Sean Faris resembles a young Tom Cruise, but it’s too early to tell whether he’ll be a second coming of him. The twenty five year old actor got his break in the 2001 flick Pearl Harbor, but now he stars as the lead role across from Djimon Hounsou in the action flick Never Back Down out in theaters March 14th. Faris seems grounded, responsible, and is doing his best to stay away from the path of other troubled twenties actors.
Listen to the Sean Faris CYInterview:
(Backup Player: Including IE)
Chris Yandek: You get cast alongside Ben Affleck and Josh Harnett in the box office success Pearl Harbor. Did you ever feel like it all came too quickly or your perspective changed?
Sean Faris: “Actually, that was a great thing that happened for me when it did because it let me know that I made the right choice in what I was gonna do with my life because there was a lot of speculation to whether or not I was making the right choice. I went to college prep school. I graduated with honors. Didn’t even apply to college. At the same time I did get a big head over it and didn’t work again for like six or seven months, but it helped me to get my foot in the door so ultimately it was a great thing for me.”
CY: What did you think of the role in Never Back Down when you got offered it?
SF: “I was very excited. The character was one I knew well because I’ve played similar characters before, but the cool thing was that I knew I was going to get to learn some MMA. The hard part was actually learning it.”
CY: There was probably some very intense training I’d imagine.
SF: “We did six hours a day, six days a week for three months. We trained and just got beat up. My body went into shock. We were actually required to see a massage therapist and a chiropractor a couple times a week so that our handles could handle going back and training more.”
CY: Did you suffer any injuries?
SF: “In the filming I broke my thumb and I broke the L3 spinous transverse process in my lower back.”
CY: So here you are getting trained for three months with all these real MMA fighters. Was it intimidating working with these people during training and during the movie?
SF: “I’d say the first couple weeks of training were a little bit intimidating just because you’re having to learn something that you’ve never done before, something you’re a fan of. Sometimes it feels weird being an actor surrounded by all these real fighters and you gotta keep your confidence high and do your best to learn it as quickly as possible. The trainers were amazing and after a while we settled into it and things just really started to come along.”
CY: You get to work across from Djimon Hounsou who was an Oscar nominee twice. What was that like?
SF: “I could honestly say the best filming experience I’ve ever had in my life. Djimon and I worked for two weeks. We had to shoot him out. He had another project to go on to. He is the most down to earth, great actor, always prepared, drives the scene, forces you to really bring it back to him. He just has so much respect for everyone. He doesn’t see himself as being any better than anybody else on set, but no one is any better than him.”
CY: So you’re in this fighting movie- has Sean Faris avoided any real fights in his life or confronted with the possibility of fighting when he didn’t want to?
SF: “Yeah, all the time growing up. I am a pretty boy. People don’t respond well sometimes when I show up at their place or parties or what not. That stuff doesn’t really happen as much anymore. The hard part is after all the training and everything – you have a sense of a confidence that you can handle anything and the hard part is to stay out of things that aren’t your business even though you could be helping somebody out. It really depends on the situation, but yeah we can definitely handle ourselves these days.”
CY: Do you feel you’re able to protect yourself even more now in the real world?
SF: “Oh yeah by far. I have a ridiculous amount of confidence of protecting myself, but along with that confidence comes the ability that you don’t need to fight. But when faced with a situation, the confidence you stand up to that situation with usually pushes the other person to back down because the guy that is trying to start the fight doesn’t really want to fight. He just wants a scene.”
CY: You hear so many stories about troubled twenty something actors. What is your formula for keeping it altogether and avoiding legal trouble, substance abuse, and anything of that nature?
SF: “I spend as much time as I can with my friends and my family in my down time and when I am working I stay busy. For the next month I am not even around. The best thing I can say is find a hobby. The problem is that these twenty something actors that are successful are making a lot of money and they end up with all sorts of time off and nothing to do and they get bored. If you can find a hobby – I am real big in sports. I love being outdoors. I spend as much time as I can outside. I go to Malibu, canyons, I hike, I workout every day. I do what I can to stay busy.”
CY: Many have said you resemble a young Tom Cruise. Do you feel that helps or hurts you in any way with everything that’s gone on with him recently?
SF: “Nah. I don’t think it can really affect me anymore. We’re all individuals. We’re all different. Just because you resemble somebody doesn’t mean you’re anything like him. But sometimes it’s helpful because it gets you in the door and sometimes it hurts you just because of the stigma.”
CY: But do you feel you look like him in any way?
SF: “Yeah. I never really got it until – because I have been getting it since I was twelve years old, but I never understood it till one day I was at my manager’s office and I see the cover of the movie and I say, when did I get the cover of the movie? I picked up the DVD cover and it was Tom Cruise in All The Right Moves. That’s when I realized I guess it is kind of true.”
CY: Does Sean Faris have a significant other?
SF: “No. Sean Faris is a single man. Just doing my thing.”
CY: Finally, have you decided whom you’re going to support in the 2008 presidential elections?
SF: “I’ve been following it. I am still undecided. I don’t know which way I am gonna go yet. I don’t know. It’s a tough call. I am kind of leaning towards Obama.”
Never Back Down is in theaters nationwide March 14th. You can find more information about the movie at http://www.neverbackdownthemovie.com
You can check out Sean Faris’s official site at http://www.seanfaris.com.