“I think it was the actual intensity of it,” says Weston as he chats about what it was about the screenplay for this movie that made him want to commit it. “It was so high octane and there was this amazing speed of urgency that seemed to develop for the protagonist. For every character in the film everything is just so complex and I just knew that I wanted to be involved.
Weston is certainly not the hero in this story; in fact he is very much the villain as he gets to play a Russian terrorist hell-bent on getting revenge on an American military general.
“His name is Adrian Rabikov and he is ex Russian military,” explains Weston as we start to discuss the in and outs of characters. “Essentially he just wants to know the whereabouts of his brother. His brother was kidnapped during an American military operation and he is doing everything that he can to find this General Welch who would know where his brother is.”
There is a harshness to Rabikov and Weston is quick to admit that he is not a very nice guy. “It is not uncommon for him to torture people,” he admits. “He is basically willing to conduct terrorist acts in a bid to get what he needs. I guess the relief for me to be able to play a terrorist was that in his eyes he sees himself as a freedom fighter. Because of the fact that he is looking for his brother that to me kind of makes him a redeemable villain, that helped make him somebody that I wanted to bring to the big screen.”
The complexity of the character meant that Weston had to work really hard when on set and he admits that there were times when he had to try and find a way to try and relax at the end of each day, especially after the torture scenes.
“When it came to the scenes with the hostages I just used to try and make them laugh between takes,” he says when we begin to talk about how intense things were on set. “I was really carrying a lot of frightening energy. The statement that my character was so intense that I felt like I had to try and make everybody laugh between takes so there was some kind of release for everybody. A couple of times I couldn’t but I tried to as much as I could because for all of those people in the background that scene felt so real.”
A lot of that intensity came from Weston’s performance and the fact that at times he was so fired up with his performances that saliva sprayed from his at times while he was delivering lines. “I had to do a lot of meditation,” he says laughing as we discuss how he went about calming down each day when shooting wrapped. “I was taking a lot of hot baths; I was doing breath work and just meditating anyway that I could really. I just had to do whatever I could at the end of the day to try and get out of that mentality.
“Of course that role was somebody that I think people have to be stone cold sober to play,” he says continuing. “I was just keeping up my vitamins and making sure that I got plenty of sleep because I knew that role could take people places that they didn’t want to go… even a bar.”
The intense Assault On VA-33, which stars Weston Cage Coppola and Sean Patrick Flannery, is available to stream or rent online.
David Griffiths has been working as a film and music reviewer for over 20 years. That time has seen him work in radio, television and in print. You can follow him at www.facebook.com/subcultureentertainmentaus