Log in

No account? Create an account

My Interview with Michael Biehn, part 2
biehn bright eyes
Cont'd from here.


Sounds like you had a great group of people you were working with.

I did, they were a great group of people. Some of them were just really inexperienced but they learned quickly. It was a really intense and exhilarating and frustrating (and surreal sometimes) experience. The language barrier was the least of the problems I had on the movie set, by far, but I didn’t have any trouble jumping behind the camera to in front of the camera.  I wrote (the character I play) so I know him inside and out. He makes a nice arc in the movie and I think I gave a really good performance so I’m happy with that, given the time constraints.

 Do you intend on doing more jobs as director? Are there already plans?

No, I don’t have any plans but I've never really thought of myself as a director. I would like to produce more than I’d like to direct.  You know some people are really brilliant with a camera and they know the lenses and they know the moves and where to put the camera and film stock.

I was watching a movie last night called Requiem for a Dream and that’s a guy who really, really knows what to do with a camera. I think I know casting, I think I’m good at storytelling, I think I’m good at working with actors, and I think I’d be good with editing and music. I think there are a lot of things I’m good at but I don’t think that I have the most basic asset I believe you can have as a director; being able to tell a story with a camera. You know the way they used to do it before talkies. I’ve never been that confident about where to put the camera. I’m not that knowledgeable, after 30 years of acting, about camera stock, camera moves, dolly moves, camera speeds, different types of shots and steady cams, and when to use crane shots and how to use them and to emit emotions from the audience.  I think I know how to do that as an actor.  I think I can do that with music and I think I would know how to choreograph scenes and action sequences.  I’m not sure I have any great desire to direct but I do have a desire to produce and work with some of these directors that have these types of productions together or find money for them to make their movies. Basically do the same thing Bey did on this movie with me.

 I’m not saying I’ll never direct again. I learned a lot on this movie and how the camera (works) so I might direct again, we’ll just have to wait and see.  It’s not something that I like or have this burning desire to do, though; I’d like to produce things.

 Well after going through all this with Blood Bond I can imagine you've learned a lot and have more to learn.

 Yes, that's true.

What do you prefer: the work in front or behind the camera?

I think I’d rather work in front of the camera and as a producer behind the camera.  When you say 'behind the camera' most people think of a director but I would rather people talk to me about producing.  With directing, I just feel there are other people out there that can do it better than me.  I’d rather them tell the story than me and me oversee it, oversee the script. I think I'm really good with script and story and dialog and being able to choreograph a scene, being able to stage a scene, block a scene, block an action sequence, and basically call out stuff that doesn’t make any sense... stuff that looked bad. I'm a perfectionist when it comes to a lot of things but when it comes to that camera, it gets me (and) I don’t feel like I know it as well as I know anything else.

So have you done any producing projects yet or do you have anything coming up?

No, I have an investor. I’m working on a contract with his company right now so I’ll have to wait and see where that goes.  I’ve got a few different projects that I’m interested in doing if I can find some financing but you know right now is a difficult time for independent movies. And financing a movie, nobody really has any money. Nobody seems to have that kind of money lying around that they don't know what to do with at this time. It’s a tough atmosphere out there to be producing because it's tough to raise money. I’ll probably be acting in the mean time until the economy picks up and people start investing in smaller movies again.

Which job is harder? The role of the actor or the one of a director?

The role of the director. 

Is it harder to direct yourself than to take direction from someone else?

It’s harder to take direction from somebody else. Well, it’s not hard either way.  I think I’d rather have somebody directing me then directing myself, let’s put it that way. I always have an idea of what I want to do but I think it's always good to look to somebody else who has a different idea, a different slant on it. Because they'll say maybe you should try it this way or maybe you should try it that way, maybe you should speed it up or slow it down, and cut this line or do this, do that to it. Maybe we should see a little jealousy here, a little anger there, maybe you wanna pick up the pace a little bit on it and so on... because really It just gives me the idea (to) throw a little anger here, or a little love there, just give me a little smile or a wink. It'll change what I have into something that is kind of new and fresh and make it interesting.  So I'd rather be directed by somebody else other than myself because I'm just me and me is not as good as me and somebody else's ideas. 

So like someone who has the big picture of the movie right?

Yeah, right.

Who has inspired you the most as a director?

Oh, probably Jim Cameron.

Is it difficult to switch from directing to acting and back?

No. I didn't have any trouble with doing that at all.

 If you do enjoy the directing, will you focus your career more on directing from now on, or will you keep acting as well?  Or would you like to keep doing both at the same time, like you did for Blood Bond and like Clint Eastwood does?

I don't know, I'll just see where things go. We'll see how Blood Bond turns out, but I don't think I'll be like Clint Eastwood, he’s a brilliant director. I'm not sure I have that in me, I really don't.  Like I said I'd rather produce than direct and Clint Eastwood has been doing this for how long now and he's very good at it.

You are most known for your action movies and your directional debut is an action movie as well: is this the kind of movie you would like to keep making, or would you like a completely different genre as well?

I like to do anything that comes along that has a good story. A story that I've written, it's kind of like the movie “Taken.” I wrote it about five years ago with a friend of mine and it's about a girl that disappears in Bangkok. It gets into the sex slave world and her father is almost a retired LAPD guy who goes to find her. I'd like to do that (film) and then I've got some friends that have got a science fiction picture. Suspense, horror movie, or science fiction movie it doesn't make any difference just as long as it's a good story, a real story, you know. And then I'd like to work with someone... I'm sitting here watching one of the Cohen brothers movies (and) I'd love to work with somebody like that. There are just so many great film makers out there and I'd love the chance to work with some of the good directors and some other good actors.

What do you find important in a script?


As for acting: you have said in interviews that you like doing action movies, you like the physical aspect of it. But does this mean you prefer doing them?

No, not really. I mean sometimes it can be fun but it doesn't make any difference.  I think I like acting, period, and if there's action involved, that's fine, but I don't enjoy it more than a courtroom scene or a love scene or any other scene that doesn't involve action.

Do you prefer movies or being in a TV series? What do you think is the biggest difference between the two?

I think I'd rather do movies.  Usually you have more diversity and you get to play all sorts of different characters; good guys, bad guys, little movies, big movies. Usually you're traveling all over the world.  I was just in China, next place is Houston. I've shot all over Canada, Europe, Spain, Turkey, Philippines, Japan, France. I’ve been able to travel all over and on a (television) series you're just stuck in one spot, one character.  I think after a couple of years it would get a little old.

Would you like to have a TV series again?

I would do one, I would just rather do movies.  If I had the opportunity and a good television series came along I would definitely do one.

Your preference is doing movies.

Sometimes the financial aspect is a big part.  You know I have four children and I’ve put two through college and I have to put the other two through college. And sometimes I have to pay the bills. If a television series came along and they paid very well I would take it from a financial stand point.  If it was a good series! I probably wouldn’t do something that was very bad.  I’d do a good series and make the best of it and support my family and try to make it as interesting as I could.

Your fans would like to see you back on a series like one of the cop shows or lawyer shows.

One of the stories I used to tell when I was a kid a long, long time ago: I did a television series and it was called The Runaways, in the late 70’s, early 80's.  Every week I’d get the script and I’d look through it and say there’s a good scene... and there’s another good scene... all kinds of good stuff... this is a really good script for me, meaning my character. I had a lot to do and (that) was good, you know.  And now when I’m doing a series, like when I was working on Magnificent Seven or like when I was working on Hawaii, I’d get the script and say ah, there’s a day off and there’s another day off. Ah, and there’s a three day weekend and, yeah that looks good.  My priorities have changed over the years because you get paid the same amount so it doesn’t matter. 

Do you have any guest appearances coming up like Dark Blue or Criminal Minds?

It looks like I’ll be in a movie called Retractable that Jennifer is actually doing.  Chris Evans is in the movie. He’s one of the stars from Fantastic Four.

Is it more difficult to film in other countries since they don’t have the same regulations on set as in the USA?

No, usually no matter what country you work in you have to work under Screen Actors Guild rules.  I don’t work on non-union movies so the answer is no. At least for me, anyway.

Who would you most like to work with either staring in a movie with or directing?

Boy, that’s tough. I’d like to work with probably Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, the Cohen Brothers.  And from an acting standpoint Sean Penn. I’d like to work with Denzel Washington, I’d like to work with Jeff Bridges, Gary Oldman, Ben Foster. There’s a lot of good actors out there I’d like to work with.

Of all the actors you have worked with is there anyone that you would like to work with again?

I’d like to work with all of them again.  I’d like to work with Nick Cage again, he was a lot of fun. I’d like to work with Charlie Sheen again, he was a lot of fun. Those two jump quickly to the end of my tongue.


Thank you, Michael, for many wonderful performances and making your characters true human beings with depth to them. And for always giving your best in a movie, no matter what happens around you or with the movie itself. I can always trust that your performance will at least make the buy worth it. It is what, to me, makes you one of the true stars.

I want to thank you again for taking the time to answer all the questions from your fans.

We all truly appreciate it.

Thank you,

Cathy Crow

My Interview with Michael Biehn, part 1
biehn waiting for you

Dear Mr. Biehn,

I would like to introduce myself to you. My name is Cathy Crow and I am the unofficial interviewer for your unofficial fan forum.  As you know I have asked Jennifer to help me set this up and I thank her for this.

First of all I want to thank you for taking the time to answer the following questions from your fans. This interview will only be posted on your unofficial fan forum, and you will have final say on the completed version. I have to say your fans love that you are directing and starring in this movie, Blood Bond, that Bey Logan is producing.

I just wanted to also state that once I have completed the interview I will send it to you for your approval before I ever publish any of it. If you don’t like what is written please feel free to let me know so I can change it or you can make the changes as you see fit.

Ok, now onto the interview. The following questions come from your fans and I am listing the person’s name next to each question.

I'd like to ask, how long was it before you decided that you'd like to get on the other side of the camera, and why you chose Blood Bond to be your directorial debut?

Bey Logan asked me if I’d like to star in it and direct it. To be perfectly honest with you I think the reason that he wanted me to direct it is so he wouldn’t have to pay a director.  He figured he knows me and he figured I’d be half directing stuff anyway if I was working on a movie. At least (the) scenes I’m in because I’m opinionated to a certain extent when it comes to my work.

I thought the script needed some work so I told him I’ll do it.  I’ll direct it if you let me rewrite the script so I rewrote the script. He had the basic elements of a spiritual leader who was injured and needed a blood transfusion and a kind of female fighter bodyguard who needed to reach a special forces guy on the other side of the country... or the other side of the world. I’m not sure exactly which it was in his script. Other than that I just made up the rest of it. I had a couple of friends of mine that I wrote with before and I liked their scripts and we all wrote it together, really. It was me, a guy named Dennis Romero, Dan Burnes, and a couple of guys that he works with. And they had a lot of suggestions so it was kind of a group write to tell you the truth.

You know it has a message. I originally felt the reason I wanted to do it was it had a message about spirituality which is something that has kind of come to me late in life. I kind of wanted to make the argument that love is better than war and we should all try to live by that, meaning that feeling. I thought it had a good message and was gonna have a lot of action in it which is what I was used to doing. So that’s why I choose it, really, because it was a chance for me to tell this story; a kind of down and out drunk who didn’t care about anybody but himself type of person, somebody who became enlightened.  Through his arc, that was a story that I thought was worth telling. (In) some of these little action movies (and this was a little action movie because we only had a budget of a million dollars to make it) there’s nothing but action and the stories are thin and usually really stupid. I thought the story in this had a little bit of grit to it and a little bit of heart so that’s why I did it.

2. How was it, filming this all in China when you do not speak Chinese? How did you handle that?

Well the translation was something I didn’t have any problem with at all. Bey speaks Cantonese and there were associate producers on the movie (both Christine and Oliver) speak Cantonese and Oliver speaks a little bit of Mandarin so it was very, very easy. I always had someone around who could interpret for me so I didn’t have any problem with that at all.

My biggest problems on the movie was that I was not in Beijing, I was not in Shanghai.  I was in a little village and there was a studio there but they’re not really used to making movies.  They're just getting started and they’ve done a couple of little eight day shoots or five day shoots but they weren’t used to a big company or a production like Blood Bond. They weren’t geared up and ready for that type of production. We had an assistant director (who) didn’t speak English so he couldn’t really do very much and he’d never been an assistant director before so I didn't have an AD which is a really important thing to have as a director.

I did have a production designer but I didn’t really have any set dressers that really knew what they were doing and that’s kind of important that the sets all look good.  Because no matter how good an actor you are and no matter how good the story is, if you're standing on a set that looks like a set, it just isn’t going to work. I didn’t have a line producer and I didn’t have a production manager and those are the people that organize everything along with the first AD to make sure all the actors are on time and the set is ready and the actors are in wardrobe and in makeup and ready to be rehearsed and everybody’s there on time. instead of directing the movie, I spent about half the time that I was there organizing and trying to get things organized with the different departments. The prop department; there was no prop department, per se, so all the guns, gun belts, beer bottles, cups, tables, any kind of set dressing, it all had to be organized and somebody had to (do it) and that was me. I had to do like ten different jobs and try to train them on how to do their jobs.

I also had no script supervisor who, for people making movies, is somebody who is very, very important to a movie. We had a script supervisor but he’d never been a script supervisor before so I had to teach him. That’s the person who is responsible for continuity and to make sure all the actors have on the right clothes and the correct amount of makeup. So if you have mud on you in one scene then you should have mud on you from then on out.

Sometimes you shoot scenes out of sequence and so they call that continuity. They should also look at the monitors (and watch) an actor in a master shot and notice anything like if an actor is smoking or eating a certain way or taking a drink from a bottle or throwing a punch. Then when you get into your close ups you kind of want to match what you did in your master shot, otherwise you can’t cut from your master to your close ups. Because if I’m taking a drink in one line in the master for one shot and then taking a drink in another part in the close ups, if they don’t match I can’t use them.

It would look weird. It would look like I’m drinking and not drinking, and smoking or not smoking, or I have my hand on my head and all of a sudden the next cut I’ll have my hand off my head. The script supervisor does that work. I didn’t have one of those people, either, and that was very, very difficult for me. I just had to do so many things I didn’t get a chance to direct the movie the way I would have liked because I was doing too many jobs and I was determined to work 12 hour days because that’s the way the Screen Actors Guild works. And I said going in that’s what I would do; work 12 hour days but we would work 6 day weeks.  I said I would follow all the Screen Actors Guild rules and breaks for lunch and not do these crazy Chinese, Hong Kong hours where they work 18 hours and sleep on the set. Cause I just think that’s crazy! So we worked 12 hour days and we did what we could and it was exhausting and frustrating but exhilarating and the Chinese worked really, really hard and I loved them to death and there’s so many people on that crew that really put their heart into it. You know there are people that really, really tried hard to help me, even though they didn’t know exactly what I wanted and or why I wanted it. They really, really put their heart into it. I think everybody did, really.

I came away from there really loving the Chinese people and the crew because they tried so hard and they worked so hard at making me happy, trying to make me happy. You know you don’t just go and throw a high school player out on to the courts of an NBA team and say go play basketball with theses guys. You have to learn these skills and it doesn’t matter if they’re a script supervisor or an AD or a production manager or producer you have to learn these skills and they tried really, really hard. I think they are better off for the experience. (But) a lot of my work on the film after we got the script written was dealing with organization.

We also had two lead actresses who had never acted before. Phoenix Chou... I think maybe she did something (before) but I could never figure out what it was but she was a very inexperienced actress. And Emma Pei; she is a model, a beautiful model, and both of them, again, they really, really tried hard and gave me their best. They worked hard and put in (extra) hours; when they weren’t working they were learning fighting skills but neither one of them had ever acted before. There are a lot of people, crewmembers, that are in the movie that had never acted before and played parts in the movie. All of the electrical department is in the movie and there are guys that are building sets that are in the movie. There are production guys in the movie. Anybody and everybody that I could find that I could teach to phonetically say something in English I put in the movie.  Anybody that looked tough I put in the movie. So everybody’s in the movie! There are people that are in the movie three and four times. I don’t know what the final cut is going to look like but hopefully you wont be able to tell they are the same person.

We brought in Simon Yam from Hong Kong. He did a great job, he’s a professional. And we brought in a couple of Chinese mainland actors who were professionals and they did a great job but everybody else was just people. And Jennifer, of course, who’s a professional, but everybody else was just people we’d grab off the street or the crew and try to teach them to say things in English.

We couldn’t shoot weapons; we couldn’t shoot guns with blanks like we do in the United States because we couldn’t get the permits for them in China.  We couldn’t use squibs meaning we would have gun fights but we couldn’t use anybody being 'shot'. We couldn’t use squibs to make it look like anybody had been shot.  We couldn’t use blanks to make it look and sound like they were actually shooting guns.

There were a lot of limitations because we couldn’t afford to bring any actors over from Hong Kong and put them in the smaller roles. Some guys would do one scene or two scenes or have three or four lines or a line here and a line there. We couldn’t afford to pay for the train for them to travel to China, put them up in a hotel for two days, pay for their (work) visa, and then send them home.

We ended up just using anybody and everybody! Everybody on the crew is in the movie at some point, I think. I don’t believe there is anybody in the crew we didn’t use. So it was very challenging. Then again I just love the Chinese people! I learned to love China and the Chinese people that I worked with even though I was screaming all the time.

It sounds like you were a very busy man there, wearing all those different hats.

I was busy, very busy.  From the time I time I got off the pillow in the morning to the time I put my head on the pillow at night, very busy. I’ve heard this described at the movies; getting the movie ready, it’s called prep. You usually get four weeks of prep but I only got two weeks to cast it, to get your locations together, to get your cars and vehicles, and so on. I didn’t have four weeks or five weeks to prep the movie, I had two weeks.  (And) we basically shot a car chase scene with two cars, neither one of them could probably go faster than about 45 miles an hour.  We didn’t have stunt drivers and we had a gun fight and a car chase basically without stunt drivers and without weapons that shot blanks and cars where one was just as slow as the next one.  The chase car, the one that was chasing the lead car, it was the slower car and that’s what they could just afford to rent for me.  I had asked them for certain things and it was too expensive and I ended up with these slow pickup trucks.  You try to make them look fast and you try to make it look as exciting as you can but it was difficult.

I have actually seen a rough cut that Bey has put together. I haven’t really seen all the footage that I shot and I didn’t have time to look at the footage that I shot while I was there. I left to come back here and Bey has held onto the movie and he has done one cut of it and he sent me a copy of it for my remarks and I told him what I thought of his cut which is still pretty good, actually. I think the movie plays pretty well considering everything and I’m pretty happy with it. I had a lot of different things that I would have cut as far as the movie goes. He has the tendency to want to jump to the action, the action, the action, where I’m more interested in the story. So it’s kind of the age old producer/director dilemma where he wants to get straight to the action and cut the story. I want a little bit more breathing space and I want to see a little more China. From a Westerner’s standpoint I think there were a lot of gorgeous shots in China that I think we missed out on.  But he said he was going to bring it to Los Angeles to let me look at it, talk to him about it, make comments on it, and maybe work on it.  What he means by 'work on it' I’m not sure.  Hopefully that means I can cut some stuff myself that I think will help the movie. I’ll have to wait and see what happens. There’s a lot of work to be done on the movie still. I’m not sure that I’m going to have much to do as far as post production. Bey has a lot of connections in Hong Kong and he has some people that have invested in the movie that have post production houses that do all the sound effects, music, editing. All that stuff he can do in Hong Kong and he can do it for free. Now if he has to bring the film to Los Angeles we have to rent production houses and it’s expensive.  So I understand why he needs to basically do all the post over in Hong Kong and I really need to be back here because you know I spent ten weeks away from my children (which is a long time for me) and, really, I need to work and find another job and make some money and keep moving forward.

I mean if Bey asked me to come back to Hong Kong for a week or two to work on the movie I would but, again, I don’t think they can afford to fly me back and put me up in a hotel for two weeks because they just don’t have it in the budget.  It’s a very low budget movie.  So considering all the frustrations and because of the size of the budget I think Bey, myself, the crew, and the cast all did a pretty good job and I have a feeling it will turn out real well. I think the investors will make a lot of money because we spent a very small amount.  I’ve done other movies that have cost about 2-3 million that I don’t think look as good as this movie and this one was done for, I think, around 1 million.

A lot of people like to have some story and action together. Not just action, action, action.

Bey’s a smart guy! He’s been around for a long time and he has a good sense of movie making.  He listens to me, he didn’t disagree, he didn’t say oh no; he’s a smart guy. I thought (the film) looked pretty good. It has a few missing beats for me from the story standpoint but in the long run the story was there. But I wanted a little bit more (story) and he wanted to jump to the action a little bit quicker.  Even with the amount of story that’s in it now it plays well. I would just be happy if there were a little bit more breathing space.  Especially those shots of China! I just felt there was more China... the landscape, the villages, some of the people that we kind of missed; we’ll just wait and see. I think he’s doing another cut on the movie now and he’s going to bring it over to LA and I’ll know a little bit more at that point.

Isn’t that the age old story, the director has one vision and the producer has another? That’s why there’s always a director's cut later.

That’s always the case. The director wants one thing and the producer wants to be able to sell it. The director wants the artistic and the producer has to sell it.  The bottom line is Bey has the final cut. He’s going to be the one who makes the big decisions, I don’t have final cut. He can cut the movie any way he wants so basically at this point I’m making suggestions. It was always his movie, he’s the number one guy. He raised the money and it was his idea at the beginning so it’s always been his movie.  He’ll end up cutting it any way that he wants to which is probably the way he thinks that he can sell it to his buyers at the highest rate of money.  He has a LOT of experience in that field. Like I said, even if it’s put out in the (rough cut) I saw, I’d be relatively pleased with it.  What I really liked about it more than anything was that there was nothing really cheesy about it. The story made sense, there were no sets that looked really stupid, there were no actors that I thought were terrible, there were no sequences that I thought didn’t make sense, there was no day that suddenly turned into night, there were no obvious mismatches for people not wearing the right clothes. Sometimes I look at a movie and say that looks so cheesy, that set looks so stupid. There was nothing in our movie that I felt that way about.

We also had a good group of stunt fighters.  Ken Yip and German and his group basically taught the girls how to fight.  They choreographed all the fight sequences with the girls, those scenes were great! That’s where a lot of the action is. You know Kung Fu scenes! Fighting scenes. Me fighting, her fighting, me and her fighting; they were really good.  (The fight coordinators) came from Hong Kong, they weren’t locals. I had a DP that was from Australia and he was really good, too.  He knew what he was doing.  He had a gaffer, a lighting person, who would do all his lighting for him and he came over from Los Angeles and he knew what he was doing. We had a few people on the movie set who knew what they were doing. They were good at what they did. Ross Clarkson was the DP and he was very good.  Eric, the gaffer, was very good and Bey was very good getting it all together. Oliver and Christine were very useful; the guy that owned the studio was extremely helpful in making the movie.  The Chinese people who were the set builders... they were incredible. They were called Master Lee and Minnie Lee, his group that built the sets were just amazing. They built incredibly beautiful sets for us and they did it very, very quickly and they really worked hard, they did a great job! There were certain key jobs that were lacking but there were people who picked up the slack and helped out quite a bit.  I can’t say enough for Oliver, who was one of the Associate Producers, and Christine, who was one of the Associate Producers, and all the set builders. And a couple of the guys who turned into AD’s for me, Freddy and Max, running around trying to wrangle stuff for me. And Henry, who runs the studio, is a real sweetheart of a guy and was really, really helpful in getting his people to work as hard as they did for me.

Cont'd here.

My Interview with Jennifer Blanc-Biehn
Dear Ms. Blanc,

I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to interview you, Michael, and Bey Logan.  Michael’s unofficial fan forum really appreciates this chance to ask questions of everyone.

I want to thank you for taking the time to answer the following questions.

Ok, now onto the interview and the following questions:

What was the general atmosphere on the set of Blood Bond especially with the trouble you had with the rain?
The atmosphere was really upbeat. You know the Chinese people are really an incredible group of people because they are really hard workers.  There’s a difference in Americans in a sense that they don’t; we come from a place where we expect things so much.  Fortunately, or unfortunately, they’ve never been taught, even governmentally or not, to expect anything so they are more grateful to be working and be doing things that they have a great attitude.  People were laughing, you know. When it rained they were all laughing and trying to run out in the rain and pick things up and try to take care of them.  Where, here in America, there would be grumbling going on.  That didn’t happen too much there.

Everybody on the set was learning as they went. People were excited and grateful to be doing sort of a bigger American movie in this small part of China.

Here in America we take so much for granted and other countries don’t. Is that the way you saw it?

Exactly. Even the smallest things, there is just so much gratitude that there really isn’t a lot of taking things for granted there at all. There is something so beautiful about being in that environment that I personally really came to care for a lot of the people that we worked with.  I had kind of shooting days that were flexible and they would get moved around.  I was going to stay and support Michael no matter what so they had a lot more flexibility with me then they did with some of the other actors that were coming in and having to leave. So some of my days I’d go in and get all made up and we wouldn’t shoot, you know, and it was a little frustrating but you know it was kinda fun cause the girls who was doing my make up would have fun because the make up for my character was different then Michael’s and Phoenix’s.  It was really good on the set.

What did you like best/worst about the filming of Blood Bond?
I think the top thing I liked was I always thought Michael should direct. As long as I’ve known him I’ve always thought he should be a director.  He’s just got an incredible way with actors and even though I’m involved with him, on a personal level and a professional level both,  I just loved having the opportunity of getting directed by him and I trust him implicitly. Any actor should trust him implicitly.

I have friends coming over who want to get coached by him that are working in movies and shows because he’s so good at it.  Now that he’s a director I think this is going to be a whole different part of his career.  That was the best part.

The other best part for me was I got to play a role where I got to be... you know everybody kind of still sees me in that Dark Angel character; the wacky chick or wild way.  I got to play a woman, a real woman.  In a hot sexy suit but she was in control.  That opportunity for me that I was given on that movie was huge because that gives me hype that when that movie comes out people can view me in a different way.  That was very exciting for me.

I can’t wait until the movie comes out here.

We got to see a really rough cut of it. And I mean no music, no proper sound mixing, but just seriously the most rough cut you can imagine and it’s very watchable.  Michael’s performance is incredible in it and the fact that he was able to direct somebody and then jump in front of the camera and do his own performance was like a whole other dimension.  Everybody around the set was kind of buzzing around about that like how’d he do that, how’s he doing that, but he did it.  You know, I think you’ll enjoy it when you see it.

We all agree he’s an amazing actor.

I think we all agree across the board that he’s amazing.  He’s also very versatile, literally. He’s about to play in a movie, I don’t know if he told you about it, called Retractable.  It’s a true story. I’m actually playing a role in it, also. Two of my oldest friends are directing it; their names are Mark and Adam Kassen and they are brothers who have a production company (Kassen Production Company).  Chris Evans is starring in it, so is Mark.  It’s a true story about these lawyers who basically went up against the huge pharmaceutical companies. (The lawyers) are trying to keep these retractable needles out of hospitals, nurses were dying because they were getting stuck with the needles.  Michael’s playing a really different kind of role in that, too.

What is it like to work in a country where you don’t speak the language?  Or do you speak any Chinese or any other language?
There were a few people who did speak English. Not a lot, you know, some portion of English.  It was a little difficult. Michael had a guy who translated for him. Michael would say something then there would be a big translation that would happen.  On the set it was ok, it was easier.  Traveling was harder, like at the hotel we had a lot of trouble ordering food.  We would sort of look at the menu and try to order something. 

One morning the eggs came but a banana split came, also, that we never ordered.  More things like that happened when we were away from the set.  They were kind of comical and we found people around to translate. I sort of learned Mandarin. It’s an amazing language, it’s basically tonal.  You can say something in the language, like hello, and if you say it with a different tone it could mean something else.  It’s all tonal so it’s really hard. And then there are people who only speak Cantonese or Mandarin. There are three different types of Chinese or more and they all don’t sound the same.  Some of the people who speak Mandarin don’t speak Cantonese and some times people who speak Cantonese don’t speak Mandarin so you don’t know when you’re speaking to them what they speak so you’re totally confused and don’t know which translation needs to happen.  But it was fine. There is a way to communicate with humans that you eventually get, whether you get someone on the phone to translate, that wasn’t too hard.  It was more comical things that happened.

I can imagine trying to read a menu.

You know they would have it in English but the tones wouldn’t match. So they would think it would sound like (something else) and so they would get totally confused.  I would say fruit plate or fruit platter which would be written in the menu and they wouldn’t understand. I’m reading it from the menu, I’m reading it and reading it, you know, and finally I realized if I’m talking to someone you would have to say fruit plater and they understand that better than fruit platter. I don’t really get it because I don’t speak the language (well) but I’m sure it’s frustrating for them to have people come to their country and not speak the language.

What genre do you like to work in more: TV, movies or on stage?

I was on Broadway at 14 in a show called Brighton Beach Memoirs. And I really enjoyed doing theatre for a long, long time but honestly most of the type of TV I’ve done is like film. At least like filming the way it is right now which is smaller amounts of time, quicker time frames, you know. People are getting through it very quickly.  Dramatic television and films are becoming similar. I personally love both of those, TV and films.

You can even do comedy right?
I can do comedy. I did a show for two years called the Mommies, which was on NBC. (It) was a sitcom with a live audience.  But you know in the last bunch of years I’ve done a lot more movies, more dramatic things.

Though I did just do an episode of Always Sunny In Philadelphia with Danny DeVito which was quite funny and amusing just to work with him.  To guest with him was amazing.   He’s just a crack up. He’ll just throw things at you out of nowhere, make faces at you while your trying to do your lines, just to try and get a reaction. In between takes he was just playing with the kids and playing fake games, like improvisation games, and we were all joining in and it was just a lovely atmosphere.  Again, it felt like film the way they film it. They do have more than one camera rolling but there’s no live audience. You know there’s a different feel than when it’s a comedy with a live audience. It’s just totally different.

When you receive a script what makes you choose to either do it or not?
I like to work, that’s my thing.  If there’s a script I really don’t like or really feel I can pull off I’d like to try but I’d be a lot more hesitant about doing it because I always want to put my best foot forward on film.  Even with auditions and stuff, you know, if I’m really not sure I can pull something off I’m hesitant to go in there and present it. 

Like, for an example, if there is a director you want to work with. For example, like on Blood Bond, working with Michael, Simon Yam, Bey Logan, and the opportunity to do a role I’ve never done before would be a big factor.

Do you have a standard that you won’t break for a role? (I mean some people will do any and every role that they get and some won’t.)
Well it really depends. Like on nudity, it really depends.  I have a movie coming out called Jack of Spades that I shot in New Orleans last year and I have top frontal nudity in it.  But the role... I felt that it fit into the scene and I felt it was very artistically done.  In Dead Men Can’t Dance I was in a shower scene taking a shower (but) you couldn’t really see it.  So, for most people bottom line is they won’t do nudity or have a stand in but for me I don’t have that bottom line. It just has to make sense and I’m not going to do gratuitous pornographic nudity in some movie that’s just isn’t going to go anywhere at all and doesn’t have any substance behind it.  That’s really the bottom line for me.
What genre do you like to work on? Horror films like Bereavement or something more family oriented like Saving Grace B Jones or comedy (like) The Wild Bunch?

I would love to do more of the gory stuff. My friend Danielle Harris is kind of like the queen of horror.  She’s actually doing a movie called Hatchet II right now, they are just completing it.  She is so good at it.  There is really a thing like getting good at it, like the running, screaming, and being bloody, knifing people. I think it’s would be fun to experience that.

What is your part in Bereavement?

It’s basically a little supporting role. I play a girl who is friends with the mother and little boy.  I happen to be there at the house when he goes missing. My character's name is Teri, my role was basically in the flashbacks. He gets kidnapped in the flashbacks so we were in the 80’s and the movie takes place in the 90’s.

Have you ever thought of directing or producing a film or stage production?

I don’t feel that I have the chops to direct. What I do think I have is the chops to produce.  I’ve been trying to get a few films off the ground and I get approached all the time about producing.  The problem is it’s hard to get funding together right now.  People like Michael can get it because people just come to him with stuff and he’s very picky about his (choices) because he’s been doing it long enough.  He knows how to pick and choose.

I do have one project out there right now that I’m trying to produce and we’ve been very close to getting the funds.  I have a few specific perimeters around it. I want to play a specific role in it. I’d be willing to back off of it if it meant getting it made and I’d play a different role. It’s called Women of the Canyon. It’s written by a man named Doug Wood who is actually a big animation director. He’s directing Wild Bunch.  (Women of the Canyon) is a phenomenal movie, it’s a cross between baby Jane and it takes place in Laurel Canyon.  It’s a low budget movie and we don’t need a lot so I’m determined to make it.  I’m just in the process of trying to get it out right now.  So, yes, I do want to produce and I do think I’d be good at producing.  Directing, I don’t think I could pull it off to be honest with you.  We have half the money and we just need to get the rest of it.


Thanks again for giving me the opportunity to interview you.

Thank you,
Cathy Crow

My interview with Bey Logan
biehn terminator timeless hero

Dear Mr. Logan,


I would like to introduce myself to you. My name is Cathy Crow and I am the unofficial interviewer for Michael Biehn’s unofficial fan forum.  As you know I have asked Jennifer Blanc to help me set this up, and I thank her for this.


Thanks, Cathy. Great to meet you and it’s my pleasure.


First of all I want to thank you for taking the time to answer the following questions from Michael’s fans.  This interview will only be posted on his unofficial fan forum, and you will have final say on the completed version.  His fans love that he is directing and starring in this movie you are producing.  They also love your daily blogs by the way.


That’s good to hear. Feel free to run the interview anywhere and any how you like!


Thank you, now onto the interview, the following questions come from Michael’s fans.                   


1. What made you move from England to Hong Kong in the first place?


I loved Hong Kong movies, and I always dreamt that I somehow find a place for myself in that industry. They didn’t seem to be making the kind of films I liked in England, and I didn’t know anyone in Hollywood! I came to do one film (‘White Tiger’, starring my good friend Gary Daniels) and never went back.


2. After reading about using locals and children in blog 19 will it be a two language movie, you know, half English spoken, half Chinese spoken?


The whole of ‘Blood Bond’ will be in English. In some cases, we will be doing ADR work where actors have especially strong accents. The film is set in a fictitious Asian country, Purma, so we don’t have anyone speaking Mandarin or any other Chinese dialect.


3. What made you want to work with Michael on this movie?


I had such a fantastic experience working with him on ‘Dragon Squad’ (AKA ‘Dragon Heat’), but I really didn’t feel we used him to good effect on that film, given what a great actor he is. After that, I looked for a film that we could do together, where I could produce and he could star. I dusted off the concept for what became ‘Blood Bond’, and I realized that the main character was perfect for Michael. After that, I was determined not to make the film with anyone else starring in it (unless Michael turned me down, that is!)


4. Was it your idea with this all or more Michael's or did you come up with this idea while having a coffee together?


The idea, the central characters and the structure of the film were mine, and came from a script I wrote on spec about 20 years ago! The story, in its present form, is absolutely Michael's. He worked with some writers in the US to make it more real, to add a political message, to make a more ‘grounded’ film, and I’m indebted to him for that.

5. Did you hesitate when Michael came up with the idea of directing?


Actually, I was the one who came up with the idea of him directing. My producing partner and I were throwing around the names of various local directors, and we realized that Michael would end up directing the English language drama scenes anyway, so why not just sign him up for the whole ride? I called to make him the offer, and I don’t think I’d even got the word ‘direct’ out of my mouth before he said ‘yes’! Later, I found out that every director he’s worked with in the last ten years has told him he should direct, and they were right!

6. Will Blood Bond stay the name of the movie or will it get changed though it is "known" already by this name? (According to a source that was at Michael’s workshop he said that The Blood Bond was only a working title).


Well, we had a discussion about this, and the title is still ‘The Blood Bond’. (Of course, if we test it prior to release and get convinced otherwise by the marketing people, we’ll change it!) By the way, I heard Michael’s workshop was great. Watching him work with the less experienced actors on the set, I can see he’s a born teacher, and should do more of it.

7. Will Blood Bond go straight to DVD or will it get released in theaters first?


I’d love to get a theatrical release, but that’s a tough ticket in the US now. I’m sure there will be territories (China, definitely) where it gets some theatrical play. Let’s see what response we get to the finished film.

8. Was producer (and the rest) your dream job or did you actually want to become something else?


What I really wanted to be was a church architect, but I’m scared of heights… Seriously, yes, a writer and producer (or writer/producer). I still do occasional acting roles, and would like to a comedy and play Shakespeare on the stage before I die!


9. Who was the most impressive person you have ever worked with?


Jackie Chan. I worked with him on and off for about five years. He really does come as advertised: a super nice guy. Kind, patient, generous… He knows everything you’d ever need to know about making films, and he shares his knowledge. I just love the guy. I’d go to war at his side any time he asked.


10. Which film that you have worked on do you like the most?


Hmmmm. In terms of a finished film, none of them! I think the best movie I ever worked on, albeit peripherally, was Teddy Chen’s ‘Purple Storm’. That was a fantastic movie, and has been underrated since its first release. In terms of the actual working experience? ‘Blood Bond’, definitely.


11. With whom would you like to work with again?


Right now, all the ‘Blood Bond’ team (Michael Biehn, Phoenix Chou, Simon Yam, Jennifer Blanc…). They’re all so great, and we’re really like a family now. Beyond that, Jackie, as I just mentioned, Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung, maybe even Maggie Q, if we could find the right project for her.


12. Which work do you like more, the one as producer, screenwriter or martial artist?


As a professional, definitely being a writer/producer, and fulfilling both functions on a film. Martial arts for me are a wonderful hobby, and I’ll practice until the day I die (which may be sooner than anticipated, given my workload on ‘Blood Bond’!)


13. What has been the most difficult part of making this movie, getting the permits for locations or getting the locations set up for shooting?


Wow. That’s such an ‘insider’ question! Luckily, we had a great local ‘fixer’ who got us every location we asked for. Most of the time, the existing places gave us so much production value, we didn’t need to spend much time altering them. The biggest challenge was hiding all the Chinese writing, as, though we were shooting in China, the film itself is not set there.


14. How did it come about that Michael did some of the writing for this movie or did he just do some rewrites?


As I mentioned above, when he came on as director, Michael took the existing characters and story elements and came up with a whole new ‘take’ on them. The original version had much more overt supernatural elements, and more Buddhist teachings, and Michael took the material back towards reality and kind of redefined the spiritual aspects in line with his own beliefs. If you want to know how the original script was, read the ‘Blood Bond’ novel, written by myself, coming soon to a bookstore near you!


15. We all know that you worked with Michael several years ago on Dragon Squad, did Michael’s abilities make you want to work with him again?


As I mentioned above, working with Michael on ‘Dragon Squad’ absolutely left me wanting to work with him again. For one thing, he proved he could work ‘Hong Kong style’, which not every American actor can. They’re so spoiled over there! Michael comes to work, and he doesn’t have it in him to give less than a hundred percent. You’d go a long way to find a better collaborator.


16.  Was this the first time you got to direct when Michael asked you to do some of the secondary shots and other shoots?


No, I’ve shot chunks of several films I’ve been involved with. I think the first one where I did any serious directing of scenes was ‘Gen-Y Cops’. The director didn’t really speak English, so any time there was a scene in that language he would kind of pass it over to me. I got to direct Paul Rudd! Actually, Michael didn’t ask me, I volunteered due to his workload. Luckily, he liked what I shot, so I got to do some more! I like being able to ‘fill in’ on various roles in a film, but I have no aspirations to direct a whole feature.


17. Do you make friends with everyone you meet or does it just seem that way?

Well, I certainly try to do that! It doesn't always work out that way, especially in this crazy business, but that's definitely my intention. I have been blessed to develop lasting friendships with many of the people I've worked on films with, and Michael Biehn is definitely foremost among them.


18. Is there any project in your past that you would like to do over now that you have more experience? (There is usually something that people don't like now that they have more technology to revise it and make it better.)

Hmmm. I tend to look forward! I'd certainly like to have another crack at Dragon Squad/Dragon Heat. We had all the ingredients, we just didn't bake the pie! At least with 'Blood Bond' we're reuniting Michael and Simon Yam and using them properly.

19. On the opposite end is there a project that you really want to do now that you know you have the experience and maturity to tackle that you know you couldn't before?

I think 'Blood Bond' falls under that description! I've always wanted to remake Cyrano Bergerac in China. Maybe it’s because I've got such a big nose myself. There are also a couple of Asian projects that we had at The Weinstein Company that I'd like to move forward now. I'm always learning; I definitely learned a lot on this film.

20. With all the pictures you have on the blogs, and they are great, do you have any with all of the cast and crew together?

Wow. Not yet! We'll have to do an official cast and crew photo before we wrap. Thanks for reminding me!

21. How much longer is there of the shoot and after the shoot will you and Michael immediately begin to edit it into the final cut?

We wrap at the end of this week, come high water or hell. MB and I will each take a break with our respective families before we get back into the cutting room. We've been doing a rolling edit as we go, so we already have a rough cut of the picture.


22. When will you finish shooting the movie?

We wrapped last Saturday, and then all jumped in a van from Nanhai to Hong Kong. I said a warm good-bye to Michael on Elgin Street in Soho. What a great journey we've been on!

23. How long after you’re finished will the editing be done?

We already have a rough cut of the film, and I hope we can have a fine cut before Christmas. The material will be zapping back and forward between Guangzhou, Hong Kong and LA.

24. Do you have a release date and do you have a distribution company yet?

US distribution will be via the Weinstein Company, we don't have a release date yet.

25. How long did it take from start to finish for the movie to be completed?

Hmmm. Between my having the idea and making the film, about 20 years! In terms of actual pre-production and shooting, I'd say three months all in.

26. When did you start talking to Michael Biehn about starring the movie and how did it change from just acting in it to writing the screenplay and directing?

Michael was the only actor ever in serious contention to play John Tremayne, and that was due to my experience working with him on 'Dragon Squad'. I had conceived the role long before that, and he was just perfect for it. I would say that the basic characters and the structure of the piece has stayed the same, but Michael's version of the script totally changed the tone of the piece, making it much more realistic.

27. Lastly, do you have another project you will be doing after this one?

Yes. We're writing it now, it will also star Phoenix Chou. Its kind of a ‘Lady Transporter' film, about a courier running the Mongolian/Russian border.  Of course, we have a great role for Michael (if he accepts it!), but he won't be the lead in this one.


I have to say you are such a tease, hinting about Michael being in another movie produced by you and starring the beautiful Phoenix Chou.  As you mentioned in your e-mail Michael won’t be starring in the movie but appearing in it.

I didn't mean to tease, the main reason I didn't give more information is that we don't even have a name for it yet, the working title is 'Lady Transporter'.

Is he helping you write it?

No, I'm going it alone on this one.

Which of course leads me to ask will he direct it?

No, the director will be Ken Yip, who was our action director on 'Blood Bond and worked very well with Michael.

That begs the question when is it going to start shooting?

I hope we can go into pre-production in March.

Thank you again for taking the time to answer these questions, his fans and I do appreciate it.


Yours truly,

Cathy Crow

Bey, Michael, and Simon

Simon and Emma

Michael and Phoenix

New to all this
I've been on lj only because of other people's blogs and what not, now I'm on my own.  I hope I can figure this all out.