Actor and producer of the Prime video superhero feature, Sylvester Stallone takes on the role of Mr. Smith in the movie which sees’ thirteen-year-old Sam Cleary (Javon “Wanna” Walton) suspecting that his mysterious and reclusive neighbour Mr. Smith (Sylvester Stallone) is actually a legend hiding in plain sight.
Twenty-five years ago, Granite City’s super-powered vigilante, Samaritan, was reported dead after a fiery warehouse battle with his rival, Nemesis. Most believe Samaritan perished in the fire, but some in the city, like Sam, have hope that he is still alive. With crime on the rise and the city on the brink of chaos, Sam makes it his mission to coax his neighbour out of hiding to save the city from ruin.
During the press tour for his latest movie, Stallone took time out to sit down for a press conference to reveal all of his dabble into the superhero genre.
On taking on this role, Stallone stated how the story reflects on real life in the most subtle of ways;
“Quite often, people go, you know what, we’re basically good people who can take care of ourselves. And let’s be on the honour system, and quite often it backfires. And then you go, how do we get rid of all this violence and fear. And then well, in the movies, it’s always this mythic character. But in the end and I say to the people, you have to take care of yourself, that’s what it’s all about. So it’s kind of a cautionary tale, that when quite often you get rid of your hero, and then maybe you need a hero back sometimes because you’re just not ready to take on the responsibility. But in this particular case, he had an issue that is so personal, that he couldn’t face the facts. That’s why he disappeared. He thought, okay, why don’t I just assume what people considered the most anonymous job in the world, a garbage man? No one pays any attention to these people. Yet when you think about them, without them, we’re in big trouble. So there are all these metaphors in there.”
It’s no secret, that before Stallone become the giant in cinema he is today, his feet were very much grounded in the life of an anonymous person just trying to make ends meet, Having this life experience was beneficial for Stallone to take on his character.
“There is something about on the ground boots on the ground experience. I have been everything from a doorman to like a bartender to cutting fish as working in lions’ cages to a movie usher where you have… you’re the third one who wears the same tuxedo. So you have two other guys’ BO, and people are blaming it on you. I mean, I understand how the whole process works. And you got to be a little humble and eat a little humble pie to get through it all. But you learn, you really learn. I think it just adds to the human experience. And so I think, for example, I enjoy acting now more than when I was 30, 35. You think you know everything. You know nothing. I think the soft spot in a man’s head doesn’t get hard until about 41. You just, you’re still learning. You think you got it under control, not quite.”
Through all the superhero action and explosions, Stallone’s relationship with his young co-star, Javon Walton, has some pretty tender moments. Stallone is very well aware of his stature which could become intimidating for the best of them so his best solution to get the best out of his co-star is to keep things light.
“I try to intimidate him, scare him and make him forget his lines. So he doesn’t upstage me. But, truthfully, you try to relax because I understand. I am a lot older, a lot larger. So I remember the first time I walked out on a set and there’s Robert Mitchum or John Wayne. It throws you off your game, you think you’re ready, but you’re not. So I put myself in their position and I kept it light, like a child. I would joke, I did things, humour. So he was completely relaxed, he’s kind of a wise guy. And his father was there. We had this very comedic kind of light, one up some big trash talking kind of things when the camera rolls. He’s right there. It isn’t like oh, here’s Mr. Stallone, I must not speak too loudly.”
Audiences across the globe are more than familiar with the superhero comic book genre but with this latest offering, Stallone and Prime are delivering something entirely new in the genre, possibly opening a whole new world for the legion of superhero fans. With something so original Stallone wanted to make sure that his offering offered something to audiences that were more relatable.
“There has been a tremendous accomplishment by certain directors and certain companies in Marvel and DC that have really pushed the universe to the max. With everything that you could possibly imagine, has been created. I always feel there is nothing quite as relatable as almost getting hit by a car, or walking down a dark alley, what was that, there’s a shadow coming behind you. That’s very relatable. So what I’m trying to say in my awkward way is that we try to make the events in the danger plausible, in a sense, and identifiable. That could happen to you. It’s something that’s very tangible. It’s not from another universe, its right here in the streets. So keep your guard up. That’s it; it could happen to you. It’s like what I tell my daughters all the time. Life today is one-strike baseball, there are no three strikes. It’s like; you gotta be looking all the time. That’s what I try to add to this, that there’s a sense of impending danger, but it’s real. It’s not way over the top, just a little over the top, a little bit.”
Taking the director’s chair is the Australian filmmaker Julius Avery, known for helming ‘Overlord’, had no doubts that taking on a young director to create this movie was essential to aid in transporting the energy it needed onto the screen.
“I’ve directed a few things myself; it’s kinda like having your spleen pulled out through your nose with a tractor. It’s not fun. It’s hard work. “Oh, it’s so glamorous.” It’s not glamorous. It’s brutal. It takes a toll on your private life. Forget about sleeping. You answer eight thousand questions a day. It’s tough. Then you have post-production. So you have no life, really. I know there is this certain point where you’re not, you know, you’ve lost a little speed. Young guys, they’re hungry. They’re drooling. They live for this stuff. This is their moment. Their testosterone is pouring out of their ears. They’re gonna stay up late at night and deliver. So that’s why I think if you’re gonna do that kind of film, you need that kind of energy. I’ve done it the other way and it has not worked out very well. Let’s just say that. “
Samaritan Premieres On Prime Video From Friday 26th August