It’s just over a month until we all spontaneously grow beards and develop the insatiable need to hunt wild game armed with nothing but rocks and our canines. Yep, The Expendables 2‘s August 17 release date is just around the corner, which means that we’re probably going to be seeing and hearing a whole lot more manliness around here soon.
And first up to bat is none other the only person to make ballet manly: Jean Claude Van Damme.
Total Film Magazine actually spoke to the entire cast of the film in an upcoming issue, but split-kicking his way onto the internets with some choice morsels until the full issue is out is JCVD, who turned down a role in this film’s predecessor but is now back as the main villain. A role he apparently relishes:
“So I’ve got to say a big thank you to the idea of Stallone putting the Expendables together, and to choose me for the villain. I wanted to play the villain, I said. Which is not stupid. Stallone said, ‘F%ck, he’s giving me the pleasure to kick the sh&t out of him.’ [Maniacal laugh].”
He spoke about what it was like rejoining all his fellow Kings of the 80’s Box Office, some of whom he idolized, and some of whom he was still learning from:
“…being with all those guys was kinda cool because I knew all of them before. I met them on the screen. I met them on my way up when I was just doing movies like Bloodsport, Kickboxer… And then the opening of Hollywood Planet. So it was kinda like a reunion.”
“They didn’t see me as Jean-Claude Van Damme in a sense. They saw me running and shaking hands to everyone like kind of a cool kid. That’s how I felt. But I didn’t do it on purpose”
“I have lots of respect for them, so I felt great. Stallone was very happy about my acting. He was kinda upset because he didn’t know which take to take. So he’s a great teacher in a sense of knowing the character. Very intelligent.
“He’s really making a movie as an Expendable. It’s almost like he has his own world. He’s created a world and he’s in that world. I have a lot of respect for that because he really showed me how much a person can love a film.”
Getting a chance to play a villain against this pantheon of Action Gods was certainly a far cry from his origins, where he was essentially just a walking split-kick and dance shimmy machine, a fact that Van Damme recognizes:
“You know, I came out from the street with an agent and we stuck together. So now we’ll see, but I think with the karate wave, I came at the right time at the right place. It was Bruce Lee, then it was Chuck Norris, then suddenly Jean-Claude Van Damme came in as a white guy, so… I guess it’s due to my destiny more than my acting at the time. I was a bad actor, man, but the heart was there.”
Hey, at least you can say that the man is honest. Van Damme will be round-house kicking an explosion in the face on August 17.
And here’s the synopsis:
Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Yin Yang (Jet Li), Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren), Toll Road (Randy Couture) and Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) — with newest members Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth) and Maggie (Yu Nan) aboard — are reunited when Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) enlists the Expendables to take on a seemingly simple job. The task looks like an easy paycheck for Barney and his band of old-school mercenaries. But when things go wrong and one of their own is viciously killed, the Expendables are compelled to seek revenge in hostile territory where the odds are stacked against them. Hell-bent on payback, the crew cuts a swath of destruction through opposing forces, wreaking havoc and shutting down an unexpected threat in the nick of time – six pounds of weapons-grade plutonium; enough to change the balance of power in the world. But that’s nothing compared to the justice they serve against the villainous adversary who savagely murdered their brother.
That is done the Expendables way….