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An Interview with Chris Levine, Star of The Handler

by Mike Haberfelner

December 2021

Films starring Chris Levine on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie The Handler - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us about your character?


The 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?


I think 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.


How did you get involved with the project in the first place?


I’ve 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 industry.


You 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.


Do talk about The Handler's director Michael Matteo Rossi [Michael Matteo Rossi interview - click here], and what was your collaboration like?


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 we could.


What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


The 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?


Of course! 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 already!


Your website, social media, whatever else?


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You can find me on social media @onlychrislevine and my website is


Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


Mike, 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 interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

Thanks for watching !!!



Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD