AR: Welcome to Action Reloaded, Alexander. First of all, how have you been spending your time during the pandemic?
AN: Hi Jeff! First of all, thank you for continued support, I appreciate it!
This year is tough but it’s always interesting for me to see how I can handle new challenges. So I used my time wisely and finished new movie “Red Prophecies” plus wrote my first English language book “From Zero to Action Hero”.
AR: You have history in the bodybuilding world, what influenced you to pick up your first set of weights?
AN: Answer is easy: I watched Arnold in “Conan The Destroyer”. I was very skinny nerd at the time but after film was finished – I suddenly knew what I should do with my life.
AR: Your career in action is very throwback to the 80s movies, would Stallone, Schwarzenegger etc be your influences?
AN: Of course, I love all their movies! And the biggest moment in my career was in 2017, when I watched first cut of my film “Maximum Impact” with Arnold and Ralf Moeller, and they loved it!
AR: You made your directorial debut with The Black Rose in 2014, was it stressful taking on the role of director and starring?
AN: Yes it was, but I really wanted to try to do it all: writing, producing, directing and acting at the same time. Result was successful – “Black Rose” was theatrical hit in Russia/CIS, sold to about 30 countries after that and premiered in North America in 2017 (in limited theatres, all Digital platforms and Netflix).
AR: What would have been the biggest challenge you faced filming The Black Rose?
AN: To be honest with you I have no complaints, it was all dream come true. Maybe just one thing: I didn’t have enough time to work out and lost some weight. But good news was that Matthias Hues made his big comeback in “Black Rose” and he was as huge as his Dark Angel in action classic “I Come In Peace”!
AR: Would you consider returning to the directors chair?
AN: Definitely. I’m thinking about “Black Rose 2” and spoke to my beautiful co-star Kristanna Loken already. But pandemic changed film business completely so we’ll see.
AR: You starred in the ensemble movie Showdown In Manila, it must have been quite amazing to be directed in a movie you wrote, by action legend Mark Dacascos?
AN: Actually it was written by great writer Craig Hamann, I just had a “story by” credit. But yes, it was amazing to work with Mark and all my friends and action idols – Casper Van Dien, Matthias Hues, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Cynthia Rothrock, Olivier Gruner, Robert Madrid, Tia Carrere and Cary Tagawa. We all had fun, especially in the real jungle, outside Manila!
AR: Showdown also starred Matthias Hues and Casper Van Dien, you guys have partnered up a few times now, how did you guys meet?
AN: I met Matthias for the first time in 1998, at Arnold Classic Bodybuilding Championship. But we became friends much later and “Black Rose” was our first film together, following with “Showdown in Manila” and “Maximum Impact”. Mark Dacascos introduced me to Casper Van Dien in 2014 and we decided to make a movie together right away.
AR: Showdown was a fun film, do you have a favourite moment from it?
AN: I have many. Working on the opening scenes was big fun and kind of homage to “The Raid”. Weeks in a jungle were interesting too, especially the moment when I was almost attacked by a huge snake (we shot it actually).
AR:Would you return for a sequel?
AN: I would but world should reopen first. I think you can’t even fly to Philippines right now.
AR:How do you keep in shape for your action roles?
AN: I love bodybuilding and work out almost every day. It’s easy for me to get a little bigger or smaller for particular roles. And when I’m on the set – I have some equipment with me always. By the way, in Manila I had a simple resistance band and trained with it in between takes.
AR: Red Prophecies is due out next year, what can you tell me about it?
AN: It’s an action thriller with a lot of suspense in it. Story is about American journalist and Russian FSB officer. They’re trying to prevent big international political crisis. We shot it in Moscow and LA, and I think this movie is very timely because political news are on every TV channel now, all day long.
AR: It’s another ensemble movie, would you say it’s an action driven story?
AN: It’s not just my typical action film, and story has some mystery and twists. But we have great cast and a big production value so I hope that genre fans will like it.
AR:What was it like working with screen legend Michael Madsen?
AN: Michael made many great movies and it was very interesting to work with him. We didn’t have scenes together in “Red Prophecies” but, as a producer, I completely supported the idea of getting him involved in our film. He’s a very good actor.
AR: What attracted you to the role Peter Morgan?
AN: He’s a very mysterious man and I like it. You have to watch ‘till the very end to understand if he’s good or bad. I think I never played a character like Peter before.
AR: After Red Prophecies, what is next in your career?
AN: I mentioned my first English language book already, it’s full name is “FROM ZERO TO ACTION HERO: My transformation from a Nerd to Mr. Universe and a Movie Star and how You can do it too”. First part of this book is my autobiography and second part is a natural bodybuilding guide. I hope it will be published at the same time as US release of “Red Prophecies”.
AR: Thank you for your time and dropping by Action Reloaded. It was a privilege to speak with you
AN: Great talking to you as well, Jeff! And again – thank you and all Action Reloaded team for supporting independent movies!