Accueil > Interviews > Interview de Eric Hahn (page 3)

Interview de Eric Hahn (page 3)

Si nous aimons rire d'un certain cinéma déviant, nous sommes très loin de mépriser les hommes et les femmes qui s'y sont impliqués ou compromis. Il nous a ainsi paru enrichissant de faire raconter le nanar et son univers par les gens qui l'ont vécu de l'intérieur. La diversité des intervenants et de leurs réponses nous a rendu encore plus proches du cinéma que nous aimons : vous découvrirez, au fil des entretiens que ces différentes vedettes ont bien voulu nous accorder, des informations précieuses pour le cinéphile et le cinéphage, des anecdotes cocasses et, en esquisse, le portrait attachant de personnages souvent hauts en couleur.
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Eric Hahn (page 3)

Nick Nicholson, Henry Strzalkowski and others used to work in production teams in the Philippines. Have you ever been involved as a member of the production staff in local productions? Actually, it seems you worked as a Casting Director on many more movies than the IMDB indicates. Concretely, in what did that work consisted?

In "Ultimax Force", directed by Joe Mari, I did the casting and helped with as a production assistant. It was the same in "Fists of Glory". I also did the casting for "Bloodfist 1 & 2". Often what happens is that the main casting director from the U.S. gets the only credit and they don't put the local casting on the credits. I also worked a lot on post production, mainly in voice over dubbing. The sound quality on a lot of films was not so good and we often ended up dubbing the whole film. Several of us would be in the sound studio, and each of us would be several different characters, and change our voice for each one. Sometimes, even on large productions that had better equipment, a lot of dialog was drowned out by background noise. Many directors preferred to fix it in the studio rather than do another take. I don't recall ever getting any credits for dubbing. It was a lot of fun and paid well.

Among all the colourful Westerners who were regularly appearing in Filipino war / action flicks during the 80's, a few seemed to be glob-trotters, and many other to have a history in the military. Nick Nicholson was in the US Navy and fought in Vietnam, Romano Kristoff was a former member of Légion Etrangère, Jim Moss was with the Marines in Okinawa as Military Police, Don Gordon was a former member of the US Marines 1st Recon in Vietnam, Mike Cohen was a Colonel in the army, and won the Congressional Medal of Honour during WWII... Do you think casting directors were specifically looking for that kind of men for their war / action flicks, or is it just that most of the Westerners wandering in the Philippines and acting as extras at the time had that kind of profile?

For the roles, they were looking for people that looked like soldiers. Often they would bring in soldiers from the bases to be extras. Another thing they did was to have a mini boot camp before the production started. So even the non-military extras looked more like the real thing. We did this in "Hamburger Hill". It was miserable. On one production (I think it was "Officer and a Gentleman") they were going to bring an actor from the U.S. to play a drill instructor. So they hired a real drill instructor from one of the bases to coach the actor. While they were waiting for the actor's arrival, the director asked the instructor to show him some of the routine that he would be teaching the actor. He did so well that the director gave him the part and left the actor in the States. The drill instructor was R. Lee Ermey, who went on to do "Full Metal Jacket" and other movies. He was the co-star of "Demonstone" and told me this story.

Among all those Westerners, which ones did you use to see the most, or did you feel close to?

I was very close to Jim Moss, as we did a lot of films together. We were always on some squad or another. I visited Romano Kristoff's home for dinner a few times. He was from Spain and all the ladies loved him. I saw a lot Mike Monty and Warren McLean (Aussie). One actor who I liked a lot was Robert Patrick. He didn't live in the PI. Cirio Santiago brought him over for a few films, like "Eye of the Eagle". He was one of the boys and would often go out on the town with us. David Carradine also invited me out a few times. And he sure had a taste for the local rice wine. I liked Nick Nicholson a lot and looked up to him. He was here for "Apocalypse Now". I especially liked Henry Strzalkowski. He was probably the best actor of all of us. Other guys I liked and worked with often were: Willy Williams, Robert Marius, Anthony East, Archie Adamos, and Kris Aguilar.

Any remembrances or comments about Susan Sarandon ("Women of Valor"), Jan-Michael Vincent ("Demonstone"), Richard Norton ("Not Another Mistake")?

Susan Sarandon seemed to be a nice lady. Actually, I didn't know who she was at the time, as she wasn't really famous yet. She was a real hard worker who never complained about the heat or the mosquitoes. She played a nurse in the Philippines during WW2, when the Japanese took over the islands. But we were paying more attention to some of the other, younger nurses!!

Helicopter pilot in "Demonstone" (1989).

Now Jan Michael Vincent was another story. He was an alcoholic and obviously at the end of his career. He didn't like the Philippines and he had little interest in the movie. I was his stunt double and stand-in for the whole movie. Actually I did more of his part than he did. All his long shots all shot at his back. He only came in for the close ups and dialog. Amazing. He even had a clause in his contract that the production had to provide him with a case of non-alcohol San Miguel beer a day or he was free to drink the real stuff. I don't think he worked any more after that production.

Richard Norton was a very good martial artist. That was his specialty. Because of his Aussie accent some of his parts were not credible. He was supposed to be an American in "Not Another Mistake". But Richard was a hard worker and really knew his fighting.

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