ARROW IN THE HEAD
PAUL DION MONTE
I'll always remember actor Paul Dion Monte (who's cousins with Sly and Frank Stallone) as the poor grocery clerk who gets "his" at the beginning of Sly's COBRA. Freaking classic bit! Paul recently machined gunned through the site to talk shop about his upcoming horror film AWAKEN THE DEAD, his acting stint on ROCKY BALBOA and his future projects. You got the floor Monte!
Would you call yourself a horror fan? If so what are some of your favorite
I am a fan of film first and foremost, but always “get down” with Horror.. These films have always pushed the limits of the film biz in general. Whether it be in a classic sense dating back to the Dracula ( 1931) which basically introduced modern “Goth” ,Ratings being set to “R”, the low/ cost enjoyed by high earnings has always reflected first and foremost from the Horror/ Indie crowd…
Horror as a whole has pushed the CGI folks to the limit as well, forcing them to strive and achieve in ways with restricted budgets that are unheard of (for their time). The first title that really got my hooked was A Clockwork Orange (1971), The Shining (1980), American Werewolf in London (1981), and of course, you have to include all of Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez’s works such as Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
You’re presently starring in the low budget, action/horror shoot em up “Awaken the Dead, what was it about the project that appealed to you?
Honestly, I’ve never done a Zombie film, not having any idea what a following these films had, such as your site, I was approached by Jeff Brookshire with the opportunity...hence, The Hard Assed Ex-Marine, Nick came to life (and I gained 15 lbs to play him)
Did you do your own stunts in the picture? If so which one was the most challenging to accomplish?
I love doing Stunts I’ve learned from one of the best action stars ( Sly Stallone) a lot about doing your own stunts, and from some of the best 2nd unit guys as well ie: Terry Leonard, Vic Armstrong, and Charles Picerni.. I had a couple of fight scenes, some tuck, & roll gags, no biggie… What kicked my ass was in Pre-production The Make-Up FX guy had to do a full head plaster cast, and I drowned in the plaster a bit ( they do not do the straw in the nose gig as you see in the movies) so when the nostril holes got clogged it was hair raising to say the least.
In your opinion, what separates Awaken the Dead from all of the other Zombie movies on the block?
Awaken the Dead is a film with a style and Glory of it’s own, it’s not a “copy” of Dawn Of The Dead, Shaun Of The Dead, or any of the others, but it does have a specific place in the Zombie genre.
Awaken the Dead does well, any chance for a sequel? Would you be interested
in reprising your role?
I would love to but without giving the Story away, I don’t know how it could happen… I’m confident you will see a sequel, the acting from both Gary, and comic relief from Nate is going to surprise you.
You also have a part in the upcoming ROCKY BALBOA? Who do you play and what can you tell us about the character?
I play a Corporate friend of Rocky’s Son, Robert ( played by Milo Ventimiglia) and Robert is trying to find his way in the world but is haunted by his fathers shadow everywhere he goes... so essentially I play a corporate prick that always bullies him around a bit.
your opinion will ROCKY BALBOA make up for the lackluster Rocky 5?
That’s why, in my opinion, Sly had to do it... without giving anything away, I think it will be a final episode to Rocky that we all will appreciate and it will take you back to where you were in your life when you first saw Rocky...
You’ve actually appeared in many of Sly Stallone’s past vehicles; Cobra, Over the Top, Rambo 3, Tango & Cash, Rocky 5, Stop or my Mom will Shoot and Demolition Man. Which was your favorite on set experience and why?
On films of their magnitudes, each experience is it’s own story, i.e. Rambo III was the highest budget film in history for it’s time, Cobra was my first film ever, and had Andrew Robertson, Reni Santoni, and The legendary Ron Jeremy ( I was 18 and didn’t know of Ron’s Porn career until later); I thought “wow I’m doing a film w/ The Psycho from Dirty Harry!”.
taught me as a father figure would everything that I could absorb about
films of that magnitude, just be being onset. Believe it or not Rocky Balboa
was actually a lower Budget film (approx 24 mil shooting in 37 days) and
I’ve never seen Sly so dedicated as he was on this set... every day he
cranked a minimum of 18 hours... This project is truly something that he is,
and can be, proud of. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about it.
What’s next for you after ROCKY BALBOA, any other projects lined up?
Yes, Jeff Brookshire and I are collaborating on a film that he wrote called Rag Man... this will be pure action; and to my knowledge, the first film to use a Smith & Wessen 460, which is a mean looking’ gun... hopefully it will be the next Dirty Harry genre in the Indie crowd.
Will we ever see a film written and or directed by Paul Dion Monte? If so what genre would you tackle?
I wrote a film about the life of Singer Ronnie Van Zant and was about to shoot it on Oct. 15’2001... Well then 9/11 happened, and put that in the hole since I was shooting in Jacksonville, Fl. My crew got scarred not only from a uncertainty from flying at the time; but from the Anthrax scare that was going on at the time in Fl as well... That episode kind of put me back in the Labor of acting, I lost a lot of my own financing on that project, but live and learn. After Ragman, I’ll be producing a couple of reality shows that Frank Stallone and I put together, and we’ll see where that takes us.
Love scene or an action scene which is more fun for you to do?
They both have their individual choreography... I would prefer to be in bed with a gorgeous gal than in the swamp covered in mud, freezing, bleeding looking up my pants for leaches or lord knows what else:-) What’s funny is each scene has a action life of it’s own.
I'd like to thank Paul for dropping by and sharing the love! Break a leg in your future projects man!
READ OUR REVIEW OF AWAKEN THE DEAD HERE