“Maybe one day Hollywood will give me the opportunity I deserve”. Scott adkins exhibits enviable self-esteem: At 45 years old, he is not satisfied with the appreciable number of fans he has in the world of action films and martial arts, and remains confident that one day he will make the final leap to the big industry.
This Sunday, August 1, Legacy of lies, by the screen of Space.
That phrase is from two years ago, when DC Films was looking for the new Batman. The chosen one was Robert Pattinson, but before there was a campaign for Adkins to take the role. The clamor operation included the leak of the test he had given in 2013 to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. That job went to Ben Affleck.
“I did tests for a lot of roles that I couldn’t get. In fact, as an actor, you don’t get most of the roles you perform for. This is how it works ”, the Briton now tells us, with the temperance of a true action hero, via Zoom.
“Legacy of lies” arrives at Space.
From Bourne to Dr. Strange
He already had some opportunities in mega-productions. He was, for example, one of the circumstantial villains in Bourne: The Ultimatum, closure of the original trilogy based on the books by Robert Ludlum and starring Matt Damon.
“It was in 2007, when I was still beginning to understand the industry. We knew it was going to be the highest grossing movie the following summer. Matt Damon was really very nice, a great guy, and he was really good in the role. I was happy to admit – to be in a big movie. It was a small role, but a huge production, so it was part of going up the ladder. “
But the following steps did not lead to the longed-for leading role. He had to be the worst Deadpool in history in Wolverine, from 2009 (“When I arrived and saw the concept art of the character with the sewn mouth, laser eyes and claws sticking out… I thought: this is not going to go well”); had a small role in The indestructibles 2; and a fight against Benedict Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange.
That is why his admirers they complain that it is undervalued and wasted. He agrees: “It is so. It’s Hollywood – it’s made up of decision makers. And not for the fans, but for themselves”. Will his air hurt Affleck and Ryan Reynolds?
The men in suits and ties, he says smiling, have the answer to why he hasn’t had a consecrating role yet: “You should ask them.”
Scott Adkins in “Legacy of Lies,” which opens Sunday.
So Adkins is still waiting for a high-profile rematch, if possible in DC or Marvel. “It would be a great business. I grew up with Marvel comics, I was a huge fan, especially Spider-Man, so I would love to be there. I’m not stupid, I know that would mean having a very successful career and making a lot of money. But unfortunately I get wasted on the big movies. “
Regardless, he is not resentful of seeing stars like Tom Cruise, Liam Neeson or Keanu Reeves starring in action movies instead of stuntmen like him.
“I’m fine with that,” he says. “Take the case of Keanu Reeves: he totally deserves to be where he is., for the effort you put in. He trained for ten years in jiu jitsu at the 87Eleven Academy, and the hours and hours he put into his training can be seen on the screen. “
“Tom Cruise does his own stunts, hangs from a plane … How many actors are doing that? None, he is the only one. He absolutely deserves it. Liam Neeson, in the first Taken (Relentless Search) did a fantastic job, putting in a lot of physical effort. After all, he was a boxer for a long time. If you put in effort, you deserve it. It is easy to see who does not strive”.
Keanu Reeves as John Wick.
Legacy of lies
For now, Adkins remains, worth the contradiction in terms, as a niche star. There he accumulates successes that perhaps did not go through theaters, such as the franchise Unbeaten or Legacy of lies, which premieres this Sunday, August 1 on the Space channel. There he is Martin Baxter, a former MI6 spy, stalked both by his former bosses and by Russian intelligence.
A new opportunity to do his favorite role: the antihero. That is, someone who wants to do good, but “exceeds legal means” and “is focused on the particular good, without forgetting the common good”, according to the definition of the Spanish professor Nahum de La Vega Morell.
“I don’t like playing the virtuoso, that character that you know is good. Real people in real life are complex, it has different facets, good and bad. So the antihero is a little more complex, a little darker. “
“My character in Legacy of lies is like this. For example, he is not the best father, but he thinks he is giving his 12-year-old daughter what she needs, like teaching her to shoot a gun and to live like a spy. It is complex, and I am attracted to those types of characters ”.
Scott Adkins in “Legacy of Lies”.
-Would you like to do non-action roles, in a drama or a comedy?
-You’re talking to a guy who acted in The darkest night (Kathryn Bigelow, 2012). My first job was on a British soap opera, no kicks. I was also for six months in Holby city, a BBC series, playing the assistant director of a hospital. I love the art of acting. But I’m passionate about action movies, and I’m good at them. So that’s my priority.
The art of action
Adkins has his own YouTube channel. In The art of action (The art of action), which accumulates 781 thousand subscribers, interview martial arts experts who brought their skills to film. There he tries to unravel the keys to the art of giving pineapples and kicks on the screen. He gives his: “Acting comes first.”
“If you can’t get the audience to hook with your character and believe in the circumstances of what is happening to him, everything is for nothing. Performance is paramount. And besides being a good actor, you have to be able to do your own fights and stunts. So don’t break the spell, you don’t have to resort to doubles and the audience can stay in the story. Thats the secret”.
-I guess you don’t like the use of special effects and CGI in fights.
-Not in fights, because there is no real need. But it depends on the story. If you’re trying to do Spider-Man, you don’t have a choice – it’s the only way it can be done. We saw the series from the ’80s, which was handmade, and cannot be compared to the movies. Same, I prefer action movies that are more realistic and rough.
-Is the choreography of a fight comparable to a dance one?
-Yes absolutely. What’s more, it probably has more in common with dance choreography than actual fights, because you are working with a partner and not against him, no matter how much that is what you want to show in the film. They are attached to create different shapes for the camera. The more comfortable you feel with each other, the more intense and faster they can make you look.
-What advice would you give to someone who is involved in a fight and does not know how to fight?
-If you don’t know how to fight, you’d better run: the other guy won’t run away from you. But if you don’t have a choice, that is to say that it is going to happen and you are sure that there is no escape, Hit first, hit hard and then I got out of there.