by Luke Hickman
If you've been reading the 'Get the Gringo' interviews that I've conducted, then this one introduces the third ingredient used in making this a throwback to Gibson's earlier films – Stacy Perskie. Like director Adrian Grunberg, Perskie has previously worked alongside Gibson too. Perskie worked as the second unit director on 'Edge of Darkness' and as the second assistant director on 'Apocalptyo.' Perskie not only co-wrote 'Get the Gringo' with Gibson and Grunberg, but he produced it as well.
Perskie has worked on several very big films, but I believe he's really about to explode. Why? Because he's currently co-producing Neill Blomkamp's first film after his 'District 9' feature debut, the uber-secretive 'Elysium.' The first footage and a general synopsis was finally revealed at Comic-Con two weeks ago, but I conducted this interview just days before that so Perskie still had to be tight-lipped about it – but that didn't stop me from asking. I managed to get one little tidbit out of him about 'Elysium' that got me very excited for it. Read on.
Stacy Perskie: Hi, Luke!
HDD – Luke Hickman: Hey, Stacy. How are you?
Stacy Perskie: Good, good. How are you?
HDD: Not bad at all. Are you tired from your full day of interviews yet?
Stacy Perskie: This is actually my first one of the day – the first of few.
HDD: I spoke with both Kevin [Hernandez] and Adrian [Grunberg] today -
Stacy Perskie: Cool! How are they?
HDD: They sounded great. I was especially impressed with Kevin because he doesn't sound like a 15-year-old at all.
Stacy Perskie: Right?! He's very mature for his age. He's a very great guy.
HDD: I see that you've done a few film with Mel Gibson now.
Stacy Perskie: That's right. We've done three movies now. I've also done some music videos that he directed. ...
HDD: How is it working with Mel?
Stacy Perskie: He's extremely creative, you know. He's a lot of fun and a very great guy to work with. He's very humble, sharing a lot of his knowledge – and that's very rewarding because you get to learn a lot. At the same time, he allows you to propose things and he hears you out. It's a very open collaboration.
HDD: Was it always the intention of you guys to get him to return to the 'Payback' type of role, or did that just happen naturally?
Stacy Perskie: You know, when we started writing the script, it was [Mel's] original idea. We started doing research and he proposed that we all write it together. He never said from the beginning that it was to be an acting vehicle for him. It wasn't until the script was almost ready that he said that he might prefer the role.
HDD: I'm glad that he took it. It felt like it was meant for him, especially with all of the quick and witty jokes that might fly over your head if you're not paying attention.
Stacy Perskie: I agree. I agree. It's really great. When writing the script, we never said that it was going to be him … but it always seemed – I think from his point of view too – that it was always a very natural character for himself. I agree with you; it's great to see him in that type of role.
HDD: It seems like you're keeping busy in the film industry. You've done second-unit directing -
Stacy Perskie: Uh-huh.
HDD: - producing, writing. Is there one of those roles that you prefer over the others?
Stacy Perskie: I really like both writing and producing. I had a lot of fun on this project, so I look forward to being able to do it more. I also hope, at some point, to create the opportunity to direct something myself. But both writing and producing are definitely great.
HDD: I know that you probably can't say anything, but the inner movie geek inside me won't let me not ask you.
Stacy Perskie: (laughs)
HDD: Being a producer on 'Elysium' -
Stacy Perskie: Yeah.
HDD: - can you say something – anything – at all about the movie just to appease me?
Stacy Perskie: I'm pretty locked down at the moment. As you already know, it's a very confidential project. There hasn't been much out there yet, so I unfortunately can't say much. I will say that, personally, it's going to be an amazing movie.
HDD: Has the shoot already wrapped?
Stacy Perskie: Yes. Shooting has wrapped completely. The film had some additional photography that we shot last month.
HDD: Were you on set for most of the shoot?
Stacy Perskie: I was, yes. I concentrated on the Mexican portion of it. I was in the entirety of … the six weeks in Mexico, in Mexico City and the outskirt of the city. I was also in Vancouver, where the rest of the film was shot.
HDD: Being a big fan of 'District 9,' I'm dying to see what Blomkamp does with it.
Stacy Perskie: I think it's going to be a really amazing film. I think it's going to be on a whole other level than 'District 9.' Even though I think 'District 9' was very good, I think 'Elysium' is going to take it up a notch.
HDD: Your words are making me excited – and I'm already really excited.
Stacy Perskie: (laughs) That's cool!
HDD: Do you have anything lined up after 'Elysium?'
Stacy Perskie: Both Adrian [Grunberg] and I are reading scripts, we have a few scripts in development to produce. We're working on a movie called 'The Boy Who Smells Like Fish.' It'll probably be out early 2013. … We're looking for a few other projects for Adrian to direct and also thinking of things that we can write ourselves to see where it takes us.
HDD: Well, thanks for giving me a call today and I look forward to seeing what you guys do next.
Stacy Perskie:Thank you. That's very nice.