If you read my interview with Ruby Rose, you already know of my love for the new action/thriller, SAS: Red Notice. To further celebrate the release of the film, I spoke to star Tom Hopper (Black Sails, Game of Thrones, The Umbrella Academy) about his character, Declan, and his favorite part of filming.
Please read with caution as this contains spoilers. You can’t say I didn’t warn you!
PopHorror: Hi Tom!
Tom Hopper: Hi Tiffany! How are you?
PopHorror: I’m good, thank you. How are you?
Tom Hopper: Very good!
PopHorror: The movie was so much fun. Can you tell us a little bit about your character, Declan, and what intrigued you about the part?
Tom Hopper: So Declan is lead character, Tom’s, best friend, and he works inside the regiment, the special forces regiment of the SAS that Tom works in. And they’ve been working together for years, and they live together. Little do we know, Declan is actually looking to get outside of the regiment and work in the private sector to earn more money and to get out of the politics that are involved in the special forces. Turns out eventually, he’s actually working with the lead villains of the movie and is faced with a moral decision to betray his best friend or betray the bad guys, I suppose.
He has to make that decision ultimately, and that’s the biggest thing that intrigued me about the movie, about the character, was because I don’t believe there’s that many characters that have to deal with this, and that moral struggle is what really interested me. Soldiers are seen as these tough guy types that never have to have this struggle, and ultimately what really matters to these guys is their friendships with each other, because they have to rely on each other at every turn. So this betrayal is a huge, huge thing for Declan, and that’s what intrigued me about this character.
PopHorror: When that was revealed in the movie, my jaw hit the floor. I did not see that coming! I was not expecting it.
Tom Hopper: That’s good. That’s a good thing!
PopHorror: The role was also pretty physical for you. How did you prepare for it?
Tom Hopper: Well, I like to think that I’m always fairly prepared from a physical standpoint to do these sorts of things. I work my body all year ’round so I feel as prepared as I can be physically. There were certain elements—certain specifics, stunt specific, action moments—that require training. [Book Author] Andy McNab was there for every step of the way.
The biggest thing really was the tactical element of it, I think… the physical tactical element and learning how these guys work together. And it was so important that it was authentic because the biggest critics we’d get are people in the military, so they’d go, “That’s not how you do it. You don’t do it like that.” So it was really important, and Andy was there to tell us how to exactly get it right. All of us were like, “How do we do this, Andy? How do we get this right? How would I go in this? How would I look around the corner? How would I do this? How would I do that?” And we were asking questions all the time. Andy was working every single hour that we were all on set. He was always there.
PopHorror: That’s awesome!
Tom Hopper: So it was very beneficial.
PopHorror: That’s really awesome. I was wondering if he was involved in it. What was your favorite part of filming?
Tom Hopper: Ooh. I think a favorite part for me was the friendships formed, working with the other SAS boys every day. We would be laughing and joking like a bunch of soldiers, and that was what was so great about building those friendships off set as well as on. We created a real team environment. And the trust element as actors that you take on when you’re working together as a team on the set as a group of soldiers. So we were all going to the gym together, working out together. That was what I really enjoyed about the camaraderie on set and taking that into the movie.
PopHorror: I love that so much!
Thank you so much, Tom, for taking the time to speak with us. Be sure to catch SAS: Red Notice on VOD on March 16, 2021.