Couture, Dolph Lundgren and Crews in Expendables 2
EXPENDABLES 2 D: Simon West. 102 minutes. See times.
Meeting members of The Expendables is a strange experience, like seeing action figures walk into a room without their guns or accessories.
Since Sylvester Stallone was kind enough to reunite the team for a fresh round of ultra-violence in The Expendables 2, a few folks from the vigilante crew came to town in the larger-than-life forms of former MMA champion Randy Couture and NFL veteran turned actor/surreal deodorant spokesman Terry Crews.
With thankfully few weapons on hand, the only option was to discuss working with legends like Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Chuck Norris and the experience of being welcomed into the blood-soaked realm of action royalty.
I was pleased by how much comedy is in Expendables 2, which was a little lacking last time. Was humour something everyone wanted to bring into this one?
Randy Couture: Well, there's no "y'all" in this. Sly says, "This is what we're going to do."
Terry Crews: He says, "Jump," and we ask, "How high?" I will say that Sly really listens to what fans want. Even on the first one, he really paid attention to the internet and what fans were looking for. So this movie gave him a chance to do it again and do it better. The humour was a big part of that, and I think it's a better movie. We all do.
When I picture this cast on set between scenes, I imagine it being like the moment in Jaws where they sit around the table comparing scars. Is that close?
Crews: A little bit. We would sit around and talk about Randy's best fights. I'd talk about the NFL. Every person has amazing stories, and we had a great rapport comparing where we all come from. I got Chuck Norris to talk about fighting Bruce Lee. He told me that Bruce would actually hit people because he took it so seriously and wanted it to look right. And then hearing some of Sly's stories? Just incredible. Stuff that I probably shouldn't tell you about.
Couture: Yeah, I don't think I'm ever going to be like, "Oh, hey, Sly." It's still a holy-shit moment every time I see him.
Were there any injuries on the set, like when Stallone broke his neck last time?
Couture: Everyone always seemed to have something going on, but not nearly to the extent of what happened last time. But, you know, coming from the MMA or the NFL like Terry, you're used to always performing with some sort of owie.
Crews: There's a difference between being hurt and injured. Hurt you go, injured you can't go. Were we hurt? Yeah! I thought for sure I threw my back out, but you just have to get up and find the adrenaline. You can't complain with Arnold, Bruce and Chuck over there. Ain't no complaining.
Couture: During the airport scene I had to take a bullet to the chest, and during the first take it seemed like a good idea to fling myself onto the floor. About eight or nine takes later I had a bruise on my ass cheek about the size of a dinner plate. [The scene] didn't even make the movie.
Crews: No, of course not!
Couture: I got some nice colouring, though.