The Expendables 3
opens in theaters this Thursday evening and ComingSoon.net got a chance to attend the press conference from the film in London last week with Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, Kellan Lutz and producer Avi Lerner. Check out what they had to say about the film, working with a new group of stars, what we might see in the female version of the film, The ExpendaBelles
and all their crazy stunts.
Q: Which was the worst injury you suffered while making this film?
[laughs] I mean, we just do stunts. We had motors blowing up in our faces. I didn't get hurt on anything. I had to learn how to use a motorcycle, so I dropped that a few times over a tank, but that's about it.
I got injured the first take that I did in the movie. I carried on with the movie, but I didn't say that because I didn't want them to think that I was getting older. But it was running up the roof to the helicopter – the first shot, I got a pain in my right knee and now it's gone, but it stayed there for a couple of months.
Is that it?! He got a pain in the knee?! I wake up with that! I mean, usually I grade the quality of a film by the intensity of the injury. I do "Rambo," "The Expendables," I break my neck, I break my spine, I dislocate both shoulders, I go, "This is going to be a good movie!" So on this one here I really ended up taking a fall on my back and had to have some metal put in there, so if I'm squeaking just deal with it. It's not my shoes, it's my back.
I snapped a shoe lace, it was very depressing.
Jason actually saw death at the bottom of the Black Sea. He's very modest about it. He drove a five ton truck sixty feet down into black mud… because I cut the break line. That’s a little reveal, by the way.
I broke a nail.
…in someone's eye.
I didn't get too many injuries on this one. I made it out of it alive.
Q: You guys all talk about the kind of injuries it's inevitable you're going to get making this film. Is there anything you do training wise in the gym before the shoot starts to prepare your body?
You're going across cinder blocks, gravel, you trip and you bust up. You get a back blast from RPGs. It gets serious, it's kind of like a weird sporting event when you do these sorts of films. It's just like any sport - you're going to get injured, there's no getting away from it.
Q: The violence in this film seems to be less graphic than the previous two. Is that a deliberate thing?
Yeah… The idea of PG-13, we wanted to hit a broader audience, and because of our predecessors, looking at the Bournes and James Bond, we thought they're pretty violent films. They're extremely graphic without pushing it. Of course, when we do the DVD, then you'll see the next 80 frames and say "Oh, there it is!" I thought also the amount of violence, the amount of warfare in this movie, if the film was graphic after a while it'd be nauseating, almost too much. Even though I personally enjoy it, I just think that it would be pushing the envelope. It would also diminish the humor.
Q: There's obviously a lot of new faces in the film, both young and old, and it really feels like there's a spirit of passing of the torch in this one. I wonder if you could talk about the people you brought on board and how much that spirit inspired the film.
I felt that it's at a point where we needed to upgrade and retool, and bring in actors that are known for their physicality but were also incredibly dramatic actors, nominated actors, actors that have done films in almost every genre – I thought this would be interesting.
I brought comedy. I saw possibilities in the character [Galgo] to just make people happy, have comical relief during the movie. I talked to Sly in the beginning; the character was designed in a way that allowed me to do that pretty clearly. He says, "Do what you want," and so I started playing with that idea in mind and ended up improvising a lot. I became a compulsive talker, a weapon of mass destruction of talking. When I saw my fellow actors start rolling their eyes I said, "Yes, I am there." They just wanted to strangle me in basically every scene, and that provoked some laughter. Basically the character is just hiding something painful inside, and that's his way to do it.
I, like Antonio, tried to bring a little humor to the character, a little bit of my martial arts action when I could get some in, and have a great time at the same time. I brought a little bit more color too [laughs].
To me, there's a duality between Barney Ross [Stallone] and John Smilee. You know, you never really see the young Barney, and there's an essence of who John is and how he becomes. Throughout the journey of the script, and potentially through 4, 5, 6 through to 10, you'll see that development of him open up a bit more. You know, my character doesn't smile, he has a lot of weight on his shoulders. Barney Ross gets in there, he's one of the few that can actually get in there. My character is more of the drama queen, I guess, but he'll open up.
Q: You joked about 4-10, but how far do you plan in advance? Do you get ideas and go "That'll go in the next movie”? And bare in mind let's talk about an "ExpendaBelles" at some point. Are there any women you would like to see in that?
Yes, there are, and we're now starting to see that you can't totally depend on actresses. You're going to need a certain kind of physicality to pull that off. Getting back to how many Expendables - Avi, what’s the deal, how many do you want?
We'd just to like to continue this, because it's an on-going experiment.
We are right now on the finals of the script, we've got lots of ideas about who's going to be the action movie star ladies, and we're planning on doing it from the beginning of next year. That's all I can say about this movie right now.
Q: You've had a lot of great action in your careers - do you have a favorite moment that you're particularly proud of?
You know, honestly, being a part of this movie… I've only done a few action movies, I love action movies. The one that stands out is when we were all in the helicopter…just having everyone who I grew up watching in a helicopter together cracking jokes.
Anything that has to do with horses and sword-fighting.
I've been lucky. I've had so many interesting ones… falling through trees in "First Blood"… in "Rambo 3" there was no CGI and we almost got hit by a helicopter… but overall, I would say dealing with Dolph Lundgren in "Rocky 4" – that was brutal, really brutal. He almost killed me… thanks Dolph, for the injuries.
I don't know, you do a lot of different things, riding jet skis… I think one that sticks in my memory would possibly be having a fist-fight outside a helicopter standing on the skids in a movie called "Crank."
I think Expendables 3 is the biggest action movie that I've done, and I've done many. It's really got everything: train, helicopter, boat, guns. You name it.