A Few Minutes With Sharlto Copley as we talk a little ‘Hardcore Henry’

Posted in Interviews, Movies, Theatrical by - April 22, 2016
A Few Minutes With Sharlto Copley as we talk a little ‘Hardcore Henry’

Hardcore Henry is by definition a unique movie experience, especially if you’ve decided to take it in on a big screening, becoming the titular bionic characters in this merciless action first person point of view film.

It’s a tough, staggering, and often entertaining experience. And that’s not just for audiences.

“It’s the hardest film I’ve ever made for a lot of reasons; it was incredibly challenging,” explained actor Sharlto Copley, who is really only one a handful of named important characters in the film who you can actually see. The actor spoke on the phone from Vancouver as the film because widely released earlier this month, admitted the difficulties in this endeavor while embracing all that was new and exciting.

“You’re used to acting against another actor, or a tennis ball, a CGI character, but here there was a hybrid working with the camera man – the stunt man,” explained Copley. Henry as it were is various stuntmen who were rigged with POV cameras. “Something is acting against you as another actor, but you have to ignore their face and play into the camera. It’s a unique challenge, but not nearly as difficult as the stunt men.”

Copley’s presence is of the utmost importance. He is Henry’s ally and helps propel the story (as Henry doesn’t speak), but more importantly, he offers comedy and a tone that isn’t always so serious. Copley helped director Ilya Naishuller, who had previously created a POV music video but never a major feature, to strike an important balance.

“There is a constant battle between action and characters, and you’re pushing the director to do more character, while the director looking at the whole form, doing the form he wants to make,” said Copley. The 43-year-old South African native’s work with another young, imaginative director in Neil Blomkamp were themselves interesting hybrid and learning experiences, and here Copley helped guide the Naishuller.

“If [Henry]takes itself too seriously, it won’t work.”

Without spoiling too much, Jimmy is a strange character who keeps dying and being reborn – somehow. He has a few different personalities too, which offers liveliness and fun in a film that features a lot of explosions, bloodshed, and death.

“All of them were created with some sort of collaboration,” said Copley. One of the Jimmies, meant to be a tough biker type, didn’t make it to fruition due to problems with tattoos that Copley was to have, so the character quickly transformed into a hippie.

His favourite though, is a dutiful character known as The Colonel, one that Copley would stay in before and after the camera filmed, though not because he was method or anything, he says.  “The crew was so drained, we had little time and money, and though they understood very little English, they amazingly loved the Colonel, the most English of all of them!”

Hardcore Henry is in theatres now.

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