To kick this off can you tell us how you managed to get the main bad guy role in No Retreat No Surrender 2?
I just arrived in LA joined Golds gym with the dream to be the next baddy in Hollywood. Quickly I realized I wasn’t the only one and the competition was very intimidating. It was like I entered a wold of super hero look a likes, especially in Golds gym in Venice.
Everyone came here because of Arnold and Stallone. Both have set the stage for fit super hero looking dudes to want to become the next big thing. Like the gold rush for action actors and Venice was the new gold rush town.
But luck has it that the producer was looking for an European guy to replace JCVD and that I was at the right place at the right time to claim his spot especially me arriving at the auction with by dads leather Bavaria pants, cowboy boots and a muscle shirt. The producer never seen someone like this in her life and somehow believed I was meant to play the role, perhaps as I sticked out like a sore thumb.
Your next big hit after that was starring opposite Dolph Lundgren in the cult classic Dark Angel ( I Come In Peace), how was it starring alongside an action star like Dolph?
Dolph was so iconic at that time I was very intimidated to even meet him. I prepared so much for the film. I was the biggest I have ever been, trained and was like an athlete ready with tunnel vision to take him on like it would be a real life war between giants.
I remember the director telling me that this role was originally written for Dolph to be the Dark Angel and he be so careless to turn that down and play the cop and that this movie would be mine now and my big chance to became the next terminator action guy.
It kind of turned out that way real fast as Arnolds and Stallone’s representation showed up on the film set after seeing some footage and signed me saying I will be the next big thing in Hollywood once this film hit theaters.
But first we had to finish filming and Dolph and I went along really well, he was quiet but cool. I liked him and we hung out here and there. But he was somewhat pressured. The movie was a big deal for him and he was very low-key outside of the set.
I was young and curious as this film was like a roller coaster ride for me. Especially doing all my own stunts and i was high on adrenaline every day and lived life to the fullest on the set and off the set. Pretty much became somewhat of a legend in town, Huston as I had this long white hair and wasn’t shy to hit the town after work enjoying all the attention I got from the fans.
Dolph you would never see out. He was very concentrated on his role. I liked that but didn’t get at that time as the world was simply to exiting to stay home in my hotel room. I even hung out on the set when I was not shooting. All was so exciting to me. Well we all start out somewhere, right !!
In 1992 you starred alongside Don Wilson in Blackbelt, I love that movie, how did you find always being cast as the villain?
I was so used to it, I just became that guy and liked it so much I never gave it a thought till people approached me and said you need to be the hero as it is unlikely some of theses stars can actually kick your ass on screen.
I surely liked to hear it but my personal opinion at the time was simply that the hero needs a super strong opponent to conquer to become the hero. So it felt right to fight the likes of Don, Billy Blanks and Sascha Mitchell, Loren Avedon and so many more as this formula works so well.
I loved being the bad ass guy. I never even thought about being the hero at that time. Now that I am older I think, hmm maybe I should do a Liam Lesson thing like Taken. Play the father and fo after scum.
Do you have a personal favourite movie from your filmography?
Yes I loved Age of treason which was originally a tv series and a big deal for CBS and Columbia pictures. It was the biggest pilot ever shot in theses days and I was so ultra excited to be part of this ground breaking tv series. But as all is timing in life it wasn’t meant to be.
We were ahead of the trend and it wasn’t picked up. It was after Gladiator that suddenly all theses sandal tv shows got made. In our case people were not so interested in that subject yet.
It is always a little luck and timing.
I was also cast for Hercules the tv series, I signed a contract for it, but wan’t alone. they signed Kevin Sorbo, Lou Ferringo and myself and ended up using Kevin. This happens all the time in Hollywood, you get casted for something and then you find out that they have three names sign a pre contract and only one gets it.
So just in case they narrow in down to 3 and then commit them and then a final decision is made. Nerve wrecking to be part of it as so much always depends of it.
Look at Kevin his career was amazing at that time. 6 years they shot this show and then he had many tv shows after.
You are still in great shape, how often do you workout?
Well I work out every week of my life, spend a lot of time in the gym.
Just like Arnold and Stallone, Dolp and Jcvd we all keep our investment, our body oiled up so we can re enter the game at any time, no matter how old you are.
You always want to be cutting edge. Sure we cannot compete with the new kids on the block anymore but at least we can give them some run for their money.
And our roles are different now, we are the mentors or wiser warriors and or the hard kicking fathers resucing their daughters from evil and give some sleazy bad guys a few nightmares as we still have the experience and skills to do so.
Any advice on gaining muscle mass? Heavy weights or light weights and many reps?
I would say, if you young, go heavier, less reps and eat a ton of food, good food that is, carbs like potatoes, rice and sweet potatoes. and good protein like fish and steak , chicken and soya beans with rice mixed in.
Food is the key, stay away from sweets and alcohol as much you can and be consistent as it take a long time to built muscles and it takes no time to loose them if you are not careful.
You have done a couple of movies with Alexander Nevsky, would you train with him?
Yes we train all the time, he is strong like a bull, very heavy, 30 or 40 pound more then me. So he gets me sweating a lot. I love to be pushed by him. His body is different then mine. He is like a bodybuilder type and I am more the athletic type of fighter.
But that being said it is great to work out together and sometimes we even join Lou Ferrigno or Arnold and Ralf Moeller in their workouts and it is load of fun for all of us to be together as this is like the Expandable in the gym.
Your most recent movie Ultimate Justice was awesome, how did that project come along?
It was more like a favor for someone over in Germany, a film studio asked me for a cameo in little movie they were involved in and I said sure for you Germans I do anything and then I found out they had trouble finding a great hero and I thought about Mark Dacascos and called him up and he was super excited as he grew up in Germany and wanted to go back to visit. So we both had the time of our life to film there, hung out everyday and eat sausages and wiener schnitzels.
I have seen your next movie is the puppet master, are you a villain or good guy?
Puppet Master is more an cameo as well, the producer wanted the figure, Talec from I come in Peace for a what he thought and I agree would be a great skid to suddenly appear in the most hilarious scene or ridiculous scenes of the movie. You will see it is insane and so tasteless but this movie is about shoking people and most possibly the most gore you have or will see in ages and so out there and please not to be takeout all the seriously and it purposeful goes against all rules of social engagement but with a purpose. This is shock value only.
Can you tell me more about the movie?
Ups I think I just did above, but to sum it up, the story is cool. Something about a nerd, a love story and another nerd and they all get wrapped up in the slaughter of the century in a hotel in Houston and it gets ugly real fast and lots of great cast members like Barbara Crampton, Thomas Lennon and Michael Pare. And of course Udo Kier.
Oh yes and the nerds win !
I would love to see you in the next Expendables and have a rematch with Dolph. Would you be open for it?
Me, ha ha yes but not sure how to bring this across to the producers as everyone wants to be in this film. They got so many people gunning for it. I had some friends talk to the producer over the years but they end up doing what they feel at that moment, and yes perhaps they will feel like Matthias one day 🙂
Are there any upcoming projects you would like to tell me about?
Well, I have a great entertaining film coming out in a few month. Maximum Impact with Alexander Nevsky, Mark Dacascos, Danny Trejo, Kelly Hu and Tom Arnold, Eric Roberts. It is written by the writer of rush hour, so you will get the drift when you see the film.
Also the director did Exit wounds, and Romeo must die, Andre Bartowiak who directed Arnold and the Rock and Segal. So he knows action. Lets see what you think when you see. it. But be warned it is super silly but still action driven and fun and fast.
I look forward to your new movies and I thank you so much for your time Matthias.
Oh yes anytime and thanks for the interview and it is always a pleasure to talk film as this is what we are all so passioned about. Keep up the good work on your end and all the best.