“THE CONDEMNED” CONSCIENCE: INTERVIEW WITH RICK HOFFMAN

You’ve seen Rick Hoffman before, you just may not know it. From his numerous roles on TV to his appearances in such recent films as “Hostel” and “Smiley Face,” Hoffman has been around. On the eve of the release of his recent film, “The Condemned,” Rick talks to Zack Haddad about the flu, Australia and working with Uwe Boll…

So Rick, how’s it going?
It goes good, let’s see what time is it its 11:15, I had a terrible night last night, and well, thank god for Starbuck’s.

A late night, huh? Partying?
Well, uh, no partying. I got over having the flu.

That is never fun…
No, it isn’t. I think everyone has got it in the last few weeks, I know like 15 friends who have gotten it. We could just keep talking about the flu if you would like.

As fun as that could be, I would like to talk about “The Condemned” for a bit.
What’s that? Oh, that’s right, “The Condemned.” That one movie I worked on.

So let’s talk about (your character) Goldman.
He, to basically put it in one sentence, is the main conscience of the film. There is a big challenge for the audience to sort of make a decision during the film, who is more condemned the convicts who are put on this island to kill each other or the audience who enjoy themselves watching it? And I am, I guess, well, one of two that put that question out there. You know, how far does one take it in entertainment?

I agree, Goldman was by far my favorite character, even more so than Steve’s or Vinnie’s character, because you were able to do much more in this film than you have been able to in your other movies and you weren’t just the standard asshole type of character. You seemed to be the only one who had a true character change in the film.
Well, thanks, I feel that was one of the reasons I did this film. I really liked the message that this film had and I have also known Scott (the director) for quite a while and I am a big fan of Scott’s and he is a great director to work with and to go to Australia to be a character that is a bit softer than my other roles was really attractive.

How was it shooting in Australia?
It was phenomenal. The entire experience was definitely life-changing. Just because you are filming in another, I mean I have shot in many other countries before… you know, that sounds pretentious (in a snobby voice) “You know all of the countries I have filmed movies in”. No, Australia has this unique very laid back mentality. It is this country or almost an entire continent that has an island mentality. It has an effect on you, once you get there, you just relax.

Was it just Australia you guys shot in?
Yeah, we were there the entire time. We were in Queensland off the Gold Coast and not only did we have a blast shooting but we had a great time hanging out together in the small town of Maine Beach. Everyone is so friendly, the food was amazing, and being a single guy, the women aren’t too bad either. (laughs)

Would you say that off set you and the other actors had a pretty good chemistry?
It went beyond cool. It could have been bad had someone taken themselves too seriously, because I like to usually give shit to anyone who deserves it or doesn’t deserve it. And thank god Vinnie Jones and Stone Cold, and everyone else, was just very fun to be with. We did a lot of fun crazy things. And it has trickled over here to the States. Vinnie now lives here. Steve also lives here now. We all hang out on Vinnie’s porch and make fun of Vinnie. He says he just takes “the piss” out of me.

I wanted to ask you about other films you have been in. I recently got the chance to see “Smiley Face”. Your role in that film (Angry Face), was hilarious. How was it working on that film?
That was a days work and Gregg Araki (the director of “Smiley Face”), had seen a TV show I had done called “Jake in Progress”, and asked me if I wanted to work on a bus with Anna Faris. I am represented by the same management and agent as Anna and I have always expressed to them that I have wanted to work with her. She is a phenomenal actress and, I got to… I basically got to do, well, what I normally do in film, which is be a complete prick and scream down her throat. It was great though.

You recently did “Postal.” How was it working on that?
“Postal,” yeah, that was up in Vancouver. That was also just a couple of days. Uwe Boll, or how ever you pronounce it correctly. He was a fan of “Hostel” and he asked me to come up and do it. I played this typical corporate boss who is really strange and I had a blast shooting that with Zack Ward. I think it is coming out later in the year.

I saw the trailer recently…
Oh, you did see the trailer? It’s kinda crazy. “Postal” is a really interesting idea that everyone just basically loses their mind because of the frustrations of life. It just goes to a real farcical, ridiculous degree. And I play one of these complete dolts of a boss that doesn’t get it which furthers Zack along to lose his mind.

Was it fun working with Uwe Boll?
Yeah, he basically gave me the freedom to do whatever the hell I wanted to do. So I am basically humping a chair and just a whole bunch of ridiculous things in this office. Yeah, you get to have fun. I like working with those directors, everybody thus far. I don’t think I have worked with one director who has tried to brace me and tell me what to do and stop doing this ridiculous stuff. Just go wild.

Were you a witness to any of the boxing matches during “Postal”?
I wasn’t there long enough. I heard about it, I had to get back for this other job I had. It’s unfortunate since I was going to stay in Vancouver for a few couple more days and hang out. They also seemed like a really close-knit group. I just never got to sink my teeth into that.

What else do you have coming out?
Right now, it’s something on TV. It’s not official so I can’t say exactly what it is, but it looks good. I think I would like to work on a TV show again. I think I have been slightly selective when it comes to what my next move will be. After the cancellation of “Jake in Progress,” I wanted to do a drama. We will know in the next week if it will be official or not.

TV in general seems like it has grown, production-wise, almost as an even contender to film.
Yeah, it’s getting there. You mean like how close the two worlds have become?

Yeah.
As opposed to what it was like fifteen years ago?
Yeah.
You know I am truly not a believer in that. Aside from the really special shows like “Friends” or “Frasier,” I am not a fan of the sitcom. I just don’t find it to be as challenging as an actor compared to a drama or a single camera show. I feel that there is still a stigma about jumping from sitcom to film. That is still a problem. I think that there are many talented people in sitcoms. I just don’t know how they do it. I really have no inkling as to how they turn out in those sitcoms. It’s very strange to me how working on TV is just a talent in it’s self.




Posted on April 26, 2007 in Interviews by
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