AR: Thank you for taking the time to chat Byron!
Byron Gibson: No worries thank you for contacting me.
AR: How did you first get into the industry?
Byron Gibson: I first got into the film industry by chance back in 2008. There was a casting going on for a JCVD film and my girlfriend was casting for the film, so I went with her to give her a bit of security and support .I ended up being persuaded to cast for the movie, the casting director liked my profile. I thought it was a bit of a joke to be honest. The role was to play a Sex Pat ( Sex Tourist) . Now back then i wasn’t really interested in the film game and did the casting for a joke . I left it at that and never thought anything more of it, I didn’t want to play a sex pat anyway. A week or so later I then get a call from the casting agent who said JCVD loved my casting and my profile, now at first I was not going to do it , but eventually I was persuaded to do so by my girlfriend. JCVD wrote my character into the film as a gangster. I was on set for 3 weeks, had a cool chase and fight scene with JCVD, it was an education for me, total different world. He told me to carry on in the film game, gave me loads of advice.I then started getting work on other films playing characters as mercenaries’ etc building a solid cv . I didn’t take the film business seriously until I did Only God Forgives, this changed my thought process totally.
AR: You were initially a Muay Thai fighter is that correct?
Byron Gibson: Initially I was in the Construction Industry then in the late eighties early 1990s I got into Muay Thai. I went to Thailand for a number of years, went to some pretty good camps back then, some wouldn’t allow foreigner’s to train and it was very difficult to get in. My dream was to become a good trainer from the real deal in Bangkok and fight promoter. Its very commercial there now, they have really cashed in nowadays. Back then you would hardly see any foreigners at any camps now there is hundreds of people there. I opened up a school in my hometown in Cambridge England and put what I learnt in Bangkok into the gym from my experiences in Thailand. It evolved into a Franchise and I ended up promoting Professional shows. I was sending fighters to fight as far away to Australia, America etc and bringing guys from Europe to fight on our shows. My school trained A British, English, Southern Professional champions and I had a caliber of around 20 fighters fighting all the time. In the late 1990s the MMA boom started and many guys started training in mma, I took one of my champions to fight in Italy in a 4 meter cage , two referees, literally no rules, no where to run,it was hardcore then. He possibly could have been one of the first British guys to fight in a Cage. My gym was the first to promote Thaiboxing Shows in Cambridge England. I love the fight game and one day would love to have a gym or do promotions again.
AR: I can only imagine the training is intense?
Byron Gibson: The training is amazing and would recommend to any one.The best all over body conditioning fitness ever! You will gain confidence and respect for others. In fact any martial art as long as it is taught well is good for everyone.
AR: Onto your movie career, one question that still has me curious is, will we ever see a sequel to General Commander?
Byron Gibson: It was meant to be a series then got released as a movie.I am not sure if there will be a sequel to General Commander, that’s down to the producers and sales I suppose. Yes originally it was meant to be a series but then they decided to change it into a film. We shot it in the Philippines.
AR: What was it like working with action star Steven Seagal?
Byron Gibson: Funny enough, I worked on a movie with him before called The Asian Connection but never met him due to schedules. So when I got booked for General Commander I actually did meet him . I was playing his right hand man Tom Benton. He was very respectful and we got on very well. He loves martial arts and if your into that you will get on well with him.
AR: You and Ron seem to have a good working relationship, how did you guys initially meet?
Byron Gibson: Me and Ron met on my first film with JCVD, then we started to get cast together in various films and basically now we are very good friends. I think I have worked on over 20 movies with Ron. There is going to be alot more of us together in films coming soon. Some real interesting stuff.
AR: What attracted you to the ‘English Dogs In Bangkok’ script?
Byron Gibson: I love crazy raw scripts and trust me English Dogs has this. The brutality and dark humor is what I liked about the script and this volatile character. Its based on the world of a British steroid dealer who got arrested by a corrupt DEA officer back in 2008, He was one crazy guy, a bit of a nut case, had a bit of PTSD. It is one of those taboo subjects that a lot of people don’t like to touch on that’s why i wanted to do it. Many people take steroids but never admit it. Another factor is Taffy had a ltd budget and he asked would a I do it and help him put it together, I liked his boldness and straight to the point talking, he told me his business plan and I loved it.
AR: How did you prepare for your role in the movie?
Byron Gibson: I did a hell alot of research into the world of steroids and the background of my character. I know so much about how illegally they ship, make and distribute steroids now its amazing. By the way I have never taken them. My character was a guy who always wanted to be the Alpha male, violent but with a likeable personality. Interesting thing is he never took steroids even though he dealt them
AR: It makes a change to see you headlining a movie, usually your the bad guy. Is that a role you enjoy to play?
Byron Gibson: I love playing the bad guy. Absolutely. This is one of the cool aspects of English Dogs in Bangkok. My character is no good guy, he plays a mothefxxcker to be honest. Its a film where everybody is bad there are no good guys, depending on your own moral concept. You decide. This kind of concept I love. Not many films are like this, everybody wants a hero or an anti hero, English dogs has none of this it gets your mind thinking. This is another good point which attracted me to the script. Most movies you know the out come of the story even before they start, this one goes against the grain.
AR: The movie looks great, was it shot on location?
Byron Gibson: Yes the film was shot on location. Both In London England and Bangkok.What would have been the most challenging element of filming this movie? Many things The Budget, Keeping the momentum, because it was shot over a time period and also patience.
AR: Another project I had seen you name attached to was with Dolph Lundgren and Tony Jaa. A Man Will Rise. Can you tell me about the movie and your character, also if we will see a release?
Byron Gibson: Yeah we shot that a few years ago and my character was a cowboy called Diego , Dolphs partner he double crosses Dolph Lundgren and steals his money. It was my first western and I am keen to see the outcome! I am not sure when that will be released.
AR: Before I wrap up, apart from ‘English Dogs In Bangkok’ are there any other projects you can tell me about?
Byron Gibson: Yes you will be seeing alot more of me in the future I have 4 film projects I am booked on. I have three films coming out in the fall of 2020 and early 2021. As usual me playing the bad guy in, Shooting Paul, Serenas Game and another project which has no name yet from a production in London with a great wrestler. You will be seeing me in The CBS show Blood and Treasure 2. I am now attached to Beachcomber which is based on another true story . Beachcomber is very Guy Ritchie and I am looking forward to this one, Its going to be something special.. The script has great momentum and they are planning to shoot later this year, once we get out of lockdown. Taffy has told me they want to do English Dogs 2 and 3 with bigger budgets so that’s a great thing, Taffy was right . I am also going into producing myself both film and documentaries. I have a documentary I am working on right now about Wild Cats.. Thanks for the interview, Stay Safe Guys. Respect to you all.
Best Wishes Byron, Thank you for your time.
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