The Expendables 3 - Antonio Banderas and Wesley Snipes interview
Interview by Rob Carnevale
ANTONIO Banderas and Wesley Snipes talk about joining the cast of The Expendables 3 and what they feel they brought to their roles.
They also discuss any injuries they received while shooting and which of their past stunts they’re most proud of. They were speaking at a UK press conference.
Q. Which was the worst injury that you suffered while making this film?
Antonio Banderas: I think I got an injury during the first take in the movie, which I then carried all the way through the rest of the movie. But I didn’t say about it to anybody because I didn’t want them to think I was getting old [laughs]! But I was running across the roof to the helicopter and I felt pain in my right knee and it stayed there for a couple of months.
Wesley Snipes: I broke a nail. I didn’t get too many injuries on this one.
Q. What did you bring to Expendables 3 as one of the new generation?
Antonio Banderas: What did I bring to it? I think I brought comedy. I saw possibilities in the character to give people some comic relief during the movie. I talked to Sly in the beginning and the character was designed in such a way that it allowed him to do that. So, I started playing with that and this guy became kind of a compulsive talker… a weapon of mass destruction of talking. So, when I saw my fellow actors start groaning, I thought ‘yes, I have it’ [laughs]. They just wanted to strangle me, basically in every scene. So, that provokes some laughter. Basically, the character is hiding something painful inside and that’s his way of doing it.
Q. Wesley, what do you think you brought to The Expendables 3? You’ve worked with Stallone before, of course, on Demolition Man…
Wesley Snipes: I’ve been waiting to work with him ever since. He was busy, I was busy [laughs]
Sylvester Stallone: What were you doing [says with a knowing grin]?
Wesley Snipes: So, to get to work with a whole squad of extremely iconic action guys and actors, I was looking forward to that. I, like Antonio, tried to bring a little bit of humour to the character and a little bit of my martial arts action. I also tried to have a great time at the same time.
Q. The previous two Expendables stars have always spoken about the enjoyment they’ve had on-set while making them. Was that a relief for you when making your comeback, to be able to enter that sort of atmosphere?
Wesley Snipes: Oh absolutely. I loved it. You can imagine being on an Olympic team or a sports team of some sort, where you have some of the best players all playing at the same time. It was the same kind of interaction where you get to play and crack jokes with each other. This is a great bunch of guys and they’re all funny, so you have a great time.
Sylvester Stallone: So, you don’t mind that I’m writing Escape From Alcatraz 2 for you?*
Wesley Snipes: Mumbles and laughs. And mumbles some more.
Q. Antonio, did Sly have to call you on his birthday to convince you to be in the film?
Antonio Banderas: I think I ran into Sly in a parking lot. I did say that I didn’t want to be a villain because they always die and I wanted to be a longer part of the franchise [laughs]. So, he just called me later and said, ‘OK, now I have a beautiful part for you’. We became great friends after the movie Assassins. We also worked together… well, not together, but we did Spy Kids as well. That was my franchise!
Q. You’ve had a lot of great action in your careers, so do you have a favourite moment, or stunt scene, that you’re particularly proud of from any film you’ve done?
Antonio Banderas: No, anything that has to do with horses and sword-fighting in Zorro. I put a lot into it.
Wesley Snipes: I recall one of the most memorable stunts was wearing 14-inch heels with John Leguizamo in To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar and running down the street. It was rough, man, and it took a lot of guts. It was a rough one.
Q. Is there a friendly rivalry on-set at all?
Wesley Snipes: Well, I respect these guys greatly and I’m also a fan of their work, so the opportunity to work with them and find out that not only are they real guys but that they have very wide and colourful personalities, and I could resonate them, that was just the icing on the cake. And I’ve never played a real team sport, so this is the closest I’ve got to doing that.