Smith, Michael Bailey (Blood Shot)


Blood Shot Interview with Michael Bailey SmithYou’ve seen Michael Bailey Smith before. You just didn’t know his name. As a mutant in The Hills Have Eyes or a Nazi prisoner in Undisputed, Hollywood could always count on Smith to deliver the tough guy performances. Now he gets his chance to play the hero. In Blood Shot, he plays a vampire with no name, teaming up with a cop to fight terrorists. The labor of love for director Dietrich Johnston, Smith starred in a short film version years ago, only now finally on the set of the feature film.

Crave Online: How long have you been waiting for the full length Blood Shot?

Michael Bailey Smith: It’s been a long time. It’s been, what, six years, five years, something like that. I have lived through it, the whole process.

Crave Online: How is the vampire different now than when you first played him?

Michael Bailey Smith: I think he’s about the same to a certain extent. The story is bigger. There’s more background on the vampire and how he gets his powers and things like that, the strength of the vampire. Dietrich, the director, writer and director, did a lot of research and came up with some really creative ideas on how the vampire functions in this world and stuff like that. It all fits together pretty nicely.

Crave Online: Do you look at other vampires or try to avoid it?

Michael Bailey Smith: I think to a certain extent, avoid it so I can come up with something original. This is a cross between Nosferatu and The Terminator. Yeah, I watched some of the old black and whites of the Nosferatu from ages ago, the way he walks and moves. But still, you have to have the characteristics of like the Schwarzenegger, the Terminator. He has to be a vampire type guy.

Crave Online: How has Dietrich changed since the short?

Michael Bailey Smith: Well, he has a little less hair now. He used to have hair going down his back. Now it’s all cut off. He’s more experienced. He’s been working, doing other films, things like that in the background. He’s been living and breathing Blood Shot for many years. He put it on the shelf for a while and kind of gave it up, but then kind of re-emerged with some new hopes of financing and those came together fortunately. He’s a lot more experienced, still a great guy, still the nice guy that he was back in film school.

Crave Online: What’s the process with the ears, teeth and red eyes?

Michael Bailey Smith: Well, it first starts with the ears. They put those on. There’s a headpiece, a full headpiece that comes down to the nose. This is not my nose. It’s a little bit too pointy. Then they put a thing called pax, it’s a little latex that goes around outside, covers all the edges. They pax the whole head and then they do some modeling with grey, put texture and stuff on the head. Then they put the contacts in, the teeth in. It’s about a three hour process so it’s a bit of an ordeal.

Crave Online: What sort of action are you doing in this?

Michael Bailey Smith: It’s pretty awesome. I have two weapons that are pretty specially made for me. I’m killing a lot of terrorists. I get blown through a wall. It’s pretty awesome. Fortunately, I had a stunt double did that. It was pretty cool. I’m in a warehouse sliding down a rail, I’m shooting people. It’s been very cool. Think again, like Terminator, but he’s a vampire.

Crave Online: Is there room for a sequel?

Michael Bailey Smith: Yeah. There’s already as sequel germinating in that crazy brain of his, so it’s pretty cool. He’s kind of discussed that with me.

Crave Online: Is there more we could learn about him, like his name?

Blood Shot Interview with Michael Bailey Smith (click for larger image)Michael Bailey Smith: Yeah, I mean, he explains a little bit how Vampire gets his powers which is good. So almost like the whole Star Wars moment, midichlorions. It’s that kind of situation with vampires, so it’s that midichlorion moment of sorts. There’s a great relationship between the vampire and the cop. It’s really good, we really expand upon the cop and his relationship. He has a wife in this. He has a wife now who doesn’t believe him. He’s on the outs with her and then of course the police captain. No one believes him. Then finally at the end, his wife sees Vampire. It’s pretty cool.

Crave Online: There’s also a bizarre sense of humor, right?

Michael Bailey Smith: Oh yeah, it’s great. It’s played very seriously but then there’s little tweaks to it that you go, “What?” It’s really cool.

Crave Online: What have you wrapped that we might see you in?

Michael Bailey Smith: I just finished in December a film by Twisted Pictures who do all the Saw movies, called Chain Letter. I play the Chain Man. If you don’t pass on the chain letter, I’m coming for you.

Crave Online: What’s the hook, like Saw had its traps?

Michael Bailey Smith: I’m pretty much a guy who is technology genius to a certain extent. I have several people that work for me in this scenario, this small little neighborhood of teenagers and things like this. I pass on this chain letter to these different teenagers. If they don’t pass it on, they meet their death. Like Final Destination meets The Ring.

Crave Online: Except you’re a real guy, it’s not supernatural.

Michael Bailey Smith: No, it’s me, so there’s a whole background with me of being ex-military, tortured, beat up with chains and that’s how I kind of evolve into the Chain Man.

Crave Online: So it’s chains metaphorically and literally?

Michael Bailey Smith: Agreed and there are some pretty nasty ways I kill people. Keith David’s in this and he dies pretty good, let me tell you.

Crave Online: Since it’s Twisted Pictures, is there a surprise twist like in Saw?

Michael Bailey Smith: Yeah, to a certain extent, there is. And there are some sequels already planned for it too, so we’ll see what happens. So I get to come back.

Crave Online: What has it been rising through the ranks, doing tough guy roles?

Michael Bailey Smith: I think it’s just the process of being an actor. You have your path that you take, whatever it is. You’re just glad you’re working. I started out, was very fortunate one of my first films was Nightmare on Elm Street 5. I played Super-Freddy. I didn’t know that later on, 17 years later, now I’m playing a lot more horror films. I went through a whole period where I played a lot of bad guys, goofy guys, dumb guys, whatever. I’ve had an interesting career from doing a lot of films, to doing a bunch of sitcoms, doing episodics. Now recently the last, since 2006 when I did The Hills Have Eyes, that came out pretty well and I did a good job in that, it’s kind of taken off for me in that area.

Crave Online: Do you have a fight training background?

Michael Bailey Smith: No, I bounced at a bar. That’s the depth of my fight training, but I have, since becoming an actor 17 years ago, I’ve been studying martial arts. Whenever I’m getting ready, for instance I did a film with Van Damme called In Hell, and they wanted me to study a lot of ground fighting so I did that for about three months before I went to the set.

Many thanks to Crave Online, interviewer Fred Topel, and the cast and crew of Blood Shot. Keep it right here for more as we get it!

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