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Monday
Oct162017

Exclusive Interview with Taran Killam on “Killing Gunther” & Arnold!

The limited theatrical release is happening on October 20th but you can watch the all new Arnold movie "Killing Gunter" on Ultra VOD right NOW! If you have cable in your home, chances are you’ll be able to order this action comedy film, starring Taran Killam and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Killam, director, writer and star of Killing Gunter was nice enough to answer all of our questions here at TheArnoldFans about the film. Well, how could he refuse when he’s part of our family as a top notch Schwarzenegger fan!

TheArnoldFans: Why is NOW a good time for a Rated R Schwarzenegger comedy…and What makes it rated R?


Taran Killam: “I've been a fan of Arnold's for as long as I can remember and always loved how he balanced uber masculinity while keeping a good sense of humor about himself. Twins and Kindergarten Cop are such great comedies but the joke was always how out of place he was. In our film, he is very much in his element and the architect of the humor. I always loved his hate-to-love him, charismatic persona from "Pumping Iron" and part of my pitch to him for "Killing Gunther" was capturing his infectious, joyous competitive nature while poking fun of his body of work by setting it in the world of assassins. This movie is R predominantly for violence and language. Our film has Arnold F-Bombs for days. "


TheArnoldFans: How did you enjoy your first time at directing? What was most challenging (or worst day)... and Did Arnold give you any professional advice?

Taran Killam: “I really enjoyed directing, has challenging and draining as it was. I went into with an open mind and open ears. I tried to look to my department heads for guidance and advice, completely aware that they were experts and had more experience than myself. Our hardest day was toward the end of production, filming what we called "car-pocolypse." We'd closed off a street in Cloverdale, B.C. for two days. The local residents and business owners were incredibly supportive. The entire sequence, which plays as a "oner", is actually 9 to 10 different chapters strung together. At the end of the second day, or last chapter was the car fish-tailing in and then the cast running and destroying the car. The sun was setting, we were losing light, and the street we'd been filming on was getting less and less slick, making it difficult for the car to do it's thing. Our AD said "we have one more take!" and our brilliant stunt driver nailed it. But that was a stressful day.

Arnold was incredible and always respectful and very supportive. I would ask him about working with other directors I loved and it awkward came down to preparation. The best directors always worked their butts off in prep. So I really took that to heart. I wanted to show that I'd done my work and also be incredibly respectful of Arnold's time as he took a risk on a kid like me with no track record."


TheArnoldFans: Arnold has the record for the highest kill count of any action hero. Does Gunther get to do any on screens kills and if so, might you have written in some good appropriate one-liners?

Taran Killam: “We're certainly adding on to Arnold's tally. Part of my love for mockumentaries is the naturalistic language, the free-flowing dialogue the way people communicate. So a lot of Arnold's dialogue was kind of intentionally unpolishing and simplifying his language. It was very exciting for me the day we filmed Arnold saying "Dickholes."


TheArnoldFans: Who is Gunther? What kind of a person is he? Does he have any kind of a backstory that we’ll learn about? Is he a legend in the assassin world?

Taran Killam: “To me Gunther is a symbol of expertise. And that's the theme I wanted to explore: earned mastery versus rushed success. Gunther is someone who has earned his stripes. He's at the top of the mountain and in a reflective and possibly existential state of his life. Arnold is the most perfect person to play Gunther because he himself is a master of so many things. Many interests, innumerable accomplishments, always wants to be he best at what he does and is willing to get there through hard work. We don't dive much into his backstory because part of the appeal of his character is the mystery. I always saw the character as a boogie man, like Jaws and the fear of not seeing him is his strongest weapon. But of course I'm more than willing to do a sequel."

TheArnoldFans: Can you share a funny or cool Arnold Schwarzenegger story for our fantastic followers? Maybe your favorite Arnold moment? Taran’s choice :)

Taran Killam: “I mean there's really too many to count. What maybe endeared me the most is how generous he was with his time and how gracious he was with the crew. His very first set up was him in a tankini and bootie shorts and he owned it and put everyone at ease. It was important to me to interact with him as a peer and not be too sycophantic but his last day I did ask him to take a Dutch/Dillon arm grab picture with me. He quoted his whole speech while doing it, staring me straight in the eyes, "What's the matter Dillon? CIA got you pushing too many pencils?"  That moment will flash before eyes before I die."

TheArnoldFans: What’s the film’s run-time and what are your top 3 Arnold films (not counting Gunther).

Taran Killam: “The movie is approximately 93 minutes. My favorites are probably Predator, Commando and Terminator 2."


TheArnoldFans: I’m loving the Wardrobe and hair. Who was in charge for picking these Arnold outfits such as the butterfly suit, German Oktoberfest lederhosen and the Arnold haircut? How involved were you in wardrobe and the look of each character? Also props to Allison Toleman’s mom-jeans and fanny pack!

Taran Killam: “We were spoiled on this production as we had two brilliant costume designers on board. We started production in LA so Reiko Kurumada did a lot of the early design and dresses most of our main cast. Then we moved to Vancouver to help with the budget and Ariana Preece took over designing for the rest of the film. I'm indebted to them both, they did such a wonderful job. I was pretty involved in character design. Arnold's look was based off of fashion guru, Nick Wooster. So we built from there. And then each of our main team members were based off of different archetypes from hitmen/action films I love. I was Tom Cruise from Collateral and Alain Delon from Le Samourai. Hannah's character was La Femme Nikita and Lucy Liz from Kill Bill. The lederhosen was entirely Arnold's idea. It's beautiful, hand-stitched lederhosen that he owned. He had them flown up to Vancouver from his own closet. He was such a great sport."

TheArnoldFans: How much improve went into this film from Arnold and the other actors and what’s a funny scene that you wish made it into the film but needed to be cut?


Taran Killam: “I was incredibly encouraging of improv, which we took full advantage of in the talking head/interview portions. The movie has a lot of action so it's impossible to improvise in those portions but I certainly encourage input from all of the cast. There were several vignettes of the hitmen meeting each other when they show up to the warehouse for the first time. One of my favorites was Gabe (Paul Brittain) talking to Sanaa (Hannah Simone) about his workout routine, which mostly consisted of cardio on his "Gazelle" exercise machine.”

TheArnoldFans: I understand Gunther originally went to Bruce Willis because you thought, no way, could you get Arnold! Once He said YES to your film, did you rewrite any of your script or one-liners tailored more for Schwarzenegger?

Taran Killam: “The wonderful coincidence of Arnold agreeing to sign on was that it was unwittingly perfectly tailored to him. There were certainly many rewrites throughout the process but the great gift Arnold brought was how collaborative he was. He came completely prepared and always has three or four of his alternate jokes for each line. He was very encouraging of referencing his previous works. I slipped in two lines from Predator because it's one of my favorites. He threw in the line about terminating the contractors.”

TheArnoldFans: Have you already considered the Blu-ray special features? If so, what can we expect as far as special features, deleted scenes, bloopers, and might there be a longer Director’s cut?

Taran Killam: “I put together a wrap/blooper reel for our wrap party and I think that will be included in our extra features. And I'd really love to do a commentary track with the cast because I used so many of my friends and we had a blast filming.”

This movie is A LOT of fun! See Killam and his crew and watch Arnold kill ‘em! Join us in our online social media parties on October 20th and take a picture of you watching the movie in your home now or show us your movie ticket and you can try to win one of our five awesome Killing Gunter theatrical posters! Post your picture HERE and good luck!

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