High speed fight scenes in â€˜Felon’ based on improvisation, not choreography
By W. H. Bourne for Hollywood Today
HOLLYWOOD, CA (RUSHPRNEWS) 7/20/08 – “It’s a very unorthodox method of approaching the fight scenes,” says Stephen Dorff who must fight for survival after being locked up with vicious cellmate Val Kilmer in the gritty prison drama â€˜Felon’.
Dorff was experienced with choreographed fight sequences from his work as villainous Deacon Frost on â€˜Blade’, but â€˜Felon’ director Ric Roman Waugh took a different approach for the graphic violent sequences.
“Traditionally, fight scenes are all very choreographed beat by beat,” says Dorff. “But, Ric wanted the messiness. We mapped out all the scenes, but the moves happened spontaneously. It was very frenetic.”
“The details are real,” says Dorff. “There’s no Hollywood structure. We watched tapes of fights on prison yards, and they happened at lightening speeds. They’d jump you. They’d charge you. They’d crack you. They’d stab you. They’d shiv you. You never knew what was going to happen.”
“If there was a big move like a flip or something that was incredibly dangerous, they’d throw my double in,” says Dorff, “But ultimately, I was getting hit, and it was messy. I did most of my own stunts. It was a very physical demanding role.
“When we got hit, we got hit for real,” says Dorff. “When I bumped heads with this guy with full momentum which made me felt like I was getting a concussion. I kept asking people, â€˜Do I have a concussion? Do I have a concussion?’ because I kept seeing stars. We just took a little break, and then I was back in for more.”
“I didn’t actually get hurt,” says Dorff. “I’ve gotten hurt on other movies because I’ve landed wrong or something. It was a little more rough and dirty, but it wasn’t like staging a boxing fight or like a martial arts fight in Blade. Some of it felt so real, it felt like a documentary.”
Stephen Dorff isn’t done fighting yet. His next film is the 1930s crime drama â€˜Public Enemies’ with Johnny Depp.