The British action man discusses preparing for his new role and working out from home. Plus, we bring you an exclusive clip of the upcoming film.
British action man Scott Adkins (Doctor Strange, The Expendables 2) is one of the top physical actors in the game, and he’s worked with the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Donnie Yen.
His latest film, Payback, is a follow-up to his earlier hit The Debt Collector (you don’t need to see the first one to enjoy it, though both come recommended).
In Payback, after skirting death, debt collectors French (Adkins) and Sue (Louis Mandylor, Rambo: Last Blood) get back to doing what they do best – cracking skulls and breaking bones – as they chase down the lowlifes who owe money to their boss.
They’re soon summoned to Las Vegas to collect from a dirty casino owner, who happens to be a vicious ex-lover of Sue’s. Meanwhile, a notorious drug kingpin is on the warpath to kill French and Sue to avenge his brother’s death. Facing danger from all angles, the pair has no other choice but to fight their way out of an explosively dangerous situation
We caught up with Adkins to find out how a Hollywood action star stays in shape, and below is an exclusive clip from his latest outing.
What are the demands of preparing for an all-action film?
“It’s about preparing your body for what I’d call a certain kind of abuse, like training for a fight camp.
“Doing fight scenes all day long is very hard and, if your body isn’t used to it, it’ll go into shock on the second or third day and you might not be able to walk.
“The aesthetics side is important too, because you’re expected to look a certain way in action films.”
How often do you train?
“I train at least five times a week, but if I’m preparing for a film it’ll be six times a week or maybe every day.
“While we’ve been in lockdown, I’m really lucky that I have a small gym in my garage, so I’ve got no excuse not to train, but it’s been hard with the kids – they’re always on top of me and take a lot of my energy!”
What does that training involve?
“I like the traditional bodybuilding routine with a push-pull split. So I do chest, shoulders and triceps on day one, back and biceps on day two, and legs on day three.
“Every week, I do two days of martial arts training, which also counts as my cardio. Fortunately, at home I’ve got a punchbag and paddle which I can practice my kicks on. In fact, I’ve been doing kicking tutorial videos while in lockdown which people seem to like.
“I’ve also been doing more calisthenics recently; I’ve got a pull-up bar and dip station. That’s a good way to mix it up.”
Do you have a favourite workout?
“I’m pretty old school in my training. I like to do 8-12 reps for 3 sets of each exercise. The only change I’ve made, as I’ve got older, is to allow more time for stretching and to look after certain areas, such as my back and neck.
“When you’re younger, you can hammer yourself in the gym, but you need to take care of yourself, especially in this line of work.”
In Payback, what was it like working with your co-star Louis Mandylor?
“He’s a great actor and we had a lot of fun on the first film, The Debt Collector, so I was happy to do a sequel. He’s got his own long-spanning martial arts background, which not a lot of people know about, and he’s really good, but he’s not a vain actor. His character, Sue, is supposed to be a bit of a slob so he plays into that but delivers on the action.
“In the boxing gym scene, we improvised a lot of the dialogue because we know the characters so well, and I enjoyed the comedy aspect and banter, as well as the action.
“Filming our shared fight scene much later in the film, he even outlasted me. It was so hot filming in the LA Valley during a heatwave and he had a vest and light shirt on, while I had a leather jacket – that’s my excuse anyway!
“I ended up on a saline drip from dehydration, and I needed to get a load of fluids back into my body before we continued. We laughed about it later, but that’s what we put ourselves through for the audience.”
Dazzler Media presents Payback, out now on Digital Download and DVD 6 July 2020.