In an exclusive interview, Flickering Myth sat down with actor/director Adi Spektor. With over 40 TV shows and films so far as an Actor, and two award-winning films as a Director. Adi Spektor chats about his latest role in the new Paramount Pictures film Transformers: The Last Knight.
Congratulations on Transformers. Can you tell us a little about your role in this new blockbuster movie?
Thank you very much! Yes, so in Transformers: The Last Knight I play the Russian Contractor, who
interrogates one of the captured Autobots trying to retrieve some information about the planned attack on Earth. The interesting part is that most of my dialogue is in Russian, which of course the Autobot completely understands!
As a Polish-born American. Do you feel that you are frequently cast as the bad guy or mafia type roles because of your facial features and accent abilities?
Yes, I often play those roles, but I must say I am having a lot of fun with it. Each role is completely different and even though they are mostly bad guys, they still have different habits, beliefs, opinions and reasons why they do what they do etc., so it never gets old. However, when I write my own screenplays I always write, and cast, myself in a role, that wouldn’t be the obvious choice for me, if I had someone else casting my film.
What was it like working on the set of Transformers: The Last Knight?
It was a great adventure. It started on a Monday morning with a phone call from my agent saying that I probably booked the role, but she still wasn’t 100% sure yet. Then at noon I got a text from her saying “Start packing”. In the evening, of that same day, I was already on a plane to Detroit. Come that Tuesday morning I was on set trying on different wardrobe choices and after that hair and make-up. Talk about a rollercoaster of days!
Everything happened so fast that I didn’t really register I was part of this huge project until I was on a set talking to director Michael Bay. It was almost like I was dreaming in an outer body experience.
Everyone on set was very professional and helpful. They checked all the time if I needed anything. They made me feel like I was part of the “Transformers family”, and I guess I was. All I needed to do was be on set and act my part perfectly, as literally everything else was taken care of. It was a great experience.
Working with the legendary director Michael Bay must have been exciting. How was that experience for you?
I loved working with Michael, he is very professional and on point. He knows exactly what he wants and knows how to communicate it to the actor. He is like the conductor of a big “Transformers Orchestra” and just like a conductor knows every note and every instruments sound, Michael knows his cast and crew.
His set is like a well-oiled machine. Everyone knows their job and they do it very well, which is exceptionally important, especially given that the sets are huge, it’s a big budget to stick to and there are a lot of people involved in the production to maneuver so as to deliver the goods.
You have successfully directed your own movies. How does working on an indie film compare to a Hollywood studio production?
Acting wise it’s exactly the same. Production wise, the basics are similar, you still have set up the lights and capture the scene on camera, however the overall budget makes a huge difference on what’s possible what’s not. Indie films are usually simpler. When I write a screenplay, I try to incorporate in it things that I know I can get or afford. Usually the action takes place in one or two locations. Studio films tend to have a huge budget, so the writers have much more freedom and of course production wise there are more possibilities. In the studio, the sets are much bigger and scenes more complicated, many films use a lot of CGI (computer generated imagery), but at the same time there are so many more people working on the project, helping to move it along.
As a filmmaker yourself, did you learn any new tips while working on Transformers?
I have worked on so many sets now, from big productions to my smaller budget films and what stands out the most, is how important pre-production is, so filming goes smoothly. The more preparation and the more attention to detail, the easier and faster it is on the day of shooting, especially for such a complex project like Transformers. Another very important thing is to pick the best people for the job. Like I said – Michael Bay has a well-oiled film set and that is down to the cast and crew’s endless preparation ahead of the camera actually rolling.
We have seen you in high-octane blockbuster movies, comedy films, dramas, thrillers, and horror films. Do you have a favorite genre? If so can you explain.
I don’t have a favorite genre, I like variety in my viewing. The most important for me is a story. When the story is good, it doesn’t matter what genre it is. As a matter of fact, my films you can’t really define as one genre. I like to mix subjects, which are not the obvious choice, to mix. For example, in my latest film “A Miracle of Hanukkah” I mixed Jewish Religion, BDSM, LGBTQ and exorcism. So, it’s a comedy, but also LGBTQ film, as well as a Jewish film. So, for me, it’s all about mixing it up!
With so much TV and film content available to watch. Do you ever binge watch a TV show? If so which ones?
There are only so many hours in a day, so I usually watch TV shows when I do a cardio work out. The show must be so good, that I am not paying attention, I am actually working out! The more recent shows I have watched are Hand of God, Billions, Homeland and Designated Survivor.
What’s next for you?
As of right now, aside from Transformers out in theatres, I am writing a feature length screenplay. It will be a horror-comedy with production slated for 2018. Plus of course I am sure there will be some TV show appearances dotted here and there!
Our thanks to Adi for taking the time to do this interview, as well as Liz Rodriguez from EMR Media for helping us with the interview.