An Interview with Scott Adkins
Actor and producer Scott Adkins has worked on some of the best loved projects of the past few decades, including EastEnders, The Bourne Ultimatum, Zero Dark Thirty and Doctor Strange. He talks to @Roger Crow about his new Yorkshire-made sci-fi adventure The Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, the highs of his career, and the art of ‘smashing himself off concrete’…
Hi Scott. How was it working on The Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud?
It was a lot of fun to work on. I’d not done anything like this before, and I was looking for something a bit more comedic, and it came up at the right time.
What was the most interesting day of filming?
The whole thing was interesting because it was something I hadn’t done before, so it was uncharted territory. Trying to be funny but not really knowing if you are because you don’t get… there’s no audience there for the instant laugh. You try a few different things and you just hope that through the editing process they’re gonna find stuff that works. If something isn’t working, don’t use it. That’s normally what it’s like with any film. But just having the confidence to take risks and do things; not worry about it so much, and just put your trust in the director.
What was the inspiration for Max Cloud? For me there was an element of Buzz Lightyear.
Buzz Lightyear was coming from (director) Martin (Owen). He kept saying that. I’m pretty sure a fair bit of Ron Burgundy crept in there. He’s a bit of a loud doofus; Will Ferrell kept coming to mind.
“Surrounded by all the legends”
Working in Bubwith must have been a bit of a change to working on US blockbusters like Dr Strange and The Bourne Ultimatum?
Yep. A bit different (laughs). The majority of the films that I tend to do are not that big budget. So it’s always lovely to work on one of those movies when they’ve padded the stairs, and the floors, and everything’s been made a lot easier for doing the action sequences, whereas I’m used to just smashing myself off concrete. And of course with the acting as well, they get plenty of takes. They just have enough time to get it right. If you’ve made a movie at that (blockbuster) budget and it’s no good, that’s almost unforgiveable, because they can go back and do re-shoots. I don’t know what they were doing on Justice League (laughs). Unforgivable!
What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve just done a film with Dolph Lundgren in Birmingham, Alabama. We started it in March; got hit by the pandemic, got shut down and managed to finish it in October/November.
What’s been the highlight of your career?
Working with Jackie Chan was a big deal for me. There’s been a lot of milestones. Being in a film like Ip Man 4, which is the best sort of modern day kung fu franchise to be involved with; to be in a kung fu movie made by the best guys in the world – that’s a thrill, and obviously something like The Expendables (2), where I’m surrounded by all the legends. And then Zero Dark Thirty, where you’re working with a director whose last movie was the one that won Best Picture at the Oscars. And you’re working with the calibre of actors that she (Kathryn Bigelow) was working with. So I’ve done a lot of amazing things that I’m proud of.
You’re no doubt just waiting for Jason Statham to retire before you can take over his title as Best British Action Hero.
Yes Statham. Your time is up. Give it up mate.
“Always a dream”
Is there a personal project you’d like to work on?
Actually there’s a film I did called Accident Man, which was based on a comic I got as a kid; I turned that into a movie, and that came out in 2018. There’s other films that I’m working on, but a lot of it has taken a back seat. Accident Man 2 was meant to be done and dusted, but the pandemic…
Was it always a dream to be on the big screen as a kid?
It was always a dream to be part of the film industry. I grew up loving martial arts and loving films, so I just wanted to be involved in that, in whatever capacity I could make it happen.
Finally, what advice would you give for anyone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
If there’s any doubt in your mind, don’t do it, because chances are you won’t be in the one per cent that are successful. You might be in the other 99 per cent. And the only way you can live and do what we do is do it for the love of it, and not for the fame or the money, because that’s probably not going to come for most people. The people that accept that and surrender to that and do it for the love of it are those that are going to become the one per cent anyway.
‘The Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud’ is released on digital, DVD & Blu-ray Monday, 18th January 2021