“This Guy’s So Good. I’m Not Going to Stop It Because He’s All In!” Michael Lombardi Talks Jacoby Shaddix’s Acting Debut in The Retaliators

The Retaliators Michael Lombardi x Jacoby Shaddix Papa Roach acting

Heavy music and horror movies came together in a delight/frightful display of sheer brilliance this week with the global cinematic release of Better Noise Films‘ second feature flick The Retaliators (our review here), and it’s already scoring praise from across the entire planet!

Usually when you see a movie with cameos from musicians, it’s nothing more than a simple cutaway, aimed at grabbing your attention momentarily with the sole purpose of being nothing more than an ‘easter egg’ addition to the film. Not this movie! The Retaliators utilise its key stars in Five Finger Death Punch, Ice Nine Kills, Escape The Fate, Motley Crue, From Ashes To New, The HU and Eva Under Fire so perfectly, that they sit deep within the integral storyline of the movie’s premise.

But one key feature stood out from the rest and that was the feature film acting debut of Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix, who stars in the movie as the deranged (and that’s putting it nicely) rapist Quinn Brady, a far-stretched comparison to who Jacoby is as a person in reality. During our chat with actor/director Michael Lombardi, we asked how he helped Shaddix prepare for the role – which seems him take on a completely different persona and nail it with precision and dedication to the role that we’d only expect from a Hollywood seasoned professional.

As it turns out, Jacoby took to the role like a moth to a flame and executed his delivery so well, many cinema-goers, cast and crew were stunned by his approach, which it turns out, he put 110% into according to Lombardi:

“He’s a fun dude and he was so open to the experience, but the thing is, he wanted to take the risk and he wanted to learn, he didn’t think. I mean he’s done a lot and he’s a storyteller at heart and he’s played in front of millions of people and hosted things back in the day, and I just feel like he was still so open and he wanted to listen.

I called him one day early on [into production], to which I’m like, holy shit I’m talking to Jacoby! And we talked about his character (who’s very very different than he is), and that’s another challenge that he’s playing a character. He was so committed though. I like to say as an actor, you have to be able to jump off that cliff and sort of go all in, and he went deep!

Without giving too much away from the movie, there are several scenes in which the attention is firmly on Jacoby, and without an ounce of doubt, I can safely say he nailed the character – without any evidence of self-doubt. Michael shared a story about how he took control of the narrative and made the character his own, revealing:

“There’s one scene [where] I’m being held down by the sub-humans, these zombie-ish people, and Jacoby comes out and he’s supposed to be you know, hungry, he’s been locked away [from the world] and that’s all we’ll say. He literally gets down and he licks my face from my chin all the way across my face. Then once the camera was close… he’s pulling my hair for real and slapping me, like all out, and I’m going ‘this guy’s so good’. I’m not going to stop it because he’s all in. We ended up doing it in two or three takes and we got it, but it was such a testament to him.”

Crossovers from music to film can go various ways. I mean we’ve seen the likes of Chester Bennington, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, 50 Cent, Jennifer Hudson, Jon Bon Jovi, and Meatloaf (to name a few), go from belting out tunes in the studio and on stage, to starring – and at times being awarded high praise for their performances – in feature films. Sometimes, it doesn’t work out (e.g. Lars Ulrich in Get Him to The Greek and Mariah Carey in Glitter), but when it’s done right and its believable, it needs to be commended.

“That’s the kind of school of acting that I love – to make it real and go for it. We got a couple of takes on this and he had that attitude. If that gives you any bit of taste of how he was with his role. He was like an actor’s actor, you know, right off the bat and he went deep and I love it and respected it so much”. Michael Lombardi on Jacoby Shaddix‘s acting in The Retaliators.

So the attention then turned to the current state of Hollywood crossing over into music world with biographical films like Straight Outta Compton, Lords of Chaos, The Dirt, Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman proving you can take a complex story about a musician/band’s life and turn it into an enjoyable, attention-grabbing movie. So we questioned who would Michael Lombardi cast in a biographical film about Jacoby’s life and the rise and success of the Papa Roach story?

To which he proudly replied with:

“Wow, that is a good question [pauses to think]. Man, you know who popped into my head, which is kind of crazy. When you first said it, I was like Christian Bale. I don’t know why.

You’re not going to throw just some [random name], I don’t know; Listen, when people say B-List actors man, the arts are so hard, I don’t categorize people like that, everyone does some good work and you do your best and we’re creating art and hopefully it’s entertaining, but Christian Bale popped into my head because Jacoby is just a nasty great artist and dude.”

The Retaliators’ actor/director Michael Lombardi wants Christian Bale to play Jacoby Shaddix in a Papa Roach bio-film.

Who knows? Maybe Better Noise Films could head in the direction of tackling their own artists’ bio-films (I for one would love to see how The HU became the household names they are today), and if they did, I’m sure many Papa Roach fans would flock to the cinema to see the story on the big screen. Michael agrees:

“I think that could be a really interesting story… The whole band is so cool. And I think the reason why I said it’s such a respectable actor like that, is because there’s a real story there with those guys, and they’re legitimate, and they’re wonderful artists, musicians, songwriters, storytellers. I got to know them a bit through this and I have so much respect for him. So I was trying to put that in the class of the actors who I respect, you know, real actors.”

The Retaliators has one final session for screenings in Australia tonight – as for the rest of the world, you’ve got a bit more time to jump on the bandwagon and see one of the best surprise hit horror releases of the year.

Words by Paul ‘Browny’ Brown @brownypaul

The official soundtrack feat. Nikki Sixx, Papa Roach, The HU, Asking Alexandria, Five Finger Death Punch, Bad Wolves and more is out now via Better Noise Music. Listen here

The Retaliators – FINAL Australian Screenings

Friday 16th September

Grab tickets for The Retaliators now!
NSW/QLD/SA/WA/NT – eventcinemas.com.au
VIC – villagecinemas.com.au

Tickets and Film Info Here

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About Paul 'Browny' Brown (3492 Articles)
Dad, Wall of Sound Boss Man/Editorial Manager, Moshpit Enthusiast & Professional Beard Grower!