the predator cast

Then how does he feel about the Predator walking in who is kind of the equivalent…a wild animal who is also a soldier?

He’s a very disengaged person. He tells jokes to get by. That’s part of his pathos: that he tells joke to get through life. I say it quite a few times in the film…he has a very “look at this guy” attitude about a humanoid from another galaxy. (laughs) You know what I mean? You know people like that? They’re never fully engaged because of some trauma. He’s never fully engaged. He’s always standing a little outside of himself so he doesn’t have to deal with his own pain. So he’s like “I guess we’re doing this. I guess these seven foot Dreadlocked dudes are real.”

He pretends like he takes everything with a grain of salt, but there are a couple of times in the film where the seams come loose a little bit. I’m very thankful to Shane for giving these guys a little bit of humanity. There’s something deliciously two-dimensional about the characters in the original film and I think there’s going to be something deliciously three-dimensional about these characters, which is difficult to do in an ensemble, but that’s our endeavor.

Going back to Lethal Weapon, Shane Black’s shown a great skill at dialogue. Given your history as an improvisor and comedian, I’m curious how much freedom you have versus how much you want to stick to the script.

We have a ton of freedom. It’s been way more collaborative than I had anticipated. It’s really been great. We have little conferences in our cast tent. Shane will say, “there’s a texture still missing in this scene that I really want to highlight,” and he’ll have us talk. Shane will very often ask me, “If this was a sketch, what would you do here?” It’s been extremely collaborative and fluid in the most creative way. The actors have been eating it up.

Was there an element in this script that sold you on it, or did you need to be sold at all?

Oh, no. I saw two words: The. Predator. There was no way I wasn’t doing it. Actually, it was the “The.” “Predator”, pshh. (laughs) There are things that I’m certainly not allowed to share with you that made my eyes pop out of my head. I was already in, but as I read the script, I was like, “Oh, what!?! To the where?!? How did…Boy, he’s never gonna get…” There was a lot of that as I was reading the script out loud, by myself.

How do you think this, as a Shane Black film, differentiates itself from other action movies?

There is something Shane possesses that I really enjoy. There’s always a nice, sly meta quality. Like at the end of The Last Boy Scout, he’s like, “Come on, man. It’s the ’90s. You blow him away and say something cool as shit.” This picture contains a little bit of that as well as some great referential stuff – not just to the original movie, but to Predator 2 and every other movie in the franchise, including the Alien vs. Predator franchise. It pulls pieces from all of the movies. The way he references the movies is really clever, especially if you’re a huge Predator fan, and I’m a huuuuuge fan of this universe.

It’s plot-driven and it has a meta quality to it at the same time, yet still he has room for character development. He hits the trifecta. Sometimes I think in action movies you can go, “I understand the story, but I don’t have any idea who he is, what he cares about, or who he’s married to.” I want that connection to a character so the stakes go through the roof. Our goal here is to make sure that if anybody perishes or is put in jeopardy, that you’re really going to be invested in these people.

PTSD affecting former soldiers and Marines is a serious cliché, so how do you keep that human and not staid and tropey?

I feel that the cliché is often that we see the after the war kind of stuff. Typically it’s a movie like, “now this guy with PTSD is going to get into a relationship” and that’s what the movie’s about, whereas these guys are pressed back into service, so it’s like the broken Dirty Dozen. It’s not just a war zone, it’s a war zone with galactic warriors. That, I think, turns it on its head a little bit.

The other thing is that Shane is constantly talking about how he wants to find the right balance between snappy dialogue but also keeping it grounded, so we’re just humans dealing with stuff. Like I said before, especially with my character, there are moments where the seams come loose. That happens. If you encounter an alien and you had to fight them and you didn’t know what the hell was going on – you’re seeing space armor! – you might have an adverse reaction to that and PTSD will exacerbate that situation.

The given circumstances of the movie is what keeps it from being tropey. Thomas Jane can tell you what’s going on with his character in particular, but we’re all a little off. It’s not like the dream team with Christopher Lloyd and Michael Keaton. We’re trying to keep it real. What does it really look like when you meet a Vietnam vet or someone has a little something to them where they’re not all there. I think it’s the subtlety, the human groundedness, that we’re trying to play.

Can you talk a little bit about what happens when you throw a kid into the mix?

Well, you can’t lose with this kid. This kid is the best actor in the movie. Unfortunately, I don’t get a lot of scenes with Jake [Tremblay]. He’s such a terrific kid and he’s a consummate professional. He’s way more professional than all of us – we’re just goofing off all the time.

Often when there’s children on a set…we experienced this with Keanu…when there are children and animals on a set, everyone gets really focused. These are the scenes that will get done quicker because everybody’s focused. I also think it brings another level of heart to the project. Like what I said before about the jeopardy being genuine, having a kid always steps up that part of the game.

You said that your character in the film gets to enjoy three-dimensions. Does The Predator get the same treatment?

[pause] I’m just trying to think how I can answer the question. The answer is yes, but I cannot divulge more. I’m so sorry, but that’s all I can say.

“Keegan-Michael Key Confirms Jacob Tremblay Turns Into The Predator.”


Is there a really long monologue?

[laughs] He has a huge soliloquy in the middle of the movie. You’ve never heard these clicks before.


The Predator hits theaters on September 14, 2018.

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