Before we talk about GUNFIGHT AT RIO BRAVO, we would love to know what inspired you to come to Hollywood to start your film-making career?
Being a filmmaker was a long time goal with me ever since I was in my teens. I pursued several other careers before coming into this world and I believe experiencing all this now I am at the perfect time in life to manage it and, most importantly, have fun! I suppose I can credit the film books I read at a young age as well as learning by just watching films over and over again. You really cannot go to school to learn filmmaking, you have to get out there and DO IT!
What was it like having to balance acting while directing the movie?
This balancing act is something I learned how to do early on and I enjoy it. I love directing but I am often disappointed if I cannot get in front of that lens on certain days. I find the process of finding a character to be rewarding.
Tell us a little bit about your character in the film. You play Sheriff Vernon Kelly. What can audiences expect from you role?
Sheriff Kelly is a straightforward lawman, beholden to protecting his town. He is also a tortured soul as a result of his murky, dark, criminal past so he has a lot going on psychologically.
How is this character similar and different to you?
I usually choose characters to play who have a bit of a similarity to me but this guy is a bit different. There is definitely the cool gunfighter type but there is the deep regret over his past he is constantly processing. I guess I admire his noble nature and I am fascinated by his dark side. I like characters with a dark nature!
What were some of your most memorable moments from filming?
My most memorable two moments were as follows. The intense dialogue sequence between Alexander Nevsky as Ivan and Natalie Denise Sperl as Nora. It was a simple scene but their acting and the choices they made to deliver Craig Hamann’s great writing was magic. Kerry Goodwin as Jenny riding a horse to the sheriff’s office while balancing Sheriff Kelly’s breakfast on a tray was a great visual. Of course, the epic action sequences choreographed by Art Camacho will be the real visual standouts.
How did you like working with Alexander Nevsky, Matthias Hues, and Olivier Gruner all in one room? What was the experience from that stellar cast?
What a thrill it was to have those three together at one time. I had scenes individually with each one as well as all together. One of my favourites was the tense jailhouse scene with Matthias, he is positively sinister in it! Olivier exemplified rugged, independent heroism. Watch for the big scene between Alexander and me, it’s a good one. Alexander has a great range as an actor and that scene shows it!
What do you hope people take away from GUNFIGHT AT RIO BRAVO, now that it has been released?
It is very simple. I hope audiences have FUN! I want them to enjoy Craig Hamann’s story, the amazing scenery, the exciting action set pieces as well as the heroes and the despicable villains.
Aside from your film prospects, you’re working on a book. Please tell us about it.
I have completed a novel version of my first feature length screenplay (which was also my first feature length film). It also includes three short stories, all based in the western genre. The book is called “A Prayer For The Damned and other tales of the West” and includes some interesting artwork designed exclusively for this edition. It should be available within the next couple of months. It is my first venture as a novelist.
Where would you rank GUNFIGHT AT RIO BRAVO among the other Westerns you have done?
I would certainly rank it as one of my best. I realize it is quite different than my previous films being a blend of action films meets western tradition. The fact that it is a unique hybrid makes it my favourite even though I still regard PROMISE as my other favourite.
You recently completed the horror film NIGHT OF THE CAREGIVER. Do you have any other new projects in the works and what can you tell us about TAKEN FROM RIO BRAVO?
NIGHT OF THE CAREGIVER I am particularly excited about. It stars Natalie Denise Sperl and Eileen Dietz (THE EXORCIST) and is a tale of the paranormal with a dash of Satanism thrown in for good measure! After that we will release TAKEN FROM RIO BRAVO, the sequel to GUNFIGHT which we have already shot. For the sequel, expect to see some familiar faces, a few new ones and some really desperate, vile bad guys. There will be more action and we take this story out to wide open country so it will have some epic scenery! We are also in preproduction on a new thriller THE KALEIDOSCOPE which will be my take on Alfred Hitchcock meets Paul Verhoeven. Get ready for some dark thrills.
Finally the Eastern Film Fans question is if you were stuck on a dessert island and could only take three films (it can be any genre) what would they be ?
Lawrence Of Arabia, Bullitt and The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Thank you so much for the time with Eastern Film Fans as well as your continued support of our ongoing projects!