INT: Vinnie Jones
Vinnie Jones is
the "go to" actor anytime you need a tough guy who can
also act. His work in such
films as LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS, SNATCH, X-MEN: THE
LAST STAND and dont forget
I got the chance to talk with him recently at the Wizard World Convention and we talked about the tough guy image. He is exactly what you would expect from him. He has a very dark sense of humor and the tough guy thing really is him. He spoke of his work THE CONDEMNED and also his work on X-MEN. He is now currently working again with Lionsgate for THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN, a horror flick with Brooke Shields and Bradley Cooper. It seems this may be a genre he may continue to live in.
With your prior work in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch you created a bad guy image. What was it like taking on this role in The Condemned? What fascinated you with the script?
Well, first of
all I thought the script was too violent. When I first met Scott
[Wiper], we met in
fit for me he was brilliant. What I didnt know was the
McStarley was written for a British guy and they changed it to an
American or something. But then Scott decided to go back to
that idea and we went on and nailed it. It was a great role
for me. I enjoyed doing it. It was also Steve [
What was it like working in that location?
It was brilliant. Steve loved it more than anyone. Hed stay in the woods in the trailers. He didnt even come back to the apartments.
Whats the difference for you between bigger budget films and something like this?
movies go too big, youre working on a set with people who you may
be working with for four or five months and you dont even say
hello to them. You dont have a drink with them.
You might just nod your head at them. On this we all live
together on the Gold Coast in
With X-Men, how did you get involved?
I just got asked to meet the producers, really. Because when I saw the drawing of Juggernaut it was as if theyd drawn me in the suit. So I went along and basically shook hands and got the part.
Had you been a fan of the series before?
I do like science fiction movies. I like Superman. I loved Robocop. The Bionic Man back in the 70s I loved. I loved all them movies. I would love to have some them powers. It would make life a lot easier.
Whats up next for you?
Im doing a horror film called The Midnight Meat Train. The first day of [shooting] is tomorrow. [It also stars] Brooke Shields and Bradley Cooper. I play a serial killer on the underground. [Bradley plays] an up and coming photographer and he keeps seeing me doing these killings and he has to get to a point where does he stop taking the pictures and when does he call it in. Theres a big twist at the end. Its a real horror, horror movie. Its gruesome.
Are you a fan of horror in general?
Not in general really because my wife wont watch them. Because of research Ive been watching a lot of these movies. Rick Hoffman was in Hostel and Ive been watching that. I dont know how they get away with some of these horror movies. Jesus! Adding the gore and the special effects stuff that weve got, I mean, Ive got contact lenses which I wear that are oozing out blood. It is incredible what they can do now, but they are really using technology as gruesome as they can. I skin two people on the train. I hook them up by their Achilles [tendons] and actually skin them. Thats just to give you a little taste of it.
The gore hounds are going to love it. I take it were looking at an R-rating for that one?
I dont know how they get away with it honestly.
You mentioned you wife doesnt watch horror movies. So what do you say when you go home [and talk about your day]? Oh, I just skinned a couple of people today?
Even when I watch it I have to keep telling myself, its only prosthetics or this or that, because it really is on your plate, isnt it?
So what release date are they looking at for that film?
I dont know, probably the end of summer or Halloween.
What are your expectations for The Condemned?
I think its going to go through the roof. This movie tested 82 [with test audiences]. Die Hard didnt even test at 82. Anything that tests over 50 is good, and anything that tests over 60 is unbelievable. When you start getting into 70s and 80s forget about it. And this tested 82. The biggest response was with women, because there is a story there about Steve and his family. There are two stories there. There is the island, but there is also Steve and his family in Texas.
The Condemned was a blast, which is what any action film should be. You are doing a lot of action genre films. Is that what you like doing?
Its what I get offered. Im an old-fashion minded person in a lot of ways, and I think for John Wayne to do anything a part from be a cowboy is wrong. People want him to be John Wayne, the cowboy, and do a hundred films like that because that what we want. And I think what fans expect from people. You get your fan base from what they like you doing, and I think you should be true to your fans. I did a great movie about the IRA and it was one of my best performances, but people were a bit disappointed because we wanted to see Vinnie killing people. If thats what they, thats want you got to give them. You got to be true to the fans.
After this I think it will get me up the ladder a bit more because this will be the second feature Ive done with Lionsgate. And Jason Statham, more power to him, hes doing the same there. Youve got to get producers to trust that you can get the people in the doors and pay the money to see the movies that they want you to see. I think thats a rule. I think Steve should stay on this road, [he] cant stop. Vin Diesel has changed tactics. The Rock has changed tactics. I think they might get a big payday on the Monday, but theyll fizzle out as actors by the Friday.
What people dont know is that they might think, oh yeah theres a big payday but these boys dont need that money. Steve is very fan conscious. I think hell stay at what hes good at and his fans want. I feel that a lot actors they cheat their fans because they take away [what the fans want]. These guys shouldnt be doing comedy, they should be [doing action movies] because thats what the fans want. When guys like The Rock and Vin Diesel learn from what theyve done and they switch tactics, its very hard to come back from that. I think Stone Cold will be true to his fans. Thats the vibe I got all through the movie. Hes a great guy.
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