Miles Doleac, known for his roles in Banshee and American Horror Story, recently shot Don’t Kill It with Dolph Lundgren. Doleac , who remains tight-lipped on his character except to say it’s the most “physically demanding” role he’s played, speaks about working with the smart, savvy Lundgren, as well as the tone of the movie.
Miles, Don’t Kill It looks great! How much fun was it to film?
It was a real blast to work on. Mike’s so great at this sort of thing. He has such a keen sense of the genre and is able to be incredibly creative within the inevitable budgetary constraints. He’s also extremely collaborative. He loves actors and welcomes their input, a trait that, for an actor, is always wonderful to find in a director.
Does it retain the look and feel of Mike Mendez’s previous movies?
Sadly, I haven’t seen Mike’s previous films, but, from what I understand, it’s very much in the same spirit.
Did you work a lot with Dolph Lundgren? What’s the dynamic there?
Almost all of my stuff was with Dolph (and actress Kristina Klebe). The dynamic between our characters is, shall we say, tense from the start. Don’t want to give too much away.
Did you have a lot to do with Dolph off-screen?
Both being directors, you’d expect you might have a lot in common.
I was fortunate to have a chance to chat with Dolph off-screen. He’s a great guy and also happens to be a history buff (I have a PhD in History), so we had a great deal in common indeed. We’re sitting there on set making this brilliantly over-the-top, demon-hunting film and we’re chatting about the Trojan War and Vikings and ancient peoples’ conception of immortality. It was a little surreal. Dolph’s extremely insightful and has a great sense of humor. It was terrific to get to work so closely with him on this one, though. I was in a film with Dolph called “Shark Lake” a year or so ago, but we didn’t have a single scene together. This one we’re pretty much down in the trenches together the whole way (or at least as far as my character is involved in the film).
How different a role is this for you?
It’s at least in the ballpark of a lot of things I’ve done. Authority figure, something of an antagonist, a little full of himself.
Was there any physical demands on you? Say, any fight scenes?
It was actually one of the more physically demanding things I’ve done. Yes, there were fights, falls, gun play, blood and effects make-up, some being dragged through the woods … I have to say I was a little sore when it was all said and done. The stunt coordinator, Eddie Fernandez, was top notch, though. I knew I was in good hands.
Were you working with CGI a lot of the time? How difficult is that? Is there a tennis ball on a string, still?
Yeah, there will be GGI added to some of the stuff I did, but Mike told us to play our scenes and not worry about that. He was first and foremost concerned with getting the performances, which I greatly appreciated.
How much has being in front of the camera helped your career behind-the-camera? For instance, are you able to entice big names into the movies you direct? Do you have more sway with studios when it comes to distribution because you might have worked with them as an actor?
I think actors respect the fact that I’m an actor, that I’m an “actor’s director”. When I’m directing an actor, I always think about what I’d want a director to say to me in the same situation. The fact that I have a deep appreciation and respect for what actors do I think makes actors more apt to want to work with me, to trust me. But, yes, personal relationships mean so much. Bill Sadler and I first met because we did a film together called “See Girl Run.” We had no scenes together, but the director, Nate Meyer, and I went to college together and have remained close friends. When I was looking for someone to play the lead in my first feature, THE HISTORIAN, Nate suggested Bill and made an introduction. Now Bill has starred in both that film and my upcoming THE HOLLOW.
We’ve been seeing a lot about it, can you tell us what The Hollow is?
THE HOLLOW is a film I wrote and directed, which will be released in 2016. It’s a southern noir murder thriller starring James Callis, myself, Christiane Seidel, William Forsythe, William Sadler, David Warshofsky and Jeff Fahey. We were so fortunate to pull together this incredible cast. It’s a bit of a character-driven, southern noir western in a way about what happens when, through a series of less than fortuitous circumstances, a U.S. congressman’s daughter is murdered in a small southern town. The FBI swoops in to investigate, only to find themselves thwarted at every turn by a corrupt sheriff’s department and a dangerous, self-proclaimed “country lawyer” who actually seems to be pulling everybody’s strings.