EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Actor Alexis Rodney, 'Moloka Dar' From GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

We recently got a chance to talk to up-and-coming actor Alexis Rodney, who played Kyln prison inmate Moloka Dar in Guardians of the Galaxy (best known for his "that was my favorite knife" line). Rodney talked a little bit about getting his role, as well as the filming process.

GuardTheGalaxy: "How did you get the role of Moloka Dar in Guardians of the Galaxy?"

Alexis Rodney: "I remember it vividly. It was around mid-March of 2013, and I was filming on a low budget British feature film at the time. I was on a night shoot when I received a late evening e-mail through from my agent. It was all extremely top secret, and I instructed to sign a non disclosure agreement, just to receive my audition pages. In fact, it was so top secret, they wouldn't even tell me what the project was called. The only information I had was that it was a Marvel project going under the code name (Full Tilt). That was the only motivation I needed. My inner twelve-year-old came to life. With that in mind, I prepared as much as one could and went in to read with the casting director. Those of you that have seen the film will know that Moloka Dar has a penchant for knives. Well, the night before my Guardians meeting, I was tucking into some food on the set of the film I was working on, and I decided I would keep the plastic knife I was eating with, and use it in my audition. I've never been an advocate for mimicry. The casting director looked a bit shocked when I whipped out a plastic knife in an aggressive manner, but he rolled with it, as did I.

Weeks went by and nothing. I was "nigh on sure" I had screwed my chance of being in a Marvel movie. Maybe it was the plastic knife. Maybe I did too much, or too little. Actor self doubt started to kick in. I was just about to finish on the Independent film I was working on, and I was staring a stint of unemployment square in the face, when I got the call from my agent. Bellowing down the phone, I could barely hear him. I had got the part. He was elated for me, as was I. I'll never forget that phone call. I was about to go from a UK Independent film, made for the equivalent of two hundred thousand dollars, to a Marvel blockbuster costing around two hundred million dollars. An actor's life."



First Appearance - Thanos #8 (2004)
GTG: "Did you come up a backstory for Moloka Dar?"

AR: "Yes, I always create a backstory as part of my character work, but in short, it's very rarely something I reveal! Sorry." *laughs*

GTG: "What was the makeup process like?"

AR: "It's a slow and arduous process undertaken by some of the best makeup artists in the world. It's known in the business as "SMUFX," an acronym for "special makeup effects." But way before shooting started, there were numerous tests on teeth and contact lenses to make sure the right look was achieved for Moloka. The first full costume and makeup test took upwards of four hours. After day two, I learned the art of falling asleep while having my face prodded for four hours. It's quite an art, believe me. After a few days the makeup artists were able, through practice, to cut the time down from four to two-and-a-half hours. The prosthetic skin has a feeling of what I would imagine ten layers of somebody else's skin would feel like. Not great feeling at first, but we had a movie to make, so I very quickly put the feeling out of my mind. Lastly, the contact lenses are full eye lenses (they cover the whites also). I have sensitive eyes, so much so, I struggle to open them under water, so this was tough! The makeup, as I'm sure you'll all agree, is outer-world class. Bad joke, sorry, had to go there."

GTG: "Tell us about your first day on the "Kyln prison" set."

AR: "My first day on set was a day of camera tests. All the Guardians and my good self. It was like first day at school, but a really strange intergalactic school. I think everyone was nervous with excitement. A week later I had my first official shooting day. [When] I entered into "the Kyln," it was the most jaw-droppingly amazing set I've ever stepped foot on. Fully working biometric prison cells, four levels of the highest quality British Steel and craftsmanship. It was a real thing of beauty and a world away from my preconceived ideas of green screen. This was pure theatre. I had an immediate sense that we were onto a winner."

GTG: "What was it like working with Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, and Dave Bautista?"

AR: "I've been asked this a lot. I think I'm running out of superlatives to use. But here goes. Dave is such a colossus of a man, that I imagine his sheer size alone is intimidating to most, but in truth, he is a gentle, kind soul. I spent a lot of time in-between scenes chewing the fat with Dave. He gave me a shout out in an interview recently also. A true gent. Zoe is very graceful and poised, reminiscent of Hollywood stars of days gone by. So I found her transformation into Gamora so fascinating. She is FIERCE in the role, but lovely when the cameras aren't rolling. Chris Pratt, handling his first major film role, and did so with aplomb. He's a dude, the kind of guy you'd happily sink a couple of beers with. Funny, affable, but always on his A-game. All in all, they all made me feel very welcome."

GTG: "Were there any scenes you were surprised were cut from the film?"

Exclusive concept art of Moloka Dar
AR: "I think the film is perfect. It gets better every time I see it. I'm already on three viewings and rising. So no. I'm sure there will be some great stuff on the DVD though."

GTG: "Do you hope for your character to reappear in Guardians of the Galaxy 2?"

AR: "Firstly, to work with the inimitable James Gunn again, it could be any job. If he opens a car wash I'm in. Seriously though, what can I say, the man is so generous, skilled, passionate about the work and "Obama" cool under the pressure of 200 million dollars worth of untested franchise. Guardians is bringing so many people joy, including myself, so.....in a word, YES!"


GTG: "What's next for Alexis Rodney?"

AR: "I can't say too much, but I've just been filming out in Iceland on the new Ridley Scott produced Halo, based on the computer game of same said name. I play the role of 'Arris' and I really think the Halo fans out there are in for a treat."

Alexis Rodney in upcoming Halo: Nightfall series

Alexis also wished to give a shout out: "Just to let you guys know that behind every great director, there's a great assistant. James Gunn's assistant, Simon Hatt, is such a great guy and really supported me throughout the process. A legend." 

A HUGE thanks goes to Alexis Rodney (here's his IMDB page) for agreeing to do the interview. He really is a class-act, and super talented as well. I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of him in the future. Make sure you follow him on Twitter @AlexisRodney. Also, drop Alexis a comment below and let him know what you thought of 'Moloka Dar' in Guardians of the Galaxy.

10 comments:

  1. Congrats on getting this interview, and thank you, Mr. Rodney, for agreeing to it. :) Was an enjoyable read, for sure!

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    1. Mr Wyld. Anytime sir. Glad you enjoyed it! :-)

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  2. Definitely one of my favorite lines in the film: "That was my favourite knife..." Great delivery. Also, the scene where you are staring at Gamora in her cell sent chills down my spine.

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    1. Thank you. Means a lot. I tried to bring a few different facets of his character to life, in a short space of time. I hope it played out that way!

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  3. Nice read. I really enjoyed his character in the film. Moloka Dar for GOTG2!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Would mean the world to me if I made part two. If not, I'm happy to have been part of this one!

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  4. Alexander LawrenceAugust 7, 2014 at 7:53 AM

    Fantastic job Mr. Rodney! All around great performance.

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    1. Thank you so much Alexander. Very kind of you to say!

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  5. Awesome stuff, very proud of your accomplishments Alexis.

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