It’s a big year for martial-arts sensation Gary Daniels – the British-born actor has two big movies due for release, Sylvester Stallone’s all-star protein shake commercial “The Expendables” and the latest video-game cum film (hold your ‘oh oh’ till the end please!) “Tekken”, which, it’s said, has turned out surprisingly good. Clint Morris catches up with his old mate ‘Gazz’ for a quick chat over Scones and Tea.
So why “Tekken” mate? Big Bryan Fury fan – or something?
Originally I had read for the role of Steve Fox but that role went to Luke Goss. I believe they were having a hard time casting the role of Bryan Fury and I was recommended by Eric Norris, the stunt co-ordinator – I am good friends with his brother Mike, Dwight [Little, the director] remembered me from my original audition and I was offered the role.
Ca-ching! And they say the flick has turned out Okay?
Actually I haven’t seen the completed version yet, just about 20 minutes of some early rough cut but I liked what I saw.Dwight had a vision of a dark, R rated movie which hadn’t been done with a video game movie up till now. Plus he hired fighter-actors rather than actors that would need to be doubled…so I am hoping the end result will turn out well.
Fortunately there were no injuries on Tekken, but i injured my back recently on a film called Hunt to Kill while fighting Stone Cold Steve Austin.
As you would! Do you think you’re hired for these movies for your martial-arts skills more so than you acting ability? or is it a combination of both?
Well it is definitely both. Recently Sly Stallone hired me for The Expendables because he wanted an actor who could play the character but wouldn’t have to be doubled when he threw him into the action.
That’s a pretty plum gig – “The Expendables”. How did you get in on that?
Chad Stahelski gave my demo reel to Sly, then I was called in to meet with Sly which apparently went well as I was offered the part, thankfully!
Are you a ‘goodie’ or a ‘baddie’ in “The Expendables”?
My character and Steve Austins character are both mercenaries that work for Eric Roberts and David Zayas as bodyguards…security. We are the heavies.Oh, I get to face off against Jet Li and Jason Statham in a fight that took a couple of days to film with guns, knives and hand to hand combat! that was exhilarating for me!
What was it like working on that flick? Bit of a boys-club?
It was a great set, a really good atmosphere. There were no bloated egos. Everyone respected Sly who has such a great energy and presence that it was a very professional, pleasant and exciting set to work on.
Do you have to rehearse for weeks on a film like “The Expendables” before film is even placed in the Nikon?
There was a lot of rehearsals as the choreographers had a lot of fights to get done. But usually when you work with other experienced martial artists it only takes a few days to get the fight down. As scripts are constantly changing during a shoot often times a fight will go through many changes before it gets filmed.
And you’re playing a bad guy in a new Wesley Snipes flick?
Yes i play Zander in Game of Death. I play a rogue CIA agent that turns Wesley’s team against him. We become disillusioned with the status quo and go for the money! its all very bad guyish!
A few years back I don’t think I would’ve even be courageous enough to ask you this question Gazz : You happy with where your career is at the moment?
I am quite happy the way my career is going right now, i just hope that i keep getting offered some good roles in films with good actors and good directors. This business is really about your connections so if you don’t have the right ones you will not always get involved with the projects you want to be involved in. As they say ”ts not what you know, its who you know’.