He's played “True Blood's” Sookie-craving vampire/faerie hybrid Warlow, “Pacific Rim's” ace Jaeger pilot Chuck Hansen and most recently Reese Witherspoon's legally challenged love interest in “Hot Pursuit”, but the role Rob Kazinsky really can't wait for you to see him in is Orgrim Doomhammer, the wily warrior of “Warcraft,” the film adaptation of the hit video games.
Spinoff Online recently caught up with the Australian actor, and the topic of conversation quickly turned toward his enthusiasm for filmmaker Duncan Jones' hotly anticipated realization of the beloved gaming epic.
Spinoff Online: You're in good company in “Hot Pursuit.”
Rob Kazinsky: Yeah, I mean, you know, it's nice to do favors for struggling actresses sometimes, just to throw them a bone. You know, help them get a job. It's, you know, nice of me.
What was fun to learn about them as your leading ladies on set?
Well, I'll say this: You have expectations. I've got to work with some really great people over the years. I've had a very esteemed CV, and more often than not, it's very rare to meet icons that even come close to meeting expectations, let alone exceed them. And Reese, she was just. .. I mean, she was just an utter dream. She was kind, she was open, she was welcoming. She was professional. She was endlessly talented. I mean, take after take after take of brilliance. And it was kind of – not just inspiring, but in a sense of this is what you aspire to be, that good. And for her to be that good and that kind, that's huge.
We're getting closer to finally seeing “Warcraft” on the big screen. What can you say about the film at this point?
I can say that a fair bit that would be ... there's been tests. The tests are good. It's going to be ... you're always worried. I worry about "Warcraft" more than anything because I love it so much, and it's so important for me.
You're a serious fan of the source material, I know.
Yeah, I'm a fan, and it's really important for me. I don't care if I'm terrible in it. I just care that it's good. And it's good. I can tell you, I can promise you, it's good. And it could be “A New Hope.” It could be the “New Hope” to “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.” It creates a world, and it creates a system that's never been seen before. It's non-generic in style, and I think Duncan's made an amazing film. And they pushed it to a summer release now, so: summer blockbuster. Shows the faith that Universal have in it. I think it's going to be a world-beater.
Visually, would you say it's a game-changer?
I think it is – yeah, I think it really does. The two great [FX] houses, ILM and Weta. And look at what Weta did with “Planet of the Apes,” and ILM has had to kind of sit there and go, "Well, here we are, and we can do this." And I think that what they've done is ... I mean, there's a reason we finished a year ago, and it's still a year and a half until it comes out is because they're going serious, serious effort here to do something that's never, ever been seen before. And I've seen some finished shots, and it's realer than when I look at you, and you look at me. It's astonishingly human – human for an orc. I think there's no tougher audience than a computer game audience, and I think we will satisfy them. I think we will more than satisfy them. I think we'll win them.
As a fan, what was going through your head when the opportunity came up? Did you chase it right away?
Yeah, I was on the set of “Pacific Rim” and I had like an hour or so to kill. I went on my laptop, and I loaded “Warcraft.” And the producer's next to me, and she goes, "Don't do that." I'm like, "Well, what?" "You know what you're doing." "I'm playing ‘Warcraft.’" She's like, "Yes, obviously, you're playing ‘Warcraft.’ You know we're making that movie." And then she regrets saying that because for three years pretty much after that, I harassed her and Legendary on a weekly basis before Duncan was attached, before anything was happening, just to kind of find out and find out. And eventually, they set me up with Duncan, and I had to win over Duncan. And I mean, man, I would have made Duncan's tea on set, and been happy and delighted to do it and pay for the privilege just to be on set. So to get to play a character who's iconic as Orgrim ... yeah, I'd say "life complete."
On a scale of one to 10, how good at the game are you?
Ah, 11 and a half. I was. I'm not anymore. I was a sponsored player. I was top hundred guild. There was nothing I haven't done in the guild. It was my game. It is a dream come true.
”Warcraft” opens June 10, 2016, from Legendary Pictures.