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Statistics :
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Interview with Darren Shahlavi, a versatile gweilo
Bloodmoon 1/1 - Page 4
Author(s) : Arnaud Lanuque
Date : 27/10/2009
Type(s) : Interview
 Intext Links  
People :
Scott Adkins
Hwang Jang Lee
Tony Leung Siu Hung
Ng See Yuen
Keith W. Strandberg
Jean-Claude Van Damme
Movies :
No Retreat, No Surrender
Tai Chi II
Companies :
Seasonal Film Corporation
< Previous
Page 3 : Tai Chi 2
Next >
Page 5 : Other works in the US

HKCinemagic: Did you get the part of the killer of Bloodmoon thanks to your previous experience in HK?
Darren Shahlavi: I’d sent a package to Keith Strandberg and one to Ng See Yuen with some behind the scene footage from Tai Chi II and at the opening weekend when the film was released in Hong Kong I got a call from Tony Leung Siu Hungat around midnight asking me to come to Seasonal films and meet with him and NG. They asked me some questions and I showed them some kicks, then NG screened their last film Superfights and I left with a deposit in US Dollar bills. Ten years earlier I was dreaming about playing a bad guy in a Seasonal film after seeing Van Damme in No Retreat, No Surrender!



HKCinemagic: How did you approach the character of the killer in Bloodmoon? Did you think of him as a complete psychopath or as man with twisted but understandable motivations?
Darren Shahlavi: Misunderstood, lonely and very angry was my take on the killer, a man done wrong by and left out, unable to compete and do what he truly loved and was the best at. I got a lot of direction from Tony and Keith Strandberg was a very important guide, it was his character and Tony had his specific idea about the look of the killer too, when I saw how he wanted me to look it reminded me of Hwang Jang Lee so I kept him in mind when I was playing the part.



HKCinemagic: Did you have any input about the look of your character? Did it make it more difficult for some of the choreography (especially the cape and mask)?
Darren Shahlavi: Tony came up with the look, he wanted to see me with a moustache too and I resisted that choice but that’s it. All Tony’s design. The mask was okay as I take it off to fight and the cape/coat was fine. It looked good when I moved, at one point it was going to be just a cape like something out of Phantom of the opera, I like the leather jacket at the end.



HKCinemagic: Were the fighting scenes more difficult to shoot because of the lack of experience in HK style action from most of your partners (I’m especially thinking of Brandie Rocci)?
Darren Shahlavi: Brandie Rocci did a good job for someone with no experience, she was doubled a bit, no complaints from me.



HKCinemagic: How long did it take to shoot the two main fight scenes with you and Gary Daniels/Chuck Jeffreys?
Darren Shahlavi: The hallway fight was a few days on location and a day in the studio and the end fight scene was five days, we had done some rehearsal before going to camera. Tony knew what we could do and I think we all worked very well together.
HKCinemagic: Were you helped by a wire to keep your full split standing before your first fight of the film?
Darren Shahlavi: We tried a fishing line but it didn’t work too well, they pull too hard and I was off balance. I believe that shot in the film was without assistance.



HKCinemagic: Do you consider the film to be one of your best work action wise?
Darren Shahlavi: Absolutely, we had a great team on that film and Tai Chi 2. For some of the other films I did there was no money for a fight choreographer of stunt men, if they paid me enough I’d have brought someone with me but I’ve had to teach extras how to react and choreograph fights myself within minutes before. It’s not a good way to work. I called Scott Adkins to work on Legion of the dead to fight with me but production wouldn’t fly him out and I don’t ask people to work for free on a movie with a good budget. Its hard with no help and I need to make sure I have great fight guys around me.


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