Adrien Brody flexes muscles in "Predators"

LOS ANGELES Sat Jul 10, 2010 5:23pm EDT

Actor Adrien Brody poses at the premiere of ''The A-Team'' at the Mann's Grauman Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California June 3, 2010. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Actor Adrien Brody poses at the premiere of ''The A-Team'' at the Mann's Grauman Chinese theatre in Hollywood, California June 3, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - It has been 23 years since "Predator," a commando action film, sci-fi mash up starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, hit movie screens.

Now it's back in a sequel, of a sort, called "Predators" that opens in movie theaters on Friday, but Arnold isn't. He's the California Governor, and in his place is Adrien Brody.

Adrien Brody?

The skinny kid who won an Oscar in "The Pianist" is playing a tough-as-nails monster killer on a par with the muscled-up 1980s action hero Schwarzenegger?

It can't be. Brody works in dramas and portrays characters like the classical piano master and Holocaust survivor Wladyslaw Szpilman in 2002's "Pianist." When he takes roles in war movies, he does so for a film like Terrence Malick's thoughtful "The Thin Red Line."

"Predators" is a big-budget, shoot-'em-up, summer popcorn flick. Yet, there Brody is, transforming himself into a ruthless killer who hunts down aliens.

"It's surprising to me, sometimes, when people are surprised at my choices," he told reporters at a recent gathering. "And it seems they are more surprised as of late.

"But as an actor it's been a conscious decision to do my best to not repeat myself, so that I keep the process for myself interesting and for the people that have seen my work. I've looked long and hard for an opportunity like this."

In fact, the 37-year-old said it was "a big coup, a big deal" for him to land the starring role of Royce, a mercenary loosely modeled after Schwarzenegger's "Dutch" in 1987's original "Predator."

But Brody was also very aware of the challenge involved in playing an action hero. He diligently worked-out and pumped iron before filming began.

"I did feel that I had to make a physical transformation," he said. "On one level it's exciting for an audience to see that. I like to see that, even if the character's villainous.


Directed by Nimrod Antal ("Armored") and based on a script by Robert Rodriguez ("Spy Kids") who also produced, "Predators" pits a group of elite warriors against shape-shifting and ever-hungrier aliens.

The group of commandos led by Royce include a mass-murderer (Walton Goggins), a drug cartel enforcer (Danny Trejo), a Russian special operations veteran (Oleg Taktarov), an Israeli soldier (Alice Braga) and a disgraced doctor (Topher Grace. They are stranded on an alien planet where they must band together to fight for their lives.

Brody, it turns out, isn't just an action film fan. He is a self-professed "huge fan" of the original "Predator."

"I was about 14, opening weekend, smoking cigarettes in the front row," he said. "I remember the theater, I remember my little crew who were there opening weekend and doing our Schwarzenegger impressions the rest of the week."

Yet, even if he could do a mean Schwarzenegger impersonation as a kid and muscle up his body for the role of Royce as an adult, Brody said he did not want to rely on just the physical transformation. Body and mind "go hand-in-hand," he said.

"It's an interesting thing, " he said, "and it's always surprising to me how much of an emotional and psychological transformation infuses with the physical transformation. I experienced that also with 'The Pianist.'"

He believes Hollywood has often have had an over-reliance on physical brawn as the deciding factor for portraying a strong man. "Strength has to come from within," he said.

Brody added that with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, "we're all, unfortunately, very familiar with what young soldiers look like today and they're not dissimilar to my build. I think military leadership comes from a tactical and technical confidence... and an intellectual strength."

Aliens beware.

(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (5)
darkzero83190 wrote:
hes 37 not 27. he was born april 14 1973. and it says he was 14 when he saw the first predator which came out in 87. do the math. if he was truly 27 he would have had to watch the movie when he was 4. just clearing that up. and i saw the movie today it was fantastic.

Jul 10, 2010 3:30am EDT  --  Report as abuse
AnandaMayi wrote:
I saw the movie on Saturday, Laurence Fishbourne was shockingly bad. It was embarassing to watch but thankfully he was dispatched very soon so were were spared from further embarassment. I would give the movie 2 out of 5. It could have been done so much better. Maybe I was expecting more when I read that they will go back to the original story and two AVPs were abysmal.

Jul 12, 2010 7:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse
ramou42 wrote:
Actually, Predator 2 was the sequel (with Danny Glover). I’ll have to see the movie before I get a better idea what it’s like. It seems odd that the second movie was completely disregarded in this article (the spin-offs are understandable, although they’re ok enough movies)

Jul 12, 2010 9:57am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.