Tom Jolliffe chats with Gianni Capaldi about his latest film Puncture Wounds, a.k.a. A Certain Justice…
Having started as a businessman in Glasgow, and then moving to L.A, Motherwell born Gianni Capaldi has forged himself a career as an actor and producer and has been working steadily for the last few years, mixing it with a plethora of big name stars.
Coming on August 4th is Puncture Wounds (also known as A Certain Justice) the third of three films which sees Capaldi starring opposite Dolph Lundgren and Vinnie Jones. The previous two, Hard Rush and Blood Of Redemption came out last year.
Puncture Wounds sees former UFC fighter Cung Le as a former soldier suffering from PTSD, who intervenes when gang members are assaulting a woman. This brings him to the attention of the gang leader, played by Dolph Lundgren and carnage ensues.
Gianni took time out from his busy schedule to talk to Flickering Myth once again…
Tom Jolliffe: Tell us a little bit about Puncture Wounds.
Gianni Capaldi: Puncture Wounds was a great script when I read it. I also really thought highly of James Coyne’s vision when he wrote it. Its really about an ex vet who basically is in the wrong place at the wrong time. He interferes with a fierce and violent gang and puts some of them in hospital whilst he tries to save a girl outside his apartment . Then all hell breaks loose as the gang teach him a lesson which sets him on a solo mission of revenge. Its definitely an action piece whilst displaying some internal struggles bringing some of the characters alive.
TJ: Going into a third film with Giorgio Serafini, Vinnie Jones and Dolph Lundgren, does it feel like a well oiled machine at this point?
GC: Yeah the guys really knew how each other worked on this one. How we liked to break down the scenes, how far we could go with each other and what made each other tick. It went much smoother, plus the ambience on set had a lot more familiarity between us with a lot more joking and winding each other up.
TJ: Cung Le had been attached to this project for while before it finally got made, how was he to work with?
GC: Well I got a hold of the script in early February in a coffee shop when I met James Coyne and in May we were on set shooting it. I think he was attached for a year or so prior to it getting made. Cung is such a lovely family man. I don’t follow the wrestling so have never seen a UFC match with him which made it difficult for me to imagine him being a tough guy. He’s humble, talks about his kids and was joy to work with. But when you see him in action, boy is his fighting amazing to watch.. He uses a real military precise form of martial arts.. There are definitely a couple of scenes in this film where you enjoy his abilities.
TJ: Your role in Puncture Wounds was quite complex, how did you prepare for the role?
GC: I really enjoyed the role of Vin. Ok he is Hollis’s (Lundgren) right hand man who is a mean mofo, very capable of murder as we see but he has an understanding for Briana Evigan’s character, Tanya, and he commences an internal struggle of having a conscience and feelings for her and being the cold tough guy he is first seen as. Its something I could relate to as I often feel sorry for people I don’t know. I really enjoy people watching and often I wonder what’s going on in their lives sometimes feeling sorry for scenarios I invent in my head. Strange I know but it helped in the prep for this character.
TJ: Which of your roles have you most enjoyed playing so far?
GC: I really enjoyed my role in Hard Rush (Ambushed) however Certain Justice was fun. I got to grow a beard in this one and dress in cowboy boots and kick ass red leather jacket (easily pleased). Joking aside this character was someone I really enjoyed, it really reminded me of a character out of Sons of Anarchy. A tough and fierce character but with a heart willing to help someone in need. Casting director Wendy O’Brien please take note and call me in!
TJ: Who are your acting heroes?
GC: DDL (Daniel Day-Lewis), Gary Oldman and Pacino, then there are a few who I have a lot of respect for directly below them . Guys like Brad Pitt, De Niro, Christopher Walken, Billy Bob Thornton, Johnny Depp and Charlie Hunnam.
TJ: You’ve worked predominantly in the crime, action and horror genre so far in your career. Do you have a preference and do you see yourself branching out further?
GC: I actually enjoy action thriller but my favourite genre would have to be an action caper. To work with Guy Ritchie would be a dream. He is so talented. He has set the bar, created a new style and I would dare to say he is the UK’s answer to Tarantino. I really enjoy when characters drive the story and not the story that drives the character.
TJ: You’ve taken control of your own career and producing and running your own film company has aided your acting career. How difficult is it to balance every role? Has it sometimes been a case of, if you want something done, you have to do it yourself?
GC: Tom, I am so tired at the pace Hollywood ticks over. Its a shambolic institution of talk talk talk. I think we are born with a mentality of get up and go and that’s what’s lacking with most others in this town. I’ve tried to satisfy my own thirst however it can be tiring sometimes and trying to wear too many hats has had its positive and negative moments. Not enough hours in the day and also its a relatively new thing with actors becoming producers, its hard for the industry to adjust and understand which hat they are talking to. At times, they don’t know how to deal with it, even though guys like Brad Pitt (Plan B), Tom Cruise (United Artists) and Leo DiCaprio (Appian Way) have been at it for a while.
TJ: At the moment TV seems to be hitting new highs in quality with shows like Breaking Bad, Fargo and True Detective. Could you see yourself branching out into TV, or will you stick to film?
GC: TV is definitely my goal to be honest. I think one always wants the other, grass is greener however, people keep telling me to stick to film as a long running gig wears thin as the sparkle gets lost after a few months. With me, being on the other side, I would really love to attempt my hand at TV. The writing is second to none these days. Some shows like Breaking Bad and Fargo are just so intelligently written how could you not want to be a part of it.
TJ: Stepping away from film briefly, have you been watching the World Cup? Who has impressed you most in the tournament?
GC: I have to say I was mega impressed with Costa Rica. They and Chile were two teams which I did not expect anything from yet one nearly got into the semis and the other hit a cross bar at the end of extra time against the tournament favourites, Brazil. I want European teams to do well so I am pledging my support to Holland. Its hard to support the Germans!
TJ: How bad were England? As a Scot was it a little bit amusing, or did visions of an angry Vinnie Jones stop your laughter?
GC: Funny you should ask me.. So I went to Vinnie’s to watch the England Italy game. I, being half Italian, had an Italy top on, as did my other half, Amanda. Mario Melchiot who picked me up with his girlfriend (wearing an Italy top also). So basically, after receiving a pile of insults (in jest) and being the butt of all jokes and boos throughout the game enjoyed drastically when Balotelli stuck the winner in the net in the second half. Also, isn’t it every Scot’s right to support any team England plays?
TJ: To be fair I think most England fans are getting to the stage where supporting the other team might be more fun…What do you have coming up in the near future?
GC: I hopefully have a couple of films in the winter so from now till then its the waiting game for me. One is very much an action caper with a female lead (can’t say who) but I am very excited to work with her. Hopefully land a TV job in the meantime…
TJ: Is there a current franchise you’d like to be involved in, such as Expendables, Bond, or one of the comic book franchises for example?
GC: Would love to get in on the Marvel films. Would be a peach. As for The Expendables if Big Sly called I would jump at the chance. To be honest working more in the UK would be perfect. I really enjoyed working with Greg Hemphill and Frankie Boyle recently in Glasgow on Gasping. I got to see my family and friends for a change. Would very much enjoy the chance to work in the UK more often, its something that is very very dear to me.
TJ: Thanks very much for your time.
A Certain Justice is out on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK on August 4th.