Exclusive Interview: Randy Couture on Ambushed and Expendables 3 and 4
The Expendables was a landmark for bringing together multiple generations of action heroes. One of the added benefits of the Expendables franchise is now in between Expendables sequels, we get new movies from each individual Expendable thanks to the boost the franchise gave everyone’s career. Ambushed actually stars two Expendables, Dolph Lundgren and Randy Couture. It’s a crime movie which stars Lundgren as a good cop and Couture as a dirty cop all entangled with a gang of drug dealers. We got to catch up with Expendable and UFC champion Couture be phone to discuss his latest acting role, now on DVD and Blu-ray.
Crave Online: You did play a bad guy in Scorpion King: Rise of a Warrior. Was Ambushed a very different character?
Randy Couture: Yes, Sargon was definitely the antagonist in that movie. A little bit different theme obviously, the sword and sandal type film which was a lot of fun. This was a little more modern, this day and age but still a lot of fun.
And probably a more complex character in Ambushed, right?
Definitely a more complex character. I had to spend some time with my acting coach and come up with my own backstory to figure out how to relate to this character and the things that he did. That took some time and was definitely a challenge for me.
What have you learned about acting since this whole thing started for you?
The whole thing is to first of all not act, to try and find a way to relate to the character and the objectives that the character has and tell the truth. You don’t always have that luxury of being able to delve into your own stream of experience to do that, so that was the challenge with this character obviously. You still have to find a way to tell the truth or nobody’s going to buy you in that role. I’ve never done half of the things that this character did. Coming up with a backstory and basically creating a circumstance, even though it’s imagined, creating the circumstance so that you can behave appropriately is kind of the trick.
What acting coach are you working with?
The gentleman’s name is Barry Primus and he’s a great guy. He’s been in the industry for quite some time, worked with some very, very top actors. From start to finish he’s done a little bit of everything in the industry. I’ve been with him for a few years now and it’s been a great relationship.
What’s harder, to memorize lines or train for a fight?
I don’t find the memorization process difficult. Fortunately, it’s not like stage acting where you have to remember your entire part from start to finish and walk out and deliver it. I have a very strong memory. I think as a foreign language and literature major in college, it prepared me in some ways for this because that rote memory is strong so you just [prepare] each day for the scenes you’re going to do. Sometimes they’re a little heavier than other days but most of the time it’s not an issue. There is some similarity in being in the same place for months at a time doing the same thing over and over and over, which is akin to being in a 10 or 12 week training camp getting ready for a fight, getting ready for that one night to go out and perform. There’s a similarity in that.
This movie is your first fight scene with Dolph, right?
Against Dolph and Dolph’s character, yes. Obviously Dolph and I have been in fight scenes together but we were on the same team in The Expendables so we weren’t fighting each other necessarily, but it was fun. He’s a big physical guy, a good athlete and probably of all the other Expendables, the only other guy with some real combative sports background. He did Karate at a high level for a very long time, so I had some fun working with him and getting to do those fight scenes.