Frank Grillo Is Your Next American Action Star, Whether You Like It or Not.
By Dan Buffa - Twitter @buffa82
Frank Grillo wants to punch you in the face and would like you to hit him back.
It’s not personal.
It’s just something he needs to do.
Grillo lives by a saying and it’s simple and blunt. “Hit them first. Hit them hard. Hit them a lot.”
It’s part of the 51 year old actor’s DNA. He needs to hit things and do it often in order to breathe properly and stay relaxed. Luckily, when he joined We Are Live in May to talk about his 2016 surge of entertainment, nobody was injured but guest hosts Rafe Williams and I were blown away by Grillo’s experiences.
Grillo is hitting audiences hard this year with a fleet of action packed entertainment in all shapes and sizes. He fought Chris Evans’ Captain America in May’s box office smash Civil War and stars in the hottest show on television in AT&T’s Kingdom, which is currently in the home stretch of its second season. On July 1st, he reprises the role of Sergeant Leo Barnes in The Purge: Election Year aka Purge 3.
Resiliency and a do or die spirit has aided Grillo since his career kicked off back in 1993. He has carved out a long career in Hollywood doing the kind of roles that others are afraid will drown them in typecasting. The ones that kick serious amounts of ass and make guys want to join gyms and cause women to swoon.
Grillo saw roles like a trainer in Pride and Glory and End of Watch as opportunities to stay in the game and keep his foot in the door before a breakthrough role like 2011’s Warrior came along. That was the film that opened doors for Grillo.
The appeal is easy to see. What you see in Grillo on screen is what you get. He doesn’t care for stunt doubles, meritocracy on sets, and actors who don’t like to fight him. When it came time for Chris Evans and Grillo to tangle in an elevator for Captain America: Winter Soldier, Grillo insisted on Evans trading blows with him. Grillo did the same with Jason Statham on the set of Homefront. Do it right or don’t do it at all. That’s the Grillo way.
He’s an action guy and someone who cares as much about getting a stunt right as what his face looks like after a hand to hand combat scene is finished shooting. Unlike some actors who look to their agent or the director for a stunt double, Grillo works hand in hand with the stunt coordinating team. “You’re going to pay me to do this. I’m up for the challenge,” Grillo said in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly. He isn’t letting anybody else take the credit or the punches.
Take Kingdom for example. A show about what fighters face outside the ring as much as inside of it. The MMA world is merely a supporting character in the abyss of Byron Balasco’s world of misfit toys meant to consume one another through their problems. Grillo is at the heart of the production and was the first person Balasco called when the show was being prepped.
In a recent interview, Balasco talked about why he teamed up with Grillo. “He knows the world so intimately and he's been doing it for 25 years. He's been boxing his whole life so we could speak that same language.” Working with Grillo doesn’t feel like you are standing next to an actor. It’s more like standing next to a warrior celebrating his craft. “There's never a false note when he's on set. You don't feel like it's work. It just seems natural.”
Playing badass heroes comes natural to Grillo, and it will continue in the next year. He will team up with Indonesian martial arts superstar Iko Uwais in Beyond Skyline and will soon get behind the wheel of writer/director Jeremy Rush’s Wheelman, which is being released exclusively by Netflix. The project brings longtime friends and collaborators Joe Carnahan and Grillo back together after they collaborated on the underrated Liam Neeson film, The Grey.
This October, the Kingdom crew goes back to work on Season 3. Grillo doesn’t mind the workload. He’s been working towards this kind of exposure for years. While the ability to pick and choose from scripts is nice, Grillo likes his life and has no designs on becoming the next Brad Pitt or George Clooney. Walking down the street and hearing his name screamed towards him is something new, but not something he wants to see plastered up on every corner. It’s all about the work for Grillo. He doesn’t need the glamour.
Why should you pay attention to Grillo? He’s the real deal. He’s not a fake. He’s bled for his craft. If there was ever one guy who personifies “the one and the only”, it’s this guy. Everything he touches turns into an authentic experience.
When I left The Purge: Anarchy screening and ran into a fellow consumer of the Grillo experience in the lobby, he couldn’t find words to sum up what the experience was like. All he could say was, “that guy is something else”. Indeed he is.
Frank Grillo is no longer “that guy”. He is a legit face in the world of film and television. His 2016 surge of entertainment is just getting started.
Listen to the full audio of We Are Live visit with Grillo below.
The LA Rams Aren't Done Killing the City of St. Louis
By Dan Buffa - Twitter- @buffa82
Who pissed in the Los Angeles Rams cherrios?
I get it. You leave a city and don't want to keep playing nice with what is now in the past. When the Rams got up and left St. Louis on January 12th, something was cut and dropped that had been stable for 20 years. Saying nice things about St. Louis wouldn't be in the cards but I don't understand why the Rams are taking a giant shit on their former residence now. It's not classy. It's bush league. It's a batch of bullshit.
Before the Rams open up the 2016 season with no quarterback and the same boring offensive game plan with aspirations for a lovely 5-10 finish, let me remind the organization of something. The Rams won a Super Bowl in St. Louis. Remember. Back in 1999. They went to another Super Bowl and lost in the closing seconds. St. Louis was where the Rams found their most sustainable run of success in the franchise's history. Most of that history is utter shit. In St. Louis, they created the Greatest Show on Turf.
All they will have in Los Angeles is quarterbacks heads banging on the turf and lots of useless penalties, field goal gold star stickers, and lifeless moments where fans wonder what they are watching on the field. It will be like the good old days. Back in 1946, when the Rams formulated in LA in the first place. Anyone remember? Yeah, I didn't think so.
The Rams gathered in LA and played there for nearly 50 years before moving to St. Louis. During that time, they participated in many NFL championships and even won it in 1951. After another 1955 championship appearance, they wouldn't see sustained playoff success until the 1970's, culminating in a Super Bowl loss to the Steelers in 1979. They made the playoff 16 times from 1960-1989 but didn't win the Super Bowl. That happened in St. Louis.
In 1999, against all odds, the Rams came out of nowhere and outscored, beat up, and dished knuckle sandwich specials to the NFL in route to a ring. When can fans expect that in LA? Any time soon is not the correct answer.
As much as Stan Kroenke deserves the visceral shit stain thoughts, Kevin Demoff is a real Harvey Two Face here. After telling St. Louis and local radio talent that the Rams were doing whatever was needed to stay in the Lou, he immediately started trashing us the moment the plane landed out west. I did say "us". I am a St. Louis native so pardon me if I don't act 100 % professional and not included "us". We got screwed together here after all.
From the proposal statement that trashed St. Louis' market and economic profitability to the outgoing messages on social media to LA reporters about bad it was in St. Louis, this is just a lack of class that one doesn't see that often. I don't remember St. Louis doing this in 1995.
All you need to know someone is to see how they act when change occurs. Messy change. The true colors of Kroenke were known years ago before he ever staged his attack on St. Louis football. Demoff and others is the colors that are now blooming like a stinky turd left out in the summer heat. It's unfortunate and relentlessly arrogant.
The Rams have no quarterback and a head coach that hasn't won anything since My Space was the hot fuzz on the internet. The last time Jeff Fisher won anything, flip phones were cool. The last time the Rams won in Los Angeles, Pedro Guerrero played first base for the Cardinals. I hope they go 0-16.
If anyone in LA really believes that the ownership's unique ability to shit on a fan base will change simply because their mailing address did, think again. Watch an action film. The plot will be the same brand of ridiculousness but the happy ending will be better.
Let me make this perfectly clear. The Rams won a Super Bowl in St. Louis. That won't happen in Los Angeles anytime soon. Trash The Lou all you want but it won't change your approval ratings or record.
Chris and Travis appear live in studio on The Adam Carolla Show!
The fellas from We Are Live! made their second appearance on ACS, at the Carolla comedy dojo in Los Angeles, California. The discussion includes the WAL Honduras Documentary, Orlando, and making the move to Amish Life. Comedian Jo Koy leads off the show for an excellent podcast.
Click here to listen: