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6 Degrees Entertainment

The 'Biker Boyz' ! The 'Biker Boyz' !
“Get Yer Motor Runnin’ …. “

Described as a modern-day western on motorcycles, ‘Biker Boyz’ showcases the world of motorcycle clubs and the extents that they will go to reign supreme on the concrete beneath them. Laurence Fishburne plays Manuel ‘Smoke’ Galloway, the real-life California motorcycle club president and racer known as the ‘King of Cali.’ He's the leader of the pack, so to speak, and the pack is a group of 9-to-5ers by day and a wild bunch of leather-clad racing rebels at night ! Also starring in the movie, aside from Detroit’s very own Kid Rock, is Derek Luke (‘Antwone Fisher’), Brendan Fehr (‘Final Destination’) and Rick Gonzalez from last Summers Disney hit, ‘The Rookie.’

Chatting with these latter-mentioned three young stars just recently, it became abundantly clear early on that their camaraderie born from this movie was still in effect and overflowing ! There was a lot of love in this room and I was about to get covered in it ! I first asked Brendan if he’d ridden bikes like these before ? ” Well, my stunt driver made me look like a big pimp, but yeah, I’ve ridden bikes before.

Were there any accidents or incidents during the course of making the movie ?”Me and the stunt co-ordinator were actually racing - well, the guy I was racing in the movie was my stunt co-oridinator - and it’s not actually in the movie. But it was up in Fresno and it’s the first race where my character – who doesn’t normally race with a helmet on – has to now have a helmet on. So I did the burn-out and through the smoke he comes around with his camera. He then puts one hand on the front of my bike and rests the camera on his shoulder and I have to push him down to the start line. So now I’ve got the helmet on, I’m tied up for safety, I don’t wanna push him over, I gotta race him, (the stunt guy) I gotta line up with the sensors and I’ve gotta act like I’ve done this before! I’m like, ‘I can’t see shit through all this smoke’ and he’s (the Director) like ‘just ride and we’ll see what happens!’ So, I revved up, did the burn-out, popped the clutch and I went straight up in the air, flipped it over backwards and came straight down on my side. Luckily the guy on the front had already peeled off to the side by then!’

Great footage for the DVD extras! ” Well, no ‘cause they were told they (the cameramen) had to turn away if anyone crashed!”

You’ve taken some wildly differing roles along the way, so how do you chose them ? ”You know, I don’t have any specific thoughts besides continuing to improve and continuing to do work that I’m proud of. To be able to do something different. I don’t think a role is worth taking unless you can stick at it. Otherwise, it’s probably a role that is not worth taking. Those are the roles that I would like to come my way. So, there’s nothing specific, there’s a strategy in place and there’s a game plan that I’ll follow, but at the same time you do your thing and you kinda make the best of it, I guess.”

Tell me more about your latest movie, ‘Paper, Scissors, Stone’”Yeah, that’s all done and finished. I did that last year, but I only had three days on it. I took the role because I was allowed to get away with doing a whole bunch of stuff up in Canada. And, then again, it was something that I hadn’t done before and had wanted to do.”

Next up was hot new actor, Derek Luke and I first wondered if it had been really him standing atop that huge bike in one of the opening scenes ?! ”Yeah, it was real, but I had a harness around me if I fell. In fact, they told me if I’m gonna stand up that I had to intimidate it!”

With your nickname in the movie ‘Kid’ and you acting alongside Kid Rock was there ever any confusion ? ”You know, that’s another thing about working so late, I couldn’t think about that. I managed to put two-and-two together, but somebody else mentioned that and I was like, ‘dang, I never knew that!’ But, he does introduce himself as ‘Bob’.”

Shouldn’t you have beaten ‘Smoke’ in the final scenes on your own merit ? ”Yeah, I thought so too ! Yeah, there were some discussions about that, but it ended up to be ‘you’re gonna do it this way and that’s that!’ But, at least it wasn’t one of your typical Hollywood endings. It’s still a happy ending, but this way ‘Smoke’ probably learns something also and can go on to be a better father to Kid.”

What did you think of your Director, Reggie Rock Bythewood ? ”Ahh, he’s gay. No, no, no. When I say ‘gay’ I mean ‘happy’! Reggie is an awesome, sweet man. He knows movies and he’s a powerful new Director. It’s his first film and he’s probably started a new revolution. But it’s his personality, his sense of freedom. He’s not the stereotype of all Directors and there’s nothing wrong with that, but he’s just a new wave. He’s so cool.”

How did the filming of this differ from the set of ‘Antwone Fisher’ ? ”On ‘Antwone’ I was on the set everyday from like five in the morning to maybe eight at night. This one was the opposite way round. It was from 10 at night to 6 in the morning and then till 5 in the afternoon and then you’d go back at night. So, that’s the only difference and I thought it didn’t have any effect on me, but in the middle of shooting some of the scenes sometimes I’d actually forget my lines. I’m like, man what’s going on ! And I found out that maybe the scheduling was having an effect on me!”

What have you learnt from working with both Denzil Washington and Lawrence Fishburne ? ”Erm, I wanna say that I learnt a lot from Denzil, but I don’t wanna say that I learnt ‘this from him’ and ‘this from him,’ but I want to say I learnt a lot of important things from both and was still left in awe about those two. And hopefully I picked up some valuable lessons.”

Finally, we spoke to Rick Gonzalez about his role in the film and firstly, wondered if he himself had known anything about these kind of bikes ? ”I had to have them teach me everything! He was like ‘you put your hand right there to turn it on’ and things like that. I was the slowest one to learn the bike, but I did have the toughest bike to learn also.”

What was the most important aspect of making this movie to you ? ”My concern was a production thing and learning how to look good on a bike. It was so hard, it really was so hard. The shoots were late at night, early in the morning, long days and then by 5am they’d want you back on the set. It was rough at times.”

What were the first days of filming like for you ? ”I think that a lot of those people had known each other for a long time, so this was like a reunion for them. So, when I came in everybody had known each other for years and I was ‘Hey, I’m Rick, the Latino guy and I’ll be over here!’ But it was soon like being in one big family and everybody would hang together.”

You don’t seem to get as much female attention in this movie as your other male co-stars ! ”Making out in a movie atmosphere is not, like, fun! It’s not like you get all hard and get all excited, you know what I mean. I’d rather have a girl in real life then one on the movie set. So, I wasn’t too bothered ‘cause I got to ride bikes and hang out with my boys. I’m not really successful in relationships at all anyway! In the movie you’re not too sure if he’s (pointing to Luke) a ladies man, but you know I’m NOT a ladies man, you know what I’m saying!!”

Why’d you cut off your huge afro ? ”I cut it off because I didn’t want to be that guy with the hair! But, I know all this year they’re gonna be looking for the afro, but I’m gonna be like, ‘You gonna have to have a lot of cash!!”

What’s coming up next for you ? ”Yeah, ‘Old School.’ It’s got Will Ferrell in it. That’s all you gotta say: Will Ferrell and you know it’s gonna be funny! It’s also got Vince Vaughn, who to me is the most under-rated comedic actor, man. The outtakes of the movie, I think they’re worth the price of admission alone!”

Having been typecast as a ‘gangbanger’ (‘The Shield,’ etc.) from all your early career parts, it must be nice now to be able to take both Disney and these kind of roles ”I think everyone has their own shell that they have to break out of and start a career where you don’t want to be perceived as someone who can’t do challenging stuff, you know. And I do wanna do some challenging stuff and so I wanna change that perception and do different things. Especially for Latinos in Hollywood, man. It’s kinda hard right now, but we’re gonna stay in the game and hopefully a lot more powerful roles will come our way.”

Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk

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