Talks & Interviews — June 20, 2012 at 4:32 pm

ED-209: No man or machine can go head to head with me on plain ground

The Enforcement Droid Series 209, or ED-209, is a fictional robot in the “RoboCop” franchise.

The ED-209 serves as a heavily-armed obstacle and foil for RoboCop, as well as a source of comic relief due to its lack of intelligence and tendency towards clumsy malfunctions.

I’ve always been a huge fan of ED, somehow I even liked him more than RoboCop.

So, this crazy idea came to me – why not imagine ED as a real robot who was acting in a movie? Below is a funny fictional interview with ED, consider it a tribute if you want.

In the interview, ED reveals where he is now, recalls his days of doing the RoboCop movies, and so on.

INTERVIEW

ED what are you up to now? Its been so long since we’ve seen you on screen…

I have been away from movies, yes. Being an outdated droid does that to you. I had a chance of appearing briefly in a “Terminator:Salvation” film, and the human crew did shoot a few scenes with me. However it was decided not to include the footage in the finished film. For the last several years I have been working at a local factory, doing loading work by day, and working as a security guard by nights.

Can you tell more about that?

The humans had to replace my machine guns with something more convenient, so I could help out with the loading. Since I work mostly all day, I have to manually switch from “loading mode” to “security mode”, and at first it was hard because I was unarmed already. So by night I was guarding a giant complex without any weapons.

Did you have any problems?

Yes, there was an incident once. Since our organization deals mostly with electronics, there is always someone who decides to break in and steal something. A group of punks did not feel so lucky that night. They broke in, I quickly spotted them, and luckily for me, the whole complex only has a two stairs on both sides, so it is mostly a plain ground. And believe me, there is no human or machine that can go head to head with me on an open ground.

Since I was unarmed, all I had to do some running on a short distance with some roaring. Imagine yourself turning around and seeing ED209 running at you, full speed, roaring like a lion. I am not a human, but I think that would have been scary. Those who broke in thought the same, and in 10 seconds they were gone. After the incident, I usually get a few people to attach one machine gun back to me, before my night duty starts. The other machine gun I still keep at home. You never know when it can become handy.

Excuse me, what do you mean at home?

Well even a “robot with chicken legs” needs a home to live in. Thankfully I do not have any stairs there. It is comfortable, a lot of free space, and I enjoy my silence there. I have a trusted human who comes in to check on my program. There were neighbors too at first, however they were making too much noise – something I can not stand. So, since I still had those machine guns attached back then, my neighbors had “20 seconds to comply” and leave. Eventually they did.

Wow… and how did you learn to talk? I mean you were supposed to be a simple droid…

I was not in fact. Prior to becoming Robocop’s nemesis in the film, I was a prototype model, that was supposed to be used for military purposes. Before this ever happened producers of RoboCop somehow found about me, and I got acquired to appear in the film. I underwent some tests prior to shooting, and it was revealed that my legs are my weakest point. I wonder if this information leaked, and the film’s creators decided to add this to my character.

After I did “RoboCop”, I had this great desire to evolve, to become better. Being a mindless robot that can only handle simple commands did not seem like a lot of fun to me. Besides I had a lot of potential, so the people who designed me, agreed to enhance my program, this is basically how my skills have developed. This was done as part of the “investment strategy” to make me more flexible, and ready for more films. The rest I would like to leave classified.

Sure, no problem. What was it like working with Peter Weller (RoboCop) in the original Paul Verhoeven film?

Verhoeven was…intense. I remember those long days where he would stand in front of me, explaining every move, how I should react, and so on. I liked most of what he wanted to shoot, and of course thanks to our talented team, that made me look good on screen. Peter Weller seemed strange to me, I probably did not expect someone weak like him defeat me, however I underestimated him. Once he got into the Robocop costume, he changed. We went along great after that – I do have some good memories stored in me.

I was actually the one who came up with the idea of this “uppercut” that RoboCop gets in that confrontation scene between us. I thought it was to show that I was something more than just mindless trigger-happy droid. I wanted to add more physical aspect to the whole scene. Verhoeven liked the idea, and it worked.

Were there any problems during the shoot?

Well there was something I would want to be different – the sounds that I made. If you recall, I make this “roaring” sound when I blast away RoboCop and then I make a completely different sound when I fall down the stairs. I actually wanted to keep the “roaring” sound, so it would look like I am enraged that I have fallen down, and not like I was crying like a human baby.

Well, they thought it would not work, I think they did not want me to look more menacing than I should, so they added this “pig” sound in post-production and eventually that is what you hear in the finished film. I hated it at first, but then thought why not – after all people did love me in the film.

What did you think of that scene where your program fails and you shoot OCP’s Mr. Kinney?

That was a very bloody scene. I felt sorry for Kevin Page who played Kinney, he was great though. Before shooting the scene I could see he was really scared of me, but after a couple of takes he was laughing non-stop, even posed for photos with blood all over his suit.

What about the RoboCop sequels?

I really did not want to do the second RoboCop film. I was actually promised a much bigger part in another cyborg related film, yet the producers convinced me to appear in “RoboCop 2”, since the fans loved me so much. We shot a couple of scenes, mostly with me doing random things within the OCP structure, and later it was all cut out because they wanted the story to concentrate on “Robo Cain” – the new villain, not me.

I went along with it, yet I was very dissapointed with the final result – as in the end of the film I appear only in one scene for 4-5 seconds, where I again made fun of because of my clumsiness. As for “RoboCop 3” I have a bigger part there, however I am no longer “an enforcer”, just a security guard. I agreed to do the part because I had a chance to work with a child, and that is something I really liked – that was sort of a change from the violent me in the original film. Besides in part 3, I am more of a “good guy” so to speak, who is helping the resistance.

Looking back now what can you say about the RoboCop films?

I am glad I was given a chance to do them. Keep in mind – I was the only one in all three films who confronted RoboCop and actually made him run away. I had a chance to work with some very talented humans, who not only helped me to become better, but also made me feel somewhat famous, and I can appreciate that. I was told that there are clips of me and Robo on Youtube…

You won’t believe it…someone made a photo of you versus the T-Rex!

A T-Rex? A dinosaur? Interesting. I understand why someone would do something like that, however I doubt that Rex would stand any chance against me. He would not even bite me, let alone kill me.

What can you say about today’s “robot” movies?

Well today the “robot films” as you say, or films with robots in them are made mostly with CGI, you will not see any stop-motion animation there. There is no place for me in such films, besides I have been away from the industry for a long time, and my time has passed. However, if the humans decide to find me for a cameo in a RoboCop remake, I would still consider it, purely because of the good memories.

What would you want to be, if you were human?

Being someone like Dolph Lundgren would have been nice. That human being is strong, educated and a true warrior in every sense of the word. He should be someone other people can look up to. Another human I would want to be is Hugh Jackman.

Anything you would want to accomplish?

There is a big robot exhibition in Japan next year, and if everything works out fine, I may be taken there for demonstrations. If it works out, they might even start doing the replicas of me in Japan. I have also been told there are people out there who consider themselves fans of ED-209. It would be nice to meet them.



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