city. Kind of a war against the bad guys. This movie is really about survival in a post-apocalyptic world. The characters are just trying to support each other.

Life is very different from what it was, and Carlos, I tried to see him as someone who’s been through a lot. He’s been there since the beginning, and now he’s just trying to keep everyone’s spirits up. But when he sees Alice, because they have the same history, he feels freer to show his real emotions.

So is Carlos getting it on with Claire and Alice?

[laughs] Now wait a minute, Carlos is not a player.

What is his role in this convoy? Is he the leader?

No, Claire is the leader. She put the convoy together. In my opinion of his backstory, with 8 years of rough experiences he’s probably been in a few convoys. This is the one he’s in now. He’s an experienced fighter. He feels responsibility for protection of the convoy, but Claire is definitely the leader. He’s a part of it, but also an outsider.

Do you think he shies away from a leadership role because of what happened to his team in the last movie?

No. I think deep down Carlos thinks that this is the end. Even though they are surviving, he’s not very optimistic. All his friends have died, all these people have died, Alice is not around. So he stands back and lets Claire lead. He almost doesn’t want to become too attached.

What drew you to return? And why did Carlos and Alice part initially?

Well like everybody else, I got the script and thought what’s the story gonna be this time? I think they probably were together for awhile, fought for awhile, and then they separated because Alice thought there was something wrong with her. She thinks she’s being controlled by Umbrella Corp., and you see that at the end of the last movie. They’re actually seeing what she’s seeing, and she senses that. So she separates herself, and Carlos and [Mike Epps character] LJ end up with this convoy.

What are some of your character’s challenges? For instance, the Super Zombies, are they harder to kill?

Yeah, they are much faster. Much stronger. They’re smart. They’re not just acting on instinct. These guys actually think. They know that you have to open a door to get into a car. You need to do this, you need to do that. It’s a totally different enemy. Which Carlos is surprised by, because he’s never experienced it before. He’s as surprised as anybody else. The reaction is shock, and fear, and just trying to survive.

Do they still die the same?

They do, but they don’t slow down at all when you shoot them in the head or break their neck. When we shot the first scene with them coming full bore at you, it’s sort of like "Whoa!" As an actor you're just trying to survive it.

How were the conditions shooting in the desert?

Harder than just about anything else I’ve experienced. The heat was just crazy.

Even worse than The Mummy?

Even worse than The Mummy.

Are you able to use that acting wise, or does it get in the way?

No, I think that’s one of the things that’s going to make this movie so great. These characters are barely surviving in this world that is so harsh. Everything’s against them. It’s wonderful to connect when you’re supposed to be hot and sweaty and you’re actually hot and sweaty.

This is what’s so hard about shooting in front of the blue screen. We’re comfortable, we’re in the city, it’s nice and cool. In the desert I’m standing there in puddles, with a black machine gun that got so hot it actually burned my hands. It definitely helped.

I’m very excited about this movie. It’s fresh, the super zombies are great, and it really gives a feeling of that post-apocalyptic world. Everything’s just death, and destroyed, and these zombies are scary as hell.

What was used in the crow sequence?

They used real crows, plastic crows and CGI crows.

How did that sequence come out?

It’s great. There’s a busload of kids that we’re trying to save, and there’s a lot of screaming, and kids running from one bus to another. With gunfire and all the rest of it. It was very exciting even though we didn’t have that many birds.

Is it bloody?

Yeah, there’s definitely goriness there.

How was it working with Russell [Mulcahy]?

Great. Obviously he’s very experienced and has done a lot of genre movies. I found that he’s really wonderful with actors. He really wants to get the performance out. He gives great notes.

In comparison, how was it working with Alexander Witt [director of Resident Evil 2]?

Alexander was ... Alexander was good. It’s a different experience with Russell. Visually he sets the style that he wants, and then lets the DP do a lot of work as long as it stays true to the vision. So he’ll work a lot with the actors, and then when there’s something very specific he wants visually, he’ll put the camera on his shoulder and shoot it.

Were you a fan of his work before this? Had you seen Highlander?

Yep, Highlander is a breakthrough movie. It kind of changed cinema, with all the flying cameras and moving shots and all the rest of it. He’s very good and just has a great vision.

Have you heard the rumor that you might be up for the role of Tony Stark in Iron Man?

Great, yeah, write that. That’d be great.

You can tell right away that Fehr has a lot of experience with not giving away too much in interviews, and he very skillfully sidestepped some throny questions that got posed. Not easy to do when a table full of internet geeks are firing at you. Still, I guess when you've been fighting Super Zombies in the Mexican desert, not much is gonna faze you any more.



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