We were invited to cover the red carpet Toronto première of upcoming MMA film ‘Tapped Out’, directed by Allan Ungar and starring Cody Hackman, Michael Biehn, Daniel Faraldo, Anderson Silva, Martin Kove, Nick Bateman and Krzysztof Soszynski.
We got to chat with some of the stars including Cody, Daniel and the legendary Martin Kove of ‘The Karate Kid’ and and ‘Rambo: First Blood: Part II’ fame.
‘Tapped Out’ is about a disgruntled teenager who is sent to do community service at a rundown Karate school and enters an MMA tournament to face the man who killed his parents.
Daniel Faraldo Interview
Can you tell us a bit about your character?
I play Lou Burnett who happens to be the sort of ring leader; he runs the underground MMA promotion which everyone has to go through to get into the tournament and become somewhat of a quasi-MMA star. What’s really fun about it is that I actually auditioned to be the MC/Ring Announcer and Lou Burnett who is the promoter was another character and after I auditioned for the Host, they loved my work and had me read for Lou Burnett. After that the Host and Lou Burnett became the one character. I was really excited because I was able to land myself the biggest role I’ve ever done in a film.
This is my second feature length film and was by far the most work I’ve done on camera.
What was the first?
My first role was in a film called Anything Goes and I played “Pizza Boy”; a pizza delivery boy who gets caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time. I gotta shout out Anything Goes because the director of that film Bruno Marino was one of the producers of this film and one of the other Anything Goes producers Michael Sousa also produced Tapped Out. I kinda owe those guys my movie career just now because they keep auditioning me and calling me back for auditions so I’m really thankful about this role.
Cody Hackman Interview
I play Michael Shaw who is kind of the disgruntled teenager who is essentially the modern day Ralph Macchio. It’s a great cast; I mean we’ve got Martin Kove here from The Karate Kid. I watched that movie every day about a thousand times. So yeah, I’m just getting my butt kicked and in constant training. This big guy here *Points to Krzysztof Soszynski* kills my parents and I have to avenge their deaths so it’s a little bit of a revenge flick too.
You were a co-writer too, weren’t you?
Allan Unger wrote it but we worked on it together; my background before acting was karate; I had 5 Karate world titles so I wanted to add that authenticity and realism to the story.
What are you most excited about with the film?
I’m most excited about how it turned out; Allan’s an amazing director and it’s for anybody, you know? Any age group can watch it and hopefully people may want to learn karate or go to gym and take away a positive aspect from it.
Martin Kove Interview
You play Principal Vanhorne who is essentially the polar opposite of your Karate Kid character John Kreese; is that one of the main things that appealed to you about the film?
Yeah, originally Cody had asked me to do this for that purpose; here I was, the good influence sending him to the dojo in the movie to sort of refine his problems. He really needs to work out in the dojo rather than becoming a juvenile delinquent. So I was influencing him in a good way as the principal and he thought it was kind of an interesting dynamic to go back that way rather than being a sensei of a Cobra Kai. So, I liked him and I liked the script and I think we’ve made a terrific picture with lots of heart. I don’t get involved in any fighting but the story really gets to the heart and the soul of a fellow who knows right from wrong by the end of the movie and has a better understanding of life and death. He is also more in control of it by the end of the film.
Were you a fan of UFC or MMA before signing on for the film?
No, I wasn’t but I’ve seen several interviews and I know some of the big characters; it’s interesting because it seems a lot more violent than a boxing match. A boxing match is interesting because it’s gladiatorial. Doing these movies and playing someone like an iconic sensei you really need to do your research which I did with karate all those years ago. I’ve always been very much into Kendo too; I like sword fighting and find that a bit more romantic. Boxing and MMA I find fascinating as the characters are all great athletes but I’ve done my share of violent movies so I’m happy to do something a little softer and I’m feeling more romantic these days *laughs*.
A special thank you goes out to director Allan Ungar who invited us to cover the event and a thank you to the cast for chatting with us. ‘Tapped Out’ will hit theatres on May 27th.