The world of action and martial arts has produced some truly legendary and talented actors over the years. One of these actors is Silvio Simac, who has been working incredibly hard in the martial arts and action world. Even in the wake of digital effects and casting of well-known actors, with little or no martial arts experience in physically demanding roles becoming the norm in Hollywood, Silvio Simac has proven that he’s someone to watch out for. We here at Entertainment Zone, are pleased to have had a chance to interview Silvio Simac about his latest film, the sword and sorcery fantasy film Knights of the Damned, which is currently out on DVD from Vertical Entertainment.
Entzone: Knights of the Damned is pure sword & sorcery with lots of action and other complications thrown into the plot yet manages not to be hokey or campy. How did you come to be involved in this project and what was it that resonated with you about the premise?
Silvio: There are 3 lead characters in this movie all playing the 3 Knights. I had worked with the other 2 actors many years beforehand so re-uniting with these 2 talented gentlemen, Ben Lloyd Holmes and Ross O’Hennessy was an appealing prospect. The storyline was like nothing I had done previously and having had abundance of previous experience of playing a warrior, fighter, soldier the character had resonated with my own persona.
Entzone: What drew you the most to the character of Thomas? Sometimes, once an actor is cast in a role, the director or writer begins to tailor that character more towards the strengths and talents of the actor in the role. Did anything like this take place for you in role of Thomas? Did you have any input into things that would help flesh out the role more?
Silvio: I had never played a role of a Knight before although many times I played a combatant, challenger, warrior of some kind. I always seek for guidance from the Production to help me bring the character to life and character to the role. I was very fortunate to have been able to have my own individual input to the way Thomas came across.
Entzone: What was your favorite part about playing this character in this type of movie? What was your least favorite?
Silvio: My acting, reacting and interaction between the 3 characters was the core and paramount to the plot. As for the hardest or scariest challenge was horse riding as I have had limited previous experience.
Entzone: There is a lot of physical action and sword play in this movie. Did you have to do any specific training first to learn how to do medieval sword fighting and combat style?
Silvio: We did the general rehearsals a couple of weeks before the shoot as well as continued rehearsals in between the scenes but having had extensive previous martial arts experience I took it on board very quickly.
Entzone: How much of your own stunt work did you do?
Silvio: I did all of my fight scenes and stunts except a few horse riding scenes.
Entzone: There is a sequel in the works titled The Dark Kingdom. Will you be involved in this movie as well and will be see Thomas again since this character had undergone such a drastic change in Knights of the Damned?
Silvio: Yes of course, we will be seeing Thomas in The Dark Kingdom as well as the third part we are shooting this summer.
Entzone: You have worked with fellow MMA/Action star, Scott Adkins in three movies, Mask 2: City of Masks, Unleashed and Undisputed 2: Last Man Standing. The two of you have since banded together to do Martial Arts teaching seminars in the UK and upcoming in Greece. How did that come about with the two of you appearing together to do these seminars?
Silvio: Scott(Adkins) and I have worked together on several feature films as well as few TV Shows and countless seminars and live shows after we became friends in 2001. Besides being close friends, we know each other and trust one another to pull off some of the craziest stunts. It takes trust to pull off some of the hardest stuff.
Entzone: Both you and Scott Adkins have recently spoke out about the way CGI and big named stars cast in action roles has taken a toll on the world of actors who can do action, martial arts and stunts and make it look more realistic. What do you think it would take for movie makers to see that this kind of realism and talent is still very much needed in the world of action/martial arts movies?
Silvio: CGI still isn’t, and I strongly believe, will never replace raw, organic, realistic action and hard-earned talent. What gets audience on the edge of their seats is when they see action which is so hard or near impossible to pull off. Look at Tony Jaa in Ong Bak. I rewound each action scene several times, the first time I watched it in awe and respect for the speed, agility and precision he moved in. I don’t think CGI will ever replace that.
Entzone: Your IMDB bio states that you often use these and other personal appearances to raise money for charities such as Shelter, UNICEF, Fighting for Cancer, Help a London Child, Romanian Orphans. Would you be willing to tell us a little bit about how you found this inspiring direction for your life and what makes it so important to you?
Silvio: Universe is made up of ENERGY. E=MC2. Energy cannot be destroyed or created. We can only pass it from one form to another. This suggests that the more we give, the more we get back, but we must first GIVE. Part of martial arts code of conduct is to contribute to the mutual welfare of our environment and out society and thus my involvement in charities reflects on this notion which also nourishes my soul.
Entzone: Ending this interview on a more domestic note. In your IMDB bio it also states that you like to cook. So what is your favorite ‘go to’ dish or specialty that you like to make for your friends and family? What’s the most requested dish from them?
Silvio: I find cooking a form of meditation and escapism. I take time in preparation and presentation. I like to take my time marinating my dishes with infused flavors and aromas. One of my favorite dishes that I do on special occasions is lobster (king prawns) in white wine, cognac and tomato sauce along with gnocchi (potato dumplings).
Thank you, Silvio Simac for taking the time to talk to our readers about Knights of the Damned. It’s an awesome movie and I enjoyed watching it. Thank you very much.
Look for my review of Knights of the Damned to follow shortly.