The Latin Dragon Unleashed: An Interview with “Savage Dog” Co-Star Marko Zaror

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Marko Zaror is a martial artist and actor who got his start with the Mexican film Chinango, but gained international fame amongst genre fans with his 2006 film Kiltro. In 2010, he made his English-language debut against Scott Adkins as “Dolor” in Undisputed III: Redemption. Since then, Zaror has appeared in many films and TV series, notably Machete Kills and From Dusk Til Dawn: The Series. Zaror plays the villain Rastignac in the upcoming action thriller Savage Dog, which pits him once again against Scott Adkins. The film will be released in select theaters on August 4.

World Film Geek got the opportunity to talk with Zaror about his experiences on the film.

First Marko, I have to say I am a huge fan so I feel honored to be talking with you about Savage Dog.
Thank you so much! I really appreciate it!

How did you get approached for the film and what was it like working with director Jesse Johnson?
I actually met Jesse fifteen years ago on the set of Pit Fighter. When he was shooting that I was a fan and I was invited to Los Angeles and I met him and he was a cool guy. Then we caught up with each other fifteen years later and we had coffee. He soon offered me the role and I was very excited. It was very exciting.

When I learned that Scott [Adkins] was playing the lead, it gave me an opportunity to work with him again. He’s a friend and a great martial artist, and he always gets a chance to show his martial arts on the set.

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Marko Zaror as Rastignac in Savage Dog (XLrator Media/Bleiberg Productions)

How would you describe your character of Rastignac?
Well, he’s an assassin, an opportunist. A gambler and dealer. His dream was to be a matador and he’s from the Foreign Legion. And you know, he’s a big guy. He’s a good businessman. He has to do good because he follows a moral code and he has a passion for fighting. He also has a passion for life and death. And that’s why he wants to be a matador, because to the bull, it’s a life or death situation.

It’s also why after I stab someone in the film, I clean the knife. Jesse gave me that freedom to go deep, to add some little details to that character, which I think was pretty cool.

Did you endure any difficulties on the set of the film in terms of shooting, conditions, etc.?
For the most part, everything was cool, but it would be very hot. Wearing the suit I had in the heat was very challenging. But other than that, everything else was very smooth and we had a lot of fun.

In the film, you get to have a rematch with Scott Adkins (left). You two definitely unleashed an epic fight in Undisputed III (right) and seeing this film, the chemistry was definitely still there. What was it like working on the fight scene with Scott this time around? To me, it was more grounded compared to your previous fight on screen.
Exactly! I mean, it is an action film and you do have weapons and the setting was different. So we had to adapt and for me as a martial artist, I had to find a way to find how my character fights. I did some research on the French art of Savate and I actually learned it for the film. It was a style that they used for war so we worked together pretty well and then you add the weapons. It was a great fight and it was totally different from Undisputed III and I’m sure people will love it. There’s more character development as well so it’s pretty cool.

Exactly and I love the fact that you and Scott brought a more traditional grounded style of fighting as opposed to the usual tricking and any true fan would also appreciate the contrasts in the fighting styles.
Yes and I appreciate that you mentioned that because that’s very important for the film.

Finally, where can fans see you next?
Well, I have some projects that I am really excited about. The Green Ghost is supposed to come this year, but I’m not sure exactly when. I have a really good part and I get to fight Cain Velasquez, the UFC former champion. He’s such a nice guy and a great martial artist. There are some nice fights in them and I got to do the action choreography on it.

I did shoot an episode of Marvel’s The Defenders, which is coming out soon [August 18 on Netflix] and I’m really excited to see how that comes out. The one I am really looking forward to is coming next year, Alita: Battle Angel, for Robert Rodriguez.

I have to admit, I am looking forward to that one especially because I’m a bit of an anime fanatic and I know it’s a live-action adaptation of a manga and anime.
Yeah, making that was so incredible and I am so happy to be a part of that! Of course, working with Robert is always inspiring. [Marko has also appeared in Rodriguez’s Machete Kills and on the Rodriguez-produced TV series adapation of From Dusk Til Dawn]

Savage Dog comes to theaters on August 4 and those expecting a good rematch between Marko and Scott will not be disappointed. Thank you so much again for talking about the film.
Oh thank you! I really appreciate it!

A special Thank You goes out to Katrina Wan PR and Marko Zaror for making this interview possible. For more information on Marko, check out his official Twitter page.

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