By: John M Jerva
(Original Publication Date: February 8th, 2018) Back in 2003, I remember walking into my local Blockbuster Video (you remember those, don’t you?) and renting an action film called Special Forces. I loved military action films, so it was right up my alley. Little did I know that it starred an up and comer named Scott Adkins and for the next 90 minutes, I was in awe from the awesome martial arts mastery that was on display from this man who seemingly came out of nowhere. His moves were unlike anything I had seen before, and I was automatically a fan to which I have dubbed him “The Human Highlight Reel.”
Throughout the years, Scott has solidified himself as one of the premiere actors in the action genre with his explosive stunts and British charm. From his iconic role as the most complete fighter in the world, Yuri Boyka, in the Undisputed series to Ninja, Scott is one of the best, if not the best, on screen fighters in action cinema and there is no stopping him. He is literally the hardest working man in the industry and 2018 is set to be his year.
His new film, Accident Man is based on his favorite comic book. This is his passion project. It is a different film for him and his fans are going to see a new side to their favorite action star that will surely make them bigger fans (if that was possible).
When I started this website three years ago, I had one goal. That goal was to interview Scott Adkins. Well, ladies and gentlemen, that goal has been achieved as I recently had the honor of sitting down with the action phenom to chat about his new movie and more.
Action Flix fanatics, I give you my exclusive interview with the man himself, Scott Adkins!
Hi Scott, I just wanted to take a second and thank you for taking the time to talk with me. I have been a big fan of yours ever since Special Forces was released back in 2003.
Hi John. Wow that’s legit! Thank you so much. I see it. I see everything that you do, and I appreciate it. Long live Action Flix.
So, we are talking about Accident Man, I saw it and thought that it was awesome of course, it was different for you but still had your great action in it. How did you first discover Accident Man and what drew you to the character of Mike Fallon?
Yes! When I was younger, I loved reading comics and I saw this one comic called Toxic! And thought it was different and one of the stories in it was Accident Man so I bought it and I would read it on the bus and I loved it. I’ve kept the comic book with me all these years with the hope of one day being able to play the Accident Man, making the movie Accident Man. I was fortunate enough to secure the rights and I wrote the script with my good friend Stu Small, he’s an excellent writer so we teamed up and did it together. Out of necessity really, we wrote it ourselves. We were like, “come on let’s do it” and I decided to produce it myself because I couldn’t get other producers to do it. I’ve seen other films like Kick-Ass and Kingsman and Deadpool and I was getting frustrated that no one was taking me seriously so eventually my manager gave it to a producer named Craig Baumgarten who took it to Sony and Sony saw sense in it and they greenlit the movie and we shot it. It was a lot of work; a labor of love and the dream project came to fruition. I’m very excited about it and I’m very proud of it. We made it with a budget, but it has a lot of charm, it has a lot of character and it’s got some great action. It’s different, it gives you what you want from a Scott Adkins movie, but it gives you so much more. I’m very happy it’s getting released because I want people to see it.
Now you just mentioned that it was different, and it has a lot of humor or dark humor in it. You’re known for your action of course but what’s harder to do, a complex fight scene or delivering comedic lines?
Well you see I’m not a comedian, so I didn’t want to try to be funny. The fun is in the writing and the situation. My take on it is you need to play it straight, you need to play it truthfully. I think all the humor comes out of the situation. We are not there trying to be funny. It either hits or it doesn’t. I’ve never done comedy before and this isn’t what we call a comedy, it’s black humor like you would say. It’s got a sense of fun about it and there is some black humor in there, but you know we weren’t trying to hammer home laughs. If we got it, we got it and if we didn’t it was still coming from a place of character. There are some cheeky gags in there and my sense of humor is very Monty Python and it’s very British. I like the scene where Fallon is in the bar and he’s smashing all these guys up and on the day on set, I thought it would be funny if I just walked up to this guy and offered him a light and then just knocked him the hell out (laughs). That kind of stuff just makes me laugh. That’s my sense of humor so you’re either with me or you’re not so hopefully you’re with me.
Well, I was with you all the way sir.
Good, I’m glad you enjoyed it that means a lot.
Now let’s talk about the great Jesse Johnson who directed the movie. I got to interview him for Savage Dog, the last movie you did together, and this is actually the fourth film you two have done together not counting Pit Fighter back in 2005. Now what is it about him that makes him such a great director of action? What do you think you two have together relatively speaking? This is kind of like an action dream team you have going here.
Well I had to find a director for Accident Man and while all this was happening, we were making Savage Dog and there were a few problems that hit that film that were out of mine and Jesse’s control that had to do with production and I could see what he was doing and I could see that he was a great director and he’s very good under pressure and he can work with a small budget and he has that English sensibility that I wanted for Accident Man. He’s a seasoned stunt man, of course, so he knows how to set up stunts and how to shoot action and he’s very good with characters, He writes his own scripts and he’s a go getter. He gets things done so we joined forces for Accident Man and one of the biggest concerns was that I was so attached to this movie with me writing and producing it, I didn’t want to butt heads with a director and I needed to know that we saw it the same way and with Jesse, we did see it the same way. To Jesse’s credit, he saw how important the film was to me and he said graciously to me, “Come on Scott, we are going to do this together and we are going to put your version on the screen.” It’s been a great working relationship.
Now you have a great supporting cast in the film. This is kind of like Triple Threat, the other film you have coming out, where you are surrounded by such great action talent and have a great ensemble with Michael jai White, Ray Park, Ray Stevenson and Amy Johnston. How was it working with all these wonderful action- oriented people?
Yeah it was fantastic, and I was fortunate that we got such a great cast. It’s also a testament to the script that was written also by Stu Small who did the lion share of it and brought to it more that I could ever have. The dialogue is just so witty, so funny and it was the script that made people like Ray Stevenson and David Paymer sign on and Michael Jai White also. It’s all testament to Stu Small. So yeah brilliant! Ray Stevenson is such a fantastic actor and David Paymer and Michael is as amazing as he always is. I think we see a different side of Ray Park in this film. I wanted all the guys in the bar to not be tough guys. I wanted us to just be mates drinking in a pub and ripping on each other and having a laugh and that’s what I wanted for the majority of the movie. To Ray and his credit, I told him I wanted his character to be a little bit of a dufus and he just took that and ran with it and I think he’s great in the film. Amy Johnston is just phenomenal you know. She’s a great martial artist and she’s going to have a great future. Everybody was just great in it.
Now let me ask you, how was it to finally get the upper hand on Michael Jai White in the film? We all know that you two had the great fight in Undisputed 2 with Michael beating you in the movie but now the tables are turned here so how was that?
(Laughs) Well, I had to say to Mike in the beginning, “Are you going to do it Mike?” and he was like, “Yes Scott I’m going to do it” and I was like “Now you’ve read the script and you know I win the fight (laughs) right?” Michael was like, “Yes Scott I know you win the fight.” So, we had to make sure we got that out of the way at the beginning and he let me beat his huge self-up. (laughs)
Now the two on one scene between you, Ray and Michael was definitely one of the high points in the film. How much fun was it to just go at it with all three of you?
Well, you’re working with two professionals and they’re going to be on their marks and help me to look good. That is what we do and that is why I needed two men like a Michael Jai White and a Ray Park. I needed people who could act but who could also be there for the action sequences because I didn’t want to lose out on either side. What was good was I scheduled the film and I wrote the script to include that 10 minute flashback scene which I wasn’t involved in so I could work with Tim Man, the fight director, and the second unit and have more time to shoot the action so we had a good deal of time to shoot the action sequences and we had a good amount of time for that fight and we weren’t too rushed and we got it just right and that is why it’s a highlight for you and I’m so glad you liked it.
Now you were also in Doctor Strange, so this isn’t your first foray into comic book films. What is it about these types of films that puts people in the seats?
There’s a reason why the comics were successful in the first place and I read them all the time myself. These are the modern myths today. They are the great legends that we read. The stories translate around the world and people love to read that stuff. Now we are in a place where you can legitimately film these movies and make it look real and make them properly and they don’t look hokey so that’s what we are doing now, and people love them for the same reason they love the source material. They are just good old-fashioned stories that people use to read around the fireplace. It’s what the myths are made of.
Now before I let you go, I wanted to ask you about a project you might have coming. I chat with Chad Law which wrote some of your films such as Jarhead 3: The Siege and Close Range and he told me to ask you about another potential project you guys might be cooking up together besides the anticipated Sinners and Saints: Vengeance we all know about. What’s the story there?
Ah, well yeah (laughs) I don’t like to tempt fate but there is a film that will hopefully materialize that was written by Chad and will be directed by Will Kaufman and starring me and that would be a vigilante film which I am very excited about so yeah that would be kick ass and full on action. Really excited about that one.
Thank you so much for talking to me Scott. This has been a real honor and I look forward to talking with you again in the future
Thank you John! You’re really doing some great stuff and I really appreciate it. I am really happy that you liked the movie. Thanks buddy!
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Accident Man is now available on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment!