Luke Goss has one of the more enviable film careers going, particularly in the eyes of those who are keen on epic sci fi and supernatural pageantry. Roles in blockbusters like ‘Hellboy II‘ and ‘Blade II‘ have certainly heightened his genre cred and profile (despite the FX makeup being applied pretty thickly for roles like Prince Nuada and Nomak). With a role in the big screen adaptation of ‘Tekken’ looming large, and a handful of other projects underway, this in-demand actor was equally intrigued by the role of David in Syfy’s upcoming ‘Annihilation Earth.’ Goss talked to Fancast about this particularly daunting disaster movie (meteors, quakes and terrorists? Hello!), which airs this Saturday on Syfy. He also reveals why auditioning for the great del Toro was not exactly hell on earth, and which big-screen action heroes fueled his own ambition to act.
What is the greatest challenge facing your character? Or, in a movie called ‘Annihilation Earth,’ is it pretty obvious?
Well, there’s two different challenges – one for the character and one for the actor, I guess. For me, it was all the technical jargon. At speed, with tension and stress. Somebody asked me yesterday if I now understood the concept of physics and I said, “Come on.” I’m a very committed actor, but…please don’t let my performance be dependent on my knowledge of the physics of the whole thing!”
Tell us about your character, David.
He and his partner have created technology that, as always, finds its way in the hands of people who are trying to empower themselves or their political viewpoint. He’s the kind of guy where he’s not a superhero, he’s not a badass, but he can take care of himself, I guess – just like anyone could. He finds himself slam dunked between [his] bosses and the terrorism side of things. The expression “the weight of the world on your shoulders” really does apply to him, but I think we avoided it being corny, or anything kind of hokey. My character’s challenge is to do the right thing. When I read the screenplay, I thought my character was going to go running off into the sunset with more muscles than he started with, designer dirt all over his face. And he didn’t. The last thing he does is lie to his son. The ending is why I wanted to do the movie.
What lesson did you walk away with after working on this project?
I think there’s a kind of arrogance with science. If there are risks to us as people of the earth, and if experiments create any risk whatsoever, then I think it’s outrageous and appalling. You want to work out how the Big Bang happened? I don’t think any of us are going to be having our brunch on a Sunday thinking, “Shit, this tastes so much better now that we know that!” Just slow down, guys, and make sure you’re not jeopardizing all of us.
You’re resume has some truly amazing line items on it – Blade II and Hellboy II, for starters. Can you comment on those roles?
Guillermo del Toro and I, for whatever reason, get on very well, and he’s an amazing filmmaker. I’m in awe of his talent and his spirit, how gifted and smart he is. For Blade, he was the first director I’d sat down with who – he doesn’t audition, he just wants to hear what the actor he’s already interested in has to say about the role. We sat down for an hour, and he asked the casting director to wait outside while we talked. He said, “I think you’re going to be great for this,” and I said, “What does that mean?!” I hadn’t encountered that kind of composure and civility and calmness in regards to a role before. With Hellboy, I was having some food at Sunset Plaza, and I get a call from del Toro, and he says, “Hey mother___er!” I said, “I know exactly who this is!” He asked if I liked the screenplay, and I said, “I’m stoked! I love it!” He said, “I guess I’ll see you in Budapest then?” That was our negotiation. That was it.
And Fringe – what compelled you to materialize there?
I got a call from someone I’m a massive fan of – Akiva Goldsman. He called and said, “How do I get you on the show – the season premiere?” I said, “It’s you and J.J.! I’m a crazy huge fan of yours. You could poke me in the eye and I’m still gonna be there!” It was a good experience.
What inspired you to become an actor? Were there any movies or shows that grabbed you and made you think, “I have to do this”?
It was more about the actors. I’m a massive Clint Eastwood fan. He’s a dude. As someone once said to me, he’s a guy that other guys want to be, and girls want to do. I get it. Also, Steve McQueen. He’d walk into a room and look around. They don’t say so much – [but] they’re so present and cinematic. Kirk Douglas – I remember watching ‘The Vikings’ with him and Tony Curtis. And ‘Spartacus.’ Absolute dude movies. There’s a strength there, a composure and nobility.
‘Annihilation Earth’ airs this Saturday, December 12 at 9/8 c on Syfy.