We spoke to Mathew Karedas (formerly Matt Hannon), the Samurai Cop himself, about working on the cult classic, coming back from the dead and working on the highly-anticipated sequel with Tommy Wiseau!
UPDATED WITH VIDEO INTERVIEW: We were lucky enough to sit down with Matt when he visited London in February 2016 – we spoke about everything from making the original Samurai Cop, the problems that occurred making the sequel and the joys of working with Tommy Wiseau!
It was back in September 2013, and only our second screening, when we showed Amir Shervan’s cult classic Samurai Cop. Since then, the film has only grown in popularity with a sequel being announced. The news got even more exciting when presumed-dead star Matt Hannon declared he was alive after all via a surprise video on YouTube and now, only a few months after its successful Kickstarter campaign, Samurai Cop 2 is almost with us.
AUDIO INTERVIEW: We spoke to Matt for almost an hour and you can listen to the entire interview below. However, we’ve also cherry-picked a few choice quotes for your enjoyment!
On coming back from the dead: I’d kept an eye on Samurai Cop from a distance, reading comments on IMDB because I thought they were hilarious. My daughter kept nudging me saying, “Dad, they think you’re dead because of this other guy with your name.” I always wanted to set the record straight by doing a few videos answering questions and she said, “When you do, let me know.”
So I set up a camera in the kitchen and shot a test video and sent it to her saying, “Something like this?” and she put it up for everyone to see with my shirt off looking like a goofball!
On being Sylvester Stallone’s bodyguard: In Sly’s world, it’s a very rarefied air for the very wealthy – it’s intoxicating. At that time, he’d just finished Rambo III and Tango and Cash and spending all that time hanging out with all these celebrities, I decided I wanted to have at least 1% of what he had!
On getting cast in Samurai Cop: I was told by another bodyguard about Amir (Shervan) and I walked in and was immediately cast! He was definitely looking for that Lethal Weapon all-American leading man and must have thought I had it with my long hair and physique.
On poor health and safety regulations on set: I didn’t think much of it. When the stuntman was lathering himself up with fire retardent – I assumed he knew what he was doing! I didn’t question me and Mark (Frazier) having to put him out with a tiny, tiny fire extinguisher. Mark was really freaked out that day – I was caught up in Amir’s world!
On the wig: I felt bad that I’d got my hair cut, so we went out to get a wig and I didn’t care because I thought it would be a few pick up shots that were filmed from a distance… but you see so much footage of that and so many close-ups! And by the time we were doing fight scenes – the seasons had changed!
On the cult legacy of Samurai Cop: I just thought it was one of the films that was bad that it was good that was liked by that kind of audience. I had no idea it was as big as it was. I got the remastered DVD and watched the interviews on it – so I had no idea it was so popular!
On the tone of the sequel: You can’t replicate the hardships and incompetence of the original, but as this film has progressed, it’s amazing for me to see that once again, and this is my opinion, that we have accidentally recreated some of that magic from the first film in that it’s so-bad-it’s-good – unintentionally!
On working with Tommy Wiseau: He’s in his own league in terms of personality. He delivers completely in terms of entertainment. We met him, had dinner and he has very strong opinions about movie-making. He wasn’t sure he wanted to get involved but eventually said, “I’ll do it, but I have to kill the Samurai Cop.” I keep joking it’s like De Niro and Pacino meeting in Heat – these two figures of the cult movie world!
You can follow Matt on Twitter at @MKaredas and, if all goes to plan, hopefully we’ll be hosting the UK premiere of Samurai Cop 2 with a special double bill!
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