Written by Stephanie Sanchez
Tuesday, 09 January 2007
Ok, so we've already talked with Dominic Purcell about Prison Break and John Doe and his non-involvement with the next Hulk film, so now we can get down to the nitty gritty...it's all about Primeval!
When I was offered an interview with the man, I jumped at the chance! Dominic is back on the big screen in Michael Katleman's Primeval that chronicles the journey of a news crew as they delve into the world of Gustave, a killer croc who's reportedly eaten over 300 victims.
Dominic tells us about a horrible injury on set involving his shoulder, working with Orlando Jones and why the film got bumped up to a January 12th release date, plus much, much more!
So, here is the interview in it's entirety. From Primeval to John Doe. Enjoy!
IESB: How did you get involved with Primeval?
Dominic Purcell: Well, I was offered the role and I was taken back, I was, I felt very good about it and once my agent pitched me the story that it was a crocodile movie I was…then he went on and told me about the story and that it was based on a true story and that there is a crocodile in Africa that had been feeding on these bodies from the Rwandan genocide and all of those aspects appealed to me. And also, it was a cheap way to get on the studio list, as they say, and I was ready for it.
IESB: Did you do any research on the real killer croc, Gustave?
DP: Yeah, you know I did a lot of research on him and it was incredibly fascinating to me that this crocodile, to me the analogy of this movie is that we create our own monsters and he is a result of the Rwandan genocide and once they would throw the bodies into the river, he would feed on the bodies and that’s where he got a taste for human flesh and he became fat and lazy and decided humans were easier to eat than live prey.
IESB: What was it like working with Orlando Jones?
DP: Wonderful, you know I have the utmost respect for him. I thing he’s a wonderful actor. He reminds me of Eddie Murphy and Jamie Foxx, he just has this organic humor and spontaneity and it was just a real privilege working with him.
IESB: Were you surprised when they moved the release date up to January 12th?
DP: I was, I was, there was, it’s funny, I got into a conversation with the director (Michael Katleman) last night and he was telling me that it was kind of pre-planned but they kept it very, very quiet because of this other croc movie that’s coming out in February, you know, and Disney has been incredibly behind this movie and so we’re all excited and fingers crossed waiting for those box office results.
IESB: Now, the location of the real Gustave killer croc is in Burundi Africa, where did you film this movie at?
DP: We filmed it, the first month Cape Town, second month Durbin and towards the end there a place called Ladysmith which is, I can’t remember off hand, it’s kind of more Central Africa.
IESB: Were there any real crocodiles used on the set?
DP: No, no thankfully. Yeah, it was all CGI, this croc is all CGI. I’ve seen bits and pieces of the CGI croc and it’s really exciting to know that the croc isn’t the size of King Kong or Godzilla, it actually looks like a real crocodile. They did the dimensions of the real Gustave, you know, slightly exaggerated giving the croc a bit more size but still the croc is very believable and I think that’s going to add to the film’s authenticity.
IESB: So what was the most dangerous thing you did while filming since there weren’t any crocodiles?
DP: Well, I did a stunt where I was running at full speed and I dove under a log and as I dove under it I dislocated my AC joint that’s next to my shoulder and it was kind of funny in a way because I continued on with the scene knowing I thought at that point that I had broken my collar bone or dislocated my shoulder. I got up and I said to the stunt guy, ‘I broke my collar bone.” He looked at me like I was joking because I wasn’t really showing much signs of any pain or anything, I was more in shock. I took off my shirt and my AC joint was sticking up vertical from my shoulder blade and it was obviously a bad dislocation and the second unit director, this was the first week of shooting, fainted when he saw it. It was like, oh my god, I destroyed the movie. And, they took me off to the hospital and I actually punched it back in myself because the pain was so bad. It was all very dramatic and weird when that happened. So I spent the first month of the film with a really sore shoulder.
IESB: That sounds really painful
DP: It was
IESB: Do you know if your character was based on any real life journalist or anyone who actually went looking for this croc?
DP: My journalist, was basically fictional, the story is that they did have a documentary, the National Geographic team actually went out to Africa to see if they could capture Gustave so a lot of the premise of the story is loosely based on true fact, Tim Freeman is an imaginary character, and that’s just part of the storytelling.
IESB: You’ve been rumored to be involved in the next Hulk film, has there been any movement on that, will we see you playing Bruce Banner?
DP: Well, that was rumor, the Hulk was never, Marvel never approached me or my agent that was rumor, but I am about to do a movie with Joel Schumacher in Romania for three months. I’m playing a Gulf War veteran who gets captured by an occult family who has some kind of link to the Nazi regime.
IESB: And what’s that called?
DP: Town Creek. It’s an interesting story and I’m excited to be working with Joel Schumacher. It’s a good step up for me.
IESB: So what’s more challenging for you as an actor, TV or film?
DP: There’s isn’t a difference really, it depends on the role. I don’t really have a preference, TV or film, just as long as TV is good and challenging and refreshing and unique and that’s one of the reasons I took Prison Break. I was involved with the story and I loved the fact where it was coming from, it wasn’t your standard procedural drama. I saw an opportunity to be challenged as an actor and those are the kind of things I look for. Obviously, in the film world I’m on a list now but I’m not obviously getting the roles that go to the higher echelon of actors but at present I am applying my trade and hopefully I can get to a point where I can, kind of, choose projects I really, really want to be involved in.
IESB: So what can we expect to see in the second half of the season on Prison Break?
DP: The conclusion of season 2 obviously, the story will wrap up. I’m not at liberty to tell you exactly what happens but I do know that the pitch for season 3 has been embraced by Fox and I know the concept of season 3 and it’s very exciting, it’s going to blow a lot of people away. That’s the good thing about Prison Break, each season get to be a different story. Season 1 was prison, season 2 we’re on the run, season 3 is…can’t tell you.
IESB: Oh! I was gonna say come on! Okay one last thing, and I have to ask this because I was a huge fan of John Doe and it ended without any real closure for the fans and it’s bothered me forever, where exactly did John Doe come from and why did he know everything?
DP: Well, John Doe was Christ returned. That’s why he knew everything, you know, I feel kind of sorry for John Doe in that he never really got a chance to conclude his journey. It’s a strange thing that happened there, the show itself was actually rated pretty well. It’s funny, Fox would do anything now to have John Doe on Friday nights at 9 o’clock. We were pulling in 8s and 9s on Friday night, you know, those are good numbers. Maybe they could make a movie of it one day, who knows.
IESB: That’s a good idea, I hope they do! Thanks so much for your time Dominic.
DP: Thank you.
Purcell is certainly climbing the ladder. Prison Break has become a huge television hit on Fox with a large fanbase behind it. Too bad he wasn't approached to do the next Hulk film, he would have been great as Dr. Bruce Banner. Purcell has an almost humble but commanding presence about him. Ah well, we look forward to the future of Prison Break, his next film Town Creek directed by Joel Schumacher and who knows, all you John Doe fans out there keep your fingers crossed, maybe just maybe, he'll step into those shoes once more time.
Primeval and the Killer Croc Ambush Theaters Friday January 12th 2007!