AR: First of all, I loved Hard Kill, it was such a fun throwback movie, it had the old school vibe of movies such as John Carpenters Assault On Precinct 13 and a dash of Die Hard, was this intentional?
ME: Thank you for actually getting it! That was exactly what I was going for. Turn off your brain and just watch a retro action flick and be entertained. This is supposed to be an homage to those fun old school 80s – 90s action films like Cobra, Behind Enemy Lines, Delta Force, Assault on Precinct 13 etc. Loved those flicks as a kid.
AR: Where abouts was the movie shot?
ME: It was shot in only 10 days in an abandoned Bicycle Card Factory in Cincinnati Ohio during the blistering winter. It was an incredible location with tons of visual variety that added tons of production value to the look of the film.
AR: This is your third feature with Bruce Willis, what was he like to work with? As i know he gets bad press.
ME: I consider “Hard Kill” as the bittersweet end of the Eskandari/Willis trilogy. It was definitely an honor to get a chance to work with an legend like him. I got a chance to see him do three completely different characters and be in three completely different kinds of films. I’ve spoken a few other times at length about our relationship. Let’s just say it was an understanding of his process and working closely to win his trust and build a strong actor/director relationship.
AR: What was the biggest challenge filming this movie? How long was Bruce on set?
ME: The grueling 10 day shoot schedule was the biggest challenge. It’s so hard to shoot stylized action in such a tight time constraint. Most people don’t realize most bigger budget movies spend 10 days shooting one single action scene. I had to do several massive fights, shootouts and 80 pages of dialogue in the same time window. It’s insanity we got it all in the can.
AR: The end fight was a lot of fun, how did you piece together what looked to be an epic showdown on such a tight schedule?
ME: I’m proud of that last fight. I think its built up well and you get to really feel The Pardoner and Miller going toe to toe. I wish we had more time on it to add even more elaborate stunts. We literally did that entire sequence in a couple hours.
AR:Your previous entry with Bruce ‘Survive The Night’ was very much more than a simple invasion movie, it was a character piece where you could see both sides point of view. I found this very interesting and different! Did that attract you to that script?
ME: ‘Survive The Night’ is still my favorite film of the Bruce movies I did. He did so great in that film and had a strong character arc and chemistry with Chad Michael Murray. I hope audiences and critics years down the line can go back and watch that without the bias against Bruce because he chose to do a low budget film and just enjoy the story for what it is. It has so many deep layers to it to unravel. Tragic familial bonds and the lengths one is willing to go for love and redemption. The nature of good and evil, how tragedy and circumstance control so much about our life and death. Hopefully, time will be kind to the film.
AR: Out of your ‘Bruce Trilogy’ Trauma Center, Survive The Night and Hard Kill, what is your favorite and why?
ME: Easy since I already answered this one!
AR: What can we expect after Hard Kill? Can we expect another Bruce movie?
ME: I think my trilogy with Bruce is definitely done. Maybe we can reunite in the future on a much bigger budget film. Right now I don’t know what’s up for me next. It’s kind of scary to think, but hopefully whatever challenge presents itself I can step up to the occasion.
AR: Before I go, what would be your top 5 Willis movies?
ME: Die Hard, Fifth Element, 12 Monkeys, The Sixth Sense and In Country.
AR: Thank you for your time Matt, I really appreciate it! Keep up the good work!