Nowadays it seems like there’s no limit when it comes to taking a popular property and turning it into a movie, so it wasn’t really a surprise that Ilya Naishuller scored the opportunity to make a film using the GoPro/POV technique after his music video for “Bad Motherfucker” became an online hit. But, that certainly didn’t mean it was a guarantee that the shooting style would translate well on the big screen, especially because there’s a bit of a stigma associated with shaky cam films. However, not only does Hardcore Henry feature a mind blowing array of elaborate stunt sequences, but Naishuller also managed to devise a serviceable narrative that successfully pulls all the fight scenes together and envelops you in the non-stop action.
I was lucky enough to attend the film’s world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival back in September, but with its April 8th theatrical release right around the corner, producer Timur Bekmambetov and his team opted to screen it at SXSW as well. While in Austin for the event, I got the chance to sit down with Naishuller and star Sharlto Copley for an extended chat about making the film. We discussed how “Bad Motherfucker” paved the way for Naishuller, why most of the crew appears in the film, how they shot the flamethrower sequence, their thoughts on the divisive nature of the material and much more. You can check it all out in the video interview below.
Sharlto Copley & Ilya Naishuller:
- 00:40 – How Naishuller’s “Bad Motherfucker” music video turned into an opportunity to direct his first feature film.
- 01:46 – Where Naishuller found the confidence to direct this very unique, risky film.
- 03:10 – Naishuller on his filmmaking background; how that helped him make Hardcore Henry.
- 05:04 – How Naishuller learned never to say, “We’ll fix it in post.”
- 06:40 – Where they placed cast, crew and equipment while shooting; shooting the flamethrower/bus scene.
- 07:52 – Most of the Hardcore Henry crew is in the movie.
- 08:17 – Their longest take; Copley is really driving the car in the film.
- 09:36 – Did they have proper insurance to shoot the film?
- 10:38 – The changes they’ve made since premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival.
- 11:58 – Their thoughts on how the film’s been received; the divisive nature of the material.