CS Interview: Bronson Pinchot and John Ashton Celebrate Beverly Hills Cop 35th Anniversary
In 1984, Beverly Hills Cop exploded onto the big screen and instantly catapulted its star Eddie Murphy to superstardom. Thirty-five years, $316 million at the worldwide box office and two sequels later, the action-comedy classic continues to entertain audiences with its clever humor, instantly recognizable pop-synth score, action, and well-developed characters.
To promote the new 35th Anniversary Blu-ray release, Bronson Pinchot, who played Serge in the film, and John Ashton, who played Sgt. Taggart, were kind enough to sit down with ComingSoon.net for an exclusive interview in which they discuss the film’s legacy, and dive deep into the making-of process that ultimately turned a low-key cop thriller into an unprecedented box office smash.
BRONSON PINCHOT (Serge)
ComingSoon.net: This is really cool of you to sit down and talk with us today about Beverly Hills Cop. You’ve got a lot of interviews to get through, so I’ll just get right to it.
Bronson Pinchot: Well, you can digress. You can digress, if you want to. I have a 91-year-old mother, who comes up to my lowest rib. She said to me, I swear she said to me, “Bronny, what’s a tangent?” And I said, “It’s where you live.” My favorite interchange between my mother and I. “What’s a tangent?” But the funniest thing is, having a little Italian mom that lives in the land of tangent has completely, I mean, look at the character in Beverly Hills Cop. He does zilch to advance the story. I was shocked I ended up in the movie. I was on a tangent. The whole thing is a tangent. There’s not one single thing that happens in that scene. Eddie Murphy could’ve just walked into the art gallery and walked right into…— but hey, I don’t really know why I was there and I don’t know why they kept it and I don’t know why any of it happened, but there you go. Tangents. Tangents are integral. It’s the soul of comedy. I mean, I’ve been blessed that I was reared by a tangent spouting little lady.
CS: Speaking of that scene, don’t you think that’s what makes it work so well – the fact that it just comes out of left field?
Pinchot: It’s hard for me to judge what the hell the impact was — out of proportion to anything that I’ve done. I remember I was doing a music video to go with Neutron Dance. And the rough cut to Beverly Hills Cop was out and the Pointer Sisters, who were singing Neutron Dance in the video, had seen it and they summoned me to their trailer and said, “You know you’re going to be a star, right?” And I didn’t know what I thought they were smoking, but I was like, “What?” And they said, “You haven’t seen it?” And I said, “No.” And they said, “You’re going to be a star.” And I couldn’t even begin to process that. And then, I think they showed me a little of it and I looked at them and they were screaming. And I said, “What? That’s terrible. Look! I have a double chin.” I didn’t get it. I didn’t get it. I did not get it. And then, I went to a screening of it, and as far as I could remember, the room was silent. And my heart went into my thighs, and then afterward everybody was coming up … I don’t know. That’s one of my rules to this day, not because of Beverly Hills Cop, but just because of what life has taught me is that if you can completely get your head around it, it isn’t going to be as good as it could be. I was with Amy Heckerling when she wrote Clueless. And she showed me the script. I said, “I don’t get it. I don’t get it.” And then I saw the final cut and I was like, “This is amazing.” And when they sent me the script of True Romance, I couldn’t even follow the story. I couldn’t even follow what was going on. And then I saw it and I said, this is amazing! So, either I’ve got Greta Thunberg syndrome and I’m just kind of like that. But I just don’t get stuff. But that’s my litmus test. If I can’t completely grasp it, it’s usually really good.
CS: Is that one of the reasons you portrayed Serge that way? Because you weren’t really sure what to expect from Beverly Hills Cop, so you just decided to do your thing?
Pinchot: The reason that I did him that way is that I had just come off a movie where there was this very mysterious and weird, but charismatic Israeli woman who was doing our makeup. And she had this very strange body language, which I borrowed for Serge. Her arms were kind of like cartilaginous and she was very soft. And she had a very similar voice. And she pronounced things weirdly and she wore sunglasses. She didn’t have makeup, but she wore sunglasses. And I said to her once — there I was, I was right out of Yale and I was trying to do a good job — and I gently took her hand and I said, “I have to ask you, how can you see what color I am if you have sunglasses on?” And she said [Serge voice], “I’ve done this before. Don’t be stupid. Put your hands down. Don’t be awful.” She said, “Don’t be awful.” And I was like, “What does that even mean?” And she was so, so just — she was weird. I ran into her twenty plus years later on another movie. And of course, by then, she knew I had kind of done an homage to her.
I was walking around with the [Serge] scene from Beverly Hills Cop, but it wasn’t a foreign character. It was an American character and he didn’t have any flavor at all. There was next to nothing there. And I was walking around thinking, “I gotta get a handle on it. I gotta get a handle on it.” And then — her name was Lily — and then Lily’s voice came to me. And when I did it as Lily, everything came together. So, I went into see [director] Marty Brest for the audition, and I waited three hours or more. And during that three hours, I went through all the stages of, “Well, how dare they! Don’t they know I did Risky Business and Flamingo Kid?” And then to like, “Oh God, look where it’s come in my career, I have to wait three hours!” And then to, “I don’t care. I don’t care. I’m fearless!”
So, by the time I went in – three hours is a long time to cycle through everything – by the time I went in, I looked at Marty Brest and I said, “I’ve got one take on this and that’s all I’ve got.” And he said, “Let me see it.” And I did it. And he bit a pencil so that he could hear what I was doing because he was laughing so hard. And then, he showed me the pencil and it was bitten like a chipmunk had gotten it. And he said, “I don’t know what that is, but I have to have it.” And then, he brought in one of his staff and he said, “Look at this.” And again, she didn’t laugh at all. But you know, it’s just weird. It’s just weird. I said, “That’s all I’ve got. That’s all I’ve got.” I said, “That’s all I can come up with.”
He had a young woman come in who was obviously a very trusted member of his staff. He was like, “Look, look, look, look what he’s doing.” And I did it, and she just looked at it like you would look at — somebody was telling me last night that they had watched a documentary on Chinese street food; and apparently if you go down the right street you can get rat soup. She looked at me like I was a hot steaming bowl of rat soup like, “Well, what?” But again, who knows what she really did because my memory of the industry screening was dead silence – dead vacuum silence. And yet, right afterwards, all these big stars were coming up and grabbing me and saying, “Oh you’re a testament to the old cliché of there are no small parts, just small actors.” Whatever. So, maybe I misremember that. I don’t know. That’s my memory of it.
CS: So, you had the reaction from the director. Now you’re walking into the actual day to film and you’ve got Eddie Murphy there. What was his take on the role?
Pinchot: At that time, Eddie said one line to me for three days and that was, “Popeye was on.” I don’t know what the hell he was talking about. One thing I can tell you that is absolutely true is I was completely terrified of him and his aura, but Serge wasn’t. So, every time the camera would role, I was completely in control of my body and my universe. But in between takes, I was afraid. I was in awe of him. And it didn’t help my awe and fear that … he communicated to me through his bodyguard. Of course, years later, we relaxed, and we’ve had chats and everything, but at the time — I just read an article about someone meeting Eddie when he was 19 and they say he was actually very shy. So, my memory was he was this awe-inspiring titan movie star, and he only spoke to me through his bodyguard, but he may have been just a shy kid. I mean, he’s three years younger than me, so he’s 20 [at the time]. He was a kid and I was a kid, and this was a huge movie for him, but the only thing I remember him saying directly to me was, “Popeye was on,” which — what? I don’t know what he was talking about.
But the interesting thing, and I have actually had this with several actors, is that my interaction with him on film was warm and complicated and free, and my interaction with him not on film was nothing. Like, I’ve had that many times. I mean, when I did Perfect Strangers a short time afterwards — [Mark Linn-Baker and I] are best friends now, absolutely friends for life. We’re like brothers. But at the time we did [Perfect Strangers], we used to bicker off camera and seize up and have huffy puffy fits about how the other one was trying to do the scene. But on camera, we were the deepest best friends. And only after that three years [after the show ended] did we realize we were the deepest best friends.
But there was something there [on Beverly Hills Cop]. And again, it could be entirely me. I’d like to get in a little psychic helicopter and revisit [that set] and see what was really going on. But maybe my awe of [Eddie] made him anxious. I was terrified. I mean, it was a huge movie. Plus, I was just a day player.
I’ll tell you one thing that happened at the time of this movie. That we were in a shoe store that they had redressed as [Serge’s] art gallery. And during the scene where I hand him his cappuccino, the phone rang. [Laughs] And somebody said, “Is Bob there?” And I said, “No, he’s not.” And everybody started to giggle because obviously the phone shouldn’t have rang. And then they said, “Well, can you put me in touch with him?” And I said, “No, I’m just a day player.” [Laughs]
I did have this thing that I discovered — this little weird sort of finger right in-between my solar plexus and my belly button; like, a little finger, a little growing finger stroking my belly button and my umbilical saying, “This is big. This is some big thing.” I didn’t know what that meant, but it might’ve been the fact that I think Marty did an absolute minimum of thirty to forty takes because as we went along, he was just like, “Oh, we’ll just do another one. Just don’t even worry where it’s going, just improvise.” Improvising is catnip. I mean, that’s like, wow! There’s a room of thirty or forty people and here’s this famous comedian and here’s me — nobody — and we’re just improvising and everybody’s giggling, and you could see they were laughing off camera. We did it a minimum of thirty times. That, I can tell you.
CS: That’s crazy.
Pinchot: So, I did start to have this magical feeling like something crazy is happening, but I didn’t think that [the scene] was going to get on film. I just thought someone was pumping vermouth into my veins through an invisible IV.
When people can’t laugh, it’s marvelous. In the theater, sometimes you hear people trying, and they’re stifling it. And there’s nothing like stifled emotion or crying or even sobbing, and you can hear them stifling and sniffling. And then on film, sometimes you see them shaking with laughter, or you can even see the [handheld] camera shaking. I’ve recreated the character of Serge on a series I did called A Million Little Things. They didn’t call him Serge. They called him something else. But the camera was handheld, and the guy was right up close to me, and he was shaking with laughter and the camera was shaking up and down and it tickled me to no end. I was like, “Oh, this is just the best! This is like church laughter.” I mean, he can’t laugh, but his machinist is laughing.
Did you know the Blu-ray set of Beverly Hills Cop is out today?
CS: Yeah. I know.
Pinchot: Well, I didn’t.
CS: I know. I’ve got my copy of it already.
Pinchot: Here’s what’s fun to know about that. I’m obviously in Beverly Hills Cop and I’m in Beverly Hills Cop 3, and I’m not in Beverly Hills Cop 2 because I was doing Perfect Strangers. But because I wasn’t in two, that’s why I got to do True Romance, which is to date the thing I’m the proudest of in film, because when I met Tony Scott he said, “I wanted to work with you on two and I don’t know why I didn’t get to do it, but I’m going to get you in this.”
CS: Oh, that’s cool.
Pinchot: Have you spoken to Brigitte Nielsen?
Pinchot: She’s tall. She’s very tall. I stood next to her and I looked right into her ribs.
CS: Did you have a bit more freedom to do even more than you wanted to do with Serge on Beverly Hills Cop 3?
Pinchot: I did. I mean, the director John Landis, he had to coax me to do it. I didn’t really want to do it because I didn’t think lightning would strike twice and I didn’t want to do it. But he called me and coaxed me and coaxed me. And then, he said, you know, just come up with some crazy stuff. And so, that was fun, because – I don’t think I’ve ever seen it – but I think at the time I was getting a lot of colonics and I believe I sort of worked even the colonics into it. I can’t remember. But yeah, I mean, it’s funny … as I look back, I think it’s like being in a musical. You can’t change the words and you can’t change the notes and you can’t change the tempo, but there’s still a lot you can do within those narrow walls. When we did the original, we had the structure of the scene, but then we kept finding stuff within that structure. I think on three, it might’ve just been a little too all over the place, but I can’t really remember to tell you the truth.
CS: Would you do a part four?
Pinchot: You know, as they say on the law shows: Speculative, Your Honor. No one’s asked me, so I have no idea.
CS: It would be an absolute shame if you didn’t come back.
Pinchot: Would you call a day of mourning?
CS: I would be very sad.
Pinchot: Well, it would probably mostly be because they didn’t ask me, but so far, I haven’t been asked. And – who was that actress that showed up in the catsuit and it really was the worst? Sean –
CS: Sean Young?
Pinchot: Yeah, remember? She just showed up at Warner Bros. in the Catwoman suit and it didn’t go over well.
CS: Yeah, for Batman Returns. Everybody just thought she was crazy.
Pinchot: So, like, you don’t want to show up with the espresso and the lemon twist.
JOHN ASHTON (Sgt. Taggart)
ComingSoon.net: Beverly Hills Cop just turned 35. Was this a project that you knew was going to be a hit right from the get-go?
Ashton: Well, I was surprised by it and I never enter into a project with the outcome in my mind. I do the job day-by-day and I go and do my job and do my work and I don’t think beyond that. I don’t think in terms of big hits, or this is going to be great and we’re going to win Academy Awards — I don’t think of any of that stuff. I’ve got a theater background and I got my degree in theater from USC. I go in and just attack the project and do the best I can and do my job and let the chips fall where they may. Fortunately, Beverly Hills Cop was a huge hit and it was great. It’ll be part of my legacy forever. (Laughs) I’m very pleased with it. It used to bother me when people would yell, “Hey, Taggart,” when I walked into a restaurant or something. But after a while, I just thought, you know what? There are not many actors that can put a stamp on a character and be with them for the rest of their life … it’s an honor. You just take it and go with it. I’m very happy about it and I enjoyed doing it and I’m glad it became the success it became.
CS: Looking back, it’s 1984, you’re approached with this project and you see the character. How did you develop that character? Where did Taggart come from? And then, how did he change over the course of the filmmaking process? I know director Martin Brest gave you guys a lot of leeway to improvise on set, right?
Ashton: Yeah, oh absolutely. I owe it all to Marty. I mean, he was so gracious and giving to us, and let us create, which a lot of directors don’t. They want you to stick to it and that’s it. And Marty would do a couple of takes by the book. And then he’d say, “Okay, we got that. Now guys, you just play with it and have fun!” And Judge and I came up with stuff and improvised and ad libbed and created those characters. And Marty gave us that opportunity. So, I owe it all to Marty for giving us that freedom to create the characters we created. When I was going to theater school … I worked at a bar in South Central Los Angeles where a lot of cops hung out. I took a lot of stuff from those cops from South Central, LA. They were all homicide detectives that hung out at the bar. I took a lot from them, too. You do that as an actor. I like to study people. When I did Midnight Run, I did the same. I went out with Stan Rivkin, a bounty hunter in New York, and hung out with him for a night and I kind of get their vibe and hopefully I absorb some of it and it comes through to my character.
CS: Well, it certainly comes across as very authentic in the film. And the chemistry that you have with Judge Reinhold and Eddie Murphy in particular comes across as very natural. Obviously, you guys got to play around on set, but was there some chances where you guys got to hang out and collaborate and come up with different material for upcoming scenes?
Ashton: No, actually. We didn’t hang out that much together on the set or off the set. But we all respected each other’s talent and trusted each other. And I think that’s a big part of it, you know? It gives you the freedom to create and to try different things when you’re trusting your fellow actor. And we all trusted one another to do the right thing and to bring stuff to the characters. And it played off of each other and somebody would say something and we’d react to it. I think part of it was just trusting each other and going with the flow. And Marty gave us the opportunity to do that. Marty was great.
CS: Well, and there are bits where you guys are in a scene trying hard not to laugh. Was that how the set was every single day?
Ashton: Well, you’ve got to be a professional and do your job. But yeah, it was pretty free flowing. A lot of times, we never knew what the other guy was going to do and we just had to react to him, like you know, that whole speech that Eddie gives — and it’s about, “These guys are super cops, they should be wearing capes and blah, blah, blah …” Eddie just threw that in there. He just started going and it was pretty hard not to laugh because it was pretty funny. So, we did our best to keep a straight face, but it was pretty tough.
CS: Was there a moment during the making of this film, where you thought, this is actually something special?
Ashton: You know what? I really can’t remember feeling that way. I mean, we were having a ball doing this and it was good stuff and funny stuff and we enjoyed each other’s company, but I can’t remember ever thinking beyond that. I’m not that type of actor. I go moment to moment and day-by-day, and hopefully everything will work out fine, you know? We had a blast doing it and enjoyed working with each other and cracking each other up. And we do a lot of stuff off-camera that would crack each other up, too. We were always kind of fooling around. And then I guess that blended over into the shooting. We were comfortable with each other and trusted one another.
I think that’s a big part of it, to trust your fellow actor and know that he’s doing the right thing and you’re doing the right thing. There’s a part of the film where all it said in the script is, “Taggart and Rosewood wait in the car.” And that’s all it said. So we would sit there and sip coffee and we’d shoot that three or four or five times, and then Marty would just say, “Okay. We got that. Now you guys have fun with it.” And just let Judge and I go. And Judge happened to be reading a magazine in-between takes in the car, and so, Marty said, “Go ahead, go,” and Judge started reading this article. I didn’t even know it, but by the time you’re 50 years old, there’s 12 pounds of undigested meat in your system. And I said, “Why are you telling me that? What makes you think I have an interest in that?” “Well, you eat a lot of meat.” You know? That was all ad-libbed. [Laughs] We had a lot of fun doing it.
The banana in the tailpipe — Judge and I go to Comic Cons and stuff, and they always bring in plastic bananas for us to sign, which is kind of funny. But in the original script, it was a potato in the tailpipe. And Eddie thought the banana was funnier. And it was. God bless Marty for giving us that freedom to create and to do stuff.
CS: With Beverly Hills Cop 2 you had Tony Scott on the set. Was there a difference in his style?
Ashton: Well, Tony — he relied on us. He knew that we knew what we were doing. Tony’s more of a technical guy. He was more into the shot making and the shots and the blowups and the action — that’s just the way Tony was. He already knew that we knew what we were doing, so he never really said much to us. He was more concentrated on camera angles and technical stuff. We just ran with it ourselves. I don’t think Tony felt like he had to say anything to us, because we knew what we were doing. It was different, but it was fun, too. I had a great time, man. We had a great time doing that.
CS: When you look back on the first two films is there one that you favor over the other?
Ashton: No, I wouldn’t. Originally, after the success of the first one, Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson, they had an idea, they wanted to take it all over the world. They wanted to do a series of Beverly Hills Cop all over the world. They wanted to do one in London. They wanted to do one in Tokyo and go all over the world. They were funny ideas, where the three of us go to London and screw up all the bobbies over there and screw up Scotland Yard and do all this stuff, which were funny ideas. But we kept them in Beverly Hills, which worked out fine. But no, I can’t pick one over the other. They were both different and fun, you know? They were fun to do and I enjoyed working on them.
CS: And you’ve expressed interest in coming back and reprising your character for a possible Beverly Hills Cop 4. Is that something that you still feel inclined to do as well?
Ashton: Oh, absolutely. I’d love to go back and do it. I’d love for all of us to get back together again because I didn’t do part three. Now they’re talking about getting the original cast back and everything, which I would love to do. I know Judge would like to do it and Eddie has said that’s what his next project is, so, hopefully they’ll like the script and we’ll do it. I’m looking forward to it. I’d love to do it.
CS: What do you think Sergeant Taggart has been up to after all these years?
Ashton: Well, in the third one, they had made some comments that I retired, and I was playing golf in Arizona, so that’s pretty easy to take me out of that retirement. There’s nine million different scenarios to do. Eddie could get in trouble in Detroit and we go to Detroit and save him or something. Who knows? We come out of retirement and go to work.
CS: When you first met Eddie Murphy, was he at all intimidating in terms of his comedic genius? And did you have to adapt your style to his or vice versa?
Ashton: We hit it off right off the bat. He’s another actor that I’m working with. The first scene we shot was the strip joint scene in Beverly Hills Cop where the bad guys come in and all that stuff — that was the first scene we shot together. That was the first time we met each other. We hit it off right off the bat, and like I said, we trusted each other’s talent and just went with it. And it was a lot of fun. I remember when I did Midnight Run with De Niro. Everybody was like, “Aren’t you afraid to work with De Niro?” I said, “No. He’s another actor, man. I’m looking forward to it.” And I did Instinct with Anthony Hopkins, and Hopkins was great. And I did a movie over in Paris with Gerard Depardieu and Gerard was great. I just looked at him as another actor. I’m not intimidated by it. [Laughs] He’s another actor I gotta work with. Fortunately, they’ve all been great, and I’ve held my own with them, I guess.
CS: You certainly did. You made a lasting impression and hopefully you can come back and be involved with Beverly Hills Cop 4, because I think that would be an absolute blast to see you guys all together again.
Ashton: I’m telling you, all my fans, I get fan letters every day and they can’t wait for it to happen and I’m looking forward to it. I hope it happens. And evidently, Eddie wants to do it and hopefully we’ll get the script and go to work. I’m looking forward to it.
CS: How did your relationship with Martin Brest carryover into Midnight Run?
Ashton: The same thing. Number one, George Gallo wrote a great script. The thing with Beverly Hills Cop was it was originally a very gritty film; and originally Mickey Rourke was going to do it — he was revenging the killing of his best friend. It was a pretty gritty movie. And then Stallone was going to do it and it was still a gritty movie — a kind of “Rambo blows up Beverly Hills” kinda thing or whatever. But then Eddie did it and it became a comedy, but we kept that grittiness to it, which I think made the comedy work better because when you’re in a serious situation and comic things happen it’s funnier, you know? With Midnight Run, George Gallo wrote a great script and then Marty let all of us embellish on that, which was even better. We were on Midnight Run for six months. We actually started in New York and worked our way across the country until we became a real family and … really trusting one another. Marty’s just a fantastic director and I love him to death. Not only did we start with a great script with Midnight Run, but then they let us embellish on that. You can’t ask for more as an actor than that.
CS: You play the straight man working against the more outlandish characters in both of those films. Were you worried about getting type cast in that kind of a role?
Ashton: No, I came from the theater, so I’ve done a lot of different roles. It was a little upsetting after the first movie came out that I kept getting offered these Taggart roles. I just went, “Oh man, come on, I just did that!” And that’s why I was so anxious to do Midnight Run because it wasn’t a cop. It was a different type of character. I’ve got a couple of films coming out now — one called Once Upon a River, where I play a hermit that lives on the river catching this runaway girl. It’s a wonderful little movie and it’s taken from a book called Once Upon a River. And I just finished doing Death in Texas up and down in New Mexico. So, I’m having fun doing different kind of roles now. But I’d love to go back and do Beverly Hills Cop 4 and return to that character too. Somebody told me, “You play a lot of cops,” and I said, “I don’t play occupations, I play characters.” (Laughs])
CS: That’s a good point. It’s always going to be a different character, so you can approach it differently.
Ashton: I don’t look at the character’s occupation, I look at the character and the storyline. That’s what intrigues me, not his occupation.
CS: You had already done a number of projects before Beverly Hills Cop came out. Did that film’s success drastically alter your career?
Ashton: Well, not really. I just kept plugging along and doing what I thought was something interesting and cool to do, you know? The weird thing is when we did Beverly Hills Cop 2, people that would come in and do guest things on the show were like — and you ask me whether when I was shooting it, whether it was going to be a big hit or not, and like I said, I didn’t know. But it seemed like everybody that came in to do guest shots on Cop 2 were thinking of Bronson Pinchot going, this could be my big break! (Laughs)
CS: How could you not, right?
Ashton: Yeah, how could you not, you know? “Come on, let’s get on with it! Do the character. Let’s get on with it!” (Laughs) We had a lot of fun.
CS: Have you met up with Eddie Murphy over the years?
Ashton: Well, it’s more of a professional relationship. You’ve got to remember, when we did the first Cop, Eddie was single, and he was 22 or 23 years old. I was married and I’d get done with work and go out to the golf course and play golf or go home. And Eddie would go out to the nightclubs. He’d go do standup somewhere. We had different lifestyles off camera. But when we were on the set, we were family. And then, after when they say it’s a wrap, we’d go about our personal lives. I see Judge every now and then. We go out and do some Comic Cons here and there. I don’t do very many of them. We went to London and Scotland and a few places, so I bump into Judge every now and then. But I live in Colorado and Judge lives in Arkansas and Eddie lives in LA or New York, so we just don’t see each other that often. I ran into Eddie when we were at Jerry Bruckheimer’s big party that he had a few years ago, and he got everybody together. We sat around and talked about doing the next Cop, actually. So Eddie said, “As soon as I get a good script, man, let’s go.” And I said, “Okay, I’m ready.” Yeah, so we still keep in touch that way, but we all live in different parts of the country and everybody’s got their own life off camera.
CS: Well, like I said, I hope to see you come back for Beverly Hills Cop 4.
Ashton: Well, I’d love to do it and believe me, all my fans are chomping at the bit for it, too. I know the audience is out there waiting for it, so I’m ready to give it to them.
CS: Please indulge me one final question. Growing up as a kid, one of my absolute favorite films was King Kong Lives …
Ashton: Get out! Get out! (Laughs)
CS: I loved that movie when I was a kid. I’m not kidding.
Ashton: You’re the one!
CS: I watched that movie constantly. I loved how violent it was. Could you talk about that film at all?
Ashton: Well, let’s see, I broke my ribs in it. (Laughs) When the mechanical Kong stomped me, I broke my ribs on the machine gun. Actually, it was a lot of fun to do. We shot it down in North Carolina. And it was fun to do. Linda Hamilton was a blast to work with. We had a great time — Brian Kerwin — we had a lot of fun doing it. It was kind of a whacky movie, but that’s what you do.
CS: As a kid I loved it. I thought it was the coolest movie I’d ever seen because I loved King Kong and Godzilla.
Ashton: Cool. I’m glad you liked it. (Laughs)
CS: It might’ve been a little bit of a weird question, but I just had to ask.
Ashton: It’s weird working on a film like that because you have to react to a piece of paper or something, because your eyeline is up here and you’re supposed to be high into this big gorilla and you’re looking at a red flag that somebody’s holding up. [Laughs] It’s kind of weird doing that. You’re not really relating to the other actor, you’re relating to all these different things and it was pretty crazy.
CS: Are you shocked by the final result? Is that what you expected it to look like?
Ashton: Well, it was surprising, but we got in a lot of dangerous situations on that film. Shooting that film, we were in the Smokies in Tennessee on the top of this mountain where Linda Hamilton and I had this scene. I don’t like heights very much and we were on this thousand foot cliff, and they had this rain machine pouring rain on us and this helicopter overhead. The whole edge of the cliff was bouncing up and down and I was like, get me out of here! It was pretty frightening, actually. [Laughs]
CS: That’s cool. Thank you for indulging me on that. I appreciate that and appreciate you as an actor and everything that you’ve done.
Ashton: Oh my pleasure. I’m glad you’re the one that liked it.
CS: I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me today, and we look forward to seeing you in the future.
Ashton: I appreciate it. Thank you, and hopefully we’ll do another one after Beverly Hills Cop 4 comes out.