Walkden Entertainment (aka Peter Walkden) had the honour and pleasure of chatting with Daniel Stisen, lead actor of The Siege (2023), which is Now Available on DVD and all major Digital platforms, including Apple iTunes / Google Play in Australia & New Zealand.
Are you a lover of Action Films? If so, do you have any favourite titles or action heroes you admire?
Yes, I am, and yes, I do. I grew up watching a lot of the 80s and early 90s action movies as a young boy and teenager, so those films, in general, inspired me a lot. Schwarzenegger and Stallone, Van Damme… and movies like Terminator, Predator, Rocky, Rambo, Cliffhanger, Bloodsport etc, to ﬁlms like Mad Max with Mel Gibson and Die Hard with Bruce Willis. Probably my all-time favourite ﬁlm is Gladiator with Russel Crowe, which was made in the late 90s.
What attracted you to play Walker in The Siege? Any inspiration?
The Siege was made not long after Last Man Down came out on Netflix, and it was a ﬁlm in the same genre. The script was very entertaining, and after a call with the director, I made my decision. I know there are some pieces of John Carpenter’s inspiration and a bit of Kurt Russell’s character Snake Plisskin, but I created my own character out of several ideas, and it evolved in the process of making the ﬁlm.
What was the biggest challenge while working on this project?
There were two big challenges. First, we were still in semi-lockdown in the UK where we shot it, so we had to be in a sealed covid bubble while shooting, and that complicated things a bit with logistics, etc. The second was that we had to shoot the ﬁlm in only 20 days, so it was a very effective but extremely challenging shoot. There was no time for mistakes, and you always needed to deliver on the ﬁrst takes.
The ﬁlm is much fun and provides brainless entertainment. Am I right to say this ﬁlm has clearly been inspired by ﬁlms from the 80s?
Yes, you are. The director, Brad Watson, told me he wanted to shoot it in the style of the 80s action movies, something I thought was a great idea, and then we developed that idea further right up until the shoot.
I’m aware of your history in professional bodybuilding; how did your passion and desire to work in ﬁlms come into play?
My bodybuilding and acting passion came from the same source. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. Watching them as a young man, I decided I wanted to be like them when I got older. It stuck with me, and that interest become my job over time. First, as a full-time bodybuilder in my teenage years and 20s, and then later, as an actor and ﬁlm maker in my 30s. I always kept hold of my childhood dream to have big muscles and make movies when I get older.
What was your favourite moment while working on this ﬁlm?
That was to work with Lauren Okadigbo, Phil Tommy, and Mark Epstein onset. Lauren, Phil and I ﬁrst met when we attended a stunt course in London 10 years ago. We were all freshies, and it was the ﬁrst ﬁlm-related course for all of us. Lauren came from Dance, Phil from Martial Arts, Mark was a former MMA Champ in the UK, and I came from Bodybuilding. I ﬂew over from Norway to attend this course, and we all did the course together and become friends. 10 years later, we did The Siege together as actors.
What was it like working with Brad Watson?
First of all, Brad Watson is a wonderful human, so that makes everything easier. He was easy to work with, and we could have frank conversations about the scenes. One of the greatest assets Brad has as a director is he knows what shots he needs to make the ﬁlm work, because of his background as a ﬁlm Editor. He is also a good communicator onset. It may surprise you, but he also composed the music for the film. He is so multi-talented and a good man.
If someone told you they wanted to be an actor, what advice would you give them?
First of all, I will always support people in going for their dreams as I have. But I would say, do it if you really want to do this with all your heart, because it’s very hard to succeed, at least if you want to go far and not as a hobby. It’s harder than you think, and you must be ready to take all the punches the journey is going to give you. Rejections, economic hardship, sacriﬁces you must make to prioritise and so on. So only do it if you really want to chase the actor dream 100%. It’s a long-term game to get where you want.
I noticed, according to IMDb, that you have several projects underway. Can you reveal an upcoming ﬁlm you are excited about working on?
We plan to shoot at least two ﬁlms this year. I don’t want to go into too much detail yet, as decisions will be made over the coming months. However, Fight Pride is a ﬁlm about a working-class steel worker from America. Directed by the legendary Sheldon Lettich, who wrote and/or directed Bloodsport, Rambo III, Double Impact, and Lionheart, to name a few. We are also in the process of considering making a sequel to our last Netflix success Last Man Down, and a few other projects we are considering at this stage.
Fight Pride story outline – “An outcast steel worker searching for a sense of belonging befriends a bullied homeless boy but turns brutal brawler after the daughter of a real estate tycoon recruits him to be her ﬁghter in an underground ﬁght league”.
Why should the people of Australia and New Zealand rent/buy The Siege (2022) when it comes out from March 8th?
If you enjoy simple, old-school, fast-paced, entertaining action, I think you will enjoy watching The Siege.
A big thank you to Daniel Stisen for making himself available to chat about his new action film! For more information on The Siege (2023), check out the link from Defiant Screen Entertainment: https://www.defiant-ent.com/product/siege-the/
Contact Details for Daniel Stisen