*Interview* Chad Collins talks about his new Sniper movie

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“One shot, two kills” 

Chad Collins takes aim and chats to me about Sniper: Rogue Mission and the future of the franchise

Congrats on the new Sniper movie! 

Thank you, number 9 in the books. And we’re shipping out next month to go and do number 10 without wasting any time.

Before we start talking about number 10, Let’s talk about this entry. When did you know that you were going to return as Brandon for the ninth instalment in the Sniper franchise? 

Image of Brandon Becket played by Chad Michael Collins in the Sniper franchise. Used under the fair use act.
Image Courtesy of Sony Pictures.

Yeah, we learned about Sniper: Rogue Mission last summer and we filmed it last fall in Winnipeg, Canada. I think the plan was to get right to number nine as soon as we could because Sniper: Assassins End, which was the eighth instalment did very well and everyone was very excited by that and it reinvigorated the franchise in a way. But, you know, there was a global pandemic. So things got a little delayed. We hustled to make number nine last fall, so it’s nice to see it finally dropping on August 16th, finally.

Rogue Mission changed the tone of the Sniper movies usual gung-ho action. Rogue Mission has got more of a buddy element to it. Was the change of tone an intentional move for the franchise? 

Oliver Thompson wrote and produced Sniper: Assassins End and he stepped into the directing chair. He wrote Sniper: Rogue Mission and he also produced it. He’s had a vision along with our wonderful Sony producer to really take this franchise in a new direction, they came up with a trilogy within the franchise that started with the last one and this is the second one and we’re going to go off and shoot number 10 which will kind of you know bookend the trilogy vision that they had in mind for this.

You’re right there’s more team elements there’s more buddy, cop humour, zingers, one-liners, we introduced a familiar face back into the fold, the colonel played by the wonderful Dennis Haysbert. We don’t often see Brandon surrounded by the same team movie to movie. So you know Lady Death comes back, Agent Zero comes back and we introduced a few more really fun characters in this movie to kind of set up our own little A-Team type Squad if you will and we hope to continue that forward. 

Image of Chad Michael Collins and Dennis Haysbert from the ninth movie in the Sniper franchise.
Image courtesy of Sony Pictures

I was going to say it sets up your own sort of Rainbow Six Squad. 

*Laughs* That’s a good reference, Rainbow Six. I mean, I’m probably ageing myself by making the A-Team references, but it all, it all works, it all fits. 

What drew you back to the franchise

I love this franchise and I am so blessed to continue to be a part of it. Not many actors get to be a part of, you know, six, seven films and to keep coming back for more and to keep exploring that character, you know, diving into more layers of the character. It’s the franchise that’s very close to my heart because it was on Sniper: Reloaded, 10-11 years ago, that experience really changed my life. It really made me commit to acting in a way that I was very casual about before. It was such an amazing experience that it helped me switch the gears in my mind to work towards becoming a full-time actor.

I appreciate every opportunity to do these movies. Every-time that they ever dangled they’re going to do another one, I say, sign me up, let me know the where and the when and I will clear my schedule for you. I love these movies. I hope we not only go into 10 next month, but we are going to 20 by 2032.

Is there any sign of Mr. Berenger, coming back into the fold?

Tom Berenger is not with us in this particular film. I really loved working with him in Sniper: Assassins End. There was almost a wrap up to the estrangement between the father and son that lingered throughout the previous instalments, I thought that they really handled that beautifully, too kind of forge a true bond and a true friendship between Father and Son in the last one. In Sniper: Rogue Mission, Brandon’s off doing his own thing, he gives the CIA a try of all things and, you know, spoiler alert that doesn’t go as planned. 

It was weird seeing Brandon in a suit!

Image from Sniper: Rogue Mission featuring lead star Chad Michael Collins
Image courtesy of Sony Pictures

*Laughs* I loved it. Quite honestly, when I read the script and they had him in a suit just kind of wasting his days away with reports and paperwork and pencil pushing and stapling, I was like this is great. Because, you know, this isn’t going to last long for a guy that likes to roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty. 

Also, spoiler alert. It’s the only movie that opens without an actual kill. Instead it opens with a citizen’s arrest!

You know for as much as Brendan likes to go off script and off-book, sometimes you got to do things by the book and you know if nothing else, you can always depend on the old-fashioned citizen’s arrest. Just doing a good deed out there. 

You’ve been around the franchise for years now. Would you ever want to direct an entry in the franchise? 

Oh, my goodness. Would I ever? Yeah, I don’t know. Talk to me in five or ten years. I am woefully unprepared and unskilled and quite naive to the directing process. I really appreciate it and you know, the more your on film sets, the more you really appreciate the art of film directing and you learn more about how that comes together.

But for right now I’m certainly just enjoying being a lead actor in the franchise so film directing that’s a whole different animal but you know, never say never in this industry. The more you can do with this industry, the more you can kind of keep things going for yourself so maybe one day I’ll get the itch and they’ll be kind enough to let me shadow the director. I can go to film School while also filming a Sniper film. 

From your first Sniper movie, Reloaded, up to now you’ve become more lean and packed on muscle, what inspired you Fitness regime was it just about being action ready? Or is that just a genuine hobby of yours? 

Yeah, you know, I’ve always done athletics throughout my whole life going back to, you know, 4-5 years old and to Little League baseball and, you know, all the way through football, basketball and baseball. I still play in men’s basketball leagues. I love to box. I love to stay active as well. So Fitness has always been a part of my lifestyle.

I think that if you’re going to represent heroes, particularly soldiers on screen, that you should physically bring that aesthetic and those capabilities.

Image courtesy of Sony Pictures

Action films are no joke, they’re really very tiring. Very exhausting they’re very involved. So the more in shape you come to these films the better time you’re going to have. So you know and I think just personally, you learn more about fitness, you learn more about diet nutrition and you start to put things together for yourself and your body changes shape. You know, the only shape that I don’t want my body to look like is Grimace from McDonald’s. That’s the Homer Simpson. I’m trying to avoid that pear shape. So as long as I’m avoiding the pear shape and packing on too many pounds, I’m going to stay in this lane. 

What was it like filming for the new Sniper? It looked like you done most of the physical aspects yourself. 

Image courtesy of Sony Pictures

I certainly tried, I did have a wonderful stunt double. We had amazing stunt coordinators, the team from hits International came back and we tried to once again elevate the action not only the gunfights, the shootouts, but also, the hand-to-hand, everybody has one or two big fights throughout the movie Lady Death, Agent Zero and Brandon Beckett so that was a lot of fun to do.

I try to do as much stunt-work as I can. I know it looks better and feels better. It’s better for editing. I enjoy it. It’s a challenge in a different way. Like talking scenes with an emotional arc is its own unique challenge, but having to do a half a day of an entire fight sequence on set, has a totally different medical and mental and physical challenge. So I’m always game for all of it. 

You also mentioned the next instalment, the tenth entry in the sniper franchise. Can you tell us anything about it? 

I can’t say much more than that, I’m allowed to say that in September we will be heading overseas to shoot Sniper 10. We have no working title. I don’t have any details about a script or plot or anything that can happen, but if you do watch Sniper: Rogue Mission we do lay some sort of hints about the direction that we’re going to keep going and who might be involved in that. August 16th on Blu-ray, digital and DVD, hopefully people will check out Rogue Mission and you know, we’ll give it a fun little spoiler as to what they can expect on Sniper ten.

Hopefully we get a Sniper 11 and 12, you’re close to beating Fast & Furious!!

You know, we’re neck-and-neck and, you know, I hope that we will overtake them quite honestly. So, you know, props to them, they do a different kind of movie in a different way. But, you know, we love doing our movies and the way that the audience responds around the world. There’s, I don’t think there’s a reason to slow down on these. So, you know, listen if it’s once a year we do a Sniper adventure, for me, that’s a great year and I’m always happy about it. 

Maybe someday we’ll get to see Brandon junior in the fold?

I mean, if we get up to Sniper 24, he’s gonna have to start thinking about his legacy in a different way, right? So yeah, I’ll always love making that joke that I would love to be doing enough of these movies that, you know, I passed down the way of the long gun to a prodigy. So that would be really, really fun to kind of keep that generational story going. We’ll see about Brandon maybe getting a girlfriend. 

Do you think that with this one the added buddy element and having the team has helped the franchise sort of explore different territories rather than having this solely focused serious sniper sort of film. 

Image courtesy of Sony Pictures

Yeah, I think you nailed it. You know, we really have taken this into the buddy cop arena. There’s more of a focus on a team element in those dynamics and it has those relationships. I love it, because you’re right, in the past it was more about Brandon’s journey.

Brandon would have teammates that wouldn’t always come back for the next movie he and he would be on a different mission working with different agencies. This one we have the return of Lady Death, Agent Zero obviously the colonel coming back to the fold. We also introduce a character called intelligence Pete, who is hilarious. He’s kind of very, very, very serious but also a highly sarcastic hacker who comes in and assists us in our mission on this one.

It’s fun and it really opens up the opportunity to lean into those personal relationships, to have a lot more banter and to have a lot more play between the characters because there’s a familiarity there, there’s a camaraderie there, and I think that the script is funnier. This movie has more comedy, more buddy cop comedy, more zingers, more one-liners than you’ve ever seen before and I think it really plays well. 

Yeah, it definitely opens up the door to paying homage to the likes of Lethal Weapon, Bad Boys, classic movies that mix action/comedy. 

Yeah, you know, it feels appropriate because everything can’t be serious all the time. You know what you’re doing, your job is serious, and these are high level operators, high level professionals and their real people so when you have that comfort between the man or the woman standing next to you or behind you, it really opens itself up for the personalities to come through and I love teasing out these new shades, these new layers and sides of these characters and you’re going to see that in Sniper: Rogue Mission, more than we ever had before and I think we pulled it off and I think audience is going to love it. 

Yeah, I agree. It definitely explores another side of Brandon, something we saw in the previous entry. We see him relaxing, playing video games and chillin’. So we look forward to seeing more of Brandon and his personality in the next turn. 

Yeah, it’s fun. I mean in this movie we have a dinner scene with agent zeros ex-wife and her new husband. So that’s just a little hint of where we’re not afraid to go in this one to kind of see that fun interplay, the banter you know, interacting with people who are not soldiers and letting that kind of humour all play out as well. And of course, Intelligence Pete who has a lot of funny zingers and he’s played by highly trained improv actor, Josh brener, he gave us more wonderful comedy material than they had room to fit in the actual movie. So I think audiences will enjoy his quirky sensibilities. 

Would you ever take the Sniper franchise to the small screen and do a series? 

I’m all for that. I mean, you know I’m blessed and lucky to do a Sniper movie every year or year a half on average. But if we can do an episode a week, you know, I’m even happier. That’s up to the Sony brass, that’s all above my pay grade, but more Sniper, equals more better for me. So, who knows.

Before we wrap up, I just want to make fans aware that they can also see you kick some zombie ass on Tubi in Dead Zone.

Yeah, we had the release of our military action, a kind of horror-thriller movie called Dead Zone on Tubi last week. Me and Michael Jai White and Jeff Fahey star and again you see me as this guy in the military, very much for fans of the Sniper franchise would dig that. It’s a little bit of a different look, but it’s all in the same military vein as well. So hopefully people who have discovered Dead Zone will come and check out Sniper: Rogue Mission. 

It’s been amazing having you on and it’s great seeing you kick some ass in a new Sniper movie! 

It’s been a pleasure and we always appreciate your support. We’ll keep making them and then we’ll keep chatting. 

Read our Sniper: Rogue Mission review here.