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Exclusive: Cory Hardrict talks 'Battle: Los Angeles'

INTERVIEWS - FILM

One of the stars of March's SF actioner tells us how it is...

Cory Hardrict

You’ve seen Cory Hardrict. Since beginning acting in 1995, Cory has logged over 50 appearances in film and television; and while he may not be a household name, that is about to change. Starring in World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles, the highly-anticipated alien invasion movie, and working with some of the biggest names in film and television today, Cory Hardrict is poised to go big. He took some time to talk with us about Battle: Los Angeles (out March 11th), his upcoming movie The Day, and what it was really like to work with Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino.

The trailers for Battle: Los Angeles are out, but they haven’t shown us much [video] about the aliens.

They’re trying to keep that a secret.  They don’t want to reveal everything just yet.

Are the effects pretty amazing?

My god, are they? They are very realistic as well. They are functional, and realistic, and this feels like this could possibly happen in the real world. When people see Battle: Los Angeles they’ll think, wow, that could happen! That’s gonna happen!

Battle: Los Angeles (2011)Did you see the movie in full yet? Or are they still in post-production?

They are still doing post-production work on it, but I saw maybe 20-30 minutes through ADR and I was completely blown away. It’s a beautiful movie to be a part of! It is pure high-octane; it just looks like something epic, like pure greatness. You know with the director Jon Liebesman – the man is a genius. He put it together and he definitely worked his butt off. And hopefully this film just resonates with the people.

Absolutely! You guys look like Marines in the trailer, but the training can’t have been easy.

This is as real as it gets! Basically we were out there doing the film for six months. We had two and a half weeks of boot camp. We had real staff sergeants who trained that had served in the military, who were Marine sergeants. It was the real deal! All the guys had to put our own tents up; we washed our clothes out by hand, and we had military training, weaponry training. We even slept outside in mosquito net tents outside for a couple of weeks! It was intense.

It felt like we were going off to the war. They wanted us in that mode because they wanted us to be as realistic as possible. They didn’t want us to show up that first day just being actors, shooting a movie. They wanted us in the mind frame of Marines and they did a pretty damn good job, I can say.

Did you find that doing the training ahead of time helped form a really close bond with your cast mates as well?

I did bond with a bunch of my cast mates. And we’re still really close to this day. Neil Brown, Jr., to Adetokumboh M’Cormack, Jim Parrack, Will Rothhaar, Michelle Rodriguez. All of us bonded and we’re all close to this day. We have the camaraderie. This is an exciting time right now.

I saw your basketball reel on YouTube – impressive! Did you feel like you had an advantage in training?

Basketball and Marine training are two different things. Basketball is all about finesse. Marine training was something that I’ve never experienced before. With everything involved – just putting on your equipment! Learning to have an extra 50 pounds of weight on your body, and having your gun, it was serious. This is not a fluff film – it was put together and was well thought out. It’s definitely a blessing to be a part of something so special. We had a great director, and Sony Columbia was very supportive. Neal Moritz, Original Films – we had great producers who were very involved. Everyone was just fantastic.

And did you find that the difficulties between Sony and the FX company Strauss Brothers had an effect on the movie?

I kind of heard about what went on, but it doesn’t affect our movie. I can’t speak on that other project because it’s not even in the same class as our movie – we didn’t put our movie together in an apartment for a month. It seems obvious that they were trying to trick people, but it didn’t work. It begins and ends with Battle: Los Angeles!

Getting that training, has it affected your perception of the military at all?

Absolutely, I have the utmost respect for the military – I’ve always had it. But just to see what they are going through – I just played it in a film but they live it every day. My hat goes off to them. Most people don’t get to see what we did. I’m very thankful just to be a part of something like this. It taught me a lot about sacrifice, and hard work, effort and discipline, it’s what goes along with being a Marine.

You have another movie coming out soon, too, right? The Day?

Yes, it stars me, Dominic Monaghan, Shannyn Sossamon, Ashley Bell, Shawn Ashmore; and was directed by Douglas Asrniokoski. It should be out later this year. It’s an apocalyptic war film and it’s a great one, where a lot of shooting is involved. It’s about five friends in their last days fighting for their lives. They’re fighting for survival, and they have to stick together, to beat the odds. I had to lose 15 lbs. for it. I have pneumonia and I just fight to the finish. That film was amazing, I just finished it about a month ago up in Canada, I’m very excited about that one as well. Great movie, great cast and a great producer.

How did you find it playing someone sickly? Your characters so far have tended to be physical, athletic, action-y kind of guys.

When I read the script I was like, “Wow, this character is insane!” I thought I could definitely do it; I was already eating healthy, organic food, and I knew if I ate like that I could lose the weight. I started getting skinnier and skinnier, and I started absorbing the role and the whole character. By the time it was ready to shoot I just went into it, and gave it my all. Hopefully people will enjoy that film when it comes out as well.

Did you find that changing your physical appearance made it easier to get into the role?

It does have a big effect. Your body starts transforming. There were days when I was feeling weak, physically. I was just eating protein and vegetables and fruit. I had cut out all processed foods. I haven’t eaten fast food in three years, but I just went hardcore on this thing. I wanted it to really come across on film. The thing about it is that he’s sick, but he doesn’t let you know he’s sick. He’s still fighting even though he’s sick. Like Doc Holliday in Tombstone, he’s sick but he’s still getting the job done.

What other projects are you working on now?

I’m being very selective right now, in the movies and projects I want to do. I’m reading scripts right now and just being really careful to make the right choices. You can make one wrong move in Hollywood and your career can be over.

It seems like in the movie business you’re not allowed to make bad decisions.

Sure, everything you do, it’s out there to the public and people get to see everything you do, and they judge you on that. If you do a project and it doesn’t go well then they associate you with a failure, and say why didn’t you do this or that? Then you don’t get trusted with other things.

I’m just trying to be selective at the moment. Hopefully Battle: Los Angeles will put me in a better place to pick and choose.

I really want to do epic things, great work. I just want to touch people on a worldwide scale, like Will Smith or Leonardo DiCaprio does. They are definitely my idols and my role models, the actors I look up to. Hopefully I will go in that direction because that’s what I want to do. I worked with Clint Eastwood on Gran Torino, and had some scenes where we got to act together. That was incredible! He’s doing A Star Is Born with Beyonce and I would absolutely love to be in that picture!

It seems like Battle: LA is such a big movie and you have such a big role in it, it will definitely let people know better what you are capable of.

I’m pretty confident that the movie will do all right. We have a Superbowl commercial coming up, and you know how hard it is to get one of those. You really need faith from your studio. And the buzz is out of this world! Millions of YouTube hits, the sites are going crazy; it’s one of the top, most anticipated movies of 2011.

Professionally, you’ve been acting for 16 years now and done so many different things. It seems like 2011 is going to be a great year!

From your mouth out to the universe!

Many thanks, Cory!


Related: Exclusive: Neil Brown Jr talks Battle: Los Angeles and Walking Dead S2

Neil Brown Jr.


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