Today, I sat down with the stars of Cop and a Half, Lem and Valeros, for a quick Q&A regarding their hit movie, Cop and a Half.
Q: How did you both get involved in this project?
Lem: Well, I think Val and I come from similar backgrounds. I grew up reading everything I could find, and a lot of that tended to be science fiction and fantasy, which led me to role-playing, and so-on. So this was a natural fit for me.
Valeros: Yeah, my experience is similar, as Lem said. I was mostly into comic books and action movies, though. Give me a good Schwarzenegger flick any day. Everything I learned about acting, I learned from his movies and Stallone and all those guys back in the day. Great stuff. So I look at this as kind of my homage to Conan the Barbarian.
Q: Well, if that’s what you were going for, I would say you pulled it off quite well.
Q: So, what was the process of taking on this role like? Was there a lot of training before you could start filming?
Lem: Well, not as much for me, so for my part it was pretty easy to just memorize my lines each day and do whatever scenes were on the table for that day. Every day it was pretty much the same, so once I had shot one or two scenes, I kind of fell into a rhythm. There were a lot of rewrites of the script, but I think we mostly ignored them, right?
Valeros: <laughs> Yeah, pretty much. Not much training for me either, really. I was in pretty good shape before the film, and I have used all the weapons and tools before, so there wasn’t much to adapt to here. Since we were both so familiar with all of the concepts, I think that helped us settle into our roles quickly.
Q: How long did filming take?
Valeros: Longer than it should have.
Lem: Hah, yeah, we honestly should have wrapped in just a few months, but there were schedule conflicts and budget constraints that put us on hiatus for months at a time. I think we’re both just glad it’s over, as much fun as it was while we were doing it.
Valeros: Yeah, I mean, while we were shooting, it was only one or two hours at a time. But when you stretch that out for months on end, it can get tedious.
Q: Some critics have pointed out that the movie has a weak opening act. What are your thoughts on that?
Lem: I would agree with that criticism, I think. I don't think a film like this had ever really been attempted before, and that the studio and director did the best they could, but obviously there was room for improvement there.
Valeros: Yeah, I think they reshot that opening scene, what, four times?
Lem: Yeah, at least. It was a really challenging scene. Part of that was because we didn't know what we were doing yet, and part of it was that the script was just flawed. I think once we got past that opening things improved, and kept improving throughout the film.
Q: A lot of the audience really liked that the focus was on the two of you for the entire film. Was there ever any consideration for adding more characters?
Lem: Not really, no. I think the director knew exactly what he wanted and didn’t want the film to get bloated. Every person you add to a cast adds exponentially more time to the shooting schedule. So if we had made the movie with three, four, or god forbid, six stars, it would have taken forever to finish.
Valeros: Plus, I really don’t like people. No offense.
Lem: None taken!
Q: Is there anything you would have changed, if you could do it again?
Lem: I actually disagree with Val on this. I think the story could really have benefitted from more tightness and focus on the overarching narrative. Like, the beginning of the movie with the attack on Sandpoint, and the end of the movie, where we’re assaulting a Runelords keep, there’s just no real connection between the two. There are a lot of scenes I would cut if I were to do it again that just feel unnecessary to the story.
Valeros: But I was able to kill a lot of things in those scenes, so there’s that.
Q: Now that the movie is out, a lot of people were surprised about the ending. Do you have any thoughts on that?
Lem: Yeah, we get that a lot. The end w-
Valeros: The end was bullshit.
Lem: Well, I was going to put it more diplomatically, but yeah, basically.
Valeros: Our characters go on this insanely long journey, getting stronger and gaining all these crazy magical items, and in the end, it all amounts to nothing because the villain is unkillable unless he’s alone? Bullshit.
Lem: Yeah, a lot of that seemed like a last-minute decision by the studio. I don’t think they really had a plan for that ending, and we definitely weren’t open to a sequel by the time we were done, so the decision was made to just kill our characters off. I think a lot of people expected a happy ending to the story, but it just wasn’t going to happen.
Valeros: I’m still hoping they let me do the “Valeros Cut” of the movie, where I carve the Runelord up and retire to a life of luxury in Magnimar with a ton of hot chicks.
Q: Any final words to your fans out there?
Lem: I just want to say thanks to everyone who watched and enjoyed the movie. It really means a lot to us. We put a lot of work into it, and yeah, we got a paycheck out of it, but knowing that others enjoyed what they saw is the greatest reward.
Valeros: Yeah, thanks everybody. Maybe in a few years when we forget how long this whole thing dragged on, we will do a sequel.
Lem4ever69 wrote: I finally found it! The best movie of the year! Click the links below to watch!
Cop and a Half: Episode 1 - Brigandoom
Cop and a Half: Episode 2 - Brigandoomer
Cop and a Half: Episode 3 - Brigandoomiest
Cop and a Half: Episode 4 - Pill Poppin'
Cop and a Half: Episode 5 - Bitten By The Fang
Cop and a Half: Episode 6 - Broken Fang
Cop and a Half: Episode 7 - Big Trouble In Little Sandpoint
Cop and a Half: Episode 8 - Goblins Raid Sandpoint! a.k.a A Monday
Cop and a Half: Episode 9 - Loco Heroes
Cop and a Half: Episode 10 - Carving Their Way To The 'Top
Cop and a Half: Episode 11 - Delving Down From The 'Top
Cop and a Half: Episode 12 - Night of the Not-So-Living Dead
Cop and a Half: Episode 13 - A Feast for Scarecrows
Cop and a Half: Episode 14 - 'Tis the Season for Foul Misgivings
Cop and a Half: Episode 15 - Exposing the Cult
Cop and a Half: Episode 16 - Death of an Angel
Cop and a Half: Episode 17 - Those Ogres Are Quite Odd
Cop and a Half: Episode 18 - The Fort Retaken
Cop and a Half: Episode 19 - The Flood
Cop and a Half: Episode 20 - Dam It
Cop and a Half: Episode 21 - Into The Mountains
Cop and a Half: Episode 22 - Sandpoint Under Siege
Cop and a Half: Episode 23 - The Path to Jorgenfist
Cop and a Half: Episode 24 - The Biggest, Blackest Tower
Cop and a Half: Episode 25 - Beneath the Fist
Cop and a Half episode 26 – The Ancient Library
Cop and a Half Episode 27 - Under the Sand
Cop and a Half Episode 28 - No Rime Or Reason
Cop and a Half Episode 29 - The Halls of Seduction
Cop and a Half Episode 30 - Thassilonian Sins
Cop and a Half Episode 31 - Into the Runeforge
Cop and a Half Episode 32 - Cabin in the Snow
Cop and a Half Episode 33 - Do you know the way to Xin-Shalast?
Cop and a Half Episode 34 - The Final Climb
Cop and a Half Episode 35 - Rise of the Runelord
I want to thank everyone who went through the journey with me on Cop and a Half, with a special thank you to:
Your comments and help along the way really kept me going.
I am currently working my way through the entirety of S&S with a 4-character crew. Once I've made it through, I may circle back around and tackle it as a narrative project like this one. Going to be a while, though!