"I immediately was like, 'No, no, no,'" Smith, who plays Lt. Matthew Scott on “Stargate Universe,” told me in February, admitting that he'd seen many a Syfy Saturday B-movie. “They’re fun for what they are, [but] they’re kind of shitastic. Do you know what I mean? Which is awesome. There is a kind of tongue-in-cheek quality about them.”
“Red Faction,” he said, will be a step above Syfy's movies of the week. ("Mega Python vs. Gatoroid" comes to mind.) "It's definitely quality and it has really, really smart minds behind it. … This is not going to be another MOW. It just isn’t.”
The movie is based on the popular “Red Faction” video games. Andrew Kreisberg wrote the screenplay based on a story developed by Paul DeMeo and Danny Bilson of THQ, the company behind the video game franchis. Michael Nankin directed the film. The film is set between what happens in the “Red Faction: Guerrilla” and “Red Faction: Armageddon” video games.
In the film, which Syfy has announced will air at 8 p.m. June 4, Smith plays Jake Mason, the last surviving son of Alec Mason (
Smith said he initially wasn’t all that interested in the movie, until he read the script. He loved the story, and the Jake character, he said, who is a lot different than his “SGU” character, Lt. Scott.
“It was great to play someone who is a bad-ass and knows it,” he said. “I love Scott, but my God that kid has the weight of the world on his shoulders. There is so much self-doubt and angst and just inner turmoil about him—and guilt, Catholic guilt I guess—about everything. He takes responsibility for everything.
“It was nice to play someone who just could not give a shit about what anybody thinks about him. He’s a lot more reckless.”
Smith also jumped at the chance to work with acting heroes Robert Patrick and “Kate-freaking-Vernon,” as he said. Both veterans, he said, nail their performances.
“[Kate] brings a regalness and a stillness to her performance,” he said of the “
Despite the often difficult filming conditions in and around Sofia, Bulgaria, Smith is happy he didn't turn down the role because it was a Syfy movie of the week.
"It was the best experience I've ever had on a set," he said. "It was incredible."
Smith talked more about his co-stars, the film itself and the cuisine of Bulgaria. But first, here is Syfy's description of the movie:
Twenty-five years have passed since Alec Mason (Robert Patrick) led the Martian Colonies to freedom … and 12 years since vengeful enemies killed his wife, kidnapped his daughter Lyra (Tamzin Merchant), and left a broken hero in their wake. Jake Mason (Brian J. Smith), Alec's last surviving son and an officer in the Red Faction Militia, has his world turned inside out when he discovers that now, 12 years after her kidnapping, his sister is still alive. As a powerful new enemy swarms across the planet, Jake goes out to find her, only to learn that his lost sister is one of them … a cold-blooded soldier sworn to destroy the Red Faction. Jake must now battle the relentless regime and somehow reunite a family torn apart by war. Kate Vernon portrays The Matriarch, leader of the tribal Marauders sect.
You've obviously seen some of those Syfy Saturday movies. … They're totally critic-proof. You almost have to revel in the badness of them.
Yeah, exactly. So [when I was aproached] I thought, “I don’t know” and “I'm sure it’s fun, but it doesn’t sound like the kind of fun to be having right now.” … I read and it was really freaking good, like really, really good. I called and said, “Who is directing this?” It was Michael Nankin and I kind of spun that name around my head, because I know I’d seen it many, many times somewhere and then it finally hit me: He has directed some of my favorite “Battlestar [Galactica]” episodes, like “Scar” and I think “Rise of the Phoenix.” I knew with that script and with a director that had that kind of sensibility and came from that “Battlestar” world that something pretty cool could come out of it. Plus, it was the first time I had played a lead; it was a big, meaty, huge role to play with a lot going on and it just seemed like a really cool thing to do.
And it was amazing. ... It was hard. It was very cold. I mean it was like –12 Celsius at certain points, and we were outside quite a bit.
Were you in Sofia or all over the place?
We were in Sofia, but we also went a couple hours outside of Sofia. It was just crazy. It was just this huge—it was an adventure. So many things happened on that shoot that are just insane and I don't know how we survived them, but we did and we're all incredibly close.