Weston Cage Coppola & Jesse Kove (D-Day)
In Comparison, These Are Indeed Some Very Decadent Days
As thousands of Allied soldiers storm the beaches of Normandy in an attempt to change the course of WWII, Lt. General Omar Bradley (Liddell), Lt. Colonel James Rudder (Weston Cage Coppola), First Sgt. Lommell (Jesse Kove) and Major Cleveland Lytle (Randy Couture) lead the 2nd Battalion behind enemy lines and into a firefight against an enemy that greatly outnumbers them.
Scaling a one-hundred-foot cliff, these heroic rangers battle to secure a strategic position and destroy a battery of German machine gun nests.
This is the premise for the just-released World War II film D-DAY (Cinedigm) starring MMA legends Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell, along with second-generation movie stars Weston Cage Coppola and Jesse Kove, as they deliver an action packed look at an actual real life day that went down in infamy on June 6th, 1944.
D-Day will be showing in select theaters and available on VOD and via digital retailers Friday, September 13th, 2019.
Chatting recently with both Weston Cage Coppola (the son of Nicholas Cage) and Jesse Kove (the son of Martin Kove), I first wondered, and knowing that they were both to be portraying the role of a real life hero, let alone ones that helped change the course of history, what online or archived research into their characters did they personally do away from the set?
Weston - In accordance with my research of Lieutenant Colonel Rudders military history, I studied his early life as well. I usually find this to be crucial in character development on the psychological side.
I discovered that he was a football coach in his hometown in Texas and that he was an intrinsically motivational individual that was blessed with a highly strategic mind.
As for capturing his essence, I would meditate with a photo of the actual war hero with an awareness of my respect for him. I stayed deeply relaxed and connected to my obligation as a story teller for this person and his fellows to portray him accurately.
Transformation is my mantra for this kind of work.
Jesse - I did a lot of research online, looking into World War II and the events in the world during that time what was happening in America at the time?
I also watched many films, of course saving Private Ryan with the opening beach scene, which was very helpful. A few books I read as well.
Being a history nerd, I was pretty well versed on the period. I was very excited to step into the shoes of this man, and having looked at his history, to portray him with honor.
And did you visit or talk to any of his living relatives?
Weston - I attempted to locate living relatives, but I was not successful in that. It would have been an honor to have their insights.
Jesse - I did look to see if I could find some of the family members, but it was difficult.
Weston, you portray Lieutenant Colonel James L Rudder (who went on to be a Major General), a man who was the Commander at the historic Pointe du Hoc battle on D-Day.
Was his courage to lead the way to storm enemy lines (getting wounded twice) just the kind of adrenaline that you yourself channeled for your role as him?
Weston - In my understanding, Lieutenant Colonel Rudders archetypal skeleton and essence is comprised of unconditional and unwavering fatherly and commander energy.
He is a resilient and powerful agent of encouragement, unapologetic optimism, the greater good, stability, understanding, persistence and precision without any fragility.
He is spirit above matter. He was deeply aware of how abnormally dangerous this operation was but he was also aware of the fact that overthinking and trepidation would only take more lives. He operated from a heightened place for everyone.
Jesse, you portray First SGT Lommell, a man who was recognized as the single individual (other than Eisenhower himself) most responsible for the success of D-Day! Was this the kind of genuine war hero adrenaline that you yourself channeled for your role as him?
Jesse - Yes! I really enjoyed getting to know about this man, and I really wanted to portray him with energy and the feeling that no matter what, he would get the job done.
I was channeling a gunslinger from the 1880s who had confidence maybe a little too much, but was also humble. I want people to feel like he had an ego, but at the same time you trust him with your life.
Given that over the years there has been so much shown and documented about this time in history, when you first got to set what was your first impression of how things had been recreated?
Weston - I was impressed with what was done in such a short amount of time and such a limited budget. I was especially impressed with the cast and crew and what we were able to do without much preparation.
Jesse - The production did a wonderful job of re-creating the scenarios of the day, especially with the costuming, and of course the special FX.
The writer really did his history correctly. He was a wonderful encyclopedia of knowledge on set as he played one of the characters in the film.
Watching scenes like the landing and such, when the charge is on for all the troops hitting the beach, obviously the added pulsating musical overtones (of the final cut) get the viewer riled up, but how did you get into that zone when all you hear is Action and then silence as you run?
Weston - The word action for me is when we must unleash all that we have put into the character construction we have done and let things become automatic and organic. Imagination and conviction will fill what is void.
Jesse - Our wonderful director really guided us through the scene. There was a big understanding of what was going on for all the men and wonderful actors in the scene we knew what we were about to embark on.
There was definitely a calmness or nervousness that was being portrayed for some of the actors, and as I said in that scene, once that door opens, you give them hell!
Looking in the mirror at yourself as your character on set, did you ever reflect on how it must have been for the real person back in those moments, both leading up to the invasion and then the beach charge itself?
Weston - Jesse and I reflected on this constantly. It brought us to a resounding state of empathy.
Jesse - Absolutely, I had dozens of conversations with Weston about what these men really went through on this day and what they must have felt and how crazy it all was.
We would reflect and be grateful for our current lives, knowing what these men had done. They gave us a greater understanding of what they went through, or as close as you can get.
There were definitely days where I was out in the real world and felt a little off because I had just been on a beach storming Nazis the day before!
Jesse, your dad, Martin is in the movie as Nikolai, so on set did he ever school you in how he would do certain things?
Jesse - My fathers always been a wonderful teacher for me. We help each other out a lot when we were on set together. He came down to visit one day and I asked the writer if we could put a scene in there for him.
He was very excited to do it; it was actually his first World War II movie and it worked out perfectly for the story. It was a wonderful scene between Weston, my dad and myself.
Weston, your dad, Nicolas is not in this movie, but was he ever offered a part, perhaps?
Weston - My father was not offered a part in this, but I am sure we will do war movie together at some point.
What was something that you mentally away from the filming of D-Day that still resonates with you today?
Weston - I would have to say that this movie reaffirmed my beliefs in that we can all triumph over enormous odds. I also took a lot of wisdom from my character and Geoff Meed, the amazing man that wrote the script.
We must develop a productive and immovable foundation of mind and not dwell from it when achieving our goals. That is what I took.
Jesse - The one thing that really stuck with me throughout the whole movie, and still today, was the valor that these men showed. In the midst of adversity and the odds against them, they still persevered and were fearless.
It really gave me such a profound respect for our veterans, especially the ones of that day and time. It was crazy what they did, and they were victorious.
I can only hope to carry their memory on through our film.
Jesse, growing up in Hollywood with a famous dad has obviously proven to be rewarding for you acting, producing and directing wise, but was it always as enviable as it looks from our viewing perspective, perhaps?
Jesse - There have definitely been times where it has been helpful that my dad might be part of the movie and is able to get me an audition.
But for the most part, just like everyone else, I have had to work hard for the roles I get. My father has always been there for me on the sidelines for guidance if I need it.
And I always accepted it humbly and with excitement.
Weston, growing up in Hollywood with a famous dad, you seemed to initially avoid acting and actually dived head first into black metal! Having now stepped away from the music (in 2012), and having taken on quite a few movie roles since (a fair few with your dad), in reflection, what moment was it that you decided to make the acting arc the more dominant one?
Weston - I know it appears that way on the internet, however, in reality acting and music came simultaneously to me. Shortly after studying acting at Stella Adler, I went into black metal for some reason.
I now see it as a paint brush from my artistic journey that enhances my ability to perform as ominous, highly dramatic and antagonistic characters.
Jesse, please sum up these upcoming new movies of yours in just 5-7 words each - Bare Knuckle Brawler, Max Reload and the Nether Blasters, and Bring Me A Dream.
Jesse - Rib-crunching action! (Bare Knuckle Brawler); Ready Player One meets Stranger Things hilarity (Max Reload and the Nether Blasters); and Sleepless nights await! (Bring Me A Dream).
Weston, please sum up your upcoming movie MR-9 in 5-7 words!
Weston - MR-9 is summed up by the words, futuristic, explosive, high-tech, intense, wild, engaging and imaginative.
Jesse, do you have any plans to work one-on-one with you dad on any future projects, perhaps? Something that you have both been discussing that, much like a pet project, is a definite must-do, but for whatever reason has just never gotten off the ground thus far?
Jesse - There always seems to be a project or two every year that we get to do together. Our dream is to be on a television series together and do a western drama together. And that is in the works.
Weston, given that you are a master in Sambo (Russian national martial arts), and that your dad has just finished filming Jiu Jitsu, are you in the movie with him, perhaps? I mean, it seems like a perfect fit, after all!
Plus, do you have any plans to work one-on-one with him on any future projects, perhaps? Something that you have both been discussing that, much like a pet project, is a definite must-do, but for whatever reason has just never gotten off the ground thus far?
Weston - I am not in Jiu Jitsu, but my father and I thoroughly enjoy doing films together and when the time is right we will tell the same story on screen again.
It seems you have a budding bromance going between you and Jesse so please describe each other in just 3-5 words!
Weston - We have a great brotherly connection. I would describe Jesse as vivacious, determined, handsome, creative and passionate.
Jesse - Weston and I love working together. We cannot wait to do more.
Finally, and for fun (although we are compiling the best answers to create a childrens book for charity - so no pressure!), we here at Exclusive Magazine LOVE penguins!
So, we were wondering if you had any feelings toward them, or any stories growing up that involved them?
Weston - I think penguins, especially the Emperor penguins, are of the most fascinating creatures of the avian world. They are indeed adorable and I love how they are born well dressed as they look like they are in tuxedos!
Jesse - I love penguins; they are such beautiful creatures. I love the documentary March of the Penguins. I highly recommend everyone see that movie and just how incredibly brave these wonderful animals are!
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED D-Day movie poster by both Weston and Jesse, just answer this question about D-Day itself: D-Day is the name given to the landing of 160,000 Allied troops in Normandy, France, on June 6th, 1944, but it also came with a two-word nickname. What was it?
Send us your answers and if you are correct you will be in the running to win an AUTOGRAPHED D-Day movie poster autographed by both Weston and Jesse.
Just send us an e:mail here before December 1st, 2019 with your answer and the subject title CONTEST: SIGNED D-DAY POSTERs to: email@example.com
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