Posted July 19, 2012 by Paula Hammond - Features Editor in Features
 
 

Actor Luke Goss


He’s played doomed, elven princes, badass vampires and reanimated corpses – and he’s loved every minute of it.

He’s
played doomed, elven princes, badass vampires and reanimated corpses – and he’s
loved every minute of it.

Since
he hung up his Grolsch-bottled topped Doc Martins in the mid ‘90s, Luke Goss
has transformed himself into a fully-fledged film star.

Working with the likes of Guillermo del
Toro
and Wesley Snipes in Blade II, Omar Sharif and Peter O’Toole in One Night With The King and
Val Kilmer and 50 Cent in Blood Out.
This year, he returned to home ground to film his first ever feature in the UK
– the provocatively titled Interview
With A Hitman
. Paula Hammond caught up with the ex-Bros drummer to talk
about films, filmmaking and why his latest character, hitman Victor, isn’t as
bad as he seems.

To ladies of a certain age, just the mere
mention of Bros will make them go all a quiver. As one of the hottest boy bands
of the 1990s, twin brothers Matt and Luke, and school pall Craig Logan had it
all. Hits, critical acclaim and their very own groupies – the Brossettes. Yet
in 1996 Luke walked away from it all for a part in small stage production of Plan 9 From Outer Space. And that was
it. He was hooked. Since then, acting has been his passion and, while musicians
turned actors tend to have a tough time proving their worth, he clearly has no
intention of ever turning the clocks back to that “crazy” time of screaming
fans, “bodyguards and police escorts”.

“Film is such a rich, rich medium” he said. “You
can sit down and watch a movie with a stranger and still have a good time. The
potential is endless.”

In the last 16 years, Goss has certainly
explored much of that ‘potential’ with roles in everything from Brit gangster
flicks like Charlie to Hollywood
blockbusters such as Death Race II and
Hellboy II. But regardless of the
genre, he’s often cast as villains, outcasts or in the case of, Frankenstein, the out-and-out
monster … What’s the appeal of
such dark characters?

“You get del Torro on the phone and you know
that it’s going to be an exciting role … and when I did Blade II with him I felt very sorry for
Nomak – the villain in the movie.
He was kind of abandoned by his father which is a wonderful back story … and
really I think that I’m more driven by characters I can get my teeth into
rather than straight bad guys.”

In Interview With A Hitman (IWAHM) Goss plays
Victor – a seemingly cold-hearted killer, on the run from the very people who
‘made him’. Fleeing to England, Victor begins to rebuild his life, safe in the
bosom of a new crime ‘family’. But if this all sounds like a by the numbers
gangster flick, then you’d be mistaken. According to writer-director Perry Bhandal, at its heart, IWAHM is a
film about good and evil, love and redemption. And it’s when Victor finds love,
in the form of raven-haired Bethesda (played by fragile French beauty Caroline Tillette) that his world
changes forever.

With just a three week shoot, how did Goss set
about building such a complex character?

“There was a debate with me [and the director,
Perry Bhandal] really digging in my heels. He wanted Victor to be almost
robotic at times. And I said … he’s not a terminator. He’s a normal guy.” In
fact, it was Victor’s humanity which appealed most to Goss, who finds himself
bored by many of the “one dimensional” villains he reads.

Despite being in a profession which most of the
world finds abhorrent, when everything is stripped away, Victor is still a man
– although clearly a man who keeps his emotions on a very tight reign. For Luke
the key to ‘finding’ Victor was
“about sitting down with the director and having a common North. I said let’s
not lean towards stoic. Let’s lean towards isolation and loneliness.”

The film begins with a 12-year-old Victor,
struggling against poverty, squalor and violence in a Romanian slum. “You tend
to fabricate back stories in your head and start to map it out, that’s how I do
it anyway, “ Goss enthused, “but IWAHM shows a lot of the back story … you
see my character when he’s 12 years old and I love that I am sharing that lovely
juice fact with the audience”. Audiences will also love Elliot Greene, who gives a chillingly convincing performance and
the young ‘hitman’.

In many ways the Victor we see is a mask. And its only when that mask starts to
slip that we see what a life of kill or be killed has done to him. One
particular scene stands out, where Victor discovers that his old mentor – the
man who pulled him out of the slums – has been sent to kill him …

“Father, big brother … he’s … all Victor
had. And there’s a scene when he says ‘you don’t care about anything, only
money’ and Victor brings out that note that he gave him when he was a young boy
… it shows that, just when you thought someone was an open book, [something
else] is what’s going on inside. That was a heartbreaking scene. I said to the
director, my instinct is to be in great pain here. … I wanted to show that,
when we see him somewhat reserved later in the film, [this emotion] is inside
of him …I wanted you to see that he has this core of agony.”

Goss clearly loves his profession and loves
finding films that challenge and entertain him. And it’s keeping him very busy.
This year, as well as IWAHM, audiences will also see him in Seven Below, Inside, Death Race: Inferno and Terror
Isalnd
. But he also produces, has just written another screenplay and plans
to make his directorial debut next year. Are there stories he still wants to
tell?

“So many. I’ve just written another screenplay
… it’s an old school Western and a love story. Kind of the Eastwoody type of
story. A cross between Jeremiah Johnson
and The Good The Bad And The Ugly. I
don’t know if I’m going to direct that, but I’m definitely going to be in it.
It’ll be my third screenplay. And there are lots of stories still to tell …”

Interview
With A Hitman opens in UK cinemas on July 20th. DVD and Blu-ray go on sale on
August 27th.


Paula Hammond - Features Editor

 
Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email: writerpaula@icloud.com