“Black Hawk Down” Star on Reality of a War Movie, & How Botched Auditioning for “Resident Evil”, Nearly Cost Role, Until He Did This…
Raz Adoti was only one of several notable panelists during our 2015 X-Perience MoreMentum Seminar Series, which was held October 2015 at The Los Angeles Film School. You can HEAR more of Adoti’s filmmaking insights, career advice and how he went from the London stage to American blockbusters by watching our exclusive video highlights.
Actor Raz Adoti opens up about the reality of auditioning and the surreal experience of working on set, as he shares his experience on the graphic and gritty Ridley Scott & Jerry Bruckheimer film Black Hawk Down. The actor gives a firsthand account of acting and moving at breakneck speed as actual explosions blurred the line between art and reality and gave the authenticity of a documentary war-epic. Raz Adoti also shares how he almost lost out on a key acting role in Resident Evil: Apocalypse, due to a bad audition, until a risky gamble paid off. Every actor will think twice about a “lost out” role after hearing Raz’s inspiring story of how he turned a bad auditioning experience into a blockbuster win!
FULL VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW:
Raz Adoti: I’ll be honest with you, at the time of getting it, I was just excited to get the role and to be working with Ridley Scott. It is a fantastic movie, and once we finished the movie, I found out that the military — I don’t know if they still do this — but definitely, after the movie was made, the military was actually using the film as a training tool for new recruits to show them examples of how to act in like these combat procedures, and how things can go wrong. Because it was almost ‘documented’ the way Ridley Scott shot that. He had his, I guess a bunker. He had this um, tent…where we were shooting on location, which was about a good half-a-mile from where we were actually shooting. You’re getting your acting notes radioed in by uhh- by a walkie-talkie and then the 1st / 2nd AD is telling you, “Okay, Ridley said you should do a bit more of this or a bit less of that…” and da-da-da. He’s so far away, because we had actual explosions basically going on. And there’s cameras everywhere, on the barrels of guns, on people’s helmets. Every shot we did, there was at least like 10 cameras.
Kukhautusha Croom (Co-Founder, MoreMentum Entertainment) You also worked with Jerry Bruckheimer, so how did the two of them, Ridley Scott and Bruckheimer inspire you to handle the balance of the art and reality of a film like Black Hawk Down?
Raz Adoti: Once you have your lines down, (snaps fingers) it’s just on and you — you literally do forget about the art side of it when you got explosions going around, because they’re not telling you everything that’s happening in the scene. They’re just telling you, what’s relevant to you. You’re looking at this particular actor, then you’re gonna go over there. There’s gonna be an explosion in this area. There could be 4, 5, 6 other explosions in the background, they’re not necessarily gonna tell you about that because it doesn’t necessarily effect what you’re doing or your safety because you’re not going that direction. Without your story, it’s gonna be difficult to tap into anything, because you have to come from a place of honesty.
I had a fantastic teacher when I was in drama school, who used to tell us, “Don’t just highlight your lines in the script. Don’t just focus on your lines. Focus on what other people are saying about you within that script. If someone mentions you in that script or such-and-such character is an idiot, or such character…he’s this…or he’s that…” Often times you can get more about your character from what other people say about you in the film than what you say yourself.
It’s not about the size of your role or how many lines you got or whatever, man. You just have to be in the moment, be honest to it, be truthful to it, and I tell you what, at the end of that — if you are all those things — even if someone didn’t like you’re performance, at least you were in the moment. You were honest, and you were being true and you were real to that moment. So, whatever the role is…obviously you embody that. But you have to own it. You can’t go in there on anything less than being that role and believing that your’e that role.
There was actually an audition I had one time uhh — and I felt that it went bad, I know it went badly. I had a bad morning, and I went into this audition and I just wasn’t myself. And I just did myself a disservice. I remember coming out there thinking that was just terrible. If you know something is really connected to you in that way, you go the extra mile for it. You go the extra mile for it. I went to one side with a buddy of mine with a camera and I re-shot the audition. I re-shot it in my normal frame of mind, again, owning it and believing this is my role. And we just submitted it, man. And this is just on a whim…I just did that. Guess what? I got the part. Resident Evil [Apocalypse].