EXCLUSIVE: Interview With X-Men: First Class And Captain America Star, Russell Balogh!
Having played a Swiss Banker in X-Men: First Class and a Hydra Heavy Artillery Soldier in Captain America: The First Avenger, actor Russell Balogh gives us a revealing insight into his work on those movies as well as Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and more...
Despite being busy with roles in the likes of The Iron Lady and Jack the Giant Killer, actor Russell Balogh was kind enough to take some time off to talk to me about his recent appearances in 2011 comic book movies, X-Men: First Class and Captain America: The First Avenger. Giving us an interesting insight into his roles in them as well as much more, I'm sure you'll join me in wishing Russell all the best with his future projects...especially if he decided to pursue the role of a superhero on the big screen! You can find out more about Russell by heading on over to his official website by clicking HERE and be sure to follow him on Twitter HERE.
Russell Balogh was born in 1981 in Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom. Even though he always had a love for movies he did not start acting until later on in life. A naturally confident and charismatic person he decided to follow his lifelong dream of being an actor inspired by the action stars of the 1980's.
Firstly, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Well I only started acting professionally a few years ago. Its what I’d always wanted to do but it is such a difficult industry to break into. I just felt that I was at the right point in my life to give it a go and follow my dream. So far in my career I’ve met some extremely talented people, seen some amazing sights on set and been involved in a number of blockbuster productions. I just want more and more now, I love what I do and feel I have so much to offer. I just need to keep working hard and hope I get that big break. I think you make your own luck in life and I’m a strong believer that hard work does pay off in the end. It may not always happen over night but you must never give up.
You're fairly new to acting, but have already been cast in big movies like Captain America: The First Avenger, X-Men: First Class and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. How does it feel to have a role (regardless of how big or small) in blockbusters like these?
It’s a simple answer to that question…”Amazing”. You see I’m a massive fan of movies in general so to be involved in the making of them is incredible. With the likes of Captain America and X-Men I’d already researched and read about the productions before I’d even been cast, so to get the call regarding a part (however small) is amazingly exciting.
On the other side of that it can be a real surprise when you turn up to work on something you don’t know too much about. Take ‘Tinker Tailor Solider Spy’ for example. I knew the cast was amazing and that the story was based on John Le Carre’s bestselling novel, but to see the likes of Gary Oldman, Colin Firth and Hurt and Mark Strong all performing together was quite incredible.
You played a Swiss Banker in X-Men: First Class. What can you tell us about your experiences while filming that movie?
Well funnily enough my shooting days were actually add-ons. The UK shoot wrapped back in December of last year but during post-production it was decided that some additional shots were required. So we filmed these scenes over a weekend back in the springtime. That was the first time I’d met Michael Fassbender and he did not disappoint. He came across as a genuinely nice guy and I remember seeing him shake hands with pretty much everyone once we’d wrapped on the Sunday afternoon. I was already a big fan of his work so to see him as Magneto on set of one of my favorite franchises was a real
And how about Captain America: The First Avenger? Can you tell us anything about your time as a Hydra Heavy Artillery Soldier?
There is only one thing that comes to mind when I think Captain America and Hydra…the battles! Man these were good to watch in real life and even better to be in the middle of. I can’t wait to see them on the big screen, lots of explosions, amazing stunts and overall extreme action so it’s going to be awesome.
Did the role require you to suit up in one of the bulky looking Hydra suits we've seen in the various trailers and photos? How was that, and what kind of weapons did this mean you were wielding?
There were positives and negatives to being one of the Heavy Artillery Hydra division. Firstly they are the biggest and meanest soldiers, so even the other Hydra’s looked scared when we walked past. Unfortunately with size comes weight. I seem to recall the props team telling me the flamethrowers and fuel tanks weighed around 70kg as they put them on me. This can of course take its toll when standing up on a movie set for a number of hours under lights and other heat generating equipment…but would I have changed it for the world, of course not.
Which, if any, of the movies stars did you get to work with?
Well luckily I briefly met them all, Hugo, Chris, Hayley and Tommy Lee. I first saw Hugo in costume as the Red Skull. Boy did he look scary, and a lot taller than I’d imagined. He was pacing up and down waiting to go onset when he suddenly looked my way and made eye contact. At this point I was glad to be one of his by way of Hyrda. I mean he really does look mean. It was great to meet Tommy Lee, just a Hollywood legend what more can you say. A very nice guy whom finds time to say hello to everyone, a truly nice guy. Now I need to stay professional here with regards to Hayley so all I can say is “gorgeous” with a capital G. She looked great as Peggy Carter and played her so well. A pat on the back for the casting director there I think. Now what can I say about the man himself Cap, well…he’s just a boy from Brooklyn!! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one)
How was it being directed by Joe Johnston?
I didn’t have much interaction with Joe personally. However he certainly seemed to be a director who knows what he wants and won’t move on until he has it right. I agree with that approach, even if you have to do a take 19 times. I really do think he’s done a good job here with Cap and I’m sure people will agree once they’ve seen the movie.
What about this 'Scalphunter' role you have in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy?
Scalphunter...don't you just love that name. Scalphunters are the mean, tough guys of MI6. We deal with the dirtier jobs out there that the other agents in the field can’t handle. We report into Peter Guillam played by the brilliant Benedict Cumberbatch. Now who is the Russian mole, is it my boss…that’s the question?
Now you've been in a couple of comic book movies, are there any superheroes (or villains!) you'd be interested in playing on the big screen?
Well I would have loved to play the man of steel but that role has recently gone to the talented Henry Cavill. Aren’t they re-booting Batman in 2015 after ‘The Dark Knight Rises’…? ;)
What can you tell us about your future projects? I see you have a role in The Iron Lady. (a movie which has already generated some excitement) This must be a pretty great time for you?
There are more and more big productions kicking off here in the UK. I’m hoping be involved in ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ starring the man we know as THOR, Chris Hemsworth. Also Bond 23 will begin filming in November at the world famous Pinewood Studios so hopefully I can get involved as I’m a massive fan of the franchise.
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