Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
“I wanted to play in the NHL, tour in a band, fight in the octagon, be a missionary, build houses, shoot guns and dig wells. I couldn’t do it all. So I decided to be an actor.”
Jeremy Ninaber makes his acting debut as Jacob Bradley, the leading man of Extraction Day.
Here are his thoughts on life on set and the making of Extraction Day.
What was your favourite part of being on set?
My favourite part of being on set was seeing hundreds of people come together to make a story happen. You can’t do something great alone. Look at ‘Titanic’. It took thousands of people coming together for one cause — everyone doing their part.
Maybe Titanic isn’t the best example. But you get what I am saying.
What was the hardest part of being on set?
Well the fight scenes are pretty intense. We had T.J from Hybrid Fighting Method doing a lot of the fight training and choreography. The guy is legit. I didn’t have a stunt double… and sometimes those fights got a little too real.
But the hardest part would have to be the scene where I am strung up by chains hanging by my arms. It was one of longest, most exhausting shoots — I had almost eighteen hours of just dangling there. When I woke up the next morning, I still thought I was wearing the chains. I’d never felt that much pain.
What was the most challenging part of your role?
We needed to film pick-ups for a summertime scene — in the middle of the winter. Everyone else was walking around in parkas and I was in a t-shirt, freezing my butt off. As hypothermia was setting in, I seriously started questioning my decision to be an actor. I knew it was an important scene and I just kept telling myself to keep going. Just. Keep. Going.
What’s it like to work with the Matthew Ninaber?
Two words. Zero grace.
People say you are your own hardest critic, but I disagree. Mine is my brother, Matthew Ninaber. Actors are always looking for their “motivation”. There’s nothing like my motivation: don’t piss off Matt.
Is he critical of the other actors?
Not in the same way. He has different expectations for other people. Brothers were made for adversary. We grew up playing sports together and that’s the way we communicate with each other. Sometimes it scares people. He’s so nice around everyone else but we’re crazy intense with each other. I wouldn’t have it any other way, though.
What got you excited about being a part of this project?
Matt and I grew up loving movies. Jackie Chan, Jean Claude Van Damme, Mel Gibson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone. They’re all guys who decided to change the world. That’s the stuff we grew up on. I heard a story about Arnold when he first started acting. His agent came up with a plan for him and he responded back with “No, I have a plan.” He wanted to be an action hero, but everyone said “No”. They came up with all the reasons why he couldn’t, but he still did it.
Truthfully, I am tired of leaving my fate to somebody else. Matt and I were driving to auditions every week in Toronto for the silliest projects; stuff we couldn’t be proud of and we just got sick of it. We got in to this to tell stories. So Matt left acting and started writing Extraction Day with Jennifer. The rest is history.
What’s your plan from here?
Keep telling great stories — do it like Stallone or Jackie Chan; build an amazing team and entertain people. With each movie we do, we will make it bigger and better and keep building High Rise Studio as a brand.
Why action movies?
My favourite movies growing up were action movies. Action movies with a good story just move you; such strong visuals mixed with strong wants. You get to watch somebody overcome great obstacles. Action movies are all about playing big. Everything is at stake: freedom, revenge, good versus evil. It’s a big world and I am in love with that. No matter what’s happening in your day, good or bad, action movies are just great escapes that call you to live for something bigger then yourself.
What was it like working with Allison Busner?
Allison plays leading lady Emily Keller. Here’s all I can say: the girl doesn’t know how you’re supposed to fight in a movie. I kept suggesting to her that she didn’t actually have to hit me. “The camera will do that.” I said. But Matt told her otherwise and she decided to believe him. So Matt stood behind the monitor, laughing to himself as this girl kicked my ass. I came home with bruises all over — and I couldn’t tell anybody where they came from. But in all seriousness, she is an amazing actress and I enjoyed working with her.
What can people expect from Extraction Day?
You won’t be disappointed. Seeing what Matt and the team has done, from Last Run to Extraction Day, will blow you away. Matt was smart. He built a really great team and has created something truly incredible. It’s a grade A action movie — a high octane film with guns, explosions, huge stakes and a story that takes place on a global scale. It pays homage to the great movies we grew up watching, but has a freshness about it.
It’s going to be a blast!
Extraction Day was recently finished in 2014 and was purchased for distribution in China, South Korea, Japan and the United States.
Locally, the film will be featured in four Exclusive Showings in Waterloo, ON before it is released overseas. Purchase your tickets to the exclusive showing here.