Copping a Hollywood Attitude
LA-based Australian actor on the rise, Martin Copping, discusses the experience of making the post-apocalyptic thriller, ‘Zombie Hunter’, and the move to Hollywood.
“Zombies are a pretty accurate, symbolic representation of how a large majority of society lives,” Australian actor, Martin Copping, muses to FilmInk when asked about the reasons behind our current fascination with zombies. “That is, we’re just going through the motions of existing and not actually ‘living’. Then there’s the idea of what would happen to us if we did actually live through an apocalypse and society was instantly deconstructed, bringing us back to our primal instincts of survival.”
From the runaway hit television series The Walking Dead to the upcoming Warm Bodies, the exploration of The Undead on screen has definitely proven itself to be a rich, fertile and thrilling ground for recent storytelling. And Copping is front and centre in another upcoming feature that has added itself to the zombie ranks with Zombie Hunter, a new US grindhouse thriller from Kevin King.
Australian audiences may recognise Copping from a string of local television credits including Blue Heelers, Something In The Air and Neighbours. But the young Australian actor – son of Australian cinematographer Robin Copping – is now a long way from home.
In the aptly titled Zombie Hunter, Copping plays (you guessed it) Hunter, a lone, Camaro-cruising zombie slayer with a taste for revenge as a result of the loss of his family. “I really connected with the character I was playing,” reveals Copping, who scored the part after putting down an audition tape. “He’s a rogue warrior and he’s very flawed, but he always gets the job done. I did get a little beat up at times, as there were numerous fight scenes.”
Killing his way through the walking dead, Hunter encounters a group of survivors including strippers, rednecks and a pulverising priest named Jesús (played by Danny Trejo in a huge score for the film). Together they rack up a body count so high, that it surely wouldn’t be enough to sustain interest for ninety minutes, but that’s where the stakes quickly escalate. “A surprise attack by a new breed of giant mutant flesh eaters forces them on the run, and puts Hunter's skills to the test,” Copping says.
Speaking of putting skills to the test, Copping discusses his move to LA. “I moved about four years ago. It has definitely been an adventure and has without question had more than a few trying moments,” he says. “Since moving to LA, I’ve become good friends with many of my favourite Australian filmmakers and actors, and have actually spent more time with the Aussie filmmaking community than I probably did when I was back home.”
With his 2013 planner already filling up with projects, Copping is managing to stay busy while awaiting the release of Zombie Hunter, an experience he reflects on fondly. “It was the most fun I’ve had on set. Working with Danny [Trejo] was great. I’m a huge grindhouse/Robert Rodriguez fan and watch all his films. I think Danny is in pretty much all of them so he’s been on my radar for a long time. It was good to work with the original badass,” says the actor.
Washed clean of zombie blood to expand into more dramatic territory, the Aussie actor will continue to broaden his creative horizons in his newfound home of Hollywood. “In terms of upcoming projects, I have Forbidden Ground coming out later this year. It’s a World War I movie set in France, 1916. I’ve also got another couple of films I’m scheduled to start shooting later in the year as well as a few feature projects I’m producing.”
But for the enthusiastic young talent, acting is not where the filmmaking stops. “I love making short films. I love to write, produce, direct and perform and not necessarily in that order. I would love to continue to make films,” Copping says. “I have finally branched into feature length and would love to direct long format in the future. If I can continue to evolve and contribute artistically in this capacity, I would be pretty much on par with where I want to go.”
Keep up to date with the film’s progress here. Trailer below.