Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

The action thriller Deadlock is currently available to purchase on digital platforms. ComingSoon had the opportunity to speak with the film’s star Patrick Muldoon, who discussed what it was like working alongside Bruce Willis and how he tackled the role of Mack.

“An ex-military man working at a Georgia power plant has to spring into action to prevent disaster when a group of rogue soldiers gain control of the plant and take the employees hostage,” says the official synopsis.

What drew you to the action film Deadlock?

Patrick Muldoon: Somebody called me and asked me if I wanted to work with Bruce Willis and I said, “Yes.” [Laughs] I said yes before I read the script. What drew me to it was Mr. Willis. He’s a legend. I think I was playing football for USC when Die Hard came out. I’ve always been a fan. Anytime you get to work with someone that historically you’ve been a fan of you kind of pinch yourself. This was no different. Bruce was great and the script ended up being great, so we did it.

Did working alongside Bruce Willis live up to your expectations?

Oh, and more! Well, you don’t know somebody from their characters from films. You don’t know them personally. Obviously, when you show up working with someone like that, you’re on your A-game, but he was very gracious and very nice. I was super prepared, but I didn’t know what to expect. On action he just drops in and is super on — he comes to play. The idea that you’re working with Bruce Willis goes away because you’re in the scene.

But, a pro like that, that’s what they do. It doesn’t matter how many movies they’ve done, once the cameras roll it’s you versus me — because I’m the good guy and he’s the bad guy, of course. But in every take, he was just on his A-game, which is a great lesson. There’s no phoning in anything. He comes into work and I really appreciated that.

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I read that you watched some of the old action films from the 80s, specifically Die Hard and Lethal Weapon, to prepare for this picture. Was there a specific moment in the film where your knowledge of those films came in handy?

It wasn’t a suggestion. The whole thing was kind of an improvisation in Deadlock. The script was where it was, which is good, but during the table read I came in and said, “What do we love about the Lethal Weapon and Die Hard movies?” Bruce wasn’t there on that day by the way, for the table read. (Laughs) But it’s that there’s humor in all the relationship regardless of their crazy circumstances. In Deadlock, Bruce Willis could flip a switch and kill 10,000 people with this hydro-electric dam. He could. But under the circumstances, it’s the relationships you love.

In the Die Hards it’s him and Reginald VelJohnson — it’s that relationship that brings us in. Otherwise, it’s just good guys killing bad guys and there’s no fun. So, really, we made an effort — if we’re having fun, Matthew Marsden, Douglas Matthews, Chris Cleveland, and Bruce, then it translates to the audience. So, instead of just making another action movie, we tried to weave the humor in.

What I found interesting about the film too is that Deadlock, in the vein of Die Hard and Lethal Weapon, features flawed individuals. Your character, Mack, is flawed. And though Bruce Willis is a bad guy, you understand why he’s doing what he’s doing.

Right on the money. We get why Bruce is angry. He loses two kids to some crooked cop killing — or at least a police mistake. You don’t know who Mack is until you get into the film and realize he’s an ex-Army Ranger. But what I really loved about the character is that he’s a pacifist who does not want to kill anybody. He would rather have a beer on his houseboat. That’s it. When we meet him he’s hungover from the night before, so you have that tragic flaw. What I really loved about him though was the anti-violence in him. He’s almost a slacker type. He’s loved at work, he’s funny, he makes jokes. So, the worst thing that could happen to Mack is to have a gun shoved in his face again outside of Iraq or Afghanistan. And that’s what happens at his work in America. He goes on this journey, but he doesn’t want to. He really doesn’t want to.

There’s this moment where Mack offs one of the bad guys and apologizes to them. Like, “Sorry, dude.” As far as the tragic flaw goes, he takes on this obstacle that Bruce Willis and these militants put on him begrudgingly. He doesn’t want to do it, but he does.

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This is a very physical, action-oriented role, and I read you have martial arts training. How did that training help prepare you for this role?

I’ve been doing martial arts my whole life and also been an athlete my whole life. But when you have a whole crew and a stunt team all supporting you to go and play war like you did when you were nine years old, there’s no better job than that. All of the fight scenes I can do, but when you see someone jump off the roof of a building, that’s not me. I’m terrified of heights. Bobby Laenen did a great job. But all the fight stuff is me, but for me that’s playtime. It’s fun.

Well, I really enjoyed speaking with you, and congrats on Deadlock.

No problem, man. Just make sure to tell people, if they’re going to watch Die Hard for Christmas, make sure they tune into Deadlock as well!

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