Adrien Brody on His Recent Roles & Why He Took on Predators
by Alex Billington
July 7, 2010
Last week I attended a press conference for Robert Rodriguez' Predators and asked actor Adrien Brody about the odd roles he's been taking recently. In addition to starring in the "Arnold Schwarzenegger role" in the new Predators, Brody also appeared in the genre thriller Splice as a nerdy geneticist and as a wacky pot dealing kingpin in the stoner comedy High School, both of which premiered at Sundance. It seems as if he's been actively taking on more diverse roles recently and I'm glad to see that. I'm not concerned, but grateful, that he's decided to experiment with such unique roles, which is why I asked him about his recent choices.
At first, Brody seemed taken back or confused by my question, but went on to explain why: "It's surprising to me sometimes when people are surprised at my choices… And it seems that they're more surprised as of late, but as an actor I've made a conscious decision to do my best and not repeat myself, so that I keep it interesting - the process - for myself and for the people that have seen my work." Seems reasonable. Brody then goes on to talk about why he ended up in Predators specifically and why it's so important to him:
"I've looked long and hard for an opportunity like this, it's not something that I just decided upon lately. It's a challenge, I think, when you establish yourself as a certain type of actor, or an actor that has not had an opportunity to be seen in a physical role like this or an action film, to win the endorsement of a studio, which I understand is making practical business decisions, as well. I'm grateful that I had the support of Robert [Rodriguez] initially and Nimrod [Antal]… You know, there was interest in another role that didn't appeal to me. But I look at this as an opportunity to do something really special within a type of film that I love.
I feel, sometimes, historically Hollywood has had an over-reliance on physical brawn as the deciding factor, as a way to portray a strong-man, but that strength has to come from within. And I felt it was very important, especially with today's audience… that are unfortunately very familiar with what young soldiers look like, and they're not dissimilar to my build. And I think military leadership comes from tactical and technical confidence and [that] skill-set and an intellectual strength… Yes I feel I had to make a physical transformation, because I think on one level it's exciting for an audience to see that. And I like to see that - but I didn't want to rely on just that transformation for me to convey what I feel is necessary in portraying the leading man in the film."
Brody says that it was a "big deal" for him to play Royce in Predators. "I'm very protective of this material, protective because I'm a fan of the original. I'm also respectful to fans and wanted to give them what they wanted and hopefully elevate the material as well." I've seen the movie and can tell you that Brody does kick ass and it is an awesome "reboot" of the action franchise. I have no complaints about any of the recent roles Brody has taken because that means we get to see an Oscar caliber actor delivering superb performances in the strangest and/or sometimes most badass roles around. I always enjoy watching Brody act in everything.
Predators, directed by Nimrod Antal, arrives in theaters everywhere this weekend starring Adrien Brody as well as Alice Braga, Topher Grace, Walton Goggins and Laurence Fishburne. Brody also appeared in Dario Argento's Giallo, Vincenzo Natali's Splice, John Stalberg's High School & Paul Scheuring's The Experiment.