Just call it a fight or flight instinct.
Action sci-fi film Kill Order stars Chris Mark (Suicide Squad) and directed/written by James Mark (Jumper) in this fast paced, action-packed movie about a young man who is trying to escape from a mysterious group trying to hunt him down.
The film also stars Daniel Park (Pacific Rim), Denis Akiyama (Pixels), Melee Hutton (Beautiful People), Jessica Clement (Pure), Jason Gosbee (Suicide Squad), Reuben Langdon (Ant-Man), and Alain Moussi (Kickboxer: Vengeance).
In Kill Order, chaos erupts when a group of armed men break into a high school classroom. They target David, a quiet kid who secretly suffers from unexplained memories of a horrifying past. Tapping into a previously unknown strength, David fights off his attackers and goes on the run. With his life and the lives of his loved ones in jeopardy, David must master the use of his new superhuman strength and fighting skills to find the people responsible and get his revenge.
LRM had a phone interview last month with the lead actor Chris Mark on playing his character David, the stunts and martial arts performance.
Kill Order will be available on VOD, Digital HD and on DVD tomorrow, Tuesday, February 6.
Read our exclusive transcript of the interview below.
LRM: Are you related to James Mark, the director of Kill Order?
Chris Mark: Yeah, he is my brother.
LRM: Was that why you were attracted to this project? Is it because he asked you to be in his movie?
Chris Mark: Yeah, absolutely. He wrote the character with me in mind to play it.
LRM: What is it like to be working on a project with your brother like this?
Chris Mark: Surprisingly, it went really smoothly. I’ve worked with my brother over twelve years now. We both started in the industry together as stunt performers. We also created our own extreme martial arts performance live stage team. We’ve been doing shows, films and everything together. He transitioned into the writer, director and producer roles. I’ve transitioned into more of an actor role.
Working together, we both know our roles on the movie. It was a really seamless transition. We have a history working together and know each other’s vision to what we are capable of. We put our best foot forward and create the best possible result we could.
LRM: Which one of you actually do the stunt coordination and planning? Is it him or is it you?
Chris Mark: He’s more of the stunt coordinating and planning. He knows on what he wants to see in terms of the stunts and action. We do hire a stunt coordinator to oversee that.
I handle more of the fight coordinating. I’ve designed a lot of the fight choreography between the different characters and fight scenes.
LRM: Since you’ve been working with your brother for such a long time, there were a lot of stunt actors in this film. Did you work with them for a long time too? Were you already familiar with everybody on this production?
Chris Mark: A lot of the stunt actors, the subjects I fight in the film, were also on our extreme martial arts team. I’ve worked with guys fighting on the film and doing shows with them for a long time now. It’s the main reason we put them into those roles so we can seamlessly and efficiently perform the fight scenes together. It makes it so much more easier. You can do a higher level of action in the performance with people who you are used to. It’s one of the reason why we put them into those spots.
LRM: How much training did you do before the actual film production?
Chris Mark: I’ve been training martial arts since I’ve been fourteen years old. I’ve been doing this for quite a while. I’ve been doing film martial arts work for over twelve years.
In terms of this movie, specifically, we wanted to go for a style that showcased superhuman abilities. It’s more of a sci-fi anime feel. For the training I did, I’ve been doing three months of intensive training. It focused on a lot of acrobatic martial arts style movements, as well as with hard style martial arts like Muay Thai, boxing and Jiu Jitsu. It’s so we can bring that element of ruthfulness and intensity to these fights.
I’ve been training for four days a week, three hours a day up to three months before we started the film production on this.
LRM: Wow. That’s a lot of training.
Chris Mark: Part of that training is also fight rehearsal training as well. There’s training, but you also practicing the fight scenes with the other performers over and over again. It’s to see on what works. We can make modifications. We film the scenes of the fight to see how we planned it for the day. It’s to see what works and what really looks good from a specific angle. This may really work with this cut. Before we shoot it, we would really know on where to shoot it, the angles and on what the setups are. It makes the takes to go a lot more quicker.
LRM: For you, which fight scene was the most difficult?
Chris Mark: Definitely, it’s the fourth fight scene. It’s the longest fight scene in the movie. Have you’ve seen the film?
LRM: I have. That was an awesome fight scene.
Chris Mark: Aww, thanks. It went great. I went face first through that picnic table. It was probably the hardest stunt in the whole movie. It was also the hardest fight. It was a long fight. I had to fight one subject first and then had to take on two subjects. We did that scene like three days in a row. It wasn’t just the physical fighting. There was an emotional acting component to it. That was also very tiring.
When David starts fighting, he’s very hesitant and he’s scared. He’s not really sure. He hasn’t fully embraced the other David side. Bringing that long with the physicality, doing all the falls and all the stunts–it was a crazy, crazy week.
It’s funny on the human body can be pushed into a position. You have to finish it or you have to turn it up. The time at the end of that fight was on the last day we were running out of light and trying to get it done quick–my body just went into hyperdrive. James went into hyperdrive and grabbed the camera. He went ahead and shoot me himself. He knocked off all the shots. Every scene was on point at the time. It was something that was really cool that took over. We got it done.
LRM: That’s awesome. As a professional stuntman like yourself, did you have to bring in someone else to be a stuntman for you on this project?
Chris Mark: No, not on this project. This is the first team that I was a lead in a feature. I wanted to do every single stunt as possible. I did everything so that I can actually say that I did all of my stunts. That saying, “I did all my stunts,” is a bit inaccurate that I find a lot of times. For this film, I did it.
Afterwards, I think it’s crazy to think to do all of that stuff. If I got hurt, then it would’ve been a big problem. Luckily, it all went well.
LRM: That’s a good point. Weren’t you afraid of getting hurt at all?
Chris Mark: I don’t want to say afraid. It’s always a possibility. During that forest scene, I tweaked my back a bit. During the last fight, I pulled my groin. There will always be things like that. You can push through those things. In hindsight, it’s risky, right?
I’m pretty confident in my abilities. I’m pretty confident with the team we had working on it. It’s all from the wirings to the stunts to the setup. There were the least amount of factors that could go wrong. We had someone test every single stunt. He even tested the picnic table stunt on to a mat before I tested it. They would do all these wire stuff first. They wanted to see on what’s going to work. Once it’s set in, then I can do it.
The time you’ll probably get hurt is when you’re trying to figure it out. It’s trying to figure out at which point to be or we should pull this hard. And then it goes too far. Those factors were nullified, because I had a lot of guys on my team tested it out first.
LRM: This being your lead acting role, do you enjoy being in front of the camera as a star or as a stuntman more?
Chris Mark: I love acting. I love being the lead. I love telling stories and having a reason with objectives in doing what I have to do. It’s on whether it’s a fight scene or anything else.
A lot of times, when you’re a stunt performer, you’re just told to run, get punched and fall down. It’s not like you have a specific objective.
In Kill Order, there’s a lot going on for David. While fighting, there are a lot of emotions, a lot of thoughts and many things going on inside of him. It’s cool to portray that physically when I fight as well. I love acting and being the lead. I certainly hope to do more of that in the future.
LRM: Awesome. You are terrific in this film. I look forward in seeing a continuation of your character. Thank you very much.
Chris Mark: Thank you.
Source: Exclusive to LRM