Tamas Nadas and Lou Ferrigno on the new comedy short film ‘PERPS’ | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Tamas Nadas and Lou Ferrigno on the new comedy short film ‘PERPS’

Indie filmmakers find new ways to show film amidst COVID crisis

May 01, 2020 Web Exclusive
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As film festivals were cancelled in the wake of COVID-19, some quick-thinking independent filmmakers have made the best of the situation and opted to release their movies online. Last week we looked at one such release, PERPS, a short comedy about two stoners who volunteer to beat up a cop’s romantic rival to get out of an arrest, but quickly learn they’re up against much more than they bargained for. The movie is directed by Alejandro Montoya Marín and stars Tamas Nadas, Kenneth McGlothin, John Kaler, Lou Ferrigno, and Madi Frost.

Tamas Nadas is a Hungarian-born actor and martial artist. He won his first national championship as a teenager, and was welcomed onto the Hungarian national team of the World Karate Federation. He’s won gold medals in tournaments in Europe and around the world, and has since moved to the United States. Here, he became a police officer and entered the movie business, both as an actor and as a producer. His most recent feature is Millennium Bugs.

Nadas produced and co-stars in PERPS alongside actor Lou Ferrigno. Best known for playing Bill Bixby’s super-strong, green-skinned alter ego on TV’s The Incredible Hulk, Ferrigno was first seen on-screen as the rival of another future actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, in the competitive bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron. He went on to star as Hercules in two films in the 1980s, and later had a memorable run playing a pseudo-version of himself on The King of Queens.

Nadas and Ferrigno were kind enough to answer a few questions about the film and current affairs over E-mail. If you haven’t seen PERPS yet, you can stream the full movie here before reading our Q&A:

Under the Radar: Prior to this, Tamas, you worked primarily in action movies. You’ve made the transition well, but in the beginning did you have any nervousness about trying your hand at comedy? Did you need to be talked into it?

Nadas: I would say yes. When I was younger, I loved making people laugh with dumb jokes. But, as I got older, I thought that side of me disappeared. I was nervous up until the point Alejandro said “Action.” After that, it was just my natural reaction to the action with the written lines in the script. Alejandro sort of talked me into it. He said he saw the comedic side in me. I am glad he did.

In PERPS, Lou, you play a screen version of yourself – something you’ve had fun with in the past, in things like King of Queens and I Love You, Man. How does it feel when people ask you to play yourself?

Ferrigno: I love playing myself, since in real life I enjoy being funny.

You’re not only a very recognizable actor, but also a physically large individual, so I imagine it’s hard for you to get around in public unnoticed. Do you often catch fans off-guard when you go out?

Ferrigno: I catch fans off guard often, and I always try to be polite and nice, since they support my box office and television roles.

Tamas, many of the actors and stuntmen I’ve spoken to who started training in martial arts often did so because they were inspired by seeing Bruce Lee films as a youth. You’re younger than they are, and started training earlier in your life. Who or what first inspired you to become a martial artist?

Nadas: At first, there was no inspiration. My parents signed me up for Martial Arts when I was 3 years old. However, as I grew older it was No Retreat No Surrender, JVCD, Jackie Chan, Steven Seagal, and of course Bruce Lee. Interesting fact, Bruce Lee and I were born on the same day: November 27th.

When you were young, Lou, you looked up to actors in the old Hercules movie, such as Steve Reeves. In turn, those are one of the things that inspired you to overcome the obstacles you faced as a youth and train to become a champion bodybuilder. Years later, you played Hercules yourself. Have you met fans who were similar inspired seeing you in those movies?

Ferrigno: I’m proud now, and glad I opened a lot of doors for the fans with disabilities.

Tamas, I’m always interested in how lessons learned in one area can be applied elsewhere. Beyond the physical ability to perform martial arts on screen, are there other ways your years of training and competition prepared you for being an actor?

Nadas: Yes, it did. I know I am not entitled. I try to be as humble as I can, but of course, that’s not always the case. Hahaha. I think the biggest value is that it taught me how to handle fear and uncertainty. It gave me courage to face the unknown and the challenges life throws at me. By the way, I love challenges.

How did you enjoy working with Lou?

Nadas: Wow! What an amazing person. We built rapport almost immediately because of our Law Enforcement backgrounds. He was funny, humbled, and professional. He was very respectful with everyone, even though we were all “no names” compared to him. He made us feel equal to him, he joked around, he followed directions to the T, he never argued, and the list goes on. He was the opposite of what you would expect from a star.

You worked in law enforcement. Did it feel strange to be sitting in the back of the police car, rather than in front, for so much of this shoot?

Nadas: I never even thought about it that way. I don’t think I did. I think I was in character so much that it didn’t even occur to me.

This pandemic threw a wrench in your initial plans of showing this at festivals, but you guys wasted no time finding other ways to get the film out there for people to see. Do you have any tips for people to help them stay positive, and get through these weird times?

Ferrigno: Stay busy, be consistent, and don’t listen to naysayers.

Nadas: This is hard because everyone is different. I can only talk about what helps me. Exercise, meditate, walk the dog, use the time to reconnect with loved ones. Don’t just say hi to your friends on Facebook, or other social media; call them. Spend time rediscovering yourself. Take a bath that lasts for a half an hour while emptying your mind and just being in the moment.

Tamas, you also produced this film. Are you already moving forward on the plans for your next one?

Nadas: Absolutely. We have several projects coming up. But, the very next one will be called Captive. It is a horror film, and we are just waiting for the industry to reopen.


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