Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje Discusses G.I. Joe 2, The Thing, & Bullet to the Head
The actor gives detailed descriptions about the characters he'll be playing in The Thing, and Stallone's Bullet to the Head.
You’ve got a slew of projects coming up, including your next film
“The Thing.” What’s it feel like to create something that people
feel like they already know?
AAA: This isn’t the first time I’ve done that. There was “G.I. Joe,” where there were definitely audience expectations. It’s kind of exciting dealing with a cult following. “The Thing” is definitely a prequel, and it has a more, clear license to expand the concept. It’s always good to be part of an American cult classic; it’s just a lot of fun. I was just happy to be part of it. To be honest, I’m not really a huge fan of the horror genre, but what struck me about why I like this film and John Carpenter’s original is that it’s not really a straight horror; it’s more of a horror-thriller, the intelligent man’s horror film. You sort of had to figure out who was who, “Is it him? Is it him?” The suspense element was really dramatic, and we actually shot it like a drama. The horror element was shot in the last three-weeks of the movie. It was a lot of fun.
What’s your role in the movie?
AAA: I play the character Derek Jameson, who’s a co-pilot with Carter, played by Joel Edgerton. They are basically ex-Vietnam vets who set up a ferrying operation in the Antarctic to certain bases. This group of archaeologists, we ferry them and it’s just one of those jobs. He’s an American guy who’s a bit of the soul of the film. He’s got a sense of humor, a very loyal guy. It’s just him and his buddy doing their thing. They came out of the army and didn’t fit into normal society, so they set up shop on the perimeters and do their thing. They’ve gone through battle and seen a lot, so they have to do something off the cuff.
Were you asked to come back to “G.I. Joe 2″ or did they just decide to go with entirely different characters?
AAA: To be quite honest with you, I had other movies going before they got it into production. Whether I was asked or not I couldn’t even do it, I was shooting two other movies. I was kind of looking forward to doing the movie I was shooting; I didn’t want to be tied up doing something I’d done already. I was quite happy to be shooting with Stallone. It’s a more interesting character for me to play, more challenging. Plus, I had a lot of fun working with Stephen Sommers on the last “G.I. Joe,” I had a good ride on that and I wanted to just move forward. I really didn’t get into it. It worked out the way it did because I had a scheduling and they changed the whole set up of it as well. Ironically we were both shooting in New Orleans at the same time, when I was shooting “Bullet to the Head” with Stallone. Heavy Duty was a bit of fun, but I didn’t want to get tied up in one franchise because there are a couple other superhero comic books I want to get into. It worked out quite nice that it was a one-shot.
Stallone’s movie is another high-action film. What’s your role in that movie?
AAA: In “Bullet to the Head” I play the main villain, something away from what you may have seen me do before. He’s the guy running the show. Walter Hill, who’s a legendary director, spent a lot of time looking for a different take, very inspired by older movies. We made this guy a cripple, he’s this guy who came from Africa and moved to America and he’s very, very intelligent and pulling off all these big scams involving property in New Orleans; similar to “Killer Elite,” in which he has this army of people doing all his dirty work. He’s one of these untouchables, and one of the people at the top who they can’t reach. There’s a double cross and they go after the people that did it, and eventually leads to me. I’m in the traditional showdown at the end between the baddie and the goodie. There are a lot of really juicy characters in it. Christian Slater‘s in it, who I had a lot of fun working with. Jason Mamoa, all these guys are in it and working for me. As the title suggests, you know what to expect from that.
It's interesting that in Adewale's response to not being in G.I. Joe 2, he added that he wanted to be in a couple other superhero comic book movies. Which ones? Well I guess the easy answers would be Black Panther, and Luke Cage. I could see him being Black Panther if anything. I'm not sure if that was the superhero he was implying when he made that statement because the reporter didn't see the potential in a follow-up question. Let the speculation begin.
As for the his part in the The Thing and Bullet to the Head, I am more excited to see him the alien horror flick. The Stallone action flick seems like a poor man's Expendables. A whole slew of B, C and D class actors gathered together to butcher a french graphic novel.
I guess the highlight will be seeing Adewale play the main villain. If he is anything like the venomous character Adebisi in HBO's hit prison show, OZ, then he'll be spectacular.
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