Cory Hardrict talks The Day
Cory Hardrict talks The Day, and playing Frankie Crocker in Lovelace
By Wilson Morales
August 28, 2012
Coming out this week is the apocalyptic thriller ‘The Day,’ which stars Shawn Ashmore, Ashley Bell, Michael Eklund, Cory Hardrict, Dominic Monaghan, and Shannyn Sossamon.
A group of five survivors, armed with shotguns, axes and machetes, wander the back roads of a ravaged landscape looking for refuge in The Day, a terrifying look into a post-apocalyptic future. As war ravages humanity, destroying civilization and most of life on earth, the survivors realize they must do whatever it takes to stay alive. Lost, starving, and exhausted, they seek shelter in a seemingly safe abandoned farmhouse. However, while searching for food and resources, they unwittingly set off a trap signaling to their ruthless predators lying in wait to begin their deadly attack. With food and ammunition dwindling, the group must make a desperate final stand—over a 24 hour period—battling for their ultimate survival.
For Hardrict, this represents his second film in recent years where the character he plays has to fight for survival. In 2011, the Chicago native appeared opposite Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Michael Pena, and Ne-Yo in the alien invasion war film, ‘Battle: Los Angeles.’
Having acted for over ten years, his previous credits include the TV series ‘Smart Guy,’ ‘Felicity,’ and ‘Lincoln Heights.’ Besides ‘Battle: LA,’ he was also in ‘Never Been Kissed’ and Clint Eastwood’s ‘Gran Torino.’
Blackfilm.com recently caught up with Hardrict as he spoke about his role in ‘The Day,’ as well as his upcoming projects, including playing DJ Frankie Crocker in ‘Lovelace’ with Amanda Seyfried.
What role do you play in the film?
Cory Hardrict: I play Henson and he’s sick, walking around with pneumonia. He’s almost like the Doc Holiday character that Val Kilmer played in ‘Tombstone’ when he was sick and kept fighting but want didn’t anyone to know how bad in shape he was in. He just kept going forward and my character is like as well. I still have to be there for the rest of the group and help them. I don’t want to take any sympathy and just want to go about my day and help out as much as I can. It was a cool character to play. I had fun playing him. I love shooting. I love action and the whole aspect of doing movies like that.
What attracted you to the project?
CH: I thought it would be challenging because I never played a character like that, being sick, ill, and still able to fight back. Plus, they told us that we would be shooting the film in this house and we wouldn’t have the best of everything, and that we would have to stay committed and be focused in, and I was like, “sign me up!” I love those gritty type of films like that; where you don’t have access to things that a big budget set would have. I feel that it all worked out. The cast got along and we had good camaraderie and we made the best movie we could make.
Where did you shoot the film?
CH: We shot it in Ottawa, Canada, It’s like in the middle of nowhere but it’s a great place and clean air. We shot this probably like 25 miles outside the city, in a suburban area. It was fitting for the project.
How would you try to survive in a post-apocalypse world?
CH: The first thing that I would is make sure that my family is protected either way. Have to make sure that my wife (actress Tia Mowry-Hardrict) and my 14 month-old son are good. I would probably do the same thing that my character does in the film. I would have to go out and find food and be the man. I would have to make sure that they are sheltered and taken care of. I would put their safety before me.
Along with this film and “Battle: Los Angeles”, how skilled are you in handling guns?
CH: I still need help. I know how to change them and clean them and I had an AK-47 back in the day, and with ‘Battle: LA,” I had the M-4s, I know how to break them down. When I do these genres, we go through a training regiment and gets me back in the mode of how to use the weapon. Once I’m warmed back up, I’m ready to go. I wouldn’t say I’m an expertise, but I know enough to be familiar with those weapons and I know how to use them.
“Battle: LA” was a big film for you in terms of exposure. How much of that visibility helped your career?
CH: The film did helped me out a lot in terms of making people aware that I can be in films of that magnitude, especially with a sci-fi and blockbuster film. I was able to showcase a character. Some people don’t always play a character that has a good arc or a good back-story and show emotion. The character I played, a soldier who also lost a brother in the war, resonated with some people. I had some good moments in the film. It helped me a lot with going in for “The Day.” When I went in for the film, they had heard about that film. It also helped me out with this other film that I’m in called ‘Warm Bodies’ with John Malkovich. That comes out next year on February 1st. When I went in to audition for that, the first thing they said to me was, “Hey, we loved you in ‘Battle: Los Angeles.” I still had to read a few times, but it helped me out.
What’s your role in ‘Warm Bodies?’
CH: It’s a love story between a zombie and a living person. The zombie is played by Nicholas Hoult and it’s written by Oscar Mann. I play John Malkovich’s lead soldier who goes out looking and trying to save his daughter throughout the film. I’m also carrying a machine gun in that film as well. So, that’s another film with the guns and action, which is cool.
You also have Lovelace? No guy wants to admit to how much they know and have seen porn films, so did you know about Linda Lovelace and what was it like playing Frankie Crocker?
CH: Well, I actually had to look up Linda Lovelace’s story and didn’t remember her at all. In my high school days, everyone dabbled in watching a little porn, but I’m far away from it right now. This film has an all-star cast and everyone was great. I play Frankie Crocker, who we all know was a DJ. I had to put on a wig and the tight clothes and interview Amanda Seyfried (as Linda) and Peter Sarsgaard (as Chuck Traynor) and Hank Azaria (as Jerry Damiano) each time they came into the studio. They schooled me into this world that takes place. I would get into it with them and ask them how the world goes down. My character was fun to play. I play a real character and I make it real.
What do you do on your spare time?
CH: I’m with my family and I read a lot. My son has so many activities. During the week, he has swimming, at the Mall playground, and at the park for a few hours. On weekends, I take him out for breakfast. That’s my time, with my family. Me and my wife go out to the movies and catch a dinner, and I’m also at the gym. Just simple stuff.
When you’re out with your wife, are you able to have a simple life?
CH: Yes. It’s very simple. We’re laid back people. I never look at myself as a celebrity. My wife is not like that as well. Sometimes, I feel like I haven’t started. I feel that I haven’t tapped into my abilities yet. I feel like I’m a new guy in this town even though I’ve been here almost ten years.
What’s a good reason for folks to see ‘The Day?’
CH: People should go see ‘The Day’ because it’s five survivors on the run. It’s relentless. Bullets are flying everywhere. What would you do in a 24hr frame where you’re in a fight or die situation? It’s high octane and if you want entertainment, this is it.