Do you ever wonder what the world’s biggest box-office musclemen like Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Jason Statham, and Dolph Lundgren are like when the cameras aren’t rolling? According to Charisma Carpenter, who co-starred with Stallone’s in his latest directorial effort The Expendables, you couldn’t meet a sweeter, kinder group of men…who just happen to be able to bench-press you if necessarily.
Crushable: We’re huge Buffy and Angel fans, so what was it like switching to working with all these big box-office movie stars in The Expendables.
Charisma: It was awesome. It was a fantastic experience…they are really joyful, loving human beings stuck in these really big bodies. They seem life-threatening, but they are all mushy and sweet. They are the perfect example of the cover not matching the contents.
Crushable: You play Jason Statham‘s girlfriend…did you guys have a lot of on-screen chemistry?
Charisma: I hope so…it wasn’t that hard. I’ve always thought Jason was cute.
Crushable: With all that testosterone on set, what was the shooting like?
Charisma: Well, I think it’s been well-publicized what an animal Sly is, and how focused he is. And he was always in the hospital after work. I don’t think he slept. He was writing after the day’s work was done, watching the dailies, directing, in the emergency room, acting. To be honest, I think he thrives and does well – and not a lot of people can do well – under these circumstances.
He’s got a bit of the eye of the tiger in him, and he appreciates that in other people. He made everyone in the cast bring their best, and I think he pushed everyone to bring their best. It’s interesting, audiences have never seen Jason in a role like this, wounded and vulnerable, and I think Sly really helped flesh out his character. He has great range, and he’s never had the opportunity to show that. He’s beautiful with that, and with Stone Cold and Terry Crews and those guys, he knew where their specialties were and really brought them out. Sly is really good at that: He knows how to write a good movie, and please audiences and they come out in droves, and I hope they do it again for this one. And again and again….
Crushable: So an Expendables 2 and 3?
Charisma: You know, I was just reading about that, how he wants The Expendables to be like Rambo and continue on…which he was very coy about before.
Crushable: How so?
Charisma: Well, it seemed to me in the promoting that they were saying, like “For one time only, see all these guys in one place in a shoot-em-up, blood and guts explosion.” But I think now it’s been pretty clear that people are really psyched about it, and now we’re reading about how he always saw it as a trilogy.
Crushable: So what’s next for you? You had a great role in this film, but would you consider being the action star yourself?
Charisma: Well, I’m not working on another movie right now, but with The Expendables opening, the calls are coming in. It’s exactly what you’d hope would happen. It’s been a wonderful experience. Of course I’d like to take a butt-kicking role in my own right, that would be divine. But I loved working with those guys, and when there is going to be The Expendables 2, I hope to be a part of it and have more screen-time…maybe learn to give some black eyes myself, instead of getting them.