The Movie Waffler Interview - FAST AND FIERCE: DEATH RACE Star Michael DeVorzon | The Movie Waffler

Interview - FAST AND FIERCE: DEATH RACE Star Michael DeVorzon

Out this week on US Digital, The Asylum’s Fast and Fierce: Death Race introduces audiences to a formidable new action hero in Michael DeVorzon.

The son of Grammy winning and Academy Award nominated songwriter/composer Barry DeVorzon (The Warriors), Michael DeVorzon stars as Jack Tyson in Fast and Fierce: Death Race.

Jack Tyson is a young man partaking in an illegal Mexico to California car race when a desperate woman, fleeing from her abusive gangster boyfriend who is financing the tournament, jumps into his car pleading for his help and who has an incriminating USB drive that could send her thug boyfriend, among others, to prison.

Congrats on the movie. Is it exciting or is it daunting to know audiences are about to feast their eyes on what, I assume, might be your first starring role?

Thank you. I was the lead in another feature a few years back but it didn’t quite have the team behind it that Fast And Fierce: Death Race does so yes, I’m excited and hopeful that audiences will be entertained and connect with the characters.

Let’s backtrack a bit – how did the film come about?

I did a movie with the director, Jared Cohn, back in November and we got on famously, he’s a wonderful guy and talent. He called me when he signed on to do this film and during the casting process really fought for me to play this role. I’m grateful for him and the producers at The Asylum for giving me the nod.

And at the time,  was it called “Fast And Fierce: Death Race”?  I’d love to know your initial reaction when you read the title…

It was originally called “In The Drift” but “Fast And Fierce: Death Race” has more punch to it, makes more of a statement.

While the other big-studio franchises obviously have more money to play with, it looks like there’s some remarkable stuff in this. Can you explain how director Jared Cohn pulled all that off?

Jared brought a lot of experience to the table and he’s very efficient when shooting. We filmed at a furious pace but he always stayed very grounded and focused, even when the pressure built on set and things could get crazy.  He doesn’t get frazzled and he doesn’t have an ego on set. I really admire those qualities in a director, in a person. He was very open with me as far as discussing scenes and ideas and he can block an action scene like nobody’s business. We also had a great VFX team that helped us pull it off. The whole crew was amazing and it was definitely a team effort, but Jared was the maestro and I don’t think we could have made the film in the time we needed to without him.


Did you yourself do any driving in it?

Yes, I did a lot of driving in the movie. I got to do some fun stuff on the open roads in that car as well as some nifty precision driving in some of the smaller spaces. I’ve been driving since I was 12 years old and have done some precision driving before but I do remember one scene outside a restaurant where I had to back the car out in a hurry. I asked Jared, “how fast do you want me to go?” And he said “as fast as you can, but keep it safe.” So I punched it going backwards and skidded, fish tailing the car around coming close to a wall and then peeled out. It was all controlled but riding on the edge a bit. The line producer Jarrett Furst happened to be watching the take from the stairs and when I came back, he looked like he had seen a ghost and said “Never again!” I couldn’t help but laugh, his face was priceless.

How was it to work with DMX?

He was cool, very down to earth. He’s a legend with a big on and off stage personality, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. He was very humble, professional and I really enjoyed working with him.

How are you spending lockdown?

Doing the things I’m usually too busy to slow down and do, I’m talking about the inner work. I’m a runner and I tend to run from the pain and uncomfortable feelings. During lockdown, I was like there’s nowhere to run and I got still and went inward and have been searching in the hidden crevices of my past and in my life to let go of the old and make room for the new. This is a great time to detoxify the mind, body and spirit. I have also stayed busy with writing, finishing another script and for the first time in my life, sat down to write a song, which I’m working on with my brother Daniel. Music is in my blood several generations, so it’s been a real joy to tap into that inspiration.

Fast and Fierce: Death Race is on US Digital now. A UK/ROI release has yet to be announced.