Talks & Interviews — June 1, 2012 at 5:24 am

Gary Hudson: My character was supposed to be more of a brawler than a martial artist (exclusive)

Actor Gary Hudson is one of those actors who are perfectly capable of playing both heroes and heavies. Throughout his career he’s played both numerous times.

For B-movie and independent film fans, Hudson might be familiar for his roles in such films as “Martial Outlaw”, “Serial Killer”, “The Circuit 2”, “Bridge of Dragons” and as far as mainstream films go, Hudson appeared in “RoadHouse”, “Battle in Seattle”, and “Resident Evil 3”.

In an exclusive interview to BZFilm, Hudson recalls how he fought Kurt Russell for the part of “Elvis Presley”, talks about America’s obesity problems and discusses his other movies.

Gary, Online sources say it was down to you or Kurt Russell to portray Elvis Presley in the 1979 TV film “Elvis”, which later got Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. Please tell how this happened (how you got involved in the project). Since you’re an avid Elvis fan, in your opinion, if you would have been chosen to portray Elvis instead of Russell, would you think you career be different today? What did you think of Russell’s performance in the film?

My agent at the time got me an appointment to read. I was very new to Hollywood and went in an read for Joyce Selznick. She was one of the biggest casting directors in the early 80’s, and very tough to impress. Luckily I did.

I was a big Elvis fan and had been offered a touring job as an Elvis impersonator actually, after someone heard me singing at a charity event one evening – something I didn’t want to do. Finally after several meetings with Selznick I went to read for Dick Clark (film’s executive producer).

Kurt (Russell) on the other hand had done all those Disney films and I had done little. So, I did not get the part, but it did come down to the final two. I have to say Kurt was great, he did an amazing job. Who knows what might have happened had I gotten the part back then. It is a crazy business.

You appeared alongside Jeff Wincott in a martial arts film “Martial Outlaw”. The film obviously had a lot of fight scenes, and considering that Wincott was a martial artist, how did you in particular prepared for these scenes? Any special training? Any good memories of working on this film?

I have been studying martial arts for years. They wanted my character to be more of a brawler than a strict martial artist. More of a kickboxer, I suppose. I had started out thinking of being a stunt man and had done a lot of fighting prior to this film.

Like Burt Reynolds, I like doing the stunts and fighting myself. Recently I did a film called “Nevsky Prospect” where I also did a lot of fighting.

As for “Martial Law”, it was a lot of fun, Jeff is a great guy and I enjoyed working with him and my friend Pierre David whom I have worked for numerous times since.

IMDB states you directed two movies thus far in your career. Both completely different, one a 1986 action movie “Thunder Run”, and another one ten years later “Club V.R.” a softcore erotic film.Why no more directing efforts? Those two titles you directed are completely different, were you just testing your own abilities as director?

I would love to direct more, and hopefully I will again. The acting roles have come up and I have always been an actor first and formost. Who knows what the future holds. Im happy just to be working in this business.

Was there any particular low-budget film you absolutely enjoyed working on?

Numerous ones, actually. “Serial Killer” with Kim Delaney and Tobin Bell was one. Anotherone was “Cheyene” a period Western I produced and starred in on location in Moab Utah. “Perfect Sport” about a HS-wrestling coach, and “Independent” I did on a small island off the coast of Seattle.

Also, “Nevsky Prospect” that I just finished in December in Latvia – a great experience with a wonderful first time director Rajeev Dessani.I have been lucky to work all over the world.

Many people who seen your “Bridge of the Dragons” film with Dolph Lundgren, say its nearly impossible to establish the time/place of where the story takes place, as everything looks too surreal. How you yourself would describe it? How was it working with Dolph Lundgren and Florentine?

We actually shot that in Sofia (Bulgaria) and it was loads of fun. Dolph is a great guy, and a lot of fun to work with. Lot of good memories from that film. Highly recommend Bulgaria – great skiing and beach’s and the people are wonderful.

One of your latest projects “Wings of the Dragon”, is a martial arts drama, starring Michael Pare. Some online sources claim the film was never completed, others say the production was wrapped up, but due to financial difficulties it was never distributed/released. Would you please shed some light on this?

“Wings of the Dragon” was shut down half way through, but it will be finished. Probably sometime this summer in Chicago. These things happen sometimes, but this film will be completed. Its a very good script and project directed by a very good director that I’ve worked with before many times, Dimitri Logothetis.

Your “Hollywood Secrets to Getting Fit” is a book telling how a person can actually maintain a healthy lifestyle without sitting on diets, which as you claim do not work. With so many recipes, books, diets for anyone to lose some weight, the question is – are people really ready to put some effort into losing their weight? In your opinion are Americans ready to do that, on a mental level?

God I hope so. We need to be healthier as a nation. Especially with the obesity problems and fast food epidemic we have in our country. I think people are becoming more conscious. Health is the true answer to our health care crisis in the U.S., That is for sure.

Aside from acting, I know Gary Hudson likes to watch L.A. Lakers play, anything else you are involved into, besides acting?

I do watch Lakers games, and also play a lot of golf and tennis. Aside from sports, I do a lot of charity work around the country. I travel and try to enjoy my life and worry less about things that are out of my control to the best of my ability.

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