Earlier this year, I interviewed actor/producer Adam Kilbourn about his role as Hawkeye in Ismahawk's newest episode of 'Minute Match-Ups'. Hawkeye is one of my favorite Avengers, and Marvel characters in general, so of course I had a blast talking with Adam about his awesome role!
But Hawkeye wasn't the only superhero in 'Minute Match-Ups'. After all, the point of MMU is that two iconic characters battle it out in a winner takes all death battle—so there's got to be a person for Hawkeye to rival.
That person is DC counterpart, Green Arrow, portrayed by Tony Smith! Now, even though I'll always be a huge Hawkeye fan, Green Arrow is one of my favorite DC characters, and Tony Smith has certainly become one of my favorite people - so I of course wanted to sit down and talk with him too! And by sit down, I mean sit down in front of a phone with Tony on the other line.
Before you check out the interview, make sure to check out the Green Arrow vs. Hawkeye MMU below! Who do you think will win?
Well, now that you've witnessed that awesomeness! It's time to talk to Green Arrow himself, Tony Smith!
Let's Get Started!
Q: What was it like portraying Green Arrow in 'Minute Match Ups'?
Tony: It was amazing! Even if the work is hard, it's always really easy to work that hard when you have incredible choreographers. It was easy working with the synopsis that Danny gave us, and the Arhat Orphan Brothers helping us. They have a tendency to go a little crazy, but this time they really honed in on exactly what we wanted. It was very meticulous, what Danny saw in his head with the compare and contrast of the arrow fights from hand-to-hand. Training wasn't too hard, I think the training I did for Deadpool was a little bit harder, and the training I did for Deathstroke as well.
Along with playing the 'Emerald Archer', Tony Smith has also portrayed Deadpool in the first 'Minute Match Ups', Deadpool V Deadpool! He also worked on the costumes and choreography for Nightwing: The Series!
Q: Are you a comic book fan? Who would you say is your favorite superhero?
Tony: I am! My favorite superhero growing up was Superman. I think mostly because of the idea of feeling alien to everybody. Literally, he was an alien kind of trying to find his place in the world, and having to have the patience and composure of not ever losing his cool. If there's anything Superman has, in regards to admirable traits, it's that he has the composure of a saint. Until he loses his mind a little bit and starts lobotomizing people (laughs). Compared to his counterpart, Batman, who we'll see both of in the next few years in live-action, I think it's going to be a very interesting dynamic that Henry [Cavill] is going to bring to that character.
But lately my favorite superhero is Green Arrow. After playing that character, and having to work with Danny in trying to find this character's objective, I really enjoyed it. He's kind of an underrated character, I don't think people really know the kind of turmoil that this character has gone through. Stephen Amell has done a lot of justice to that character I think. All things considered it's a completely different character than comic book Green Arrow. But in regards to Green Arrow's past, Oliver's past, I think he's done a justice for that because he really did go through a lot on that island.
I definitely agree with him that Green Arrow is a super underrated character. A lot of people's knowledge on the character stems from Amell's portrayal of Oliver Queen on Arrow. But while he does a great job portraying the character, there's still a ton more to know about him in the pages of his comics.
Q: What did you do to prepare for playing Green Arrow?
Tony: In regards to physical presentation, I tried to stay a little bit more lean, whereas usually I try to bulk up a little bit. Like for Superboy I bulked up, while still trying to keep some lean aspect. But with Green Arrow, I did a lot of yoga and a lot of stretching, I tried to stay to stay as limber as possible, I tried to sell that aspect. Because you can always, as an actor, and with taller guys who are a little built but have wide shoulders like mine, you can always kind of cheat looking big. You know looking muscular on camera. Because with camera, especially Jeremy's cinematography technique, he can make basically anybody look amazing. I didn't do a lot of physically hard workouts, I just tried to really stay conscious of what I was eating, and lot of yoga. A lot of calisthenics, keeping very limb and agile.
Q: Did you do any studying for the role?
Tony: I did actually. I'm not like, a big fan of the Arrow series, so recently I started getting into that, I'm watching it now. And I kind of tried to find this medium, this happy medium between the broodiness that Stephen Amell has brought to this character, and the stuff that you see on like the JLU [Justice League Unlimited] series or the stuff you see on Young Justice. And I kind of like, fell mostly on the Young Justice Green Arrow and really studied some of the things that he said and the way he acted, because that was the one I really thought was more Green Arrow than anything.
Tony: Like there's a scene in Young Justice where M'Gann, where she turns into Black Canary while she's fighting Superboy, and she beats him and they kiss and she's still Black Canary when they kiss! And she turns back into herself, and Green Arrow was watching and bursts out laughing, and Black Canary gets really pissed at him. Y'know, he's a little more of a goofier guy, he's very lighthearted, doesn't really have a mean bone in his body. He kind of has that aspect that Batman has, but without that y'know, "I hate everything because my parents died" attitude.
Q: So 'Minute Match-Ups' obviously takes a little longer than a minute, it's a very long journey, would you say that you have a least favorite part of it all?
Tony: Um, not really. Y'know, Danny is an incredible editor, he's very meticulous and specific about what he wants to show in his composition of an edit. When we were filming it, some of the stuff that were doing felt so natural, it was the most natural I've ever felt on set. From A to Z, it had the best balance and flow that I've ever had on set.
So..least favorite part? Actually, when it comes down to it, I'd have to say that my least favorite part is that I actually do kill Hawkeye *laughs*. I think a lot of Marvel fans are in our fanbase, and they were like "Whoa! Green Arrow would never do that!" But you know, it is still Green Arrow, but we did put them in almost a kind of game-style universe where it's like "Hey look, Hawkeye's really not dead guys, he's ok!" *laughs*
Tony: We've got something coming up where we're gonna show up and say "Hey look, he's not gone. Just relax, it was all fun, all fun and games." But, I think maybe that was, maybe we didn't do AS good of a job as we should have done showing our fans and the people watching it that you know this is kind of, we're kind of putting them in a game setting, like even if they die, they're not really dead in this universe. So nothing that we did on the set I didn't love, but if I had to choose to change something, that would probably it.
Q: What would you say was your most favorite part?
Tony: Um, that's a really good question *laughs*. I think, my most favorite part, in regards to dialogue, my favorite part would have to be when Hawkeye hits me with the 4x4 and says "I'm not even from here"! I think dialogue wise, that was genius! And then action-wise, like with the choreography, my favorite part would have to be when I hit Adam [Kilbourn] and he flies over that railing! He was such a great partner in regards to action-choreography, he gave 110%, so I think that would have to be my favorite part in regards to the choreography.
Effects wise, my favorite part was just the arrows in general. Danny did an incredible job making those imaginary arrows that we were shooting at each other *laughs*.
Q: So tell me a little bit about the next MMU.
Tony: The next Minute Match Up will be Flash vs. Quicksilver! With those types of characters, you're seeing very, very quick shots. So we're gonna see shots of them running across a terrain, or running past each other or maybe putting in a quick punch or kick while they're running against each other in these different sets. We also have a few other people that are going to be in the video that usually aren't in the videos, so [Ismahawk] fans might recognize other people in cameos or something. We're working with other people in regards to design and costumes, so the costumes are going to be of the caliber that we've seen in these past few videos; so they're going to be like Nightwing or Hawkeye vs. Green Arrow caliber costumes. And it's even actually a step further, because we're going to be fitting these costumes to the subjects that are playing these characters, so it's going to very, very nice.
And the effects, the effects are going to be pretty extensive in this video, Danny is going to have his work cut out for him! We have, y'know, two of the fastest characters. I think Flash is probably going to be the hardest, because how do we give Quicksilver that respect? Like you know "Hey yeah, Flash is faster but Quicksilver is still pretty bad ass" you know? The hardest part about this one coming up is giving both character their respect, and this is probably going to be the hardest video that we've ever done. Even harder than the Star Wars video we did a few years back, especially for the post-production. But you know, we have an incredible team, and I'd say that this is probably going to top Green Arrow vs. Hawkeye! We're going to see great actors doing what they love to do!
Q: So are you going to have any part in Flash vs. Quicksilver?
Tony: I'm actually going to be concentrating on behind the camera this time. I put a lot of hard work in front of camera these past two videos, which I loved, I love acting and I'd love yo play another superhero - but you know, I think it's time for me to kinda sit back a little bit and focus a little bit more on the writing and the dialogue. So I'm doing some script analysis as well as supervising and doing a little bit of production stuff, just doing a little bit of everything you know? Like helping Jeremy behind the camera, making sure we've got the proper shot and that we're staying on track.
Q: So, like you said, Flash and Quicksilver are some of the fastest characters ever. With that in mind, what is the choreography for this next MMU going to be like?
Tony: That's one of the things that we're really gonna have to hone in on, and concentrate on, because it's really specific. Because you know like, Flash doesn't really have a certain style of choreography right? He's just kind of fast enough to do what he wants. We're in talks every single day trying to figure out how we're going to make sure that both of these characters, that they actually have specific choreography, and how do we differentiate between the two? You know, besides obviously, they look completely different. So, the choreography is probably going to look a lot like what you see in the animated series stuff, and a lot like what you've seen with Quicksilver in Days of Future Past, where he kind of just speeds away and has this kind of snarky humor that is just Quicksilver, y'know and Evan Peters has done an incredible job of that. I think I actually loved his version the most.
So we're gonna see a little bit of that, and then with Flash we're kind of leaning a little bit more towards the style that you see in The Flash CW show. I think that's very, very specifically based off of the animated Justice League series, or even maybe the Flashpoint Paradox version and that kind of choreography. But whatever happens with the choreography, I promise we're going to do it as best as we possibly can.
Q: So the Minute Match Ups so far have been mostly Marvel and DC, are you guys thinking of any future MMUs journeying into any other universes?
Tony: Oh absolutely! We have a few ideas that are kind of, uh, pulling in certain space characters or "star" characters *laughs* into our production. We're gonna be pulling like random Dark Horse comic book characters, possibly against DC characters. Or you know, maybe characters we just love. You know, maybe some Mortal Kombat characters, or videogame characters that we love. I think right now, we obviously have to have a very good base, or a very good foreground before moving in different directions. Because we have a very specific fanbse right now, we have a very specific Marvel and DC fanbase.
So we have to kind of stick to that right now. But then in the future, when we have the funds necessary, and maybe a little bit more resources, we can kind of branch out and do all kinds of different characters in our Minute Match Ups.
Personally, I'm hoping for Goku vs. Naruto!
Q: Last question, what can fans expect from you and Ismahawk in the future?
Tony: That's a really good question. You know, I'm still going to be there for the Minute Match Up stuff, and for all of our other stuff, our films and projects. But me and Noel [Schefflin], we're mostly actors, you know we're actors/writers/choreographers. Whereas Jeremy and Danny are the ones that brought us on, and they're the guys that know the technical aspect, they're the guys that do the post-production stuff. You know, Jeremy's the cinematographer, he is Ismahawk's visuals, everything visually that you see on Ismahawk, that is Jeremy, and every once in a while, we'll bring in someone else like Robert Machatto who is an incredible cinematographer.
But, from now on, you're going to see me and Noel kind of branch off in subsidiary channels. You're going to see us still in Ismahawk, but then also pulling, maybe in a different market, kind of pulling people to Ismahawk's main channel as well. So we have a few things coming up that will be announced on Hawk Talk, as well as announced on our channel in the coming months or so. But, I'm mostly still going to focusing on writing, and helping Danny a lttle bit more with the post-production stuff, now that I'm more acclimated into the post-production and editing world. I think now that Ismahawk is kind of moving a little bit more to the mainstream, I think you're going to probably see Danny, Jeremy, Noel and myself in other stuff as well. You know Danny was just asked to go on and help out Super Power Beat Down with Bat In The Sun.
Well, that's the end of this awesome interview! Thanks for reading, and make sure to support Tony and Ismahawk by checking out their videos, and by checking out their Patreon page!