The sci-fi “Riddick” is out on Blu-ray and DVD today. And Latino-Review has the exclusive interview with Danny Blanco Hall, one of the mercenaries from the movie.
Here’s the synopsis:
Left for dead on a sun-scorched planet, Riddick finds himself up against an alien race of predators. Activating an emergency beacon alerts two ships: one carrying a new breed of mercenary, the other captained by a man from Riddick's past.
The David Twohy-directed movie also stars Vin Diesel, Karl Urban, Katee Sackhoff, Dave Bautista and Jordi Molla.
We discussed about the trilogy, playing a merc and the difference between doing live-action versus voicing/mo-cap in video games.
Check out the interview below.
Latino-Review: How were you approached for this project and why were you attracted to it?
Danny Blanco Hall: This was something that was mentioned to me. The project was going to fall through at one point. So I moved on to other things and suddenly the project came about again. I’m not sure about the whole casting process. There was an opening for me to read to try out for different characters and found a spot for me in there. I was one of the lucky few to squeeze out a role there, which was great.
Latino-Review: Now, were you a big fan of the movies?
Danny Blanco Hall: I would say I was a connoisseur. I wasn’t necessarily a Riddick geek or an incredibly huge fan. I was definitely aware of it. I was made aware that “Pitch Black” was a cult favorite, so I ended up watching it. I did appreciate its value and then obviously I wanted to watch “The Chronicles of Riddick.” That was about it for me. I never, never thought that I would ever get a chance to be a part of it.
Latino-Review: Obviously you saw the third movie, how was this compared to “Pitch Black” and “The Chronicles of Riddick?”
Danny Blanco Hall: I think it goes back to the fundamentals of “Pitch Black” in many ways. Of course, we have some CGI and the popularity of Vin Diesel. This one has a little bit more panache I would say. I enjoyed it more than the second one.
Latino-Review: Let’s talk about your character, Falco. Remind us what your specific role was in the movie and why you’re such a bad ass.
Danny Blanco Hall: Essentially, Riddick was stuck on the planet for a better part of the first portion of the film. He was stuck there for a very, very long time. He realized the only way to get out of there was to find a safe house. In order for him to get out of that planet, he has basically sent out a signal. Once he has done that, he attracted two crews of mercenaries. [They] basically wanted to get his head and put it into a box to collect a bounty.
I happen to be a member of the more notorious crew. I’m sort of the doubting Thomas of the crew. I typically dispute on why we need that many mercenaries to hunt one guy down. So I’m clearly unaware on Riddick’s reputation and [ended] as one of the first guys to go out.
Latino-Review: Did you do any special preparations for the movie—especially with the physicality?
Danny Blanco Hall: Physicality, yeah. They asked me to put on some pounds. My regular weight is between 170 to 175 [pounds]. So I managed in about a month to add about an extra fifteen pounds by doing some heavy lifting. It’s a lot easier if you have somewhat of a goal set. When you have the incentives, then you work out that much harder. Surprisingly, it’s really hard to put on anywhere from 10 to 15 pounds in a short amount of time. So that’s essentially what I did. It was a lot of heavy lifting, eating and you know the rest.
Latino-Review: [Laughter] Let’s talk about your death scene. Did you like your death scene? Did you wish that you lasted a little bit longer in the movie or maybe survive at all?
Danny Blanco Hall: It fits into the story so it’s fine. As an actor, you’re rooting for your own character. You want your character to be there till the bitter end. You want to be the baddest ass out there to last throughout the movie or be the hero. I would’ve loved to exchange some blows with Riddick or killed a little more personally. But, it seems to fit within the story.
Latino-Review: How was it like to act alongside with a megastar like Vin Diesel? Was it intimidating?
Danny Blanco Hall: Not at all. I mostly got a chance to meet and talk with him throughout the first half of the process. Once it was wrapped, we got a chance to catch up towards the end of production. It was mostly really socially and technically, because we had script readings to do. We basically had to discuss on a lot of scenes on how things are going down as well. We had a walk through the studio for the set. It was very engaging and very complicating. He is a very nice guy. It was very intense production, because there had been delays in pre-production. They had a very short time to shoot a lot of this stuff. Considering everything, it was a great, great experience.
Latino-Review: It sounds like you guys were pretty serious on the set. Did you even have any fun?
Danny Blanco Hall: Yeah, we had a blast! [Laughter] We had a blast. There’s something about hurrying up the wait. So whatever reason, we would be on the set for hours anywhere up to 12 hours. At one point, we even spent up to 18 hours. Not all those hours were shooting and working. There was a lot of hanging out and catching up to know the other guys. Hanging with Dave Bautista was amazing. [He is] really, really nice guy. It was a small cast. We had the chance to get to know each other on a personal level and sharing the [experience]. We were happy to be there. So we had a blast. Never a dull moment. Never a bitter moment. Everybody was just fantastic.
Latino-Review: What’s the difference between doing live-action films and video games?
Danny Blanco Hall: Voicing and mo-cap work for video games—it’s fun. It’s definitely not as gratifying as doing action films. Everything can be taken seriously in [action films], because there are legitimate safety concerns. You have to take the jobs seriously from playing the bad guy to playing a soldier. It’s definitely more engaging. In many ways, you’re helping to sell this character.
Where on a video game, whether it’s mo-cap or just voice, you’re lending your voice and still remaining anonymous. Whereas you’re putting yourself in the forefront hoping to make a significant contribution to a movie whether it’s an action film, drama or comedy.
Latino-Review: Let me wrap this up with one question. Do you have any future projects for yourself whether it’s live-action or voicing?
Danny Blanco Hall: At the moment, I’m working on some local productions. There are a lot of local TV productions here. So I’m guest starring in a lot of those. In the future, I’m just waiting out on a few offers and possibilities. It’s up in the air. I’m wrapping up on a lot of gaming and voice work right now. Really, the sky’s the limit for 2014.
Latino-Review: Terrific. I thank you for the interview, Danny. I wish you good luck.
Danny Blanco Hall: Thank you very much. I appreciate you giving me the time.