Earlier in July, AndersonVision was able to interview the director and star of Interstellar Civil War. While we discussed the film a great deal on our social feeds, I wanted to give readers a chance to dig deeper into the works of Pyun and his company of actors. Today, we speak with Brad Thornton. While our B-Movie fans might know him from Kickboxer 4, he also plays a prominent role in Interstellar Civil War.
- Reading up on Interstellar Civil War, I found out that you discovered the role via a Facebook casting notice. Has social media made more film roles available to you?
BRAD THORNTON: No it was kind of an anomaly. I had worked with Albert Pyun before on Kickboxer 4 and had him as a friend on Facebook. So when he was discussing the casting for ICW, I contacted him directly to ask if I could audition. Social media definitely has helped me in marketing and networking. I look forward to more opportunities it may also bring. Who knows? Mainly, I still go the normal route with my managers at Everlasting Entertainment and agents at The Culbertson Group getting me auditions for film and TV.
- How do you approach a role? Does it change drastically from film-to-film?
BRAD THORNTON: I think my basic approach is a reflection of my training in Meisner from my teachers Janet Alhanti and Iris Klein. I read the entire script about ten times without making any choices, just read. Then I will break down each scene, looking for my objectives, where I am emotionally at at the start of the scene and how the scene evolves to where I end up at the end of the scene. I’ll memorize my lines then after I’m off book, I’ll choose an intention for each line. I’ll create a background and history that only I’ll know. Perhaps discover mannerisms of my character that make him more real. Once I’ve put all the work into the role, when the sound is speeding and the camera starts rolling, I can let go of all of that work, not be in my head, and just be the character, living real, moment to moment, in an imaginary situation. The technique doesn’t change a lot from character to character. More what changes I guess is the journey my character takes in each role. Some more action, some more emotion.
- What did it take to build the stunt crew for this movie?
BRAD THORNTON: I’m very fortunate to know some bad ass friends! So I asked them for a favor. Nick Papadakis is an Eskrima/stick fighting instructor that I’ve known over a decade. Tim Storms, an amazing stunt coordinator and instructor, referred me to RJ Howard and Jesse Jacobson. Michael Su, one of the producers and Director of Photography found Jeremiah B. McQueen and Spidey Turner. They all worked at such a high professional level and I appreciate them very much. We had some fun!
- AndersonVision is full of Martial Arts fans and I spotted some Muay Thai while watching the film. What Martial Arts styles directly influenced the fighting in the film?
BRAD THORNTON: I tried to coordinate the fights to be less traditional martial arts and more battle ground fighting. I love Muay Thai for sure. A lot of elbows, knees and stuff. Some was Kenpo blocks with some kicks and intercept the fist kind of thing. The laser blade fights were more Eskrima based.
- This is quite a different film for Pyun to make. Do you think there will be sequels? What could you bring to an expanding ICW universe?
BRAD THORNTON: I would love a sequel! I think my character has unlimited possibilities as far as the expanding ICW universe goes. If you’ve watched the film, I think that makes sense.
- What are you working on next?
BRAD THORNTON: I’m working on a couple of films right now. One is a heartfelt drama about the homeless called “Prey” directed by Craig Ross Jr. The other is “Highway 666”, a grindhouse horror/martial arts film directed by Xavier Kantz. I’m very grateful to be cast as the lead in both films. Gonna be an exciting year!