What is the opposite side of Hollywood? How are big movies produced? What are the difficulties of working with a movie star? Hollywood Heist is an upcoming action-comedy which reveals some industry secrets featuring Alec Baldwin, Nick Cannon, Mickey Rourke, Til Schweiger, Tara Reid, and Arman Nshanian. The director of the movie is Mike Hatton, who has co-written the script along with Paul Sloan. The film was produced by Asko Akopyan. It’s a true story with some fictional elements.
Mike Hatton, Asko Akopyan, Arman Nshanian, and Til Schweiger have shared some interesting details with NEWS.am about the project and the characters involved.
«My dear friend and frequent collaborator Paul Sloan (who also stars in the film with me) and I wrote the script as a way to show what we filmmakers go through to get movies made. Some of the circumstances have happened to us… and some of them are fabricated and embellished for the sake of a good story! I think audiences will be shocked to find out what was true and what wasn’t,» says Mike Hatton.
The film follows a Hollywood power agent (Cannon) trying to land an actor (Baldwin) by telling the story of his client, a movie producer (Hatton), along with a washed-up movie star pal (Sloan), as they race against time to save their latest production. This comes after the project’s bank account is wiped clean by a thief, leading to an onslaught of negotiations with famous actors, drug lords, and death.
According to Hatton, this is a funny movie which was an incredible experience. The director, by the way, had been to Armenia years ago to film the HBO action movie Vigilante Diaries, along with Asko Akopyan and Arman Nshanian.
«I had the chance to visit Yerevan and some of the surrounding cities. It was an incredible experience for me and I was impressed with the level of talented actors and the crew there. I hope to return soon with the whole group to work on what’s next!» Hatton says.
Speaking about their collaboration for Hollywood Heist, Asko Akopyan recalls, «Mike called me last year, asking if he could include my likeness as a character in a new movie he is co-writing with Paul Sloan. He also asked me if I could help him produce the film. I said yes to both and we started development together. »
According to the producer, the cast was selected based on their love for these movie stars. «They were written in the film to play fictionalized versions of themselves. They all loved the script and decided to join us for the movie,» he says.
Arman Nshanian had a rather challenging character. The actor is playing Asko Akopyan himself. The two are not only long-year colleagues, but also good friends.
«My role is based on Asko Akopyan’s likeness, but it’s portrayed fictionally. It’s a very kind character of an Armenian producer who has a range of opportunities in front of himself, but his business is always in the first place. He goes for his goals, but tries not to hurt his friends in that way. Of course, this character has some commonness with Asko, but there are lots of differences as well,» tells the actor.
According to Arman, the movie features some funny stories which are close to reality. He says the movie industry is full of funny situations on the whole. The actor, who was recently mostly busy on the opposite side of the screen, confessed he was very excited about returning to a project as an actor.
«I love comedies a lot, and accepted this offer with lots of excitement. It’s also very nice to work with friends, and I’m very thankful to Mike Hatton, Paul Sloan, and Asko Akopyan for this opportunity. I think Asko is a very talented producer and has a bright future ahead. We have done several projects together, and others are still in the plans. He never stops astonishing me,» he says.
As for Til Schweiger, his scenes were shot in Spain. The actor couldn’t fly to LA because of his busy routine, so the cast went to shoot his scenes in Mallorca.
«I loved the script but I couldn’t go there because I was too busy, and then they said OK, then we’ll come to you! Within a week they were in Mallorca. We shot the scene in my hotel, we had a ball scene there, and it’s gonna be a very funny one!» says the actor.
Til is playing a crazy, super successful Russian movie star, who is also a director and a very rich person.
«The character of Arman Nshanian tells the director, who is owing money to the mafia, to meet this Russian guy. He wants to break into Hollywood with his untalented daughter, who is played by my real daughter, Luna,» he says.
This was Schweiger’s first collaboration with Nshanian, but the actors became friends immediately and now are even working on a new project. «Arman is great. I had two scenes with him, he did an amazing job,» Till adds.
Producer Asko Akopyan says Hollywood Heist has now wrapped principal photography and is being edited. According to him, post-production will finish in about two months.
«We are hoping to premiere the film at a big festival before hitting the theaters around the world. The release date will be decided later, based on the distribution. Hollywood Heist is a funny film about Hollywood and features a lot of famous movie stars that will make appearances throughout the film. The expectations are very high for this film, and we feel that it will have a great deal of success,» he adds.
Photos: Alec Baldwin/Marco Vacchi, Mike Hatton/Matt Winkelmeyer — Getty Images, Paul Sloan — Ovidiu Hrubaru — Almay, Til Schweiger — Courtesy of Artist International Group, Nick Cannon — Courtesy of NCredible Entertainment