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Movies & TV / Columns

Action Star Alexander Nevsky Talks w/411 About His New Movie Maximum Impact

October 15, 2018 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Alexander Nevsky Maximum Impact

The 411 Interview: Alexander Nevsky

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Alexander Nevsky is an international action superstar from Russia who has been in the movie business since the year 2000. A former professional bodybuilder, multi-time Mr. Universe winner, and current member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Nevsky has starred in movies like Moscow Heat, Treasure Raiders, and Showdown in Manila and directed and starred in Black Rose. Nevsky’s latest effort is the action comedy Maximum Impact (check out my review here), which is currently available on home video and Video On Demand. Nevsky, who also produced the movie, stars alongside Mark Dacascos, Kelly Hu, Eric Roberts, Tom Arnold, Danny Trejo, William Baldwin, and the immortal Mathias Hues. In this interview, Nevsky talks with this writer about making Maximum Impact, what it was like working with a name heavy cast, and more.

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Bryan Kristopowitz: Why did you want Maximum Impact to be your next movie?

Alexander Nevsky: I’m a big fan of director Andrzej Bartkowiak (Romeo Must Die) and writer Ross LaManna (Rush Hour). Maximum Impact was finally the right project for all three of us to work together. Also, I really wanted to try something in the action- comedy genre.

BK: How important was the “Russia and the United States working together to solve a problem” aspect of the Maximum Impact story to you?

AN: I created the story with Ross LaManna and personally made sure that we didn’t have any stereotypes in the film. As you know, in all my films Russians and Americans are working together and not fighting each other. Maximum Impact is a big fun action comedy and I understand that,but in real life we don’t need a new Cold War and I’m doing my part to prevent it.

BK: How was making Maximum Impact different than your previous movies? How was it the same? Did the larger budget on Maximum Impact change anything for you as an actor or as a producer while making it?

AN: It was my biggest movie to date. Everything was bigger compared to my previous films. As a producer I was dealing with a much bigger budget, huge cast and crew and the new challenges of the international market. But I think I did pretty well in the end of the day and learned a lot. As an actor, I learned how to deal with the comedy and look forward to making more movies in that genre!

BK: How did you approach your character Maxim Kadurin?

AN: I was working a lot with the great acting coach Natalija Nogulich before we started this film. I created a whole life story for my character Maxim. He’s actually kind of a regular guy, just huge and smart. He’s not an action hero, his partner is. It was fun to play Maxim and show his change from the nerd into a super-agent.

BK: How difficult was it to assemble such a name heavy cast for Maximum Impact?

AN: Not that difficult, to be honest with you. We had an interesting project from creators of Rush Hour and Romeo Must Die and we were ready to pay nice salaries to our stars. I was happy to work together, finally, with Eric Roberts, Tom Arnold, Billy Baldwin and Danny Trejo. Also, I was so glad to make a third film in a row with my friend Matthias Hues!

BK: Where was Maximum Impact made, and how long did it take to make it, from finishing the script to finishing post-production?

AN: We shot this film in Moscow and LA. It took about 3 years since the moment I created the story for the script until the last Cannes Film Market when we closed the deals for all the key territories for a completely finished movie. It was a long time and it was hard and tough project to make. But it was all worth it!

BK: How long did it take to create and then film the big car chase scene?

AN: I think we shot it over a week. I was proud when Bartkowiak compared it to the car chase in his Exit Wounds. An international stunt team created it and rehearsed for a long time. We shot it mostly in the center of Moscow. I should mention our stunt coordinator and fight choreographer James Lew, he did a great job! By the way, he recently got an Emmy for his work on Marvel’s Luke Cage and it was well deserved!

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BK: What was it like working with director Andrzej Bartkowiak?

AN: Andrzej has been working in Hollywood since the 70s, as a DP and as a director. I learned a lot (as a producer) making this film with him. He pays a lot of attention to all the details and likes to have everything under control. Maximum Impact was his first independent film and I’m sure it was interesting experience for him, too.

BK: You participate in two impressive fights, one with Mark Dacascos and one with the immortal Mathias Hues. What was it like participating in those fight scenes?

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AN: I was criticized after Black Rose and Showdown in Manila because me and Matthias didn’t really fight in those films. So we finally made it into the big fight in Maximum Impact out of respect to the fans! Matthias is in a great shape, he’s still an icon of action and I’m proud to call him my dear friend! Mark Dacascos is a very experienced martial artist, too, and we had fun shooting those fights with him! We rehearsed a lot, of course.

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BK: Will there be a Maximum Impact 2?

AN: If you ask me as a producer, my answer is: it’s too early to say. We sold Maximum Impact pretty much everywhere but still. If you ask me as an actor, my answer is: SURE! I’ll be so glad to make a sequel!

BK: What do you hope audiences take away from Maximum Impact?
AN: I really hope that audiences in the U.S. will be entertained. We made this movie on the level of mid budgeted Hollywood studio films and it has been successful internationally so far. Also, Maximum Impact will show that Americans and Russians can like and respect each other! It’s important at this strange time we’re living in.

BK: Any upcoming projects you can tell us about?

AN: I just finished principal photography on my new film Wild League. It’s historical action drama, I produced it with Eric Brenner (Erased). Art Camacho (Half Past Dead 2) directed it. Wild League has a great international cast: Adrian Paul (Highlander: Endgame), William Shockley (Robocop) and many good actors from Russia and Europe. Also, my new book Bodybuilding and Other Secrets of Success just became a bestseller in Russia and I’m working on an English language version of it. This book is about my life, career and is about natural bodybuilding and fitness also. I hope it will be published in North America next year.

BK: Is Tom Arnold as funny off set as he is in the movie?

AN: Tom is great! He’s a very good actor and very funny on and off set! He improvised a lot and I was trying to follow his lead in our scenes together. It was nice and interesting to work with him!

BK: What was it like riding around in that scooter thing? Was it as cramped as it looked onscreen?

AN: Can you imagine? Arnold had a great Harley in the Terminator films, Sly Stallone had a wonderful bike in Cobra, etc. And I ended up on one of those freaking scooters in my biggest movie! And yes, it was really cramped, my height is 6’6″ and my weight was almost 300 pounds at the time.

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A very special thanks to Alexander Nevsky for agreeing to participate in this interview and to david j. moore for setting it up.

Maximum Impact is available on Blu-ray, DVD, Amazon Prime Video, and various Video On Demand services.

Check out the Maximum Impact official website here.

You can check out Alexander Nevsky on Twitter here and on Instagram here

All images courtesy of Alexander Nevsky.

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