One of the best things about The Expendables 3 is watching '80s action heroes Sylvester Stallone and Mel Gibson go mano a mano. As teased in The Expendables 3 trailer, Gibson is our villain, a founding member of the Expendables, who we learn has gone astray and is now one of the world’s worst terrorists/arms dealers.
For the two stars, it was clear they enjoyed themselves when Movie Fanatic caught up with the pair. “It’s a good fight. You know, there are situations in sports where two rivalries get together, two teams that have done very well in their own world. Then you wonder how they would do against each other,” Stallone said. “When that finally happens, it becomes an event.”
Gibson compared it to two movie monsters. “It’s King Kong vs Godzilla,” he admitted.
“Exactly, the creature that ate the monster -- that's us,” Stallone added and chuckled.
Stallone sounds like he would do it again in a heartbeat. “I was looking forward to it. And Mel, he's a great athlete -- very fast, very strong -- and it was great being punched by him,” Stallone said. “Thank you very much. I appreciate that.”
Gibson is quick to point out that there was no actual contact, so Sly is embellishing and perhaps just trying to make him look good. “It's kind of like movie sex, you don't actually do it,” Gibson said.
“He's a bald-faced liar,” Stallone interrupted.
Although the star wattage on this The Expendables movie is through the roof with the addition of Gibson, Antonio Banderas, Kelsey Grammer and Wesley Snipes, there is definitely someone missing -- Bruce Willis.
“What happened with Bruce Willis? Well, things didn't work out and then Harrison Ford came along,” Stallone admitted.
“That happens in film and casting. It's just the way it is. It's nothing personal. It sounded like it got personal and I'm sorry it did sound that way, but it was just actors talking and things move on. I think Bruce Willis is a great guy and he does fantastic entertaining films, and when he nails it, he nails it big time.”
Someone who was rumored to be involved, but as you can tell from The Expendables 3 movie trailer, is not in the movie was Jackie Chan. Stallone promises that future Expendables movies will definitely include the Asian action hero.
“Jackie was on, but literally it became a scheduling problem. Jackie is just so busy in his regular life. He has so many businesses and he's so loved over there in China, he literally couldn't cut out for those three days of shooting,” Stallone said.
“We'll get him next time, don't worry. He's a good friend.”
When Gibson got the script, it probably didn’t matter what part of it spoke to him. The thrill of being part of a huge ensemble was enough. But, there was plenty for the Oscar winner to sink his teeth into.
"It was very involved. There were a lot of characters and I didn't know how they were going to jam it all in, but somehow they managed to do it and everybody got a fair shake,” Gibson said. “So hats off to Sly for enabling that to happen.”
Gibson’s trademark sense of humor then makes its presence known. “When I read it, I didn't read it thinking I was the bad guy, you know? In fact, I didn't know I was the bad guy,” he said and laughed. “I thought Dolph Lundgren was the bad guy. So, it's a surprise to me and I'm kind of shocked and a little offended. Oh, and I wanted to be the love interest, but there was no one to love!”
One of the greatest scenes in the movie is a verbal talk between Gibson and Stallone in a van taking Gibson’s villain to justice. Gibson shows in those moments why he is one of the most talented actors working today. Stallone reported that although that scene was scripted, it was Gibson who re-wrote it and delivered what you see on screens when The Expendables 3 hits theaters August 15.
“Well, I kind of worked on the script a little bit and I came in and hammered it out. I handed out the pages to Sly and they looked at it and went, ‘Yeah, it's cool,’” Gibson said. “It was just a theme of somebody who was subcontracted by his government and then thrown under the bus.”
“It had a reality to it. What gave it some heart was that he was actually saying something that had some truth. It was valid and he was committed to it. I don't believe he saw himself as the bad guy, what the key to the whole thing was. Then you bring in the aspect of Cane and Abel -- two of the best of friends also can become the worst enemies,” Stallone added.
“He just killed it. I had some dialogue back and forth with him and the more he did the scene, the more I realized I shouldn't speak. I just let him roll. He was convincing himself. He was convincing me. He was convincing the audience.”
When Stallone was asked how long he could keep making The Expendables movies, he nailed it with his reply. “After the fifth Expendables, you start wearing the 'pendables,’” he said and laughed. “You just gotta keep going!”
Check out how it all got started and watch The Expendables online!