If you have watched the Hollywood movie Man Down (2015) directed by Dito Montiel, starring Shia LaBeouf and Kate Mara, you will agree with us that scriptwriter and actor Adam G. Simon, is a force to reckoned with in the movie industry.
We had the privilege to converse with him on a lot of issues, ranging from his upcoming movies; Point Blank which stars Frank Grillo and Anthony Mackie, and is directed by Joe Lynch, and The Raid, a remake of the 2012 and 2014 Indonesian action thriller, written and directed by Gareth Evans.
Talking about what it was like working on the movie Point Blank, the father of two, analogized that “it was like watching your wife give birth to a beautiful baby while the maternity ward is on fire!” That analogy is rib cracking but very expressive of how tedious the project is for him. He expressed utmost joy at working with both Frank Grillo and Anthony Mackie on the set of Point Blank. Simon shares “It felt amazing! Both actors have a great friendship, so the chemistry translates well onscreen. I love watching it unfold, as both actors are O.G’S and badasses!” A review like this, would make even the least of movie fanatics, anticipate this much talked about chemistry between the two amazing Hollywood actors.
When asked if he had any difficulties on the set of Point Blank, he answered in the negative, ascribing the lack of difficulties in having a great team. He explained that having a great team helps to minimize difficulties and overcome anything that comes up. He went on to say “The cast they had were incredible. Plus the Director, Joe Lynch, the producers Joe Carnahan, Frank Grillo, and Johanna Buyer, everyone in production, hair, makeup, wardrobe, stunts, everybody was on point, which made him so incredibly excited about the movie.”
Answering the question on how he juggles work and fatherhood, the father of two has this to say: ”I have zero personal life. That’s the exchange. That and staying caffeinated or inebriated. Sometimes both simultaneously. Juggle. That’s a good visual. Juggling chainsaws is probably more appropriate! I just keep my hands moving as fast as possible.”
Simon believes that luck is preparation meeting opportunity. That you have to be prepared, even if you’re in the right place at the right time. He says he is luckily in the right place at the right time. He attributed his success so far to persistence and a chip on his shoulder the size of Brazil. After his first movie Man Down, he didn’t stop there; he just didn’t quit. He pressed on, and he is here today with three other movies after Man Down.
“Spending a lot of time with hobbyists and looking around for a tribe, was a major pitfall for me in the movie industry. Bouncing from gig to gig, I was fortunate to find it in War Party, with no bullshit. Handshakes mean something with those guys. They are all about telling great stories but being efficient in the telling of it. No fat. That starts with the script.”
His favorite moments are breaking through something in the story or with a character. He revealed that it sometimes happen on the page, or on set. “Having Shia LaBeouf and Gary Oldman come on board with Man Down was huge but writing with Carnahan was equally as rewarding, maybe even more so because it made me a better writer.”
Asked how his upbringing and background affected his writing, he said,
“I think the writing comes less from the perspective of my background and more of trying to understand it. I try to work out events in my life, where I have come from and how I got here through writing. It’s my opportunity to make sense of it, even if the project is commercial.”
Simon acknowledged that there is a possibility, that his life and personality have a rubbed off on his characters and their lives. He writes what he knows, and he also writes to understand what he doesn’t know. “There is always one or two characters who have my voice or who reflect different sides of my personality.”
Simon claims not to have a goal post, he just loves his work. He loves the people he works with, it is as plain and simple as that. His work keeps him moving. He would only stop working when he stops loving his job.
Despite opinions that it wasn’t necessary Simon is not deterred from his work on the reimagining of The Raid. He explained this by saying:
“You know, that wasn’t just the fans of the franchise asking that question. Joe and Frank both asked the question. I asked the question. Why are we doing this? That is why the reimagining aspect of it is so critical. It gave us the opportunity to explore things that the original didn’t. We get to explore violence and the complexities of brotherhood. Why we fight the ones we love and the price of loyalty.”
He could not say a lot about the comparison between the original The Raid movie and the remake. But he shared that the similarity is in the idea of a small force facing insurmountable odds in one location. “Many similarities and comparisons to the original will end after that.” He explained that “Joe is talking about the new technology involved in the making of the movie, and breaking new ground with the action sequences. That was something the original had, and It was a breath of fresh air in the action genre. Joe and Frank are planning to do the same thing with the remake.”
Talking about the two villains in the two The Raid movies, their differences, what birthed Felix and what made him special, Simon said, “The jump-off point for Felix came from the twisted mind of Carnahan. From that moment I became the Igor to his Frankenstein in the lab. Felix believes he is right or at least that he is in the right. On the page, I find myself siding with him and at times feeling for his character. Tama for me was like a feral, brutal, blunt instrument. Felix is like a heat-seeking missile.
If he would be remaking other classic movies asides The Raid and Point Black, he said “I’m already on it, and no, I can’t say shit about it.”
About which movie director has he enjoyed working with the most, Simon believes each relationship is different. That the one he enjoys is whomever he is currently working with followed by whomever he is working with next.
Lastly, he has a piece of advice to share with up and coming actors, screen-writers and producers, that will inspire them to greatness. In his own words:
“Know your craft. That’s for the actors and writers. Be good at what you do. Be persistent. Leave entitlement at the door and do the work. Producers? I got nothing. Wait, here’s a quote for producers. Stop jamming Instagram models and YouTube personalities into films like they are ingredients on a Cold Stone ice cream assembly line. If that idea had any weight to it, Logan Paul and Kim Kardashian would have the number one movie in America. They fucking don’t. So stop it.”
Adam is without a doubt a great talent and we really cannot wait to see what he brings to the big screen now and in the future.