The cinemas have reopened their doors with a bang of films, and “Nobody” will especially delight fans of tough action. We spoke to lead actor Bob Odenkirk about the tough job, prominent role models – and what he would do with them.
Attention, slight spoilers to “Nobody” follow!
Just because you have a few more years under your belt doesn’t mean you have to be too old for action films. Liam Neeson (“96 Hours” films) embarked on a second career as an action star many years ago and people like Keanu Reeves (“John Wick”) or Tom Cruise (“Mission: Impossible” series) are still impressing Strength and endurance in the cinema. Now Bob Odenkirk joins this group as a tough and very entertaining “Nobody”.
The “Breaking Bad” star is actually known as a comedian and character actor, so this project is an unfamiliar role for which he was trained to be a fighting machine. For this he had also taken some well-known stars as models. In conversation with us, the actor gave some sometimes humorous insights into the making of the film.
The “Nobody” and the competition
“Kiss”, “Marry”, “Kill”, but instead of “Kiss” I add the “beer”. I’ll give you three names and you tell me which of them you would have a beer with, who you would marry and who you would kill. John Wick, Bryan Mills from the “96 Hours” films and Ethan Hunt from “Mission: Impossible”.
Bob Odenkirk: I’m marrying Ethan because he’s so handsome. I’m going to kill Bryan …
I don’t know, I just don’t know him that well (laughs). And I’m having a beer with John Wick.
A good choice. With “Nobody” comparisons with your colleagues will definitely be inevitable, but what about you? Have you thought of her yourself or maybe even asked her for advice when it came to shooting action scenes in your age segment?
Yes, for example I trained in the same studio as Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry or Jason Statham, 87eleven. It’s the same team. It’s like this: There is a difference to actors who already have stunt experience and fight in front of the camera themselves. I wanted to be like them and play my fight scenes myself. When I told one of my acting friends that I was training for it, he just laughed at me and said, “Don’t do that, just let the stunt people fight for you!” He thought I was ridiculous to try to do it myself. I get it, you don’t have to do it, you can leave everything to the stuntmen. And then only your face would have to be recorded: “Look at me, I’m angry.”
But I wanted to be like Keanu, Halle or Jason. And I think what I learned from them is that you can’t avoid learning the basics. You just have to start from the bottom. There are no shortcuts. That’s why it took me two years to get good enough and shoot my own fight scenes.
Train in Berlin
I saw your Men’s Health video about your training and you obviously did the necessary work. But was there a certain scene that was particularly painful and hard to shoot?
First of all: As part of my training, I flew to Berlin and made a short action film. It was one of the really great experiences in preparation for this film. My friend Can Aydin made a short film with a group of great stunt people in Berlin and I can’t wait until you all see it one day. It’s called “Wish Me Luck” […].
Sick while shooting
The fight on the bus was something that was very close to my heart and something I worked towards throughout my training. It was important to me that I get injured at the beginning. In the beginning of the scene I bump my head on a pole and for me it was very important for my figure, which is starting to feel wobbly and insecure. Of course, I didn’t actually hit my head.
But the really hardest thing at the end was the sequence with the shield, in which I was thrown backwards. I had to do this and I was really, really sick. I had a virus that day. So I played with nausea (laughs) and tried to work it out for myself. So if you see me huddled together making my aid, I actually have the intestinal flu (laughs).
I am glad you made it through!
I used it for myself and made it part of the scene.
“Nobody” has been shown in German cinemas since July 1, 2021.
This content was first published by TVSPIELFILM.de.