In 2012 a series based on the comic anthology series Metal Hurlant, also known as Heavy Metal in the US, came to life showcasing a series of stories linked together by a traveling asteroid that passes the planet during the events depicted in the episode aptly titled Metal Hurlant Chronicles. The series features a great cast including Scott Adkins, Michael Jai White, Joe Flannigan and more all playing multiple roles throughout the series. In 2014 the SyFy Channel picked it up and finally gave US audiences a chance to get in on the fun. One of the coolest characters in the series called Khondor, played badass by French star Karl E Landler. I have the pleasure to sit down with him to discuss this unique awesome series.
Bobby: Can you tell us a little how you got involved with Metal Hurlant Chronicles?
Karl: While a was shooting a TV Series in Paris I was contacted by Justine Veillot and Guillaume Lubrano, producers and director of Metal Hurlant Chronicles. They were looking for some actors, who could speak English (Metal is a French production) and proficient in action sequences. I’ve worked many times with Luc Besson in his action productions, establishing myself as an action talent.
Also, I was really excited about the idea of starring in a Crazy Syfy Show, it’s unique in France.
Bobby: While each episode is standalone story, there are some actors taking on multiple roles, how many roles did you take on?
Karl: I’m starring in three different episodes playing two characters: Khondor and Byron. “Khondor” is doing a cross over in one episode. Now if you’re a real fan, you’ll notice more little sequences that tie episodes together. Sometimes by incorporating same locations (a bar, a club) or through characters in each other episodes. It’s really a very cool idea.
Bobby: What was the make-up process like in regards to time and functionality?
Karl: The make-up was a big part of “Loyal Khondor”. The first day we had to re-design the suit for some technical reasons. I in fact stood for 6 hours, getting make up and costume done to start the shooting day. The following days, we managed to bring it down to 2h30min every morning, to get ready and 1h30, at the end of the day, to take it all off. The make-up was amazing, very light, and very comfortable. It didn’t really bother me for the action sequence. Except for the red lenses and heavy boots. (Laughs).
Bobby: Where you allowed to do your own stunts and if so what kind training did you have to do for the roles?
Karl: Yes! You kidding me, this is the fun part. I always do my own stunts, so no doubles. This is also part of my background. I used to be national gymnast, competing at an international level. So I love jumping, kicking, and flipping around (laugh). Additionally I train martial arts, parkour, acrobatics, which was a great preparation for the shoot. For “Loyal Khondor” we designed a great fight in an elevator with 4 guards coming at me. An intense day of Shooting!
Bobby: When having to take on different roles in the same universe like this, what kind of process do you go through to create your characters or do they just have them pretty locked in as far as the way they want them played.
Karl: I always try to find the underlining human condition. Universal themes like love, fear etc, that I like to imagine connect us in any universe. Once I feel connected to that I look at the circumstances that are given to the character, and try to find little things that are unique to them in that environment and how they deal with the challenges presented to them.
Bobby: It took a while before the series started playing here in the US, is there any word of another season being made and do you know if you will be involved?
Karl: Syfy was waiting to see more episodes before acquiring the show. Metal Hurlant is now broadcasting in over 80 countries! What a success for a French TV series. Regarding a new season we all want to start shooting again. There are also some ideas, we’re exploring, together with Guillaume (director, producer) to bring back one of my characters should we go for a third season. It might happen very soon.
Bobby: Is there anything else you have coming up that you can tell us about or would like to promote?
Karl: In a totally different universe, no kicking, no swords fighting, you can follow me through the night -life of L.A in the feature “Layover” helmed by Joshua Caldwell. This movie is now in an official competition at Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) and in competition in “Dances with Films” Festivals in Los Angeles.
We did several Comic Cons in Europe for Metal Hurlant Next up, Comic Con in San Diego. Can’t wait.
To keep up with what Karl E Landler is up to you can connect with him on Twitter @karlelandler or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/karlelandleroffcial?ref=hl
For more information on Metal Hurlant Chronicles head over to https://www.facebook.com/pages/Metal-Hurlant-Chronicles-tv-serie/1427970…
For more information on the film Layover head over to http://layoverfilm.com