Exclusive Chad Michael Collins Interview

AR: Hello Chad, Welcome to The Action Reloaded! it is awesome to have an amazing up and coming action star like yourself here.

CMC: hey Jeffrey thanks for having me, that’s very generous calling me an action star. I have seen your website and the calibre of actors you have up there and I am happy to be in that company.

AR: I want to touch upon to 2011, which marked your first time playing Brandon Beckett in Sniper Reloaded. How did that opportunity come about?

CMC:yeah that was great, while working on Lake Placid 2, I was introduced to a producer over at Sony who was over seeing that project and I think for years he had wanted to reboot the whole sniper franchise. he had an idea in mind for an origin story, where I would have been playing Tom Berenger in flashbacks, a young Thomas Beckett in Vietnam. it would have also brought Tom Berenger back into the fold in a present day story. So this producer reached out to me as he thought I was a deadringer for a young Tom Berenger, which is very flattering and kind. so that was in development for a while but that idea got scrapped and somewhere along the way they reinvented the entire Franchise and still kept me in mind and bought me into the fold to play Thomas Beckett’s son.

AR:Playing a younger Thomas Beckett, wouldn’t really have worked out well for you, you wouldn’t have got a successful run of a hit franchise, atleast rebooting it worked out better for you

CMC: (Laughs) it all worked out for me, right? it would have been very hard to tell a bunch of vietnam movies.

AR: With the resemblance of Tom, maybe you could suggest a sort of sniper based remake of platoon (laughs)

CMC: I would be so down with that, it would be really fun to play in that. it was one of Tom’s best roles in my opinion I thought it was fantastic.

AR: I’m on the same page. it was the first movie I saw Tom in and I have to say he presented a very scary/intimidating character.

CMC: yeah the big scar he had on his face and everything, I think if I was to reboot any Tom Berenger movie I would want to reboot Major League.
that actually seems like the most fun.

AR: Major League featured Charlie Sheen, Wesley Snipers and a young Dennis Haysbert. who joined you in your second outing Sniper Legacy.

CMC: yeah legacy brought Tom Berenger back in the fold as Thomas Beckett, which was great to work alongside him and also introduced Dennis Haysbert as our higher up.

AR: how was shooting Sniper: Legacy and working alongside Tom Berenger? was it daunting at all?

CMC: for me no, the nice thing about the progression was I got a chance to step into my own boots in Sniper:Reloaded and a couple of years later when they made Sniper:Legacy I had already had an idea about the Brandon Beckett character. He didn’t start off as a sniper like his father. he was a marine an infantry guy, so he was allowed to take his own path and establish that as Thomas Beckett wasn’t really in his life at all with him being a career soldier and traveling the globe taking out bad guys. so it was a nice opportunity for me to not really feel that pressure and kind breed my own life into Brandon and to take it where the script lead us, but to be reunited with Tom and shoot with him it was such a great full circle movie.
I remember watching the first Sniper movie when I was a kid and just that opening scene where Tom is in the ghillie suit and your just looking at a forest clearing and all of a sudden the helicopter wind starts blowing all the bushes and the foliage and he just pops out of nowhere in the middle.of the bushes and you never knew he was there. it was such an epic film moment for me growing up. it has been a real honour and blessing to be able to play in this franchise so many years later.

AR: When playing the role of Brandon is there any specific training you have to go through? like weapons training or physical training?

CMC: yeah with each film we have done we have always had wonderful technical advisor, someone who would have high level military experience and comes and consults with us and really puts you through the paces, everything from proper form and technique and holding guns and loads of tactical stuff, also learning about Sniper hides and the field craft that’s explored on these movies. they have always been amazing resources in every movie I have played in. outside of that we move real fast in these movies, so it is up to the actor really pick the brains of the people that know. which is something I do I show up on every single one of these movies without an ego and I am just glued to there hip every single time as I wanna play homage and do the military the proper service and due respect. we don’t get much time in advance but when we are shooting as we go there is always the opportunity to pick there brains and learn there knowledge. other than that I just try to keep in pretty good shape.

AR: I have realised while watching the Sniper movies you rarely use a stunt double, is that right?

CMC: I really don’t very often, if there is an explosion and some guy has to tumble down a mountain for 50yards that sorta stuff they hand off to the real professionals. I try to do as much as I can and they let me so that and all the hand to hand and fighting.

AR: that’s what I was angling towards as it looks like you do all your own fight scenes.

CMC: it always looks better in the finish product of a movie when you can show a whole lot more and not have to cut away and not show someone else’s face. the stunt doubles I have always had have been fantastic but luckily enough I can handle it enough, which makes for a better feel and a better overall movie. As we have gone on we have moved away from the hand to hand, Sniper Legacy that had the most hand to hand choreography I have ever had to do for a movie. there was 4 or 5 scenes when we were just fighting people. now we have focused more on the gun play and the cat and mouse game. I am always game and ready to do what is necessary. it’s alot of fun for me.

AR: after Sniper: Legacy you went on to shoot Sniper: Ghost Shooter with Billy Zane. it was followed closely by Sniper: Ultimate Kill, Did you film them back to back?

CMC: no we didn’t film them back to back but definitely shot them pretty close together, it was one of them things where we shot one and less than a year it was out and we shot the next and less than a year I was out. I loved it honestly, it was nice to go a year in between rather than 2 or 3 it really helped with the continuity of the character and helps you stay in that mindset.

AR: Sniper Ultimate Kill reunited the whole cast, how was that?

CMC: it was really cool it had brought Billy and Tom back together on screen and they played off eachother so well, for the first time since the original movie in ’93. it had been like 23/24 years since those guys had a chance to play together. it was really awesome as an actor and being friends with them both and having them both there it it was awesome and the creative stuff they came up with between them that was not scripted and they stepped into there roles on ways that it made this a bigger and better movie. I think Sniper: Ultimate Kill is the best one we ever did and I think in large part due to Billy and Tom being in that mix together and making it that good.

AR: Personally I have to say the Sniper franchise is really awesome. most franchises start slipping with sequels but these keep getting bigger and better.

CMC: I feel that way to, I feel there has been a conscious improvement on each one. I remember watching the first Sniper it was fantastic and played in theatres and I then I remember watching sniper 2&3 on the plane ride over to south Africa when I was hired to do Sniper: Reloaded and I could see they had cut some money out of it and it was one of those things where the sequels didn’t hold up to the original for alot of reasons and I think we have taking the opposite tack and we have gone forward in trying to make each one bigger and better and I think Sniper Ultimate Kill is an onward and upward in terms of quality with the action, acting, look and feel of the story, everything just kinda clicked together and I hope we keep on going and keep making them.

AR: As I can tell you like the character of Beckett, is there any situations you would like to see him in?

CMC: that’s a good question….we have been all over shooting these movies, man I don’t even know what landscape we haven’t filmed in yet. let’s say i am ready to be pleasently surprised when the script comes in for the next one.

AR: on that…is there going to be another Sniper movie?

CMC: you know i don’t no….if it’s on the indication of quality I think Sniper: Ultimate Kill was the best overall one we have ever made and sometimes that’s a good enough reason to get another movie made and sometimes it has nothing to do with. I’m literally a hired gun and when they have a script and when they want to do another one they give me a call. other than that I don’t know get much say. as of now I haven’t. heard of anything else being in the works but I imagine there would be. no updates on my end.

AR: From your filmography I can see you like war movies, do you have a favourite?

CMC: it doesn’t have guns but it would be Braveheart, it’s technically a war movie but with swords (Laughs)

AR: Can you tell us about your upcoming movie Howlers, is it due this year?

CMC: yeah it is due out around Halloween, Howlers is a little independent film I shot in Texas. it is a horror, action, western. it’s about a gunslinger from the old West that hunts werewolves it’s really fun. remember when I was telling you Sniper: Legacy was the most action I had ever done in terms of hand to hand, well this blows it out the water. there is so much fighting in this and cool stuff like rifles and pistols and battle-axes, crossbows, knives werewolves it was such a blast it was exhausting and fun.

AR: Are you the lead character?

CMC: yeah, I play the title character his name is colt he is this cowboy character gunslinger, the movie was so much fun it feels like an old John Carpenter movie. It’s very fun and doesn’t take itself to seriously, you got the big bass in the werewolves and the cowboy who gets transported from the old West to the modern age. which has funny moments as he tries to figure out where all the horses are and what are these things called trucks. it has the best of both worlds really.
also I am working with the writer and director to create a comic book line.

AR: this sounds like it could possibly be quite a good franchise for yourself.

CMC: for sure we are looking at doing a prequel movie and a sequel movie off the heels of the release on this one, with the universe created in the modern age and civil war age the possibilities are wide open. there have always been plans for this character and around 3 of these movies. were really excited about it’s potential.

AR: before we wrap up I would like to ask who would be your dream person to work with?

CMC: that’s a hard one there is so many people I love, having grown up with movies and starring in them it’s so hard, but I have always loved Mel Gibson and always been a big fan of Brad Pitt and Clint Eastwood.

AR: Are there any other new projects you would like to tell us about?

CMC: yeah I’m going to be in season 3 of the TV show Shooter, which is a television adaptation of the Mark Wahlberg movie about Snipers. I did a role on that it will premiere on June 23rd in the states, it was a fun role which I can’t say much about because it’s kind of a big reveal. that was really fun.

AR: would you be open to a Sniper TV series?

CMC: I’d love that for sure, movies are fantastic because there contained there is a begin and an end, they are an hour and half, two hours but television is fantastic. it’s the golden age of television for sure. the way so many creators are approaching TV right now there telling a mini move and it just builds on top of eachother and that long form whether it’s a six episode mini series or a 12 episode season 1 of something it just takes you for such a great longer ride, it can be more of a rollercoaster in that way.
There is only so much you can accomplish in an hour and a half so I love the long form stuff. I love the chance to kind of dig in a little deeper and play with more layers of character’s and seeing where all that goes.
so the answer is YES! a resounding yes!

AR: Thank you very much for talking to us over at The Action Reloaded!

CMC: It was my pleasure it was a fun walk over memory lane Jeffrey, Thank you!

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