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John Rhys-Davies Is A Descendant From A Goddess In Bad Cupid [Exclusive Interview]

Archie (John Rhys-Davies) is a God on a mission to ensure that true love always wins. Or, short of that, that someone is going to die trying. Not that he particularly cares which outcome it is. That’s Archie’s “Bad Cupid” approach to romance and beware anyone who gets in his way, especially anyone he’s actually trying to help…

I had a fun conversation with the actor John Rhys-Davies to talk about Bad Cupid. He spoke about his role as a modern, gringe cupid. In addition he spoke about his career and what film he would love to relive.

Nancy Tapia: Super excited to speak to you about this new film coming. What a perfect timing for Valentine’s Day and a different kind of Valentine’s Day love story. Because this is a comedy about love obsession and one crazy ass cupid, but he’s hilarious!

John Rhys-Davies: Haha…That is the savagery of the Greek gods there, isn’t there? He’s been doing this for a lot of thousands of years, and in the end he had just despised humanity for their repetitious gaol, boring, obsessive proclivity for destruction and absurdity, and yet you’ve got to keep doing the damn job.

Nancy Tapia: He’s like the love Grinch, but not really, he’s fooling us.

John Rhys-Davies: Well, that’s right. Well, no, he is the son of Cupid and no longer little wings and wrapped in things. He’s had a few thousand years to grow up and though he still does the job. He’s trying to make it interesting as well, for goodness sake. What’s that wonderful line of the poem “Love’s the big boss at your side forever slouches the shadow of the gunman.”

Nancy Tapia: Oh, that’s beautiful.

John Rhys-Davies: Yes. That is, I think C. Day Lewis. I think one of his earlier poems.

Nancy Tapia: Ah, okay. Well, let’s talk a little bit about the film. I’m torn between my favorite scene, but I want to know which one was the funnest scene to film.

Bad Cupid Church Stairs New England Clam Chowder Shane Nepveu

John Rhys-Davies: Haha…Well, look, it’s a blast. They were a delightful bunch of young actors, super director, super writers, super producers. It’s Buffalo, New York in winter up by Niagara Falls, cold as a witch’s tit, I think I’m not allowed to say that these days, nevermind. I have a smart policy to enjoy what I do. The day I cease to love going to work is the day I should quit, because it is the most privileged job in the world. You can do a job and at the same time have fun.

So, which is my favorite scene? I don’t know. I mean, I think that that little sort of spin at the end where we, ‘Oh, oops, we got the wrong wedding’. Haha!

Nancy Tapia: Haha!

John Rhys-Davies: Kidnapped the wrong guy. Well, these things happen. What that hell. Oh, we can fix things and we got him out of the shit anyway. I mean, he wasn’t real deep. By the way, what a lovely performance that, Claybourne Elder, he gives a lovely performance. I think we’re going to see a lot of that lad. I mean, not only good looks, but there’s a real intelligence there. To be honest with you, I loved all of them. I thought they were all really super. 

Bad Cupid Car John Rhys-Davies, yes! Claybourne Elder and Shane Nepveu

Nancy Tapia: I’m torn between the car scene and the bathroom scene. But I think I’m leaning more towards the car scene. The dynamic of so much going on and the dialogue, it was hilarious.

John Rhys-Davies: Haha! 

Nancy Tapia: I mean you’re talking about a ‘suicide’ playlist, and then here you have Morris (Briana Marin) that joins to critic and adds that Dave (Shane Nepveu) never really had great taste in music, haha.

John Rhys-Davies: is funny. What is it? Sexual Healing, haha!

Nancy Tapia: Haha…yes.

John Rhys-Davies: Yeah. Which produces a lounge of fury. Yes, well of course. It’s a lot of fun.

Nancy Tapia: It did look like a lot of fun. You mentioned acting because you love it. So what was the one thing you love so much about playing Archie for Bad Cupid?

John Rhys-Davies: Well, it’s a part I’ve never done before. Most actors, if they’re not careful, they get invited by producers to do the last successful thing they did. I’ve seen casting lists going out with a John Rhys-Davies type of character. I’ve had directors ask me, “Come on, I want a JRD rant at this point.” And you go “No please don’t, please don’t.” You know, it’s, yes, there are certain things that actors can do very easily, and if they’re not careful, it becomes their trademark utterance or their trademark whatever it is. It’s always a delight to be asked to do something. No one has ever asked me to play Cupid before and what a wonderful and absurd piece of casting, and a chance for an actor to put his stamp on it.

Bad Cupid bar Why is she marrying someone else Shane Nepveu and Briana Marin

Yes. I think this is what a middle-age Cupid, who’s depressed with humanity and, just trying to keep the old traditions going of a saint, they got to do the job, haven’t you. If I’m nine to five, it’s not even a nine to five. It’s a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, long, life sentence, trying to bring mating animals together happily. God damn it. I’d be better off just fertilizing cows with artificial insemination.

Nancy Tapia: Haha

John Rhys-Davies: It’s that lifelong … I’m not quite sure that he really actually likes people. There are moments he quite likes them. There are moments when they pique his interest and even sometimes almost peak his sympathy, but by and large, look at them. Jesus Christ, none of them are capable of making a rational decision about love. None of them. Every one of them needs help.

Nancy Tapia: I think we all do, haha…

John Rhys-Davies: Haha…it’s been a lot of fun. 

Bad Cupid bathroom John Rhys-Davies, Briana Marin (the look) and Shane Nepveu

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Nancy Tapia:  You’ve done so many movies. You have so many films under your belt including blockbusters, like Indiana Jones and Lord of the Rings. What would be that one film that you would love to relive making?

John Rhys-Davies: Haha…You mean the ones that I could erase all my mistakes and start again? You know what? It’s a bit like love, you shouldn’t really look back. I am the luckiest actor that you will ever interview. To do one great thing in your lifetime as an actor is a great honor to manage. Just think I did, I, Claudius the naked civil servant. Shogun, I even got an Emmy nomination for Shogun. I worked with Blake Edwards from Victor, Victoria. I did Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana JonesSliders, Lord of the Rings. That’s a catalog of some of the greats and some of the favorites that we will remember. I’ve been lucky.

I have learned from my mistakes. I continue to make mistakes, but I hope I still continue to learn as well. I think I’m more able now as an actor than I have been at any other time of my life. Of course, when I say able, I’m disinclined to sort of get into heavy sword fights these days, but I can still wield an ax convincingly.

What would be the one I would like to revisit? I’d like to have another go at the Indiana Jones one, if I get invited. Oh, here’s one that I can fly by you. I did, the first time my son ever came to me and said, “I’ve got a massive iron. I hope it’s not cracked.” That’s when my son came to me and said “Dad, you really arrived now, you’re doing Star Trek Voyager.” I played Da Vinci in Star Trek Voyager. And they’re doing a new Paramount, I think they’re doing a new lot of Star Treks. I would love to come back and do just a few little bits or something as Da Vinci. I think there is an entanglement of the great mind of Da Vinci and the infinite possibilities of Star Trek that would be fun to explore.

Nancy Tapia: You’re putting it out in the universe, you never know.

John Rhys-Davies: Well, exactly. There are some things that you do and you do the preparation for them and you do them and you think there’s more to that character. There’s more to the challenge of that character in that setting. And yes, I’d like to do that.

Bad Cupid Apartment Bench John Rhys-Davies and Claybourne Elder

Nancy Tapia: Real quick, if you were to rate Archie as a Cupid, what rate would you give him? 

John Rhys-Davies: I’d give myself a 10 for God’s sake woman.

Nancy Tapia: Haha!!

John Rhys-Davies: I’m a fucking god. Well descended from a goddess. Dear god. Mars and Venus, you claim both sides of the family. One, my priapic interest and two, the fact that my father was the god of war.

Nancy Tapia: Haha…I had to hear it. Thank you so much.

John Rhys-Davies: I tell you what though, I am trying to persuade them that if they make their money back on this one and they get the chance to, again. I think we ought to revisit Archie at other hard-times of his life. Perhaps in Renaissance Italy or Elizabethan England or something like that. Which would be great fun, wouldn’t it? I mean, it would be sort of, him putting together all the great marriages. Can you imagine Cupid being obliged to try and settle the future of King Henry VIII in terms of marriage? Something like that. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful opportunity for comedy?

Nancy Tapia: Yeah, for sure. That could be added to your list for future projects. Thank you so much for your time to discuss Bad Cupid. Looking forward to your next projects and hopefully we get to connect and talk about all those as well.

John Rhys-Davies: Excellent. Yes. Take care now, dear. Talk to you soon. 

Bad Cupid is brought to you by Freestyle Digital Media and is available now.

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