First of all, I want to tell that I am a huge fan of your films and follow your career since No Retreat No Surrender 2 where you played maniac Russian officer Yuri and fought Loren Avedon and Cynthia Rothrock, such a cool movie with its own flare.
You disappeared for a while in the 2000s and when I found your Instagram account I started following you immediately and was surprised to see how open you are about your life on Bali, your beautiful wife, and pets you care about. Actually where the name @jamesbond_made_me_do_it came from and how is life on Bali?
Thank you, Roman, always nice to share our lives with others and to be seen doing it.
I remember Management being so upset about it and I remember thinking, no it is so special to me why not share it with the world. It’s all about energy and being in the light. Hopefully not sounding new age now but Bali has become such an intricate part in our lives. The opposite polar to Los Angeles and Hollywood. The opposite of glitz and glamor, fame and another episode of Kardashians. Even so, we do have MTV here and one could overdose on it as well.
But we leave it off. And off we go every night into the jungle with our pets, the monkey, the dog, the cats and the bird on our shoulder and we head out, single file to the bluff overlooking the ocean. Then we all, the entire clan sit on a rock and stare out at the ocean. Even the animals know how special it is. Or maybe it is the togetherness of all of us out there when the sun hits the Indian ocean and slowly disappears. The walks back to the compound in the instant dark is another bonding. Putting everyone to sleep and then sitting in silence with endless bright stars over you being your roof is the last vision of your night. Ok, I think you get the picture, ha ha….!
So yes you do this for a while you pack up your suitcase and you show up on a set as strong as nature who has just recently injected you with her own powerful juice, and not the one from Jamba juice around the corner in Brentwood Los Angeles. No, this one is spiked with real natural ingredients. I am eternally grateful for my wife Leslie Carleton who single handed created this piece of paradise with a vision to make it a home and her promise it will change my life forever. This is why I call her Jane.
And yes we do live like Jane and Tarzan, wear next to nothing, which keeps you in shape as you need to look the part as well if you want to fill their shoes. Which brings me to the reason I embrace this life so much is my affinity for Tarzan movies, one in particular, the one with Bo Dreck and Miles O Keefe. I had his picture in my locker room in the army to remind me to become like him when growing up. No kidding, and years later we ran into each other in Hollywood and he comes up to me and shakes my hand and congratulates me on my work and body Wow what a trip. Well, now I live like Tarzan in my spare time, what the heck, this is what made me making it in Hollywood if you believe it you become it. ANYTHING.
So yes and for the name James bond made me do it, well simple. Leslie and I wrote a script, a Trilogy about a female Jason Bourne. I send it to Olivier Schneider offering him to direct it. He coordinated recently James Bond. Also did all the fights on Taken, Unknown, worked on Bourne, Fast and furious and so on. Well long story short I traveled to Paris to meet him, we hit it off on the fly., I love this man. My dream to work with him. I love his action, studied him and am convinced he will be one of the biggest action directors in the future. Anyway, we did loose our financing on that film that year.
Nearly two years of us hanging around Europe on our dime to not only create but get this film off the ground. Somewhat slightly defeated and I say slightly as we are never defeated unless you give up we returned to Bali and LA, going back and forth continuing with our lives. James Bond comes around and guesses who is doing all the action, yes Olivier Schneider and the casting news of a six foot five athlete being searched worldwide to fill the bad guys’ shoes. I knew right off when it really comes down to it, not to many people can run, jump and leap over things and carry muscles like a predator, yes well except maybe Batista. Ok, the rest is history….
Second time James Bond passed me by. Years earlier I was requested for a personal meeting with Roger Spottiswoode for Tomorrow never dies and it didn’t happen in the end. Leslie said, one day Matthias you will be the bad guy in James Bond, mark my words….so I called my Instagram account “James bond made me do it”.
Talking about your breakthrough into the movies as far as I know you got the role of Yuri because of Van Damme didn’t show up on sets and producers desperately started looking for another muscle guy. Please tell more about that.
Yes, literally the magic potion to enter what I call destiny. Would I ever be an actor in Hollywood if this didn’t happen, no one knows but it was amazing timing and such a push by the universe that I cannot toss it aside and must insist it was meant to be. All of it. I told JVCD later about it, thanked him actually. Not sure if he liked what he heard but he was very cordial, to big of a star to not be happy for me. And yes it is all true. JCVD was upset about not being the good guy in No Retreat two. At least so I was told over and over by writer, producers etc. He took off. But he was the movie, I mean we talking about JCVD walking out of a sequel that already mapped out in the first one who this man is going to be, a star. Devastating, to say the least.
Panic amongst producers, what shoes to fill. Not because he was a future star but he was special. The writer Maria Celino who later became my manager for many years and my godmother told the producer to call gyms in LA to find someone from Europe maybe with muscles, martial artist and so on. She then proceeded to take out the yellow pages. Roy Horan, the producer flew in from Hong Kong and must have thought Maria is crazy. But she closed her eyes, told Roy wherever her finger will land they need to call. Her finger landed on Golds gym on the yellow pages. And who did Golds Gym send over, wow me?
I had just joined over there, I mean just got off the boat as one says. I arrived at the casting wearing my fathers Bavarian leather pants, cowboy boots, muscle shirt, long hairstyle, huge about 270 pounds of muscles. A freak, all in all, so much in fact that the neighbor of Maria saw me getting out of my car, called her and said some comic book figure is walking to your house. Not someone like JCVD. Maria peeked through the window phone in hand, called her husband. Told him, look here he is our new star. But Maria didn’t think of Roy Horan who once I stepped into the door looked at me like he saw an escape from a circus or something. I knew right then and there, trouble is brewing.
Maria made me do some line, dialogue, I had no clue with my little English what I even was saying. She was excited, Roy Horan shook his head, simply walked off, came back, insisted I throw kicks and punches in the back yard at him. So we all went out. I did my Taekwondo. He was not impressed. I knew this will never happen. I was not JVCD, NOT EVEN BY A LONG SHOT. Maria devastated told Roy if he is not going to play Yuri, no one will and she quit. She will burn the script she wrote, movie over. Ha, she was so convinced I will be a star one day she shoved me down the throat of all the No Retreat producers NG, Roy Horan and of course legendary Corey Yuen.
Once I arrived in Thailand quickly all hell broke loose after a show and tell match on the streets of Thailand. Corey cussing ran off, the crew packing up and everyone leaving me behind in the hotel heading out onto the location in the jungle. I was grounded, humiliated and set to fly back. So I thought. Ps. Must add, Loren Avedon one of the best Taekwondo in the world and me weren’t simply on the same level. He was agile, smaller and quick and simply amazing. Now what happened then should actually be the real movie. It was like Karate Kid and Kickboxer all over but in the jungle and cities of Asia.
Jang Lee Hwang the ultimate boots master, the lord of super kickers was in charge of being left behind with me. He became my master, trained me not only physically, mentally and spiritually. He opened up the inner warrior in me. Similar to what we saw in movies, lots of simple minded task who are not as simple as they appear, and other strange rituals, repeating them over and over and endless stories about war, fights, and men doing killings. I was in awe, filled up my heart with it. Made a pact to rather die than not to succeed and to head out into the jungle willing to take on everyone that comes my way.
We arrived at the set a month later. My first day only dialogue, a disaster. Corey storming out, cussing in Chinese, my world over. I finally hit my marks, got better. Somehow finally got it, everyone calmed down. Fights up next. Now I forgot his name, sorry he was such a hero. A Chinese fighter, tough as nails, the real deal. He was my first fight. Poor guy in hindsight for me I felt so bad, but I found out later the pride and integrity that comes with it being a Chinese action fighter and stunt man. Unless you get hurt it really doesn’t count. And he did get hurt all day long. It was hard and brutal. It was the opening scene. He is the one bad, the one I kick and toss around, make an example off.
It didn’t take long before Corey and the rest took notice of how light I am on my feet. Remember I am six foot five and nearly 270 at that time. So yes I gained my respect, willing to die every day for the crew if needed just like their fighters soon we headed to the end fight. God bless Loren Avedon in hindsight. He is such a man. I have many, so many years of fighting for me now over the years, in heat, dirt, cold, shit and you name it. Countless hours, bruises and cuts and nasty, very nasty conditions. Weeks at the end. Loren the hero never slowed down, took it all, was fired up, ready, a great friend and true warrior and heads up to have made this one of my favorite fights ever on screen and showed what true martial arts championship is all about.
My deepest respect rest to the crew, all fighters and Roy Horan who is simply said the real deal. I am very serious when I say theses things as we take pride in what we do, we really do commit so much to it we are willing to die for it. We are out there, this is real and we do this each and every time with our souls sold to the movie, the action and the purpose of the art. At least the ones who are the real deal and this is a tribute to everyone out there who risks his life in action films and who commits to it as men do.
You know talking to many guys in movie world I found out their first thought about you was “the big guy with a big ego” but turned that you are the coolest and nicest big guy around. What is your secret?
Well, I guess it’s my own humble beginning, I had to work so hard to become someone in the business. I was an outsider. To big, to tan, hair to long, obviously a muscle head, perhaps as seen being not too bright, well you name it, but deep inside I was so excited, so eager to learn, so in love with movies, so happy to meet others, I fell in love with action, the people, learned to respect them, wanted to learn, was eager to show what I can do and committed and simply loved everyone who is in the same boat. Then I loved everyone who loves us because we share that excitement and out of all that is what you can see and feel. Matthias Hues being excited.
Sure most fans know you by Bad Alien from I Come In Peace movie. Craig Baxley did a great job and on my opinion filmed a classic with two talented guys gave them a chance to show the best. How did you get this role and how was it to work with Dolph?
Yes, it was destiny like No Retreat. The word around town, we need someone who can jump, run a true athlete over six foot five, willing to risk his life if needed. I mean you only had to say theses words and I would show up, you say theses words right now and I will show up. THIS IS WHAT I DO for a living.
So yes when I showed up and met Craig, there was not even a hello how are you, it was straight to business. How high will you jump if I tell you, he asked, I basically said, as high you want me to….we shook hands. And I mean it turned out he really meant it.
Next thing I hear on the set, the stunt explosion guy approaches Craig, overly concerned, worried the explosions will rip me apart. I simply overheard Craig telling him, no worries, Matthias will just have to run faster then. Just little background to what Craig really meant. Yes, I wear three-inch soles shoes, not running shoes, shoes that make me taller, my eyes are nearly hundred percent blind with white open lenses where I need to be guided by the set. The cars lined up in front of me are rigged with explosives and I will have to run over them while they explode, being blind, as fast as I can, with shoes three inches high, run like a hundred meter race, then on fire jump through the window onto a tiny platform about 30 feet suspended in the air with the camera man on it and two other guys to catch me when I arrive at full speed and despite that I will go so fast, so fast running for my life I might will take everyone with me in the end to the ground below. Just exactly what Craig asked me at our first meeting, how high will you jump?
As you see there is no bullshitting your way around in the action film world, you end up doing it or go home. As for Dolph, well he is an iconic movie star, what can I say, the real deal, respect. I love him. Oh yes, when he kicked me I felt it for one month. So yes the guy is real if anyone ever wondered, but I assure you most people never doubted his authenticity.
As an action movie fan since the 80s, I can tell there are only two film bad guys – You and Bolo. You both were in TC2000 film alongside a lot of martial arts talents. Can you explain your villain phenomenon?
Yes, it is all about the size I believe, the former classic Hollywood stars were the Bruce Lee, JCVD, Stallone, Norris and so on. Who do they fight, each other, sure yes but ultimately they need to fight and win against a very powerful even more powerful physical enemy. Bolo was insanely buff and such a stellar fighter, the ultimate bad guy. I was lucky to follow his footsteps or in some cases at least but he is the ultimate. What makes us two different is simply our looks and how we go about showing it off. He is also completely different in style than I am, this makes it so interesting, in fact so interesting we ended up fighting each other.
Moving forward along your career list you recently started cooperating with Alexander Nevsky and have filmed two movies together – Black Rose and Showdown in Manila. It took a lot of time to him to get into the spotlight and start making action movies, can we expect more from him and how did you meet?
Alexander is one of my favorite new guys. Here is why. He is a movie star. He acts like one, talks like one, lives like one and is one already in Russia. He is the most generous man I have ever met. He is a true fan of the 80’s and 90’s action films. He is respected by Arnold and Stallone alike and let me tell you I am there when they walk over and shake his hand. So yes he is up and coming. Is it an easy road, no, but mark my words he will be seen and notices on every level in Hollywood years to come.
So yes he approached me, told me he never seen anyone my size move like this, watched all my films as a teenager and is a huge fan. If we could work together on some projects. I instantly liked him. We shook hands. Let me just say this. Showdown in Manila is the beginning. Amazing cast as you know, Mark Dacascos first directing job, what an honor to be part of it. What Future plans Alexander and I have, well one will blow your mind for sure. A sequel of something…..can not say more but it will send shock waves through the action fan community….Will talk more about it in Russia next week.
Talking about Showdown in Manila that coming out next week and the Russian premier you will be attending to, how was it to have such a great cast in one movie under Mark Dacascos direction? Did you accept this offer in three seconds?
YES in a second. Mark and I had just recently finished Ultimate Justice in Germany. A kick ass fighting film with Mike Moeller from One Million Klicks and famous Hong Kong producer Mike Leeder and exec. Ruediger W. Kuemmerle. So after that, working on that film, which will kick some serious ass I had this amazing friendship with Mark and he now directing an Alexander Nevsky film, hell yes I was in.
As I can see Russian producers started investing money into action movies and inviting action stars, why do you think it is happening, maybe they try to create a rival location to Thai film industry which is currently attracting more and more projects and stars?
Yes, the Russians are true fans and here is why. In the eighties and 90’s, there were no theaters in Russia only VHS. Everything from the states with action was like gold and the Russians as it is if you try to withhold someone something they want it even more, and they wanted their fill of action. Now without knowing who is who cut off from the news outside, they stamped out their own favorite heroes from watching VHS like Stallone and Arnold, JCVD, myself and Adrain Paul, Mark Dacascos, Don Wilson, Cynthia Rothrock and many others in our group. Now some of the ones who were fans came to wealth and now have the opportunity to recreate their favorite times and actors, reinvent them or give birth altogether for a new area of action films pretty much similar to what they saw growing up.
Another movie I want to talk about is Ultimate Justice. As I know Mike Leeder was a writer and producer of this movie. How was it to work with him, Mark Dacascos, Mike Moller and Mathis Landwehr?
All the name mentioned above, cream de la cream of the martial art silver screen. How can you not enjoy getting up every morning to share the screen with theses icons? Mike Moller a true gentleman, humble and so professional where you just sit back and wonder in awe what he will come up with next. You know already you can only watch and be amazed, can’t think of trying it. Mark, well he is it all, good looks, charm, amazing actor, huge range in fighting skills and driven even considering it’s not his first day on the job, but it feels like it, this is how much he brings in with excitement.
Mathis, wow yes ripped, muscled but not showing it off. He is so low key but when it comes to shining he is a supernova. Should be a star about to explode. I love him as a person, he is a super pro, so unbelievable limber and fast and skilled, wow! So nice you want him as a friend.
The next martial action star, this is a full shoe to full. I have seen many over the years with the fighting potential especially Darren Shahlavi I was only waiting for him to take over with some franchise but he left us so early. We all miss him and I need to give him tribute at this time.
I did Water Warriors with him. I was in awe of his star power and his moves. I knew there is a new Bruce Lee type personality, everything was fighting, moves, angles, I mean Darren never ever stopped dreaming, planning or rehearsing and this is what it takes to be a star. He had it. I miss him, he inspired me to be a better fighter. I love you, Darren, you will be forever missed in our world.
The Raid stars and there were more than just one, no doubt the best fights ever, more fierce, more bloody and committed to anything I have ever seen. I wanted to get up from my chair embarrassed watching it sitting down.
Ong Bak Tony Jaa a superhero of the superlative, a true enigma of fighting style and poise. I am in awe once more. I am full of respect. He too has the Bruce Lee gene, is so committed it takes over his life. I am in his corner.
Boyka is legendary, one of the best fights ever in the ring which by now is hard to top as we seen it all, but leave it up to Scott Atkins, he is so committed skilled and far ahead of his tribe, watch out he is taken to be more than serious, one step away from superstardom….! I saw his training video, again didn’t have the guts to sit down watching it as I didn’t want to feel sloppy in a chair.
Is there a future in martial arts, hell yes. The world will never tire of it, is there another Seagal or JCVD yet. No. But there will be. Some are inches away. But timing is everything and a film that will blow it all out of the water. Harder and harder theses days as we seen it all, so who wins, in the end, is someone we are so taken by we cannot help but be glued to everything he does. This might not be the best fighter in the history but this is someone who is a born movie star and who knows how to for fill everyone’s desire for reality and redemption, a hero for the masses. Not a hero for himself.
WOW! I took a look at your updated profile on IMDB and saw you have around 15 movies in production! How you can handle it, is there any particular project that you want to tell about?
Yes, a lot to do. I am now a screenwriter with Leslie together and our scripts get traction. Are being shopped around in A level circuit and inches away from being picked. So we do not stop creating franchise scripts, all action based on characters like myself, Liam Neeson, Jason Statham, and others like him. But number one on the list is I Come In Peace 2. The only one we do not have a script for as we now concentrating on the finance and package part. Want Dolph back and so on… keep your fingers crossed, we need it.
The next best big thing, Sarah Kross, which is a commercial reboot of the male driven Bourne Identity and Taken series handed over to a heroine, women. We will create a new female super action hero. This why I met with Olivier Schneider in Paris from Fast and Furious to discuss directing and action. We will soon hand over the script to the producers of Expendables.
But maybe interesting for all fans out there. I now share my career, life and everything that either made me, makes me or defines me who I am. It is a site called Matthias-Hues-Origin.com. Here you will see it all, learn, maybe join in, get inspired, find your own groove or learn more about current films, scripts, and everything else that makes my world Origin. A self-creation, something we all can do. It’s the century of self-discovery and sharing your ideas and visions. We all use tools like this daily now, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and so on. I can only urge anyone who wants to be different show the world how you are different, maybe someone takes notice. Maybe you inspire someone. If not make yourself feel good about yourself and get off that couch. Be someone!
One funny question I want to ask you. What is your weapon of choice – bare fists, automatic gun or Alien’s aspirator?
I love to fight, my fist. I love to jump, run and be kicking ass. I wrote a few had core action scripts that will blow it all out of the water. I will do action en masse, like everything everyone wants to see, the old formula back on track, a lonely hero out for revenge and a body count that is mountain high.
You are in amazing shape, what is your daily workout routine? Can you share some fitness secret and have you ever thought to write a book?
I am in the gym nearly every day. I will never stop, I will not give in, I am so injured by now I would not be able to enter a ring. But I will, this is what keeps me going, I want to beat the odds I want to be able to go into a ring with anyone in their 30’s and at least stand my ground and the same shape of me being that age. You need to have goals even when you already accomplished a lot you need to then start from the beginning again to make it so you can keep what you got.
And at the end of our short interview my traditional question: Which three martial arts movies you can call a classic?
Enter the Dragon, number one. Two: Crouching tiger. Police story number three 🙂
Thank you very much for your time Matthias and hope to see you next week in Russia, shake your hand and talk in person.
Roman you rock, you do the world out there a huge service with your job. We need you, we appreciate you, we consider you one of us!! Please make sure you come by and say hello this is Roman, I want to meet you!! Cheers, Matthias Hues.
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