Nick Principe Talks Nobody Can Cool, His Directorial Debut Stockholm and Army of the Damned
In addition to Nobody Can Cool, Principe also just completed his directorial debut with the film Stockholm. He’s worked as a stunt and fight coordinator before and knows what looks good on screen. "I’m always quick to point out what I think will work best on camera," Principe said. "But in situations where I’m not technically the stunt coordinator or fight coordinator, I don’t want to overstep my bounds. I can suggest stuff to the director but they get the final call. Something I’ve always kinda wanted to do is direct and this was literally just thrown into my lap."
Principe gave us a brief synopsis of Stockholm: "It stars James Duva,l who abducts this 22-year-old girl and keeps her in his basement, and along the way she falls in love with him," Principe said. "And basically, the day they admit they’re in love, he kicks her out and you don’t know why."
He began the project as a member of the cast and through a unique chain of events found himself the co-director. "This guy I met named James Mogart was producing this movie and he asked me to be in it," Principe said. "I didn’t actually see the script until three days before shooting and some of the script was just storyboards, like it wasn’t completely finished, and I was like, ‘What the fuck is up with this?’ It was a total friend project so I didn’t question it much. Then I started seeing it and thought it could be really, really cool, but if they do it like they’re planning, it’s going to be half-assed and just a very forgettable, no-budget, just fucking whatever. So I call my roommate, James Duval, and say to the filmmaker, 'Give Duval a couple bucks and cast him as the lead.'"
Principe continued, "So here we are and now I’m a producer on this movie because I’ve brought the main talent. So the original director had all the passion in the world and all the drive, but just not much experience at all doing this. The first day, right out of the gate, I completely directed these little fight scenes. There’s like a big reveal and I directed all those sequences and a lot of stalking sequences." Principe continued this work and ended up being named co-director on the project.
In addition to landing Duval, Principe also brought in an actor he had previously worked with and been impressed by, wrestling legend Tommy Dreamer. "He’s fucking awesome!" Principe said. "He’s a really good actor and I wanted to utilize him as much as possible. He’s playing a detective and he’s already got that husky guy look with the goatee and the cropped haircut so I thought he’d make a perfect detective."
Describing his experiences on the set, Principe was very complimentary of his cast. "If you can do something and feel really comfortable about it, that comfort brings confidence, but you’re only as good as the people you work with. And if you’re getting along with them and you have an idea and you can verbally describe that idea to them and they give you that tenfold, then it’s like, 'Maybe I could keep doing this.' I’d love to develop a project from the ground up, but we’ll see how this movie does. In the meantime I’m just trying to act, work, keep my head above water and keep going in this business."
As far as dealing with and working with others, Principe has a great philosophy. "I always humble myself because I get fanboyed out too, seeing these actors, working with these guys. But you’ve gotta put that in check, out of the way and move forward," Principe said. "And I try to always treat everybody the same. I don’t care if you’re a P.A. or an executive producer. I treat people how I want to be treated. You can’t get respect unless you give it, and I try to be as kind and sweet as possible to everybody."
Finally, Principe discussed another project in which he acted and served as the stunt coordinator, Army of the Damned, which will be having its premiere in October. "I saw a cut of Army of the Damned and it’s a really fast moving, fun flick," Principe said. "I really think horror fans are gonna dig it. If you like movies like Demon Knight and slashers and throw in like a dash of action movie elements because there’s a lot of gunplay in it, it’s just like a fun midnight movie. It’s something I picture seeing when I was like 16 and worshiping."
He continued, "We definitely put a lot into it. We’ve got some great actors, some great F/X by Ben Bornstein. Tom DeNucci (director) wrote a really fun script. He let me have fun with my lines. He knows how to write a good three-act film. You can’t fucking deny that."
Big thanks to Nick for his time. Dig some early stills from Stockholm below.
Got news? Click here to submit it!
Juggle projects in the comments section below!