It’s been a while since we caught up with Luke Goss and he’s been a busy man; he is getting his band Bros back together for a UK tour and has several movies in development. We chat with Luke about working with Steven Seagal on Killing Salazar, why now is the right time to get the band back together and his upcoming projects.
I hear you’re getting the band (Bros) back together; how is that going?
It feels good actually. It feels like the right time. I keep joking around sending Tweets saying “is everyone ready for a day off from being an adult?” and I think I just reached a part in my life where I realized music was fun. I’m in that blessed position where I can play some cool venues and do it right. I just thought with the film career in good shape and I’m satisfied professionally speaking, it just felt right for me and it felt right for Matt who spoke about it with Live Nation and said if we are going to do this it’s going to be a contemporary show. Sure, it’s gonna be faithful to Bros but it’s going to be a slightly contemporary version of it. It just felt right and I’m excited about it; I really am.
Have you kept at playing music over the years?
No, I’m literally just about to get my kit in the next couple of weeks or so; I’ll start off with an electronic kit. I’m going to work out what company I’m going to go with as far as the live kit is concerned but once I’ve got my chops back up then I’ll hit the rehearsal studio with the live kit and just jam like a crazy motherfucker because I really want to represent. Like anything I do I want to do it right. I’m hoping I’ll be a better drummer than I was back in the day (laughs).
We were listening to your brother Matt on the radio and he was talking about his musical influences; is there someone who you would say influenced you musically?
Oh there’s so many! On the old-school front it would be people like Prince, Stuart Copeland and The Police. I love The Police! I guess they would be the musicians that inspired me back in the day; now it’s pretty much anything ranging from Hip-hop, Jazz, Rock… I love Linkin Park and always have. I listen to thousands of different songs though and they all influence me in some way. Music is a massive part of my life and as a director I’m always listening to music that can kind of emote you to think or feel something as that’s the whole point. A movie without music is a whole different experience; it better be the most compelling movie you ever watched because without music it would be just joyless. Music helps get people to that place you need them to get to when you’re telling a story. So music is massively important to my life and even in film.
We talked before about whether you’d ever be interested in scoring one of your movies; has your mind changed at all?
I don’t know actually; as a director you have the privilege of directing where the music goes and where you want it and what music will work for the film. I don’t know if I’d want to score a film; I kind of get to play as a director in regards to the placement of music and the place of the score and sound design. Sound is a monstrously huge part of the filmmaking process and a massive part of the experience. I mean if you have an emotional scene then that cello kicks in then… grown man cries, you know? (laughs) We’ve all been there when you’re wiping away those tears in the movie theatre. So I don’t think I’d like to score it but I certainly enjoy directing where it’s going as a director.
Speaking of directing; is there any word on Your Move?
Yeah! I’m just about to finish; we will finish principal photography this side of Christmas and then I’m going to be in full blown Post. I’ve been told that they’re planning a screening at the Cannes Film Festival, not in competition but just for selling the film. So everybody’s taken a little time aside to have it at Cannes which is nice and I’m excited about it. But as far as the photography side of this it will be finished this side of Christmas which is really exciting for me.
I talk with a lot of independent filmmakers about film piracy and how it has become a huge detriment to smaller films; have you noticed this on your movies as well?
Oh it’s crazy! It’s always been there but thankfully there are enough movie fans out there that it does somewhat negate the huge effect because there are so many people who want to see films in a quality format, but I also know people who go to Torrents and download stuff. As far as a producer’s concerned I have to make sure that when we’re editing, we know who is in charge of those files because if we’re not it could otherwise really ruin the profit of the film. People might not look at it with a lot of compassion but the reality is you’ve got dozens and dozens of people working really hard and a lot of them are dependant on the success of the film to get paid; for example, people in a deferred payment situation where they’re getting paid if the movie does well. It’s extremely important and every sale counts and obviously piracy is a massive, massive problem. It really does hurt film especially independent film and can frankly bury a movie.
It may not affect the major blockbusters like Marvel films as they still rake in hundreds of millions but the smaller pictures really need every penny to make a profit.
Yeah, the movie business is saturated now with a lot of films that are out there and they’re wonderful, beautiful films but there are other movies that are made by producers who couldn’t give a fuck about movies and are just looking at the bottom line. So they’re like “we’ve spent a million on this and we made 1.2 million, whatever” and walk away and they don’t really care. But for people that are in the film industry because they love film and they want to do something special, it’s a real landmine in the road with bootlegs so we have to be extremely careful. Normally in post-production you’re doing the editing and sound design and that is when it goes missing and you find it being distributed all over the world; it is usually in the smaller markets but it still impacts the film. It’s definitely something that’s got to be considered when you’re making an independent movie.
You’ve got a bunch of new projects in development; Stranded sounds interesting. Tell us about that?
Yeah, actually Stranded was really interesting for me as I was really intimidated by the role because I’ve never had a role where the character is not only a bad guy but he’s not something you can understand like Prince Nuada (Hellboy II) where you can totally get a sense of what he stood for and in a sense it was the same with Nomak (Blade II) who was somewhat the victim; completely a victim actually. But with this character he was just a vile, revolting, horrible human being and I’d never done that before. For me it was a first and somewhat intimidating to go to those places. It’s with Paula Patton and Omar Epps and a bunch of great actors and Deon Taylor as the director who is a great guy who knows exactly what he wants to achieve. It just felt really nice being a part of the project; intimidating but I think I did what was needed.
Human trafficking has really caught the attention of Hollywood over the past few years; do you think these movies help bring the situation to light and can help?
I hope so and I think with anything you’ve got to make things entertaining and obviously life is a pressing experience. You’ve all got to get through it; pay bills, responsibilities, relationships and just life itself, so when you do a movie that has a message the idea is to make it somewhat entertaining and palatable. You’re not glamourizing anything, you’re just trying to say it’s palatable and will have you on the edge of your seat. Stranded is certainly not pulling any punches and very hard-hitting but I think it’s important. When I did the character I thought “someone’s gotta play this” and I wanted to play him in a way that almost felt not betraying, but in certain times you might like him; not that he’s just this disgusting human being. However, I wasn’t totally unhappy the day I wrapped on that project; it was a great experience and the people were wonderful to work with, but I was extremely happy when that role was over.
You’ve also got “The Last Boy” coming up and you’re reteaming with Perry Bhandal (director of Interview with a Hitman). How did that come about and what is it about Perry’s directorial style that made you want to work together again?
The first time me and Perry worked together was kind of a learning curve; he trusted me as an actor and he’s very headstrong as far a director is concerned. He knows what he likes and that is only a good thing. He gathered some trust from me as an actor with what I did and I did the same with him in regards to directing because I realised that he had a vision. He’s not just a traffic cop saying “Action” or “Cut”; he’s actually trying to put something together. I really liked the writing and it was something different; again I don’t kick any arse in this film but it’s a great post-apocalyptic story with a sci-fi element.
I like him as a director and I think he’s maybe not the easiest person I’ve ever worked with, but I certainly would regard him as a friend. I think he’s a talented filmmaker and I thought it was a nice opportunity to work together again as I thought Interview with a Hitman was a great project. To be honest with you this time around we decided to both collaborate as producers on the project as well as starring in the film. Before we even got to set we were going back and forth from Los Angeles to the UK discussing the script, making changes and just trying to put more facets into the story which I think we did. So I think it’s going to be a really good one actually.
How are you managing to keep everything going, preparing for a tour and making movies?
I guess it is a bit of a culture shock; Bros is a bona fide career again and I’m thankful and I have to be honest and say it’s very much needed because it’s really exciting for me – maybe more so for me than Matt as he is on stage all the time. For me going on stage and seeing the fans again I’m deeply excited about it. I’m also finishing this movie I’m doing (Your Move) and I’m supposedly going to be in the UK in January which will be nice. Yeah, it’s a lot of noise; I’ve got Live Nation and several teams with a lot of stuff coming in every day. It’s not that it’s difficult it’s more a case of I’m incredibly fortunate; my life is populated quite tightly with my careers and there’s two of them now so I guess I’m still pinching myself as it’s a fun place to be.
Have you ever been interested in going into the theatre?
It all kicked off there for me and I did it for four and a half years; I was in Plan 9 from Outer Space: The Ed Wood Story. It was a tongue and cheek comedy with overly earnest performances; then I did Grease the musical for two years in The West End and then we toured it really successfully. For me theatre was the beginning of my love affair with acting and now with film. It’s something I feel I need in my life to be happy; I love film, so being an actor and now to have a night off from being an adult – as I keep saying – and getting on stage again is great. I read the other day that being an adult is overrated and I couldn’t agree more. I’m looking forward to having a fun night and be goofy and make some noise. Why not?
Killing Salazar was the second time you’ve worked with Steven Seagal; what was that like to work on?
It was fun seeing Steven again; the first time I got there we had a two hour lunch together just the two of us catching up and it was actually really pleasant. It was nice to see him and he was in good form. I haven’t seen the finished movie but the experience making it was fun. We shot it in Romania, but I guess working with anybody that you have already worked with before there’s a sense of familiarity and although I wouldn’t say we’re buddies, I would say we are certainly happy to see each other.
Although you didn’t get much screen-time with Georges St-Pierre; did he show you any moves?
Yeah, we met up before we started shooting and worked on a few moves; he’s a really nice guy and really down to Earth. I think he was happy to be there because it’s a pretty new thing for him. He was definitely a nice guy and super committed to his work.
Did you kick his ass?
Oh dude he would kick my arse (laughs) I’m sure. I’m a movie guy but he’s the real deal isn’t he? I can take care of myself but I would step aside for that chap. He can do what he says he can do rather than a lot of stuff with film, where it is difficult to look convincing. Sometimes you’ll see a fighter look less convincing than an actor because it’s a different skill set. That’s not because the movie guy is better or worse or vice versa; it’s just a different skill. You gotta follow it though, you gotta make it a little bigger and you can’t go too quickly; if you’re too quick on film you’ll miss it, so it’s a real balancing act. When I’m fighting on screen I’m a big fan of piecing together stuff where the recovery is part of the fight. If you throw a punch or impact something pretty massively then you get something back and as you react I’m like “stop there” and “where can I go from here? What will I be able to do from this extremely awkward position?”
It’s not gonna be pretty but it will at least look more realistic and I’m a big fan of keeping it messy. I don’t like a fight too choreographed and perfect. Obviously it needs to be, but you want to take the choreography out of the image so it feels a little bit more spontaneous. Otherwise it feels like you’re watching a dance which is beautiful but if the movie is serious then you want the fight to look serious too.
Although you only had a small role I really enjoyed Crossing Point; it was a fine example of what you can achieve on a small budget.
I was literally on it for a day; I walked in, filmed and left. I think you’re right though and they did a really good job for such a small budget. Anyone who is making a concerted effort to make it look as big as they can so the film can realise its full potential is somebody who really values film and it’s nice to see people put things together. When I first saw the cover I was like ‘What’s that? I don’t remember doing that!” Then I thought “oh I did that in one day.” (laughs)
It’s certainly not my decision but I always feel like people will be like “what’s he doing there?” and I’m like “Guys, I’m not really in this film for more than a few seconds”. It’s a really good film though and I liked it.
They do that with so many movies these days with false advertising on the marketing materials.
Yeah as a producer I would never do that, as it’s not fair and also it’s frustrating. What people don’t realise is you can influence the artwork but the people who actually distribute the film, they have the right to choose whatever poster they want and to try and tie that down contractually is almost impossible unless you’re a big studio. On a smaller film though when you sell your movie to the distributors they are making their own decisions how to present that film and sometimes it’s nothing short of cheesy as shit. I’ve seen posters for movies I’m in like Dead Drop which is a movie I like but when I saw the posters I was like “what the fuck is that?”
- It’s not my body and put someone else’s body on it.
- They put an airplane in the background which doesn’t exist in the movie and some penguin flying across the screen or whatever the Hell it was.
It’s not remotely associated with the story and the fans have said certain things, so this gives me the opportunity to say trust me I was just as aggravated as you were. When it doesn’t represent the film, I can only imagine how the director Ellis Frazier must feel when he sees that poster (which was kind of a thinking man’s action movie we did together), which bears no resemblance to the film. It just happens far too often.
A lot of people think it’s the director’s or producer’s faults but it’s actually the distributors and people who are selling the movies; they put anything they want on those posters and you have to kind of live with it.
There are so many big franchises like Star Wars/Marvel, etc. are there any you’d be particularly interested in joining?
Oh my God! I would LOVE to be in Star Wars. That would be number one on my wish list but as far as the Marvel films go I’d like to be in one where the director added a little darkness and edginess to it. To be honest with you I just watched Captain America: Civil War and I liked the fact that they discussed that there is no victory when you are destroying like 15 cities (with just copious amounts of CGI). I just loved that they addressed that as it was getting almost ridiculous because if you look at Die Hard which is a classic movie, they’re trying to save a bunch of people at the top of a building and the whole movie is dedicated to trying to save those people who are innocent which gives you something to care about. With action movies now we’re getting to the point where there will be more buildings destroyed but we never get to care about the people affected. Can we assist the movie with CG? Of course but let’s not watch a videogame with a bunch of actors lacking content and heart. I think superhero movies are fantastic and I love them, but when it gets too rubbery or CG looking and there’s no real value on the collateral damage, then it just desensitizes me to give a shit. I can go to the kitchen and grab a beer and I’m not remotely bothered, cos all that’s happening is people are dying so the guys can look cool in their suits. That’s not what superheroes are about for me, so I enjoyed not all of the Captain America movie but I think it was good that they at least addressed it.
I prefer my action movies smaller with hand to hand combat as you are invested more in the action as it feels more personal.
Yeah, we’re spending money on the whole movie that they’re basically spending in two days. I loved the first two Captain America movies and Del Toro’s movies. I love big blockbusters but I like film, not something rendered on a computer. I want there to be a greater divide between film and videogames.
Anything you`d like to say to the fans before the big tour?
Well I’m ready for a night off and I’ll see you on tour; all of us are getting older by the minute and at the end of the day, it’s a fun night and anybody who wants to come and have a fun time it will be great to see you there, as I’m really excited for it!