Your new movie The
Handler - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell
us about your character?
Handler is an homage to 80s/90s action movies full of
fighting, shooting and even a few post-kill oneliners. My
character Ryker Dune is a Veteran who under hard times
links up with the mob to make extra money and fulfill his
need to kill again… When the movie starts we follow
Ryker into a safe house as he prepares for war against
them after he decides he wants out.
What did you draw upon to bring
your character to life, and how much Chris Levine can we find in Ryker?
the passion, the drive and physicality of Ryker and I are
similar but that’s where it ends. I’m no badass in
real life, LOL. I didn’t even know how to throw a punch
really before we started training for the role! But to
create a character like Ryker who is a Marine I knew
he’d have to be tough, he had to be honorable and
probably a little stubborn. And then of course know how to
use weapons and fight really well – which involved a 30
day crash course with my trainer Matt Erdems.
did you get involved with the project in the first place?
known the director Michael Rossi [Michael
Matteo Rossi interview - click here] for a few years now and
we’ve worked together on a much smaller scale, but during
Covid we were kind of stagnant and he had access to the
house you see in the film and reached out with a loose
idea about a Marine who is protecting… “handling” a
bag that the mob wants. I said hey I don’t know how to
fight but I’m willing to learn, and he said cool, you got
30 days. So yeah he reached out to me, just shows the
power of networking and building friendships in the
do have more than your fair share of fight scenes in The
Handler - so do talk about these scenes for a bit, how were they
achieved, and what can you tell us about your training for the movie?
Yes I do
fight a lot in the film! None of the fights were rehearsed
more than the hour or so before we filmed them on set, so
for what we pulled off is pretty incredible. A lot of that
comes down to Matt Erdems, who was able to create such
unique and vicious fights on the fly. Matt was also my
trainer for those short 30 days, so it involved plenty of
punches, combinations, knees, kicks and cardio. In the end
I wish my flexibility was better for the kicks but my
cardio was at an extremely athletic level as I had
multiple choreographed fights each day and I didn’t have
time to get tired.
talk about The Handler's
director Michael Matteo Rossi [Michael
Matteo Rossi interview - click here], and what was your
Mike is a
cool, laid back dude. He’s a brilliant writer and
producer, and yet when it comes to directing he doesn’t
try to be a dictator - he’s so open to collaboration.
Don’t like a line? Change it. Want to look here or move
this way? Done. So for this film because it was just based
on a loose script it was 100% collaboration between the DP
Jon Schweigart, myself and Matt. You can tell Mike was
having the time of his life on this set, his phone was
always out recording the fighting, he was never stressed
or worried. He trusted us to get the job done as best as
What can you tell us about the shoot
as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
atmosphere was TENSE because everyone was hyper focused on
finishing the multiple fights for the day and also trying
to stay as safe as possible. Fight choreography is just
dance but you can still get hurt, so I wanted everyone who
was fighting with me to take it as serious as possible. At
the same time, like I had mentioned before, we were all
having a great time, no NDAs, no EPs breathing down
our necks, just an indie action film where everyone wanted
to look badass, be safe and have fun.
Any future projects
you'd like to share?
My next movie being released in early 2022 is called Bad
Bones, we filmed it in Alaska with a great director/writer
Scott Eggleston and my co-star is actually Maddison
Bullock who I fight in The
Handler. In my own “movie
universe”, she doesn’t die, we fall in love and move
to Alaska where I become a paranormal writer, and the wild
sci-fi/horror movie Bad Bones begins.
Mike and I
are also in talks for the sequel to The
Handler, if you
stay after the credits you’ll see we set something up
Your website, social media,
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
You can find me on social media @onlychrislevine and my
website is onlychrislevine.com
Anything else you're dying to mention and
I have merely forgotten to ask?
thanks as always for supporting indie artists, man, I
appreciate it! I think the only thing to mention is to
those reading this, go into The
Handler knowing it’s an
indie action movie, not a Marvel-budgeted blockbuster, and
by spending the $5 on a rental you aren’t making us
rich, you are allowing us to eat. Think about that and hey
just enjoy the movie for what it is!
Thanks for the