The stars of “Battle: Los Angeles” ban together to talk about their roles

You can expect Black Hawk Down meets Aliens in the latest science fiction/action film Battle: Los Angeles, which was the #1 movie this weekend with $36 million.

A group of Marines (that includes Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez and Ramon Rodriguez) are on a mission to rescue civilians that are located in a desolated police station in Santa Monica after aliens invade the coast of California.

Michelle Rodriguez, Ramon Rodriguez and Michael Pena were in Miami two weeks ago promoting the movie and getting ready to appear on the red carpet later that night at Regal Cinemas South Beach 17. I was able to sit down with the actors as part of three different roundtables at the Ritz Carlton in South Beach.

Both Michelle and Ramon were attracted to the project when director Jonathan Liebesman showed them a five-minute short that starred Aaron Eckhart and it was the genesis for the film.

“When I saw the video, I thought this was going to be really cool and different,” Ramon Rodriguez says. “I’ve always been interested in playing some type of soldier or some sort of military character so that was fun. Also, it’s a combination of two worlds that I love: I love both genres, I love sci-fi movies and I do love war films, especially with the style Jonathan uses to do it, documentary/hand-held.”

Michelle said she was fascinated with Liebesman’s perception of how he wanted to his film to be shot and completed with a documentarian style that she has never seen before.

“He wanted it to be more of an intimate experience between you and the chaos,” Rodriguez said. “I think that what really made everything real because it was less green screen and it was really all about that experience.”

There were a number of things that attracted Pena to Battle: Los Angeles, but the relentless action and the pacing of the story is what attracted him the most.

“I wanted to have a meeting with the director, Jonathan Liebesman, and he showed me on his little laptop what the aliens were going to look like and I wanted to have a meeting with him,” Pena said. “I have to be honest, even if the actors are amazing, but the aliens suck, I don’t want to see this movie. That why I had the meeting and he showed me something that was awesome. It was not super glossy, like some weird metal skin. It is actually pretty damn real and the things that he showed caught my imagination like when I was a kid.”

Michelle and Ramon play soldiers in the film and as actors playing soldiers who were fighting aliens in California; they had to shoot some crazy and difficult scenes.

For Ramon, the most difficult scene to shoot occurred on the first week of filming was “that redeeming scene with the bus”.

“It’s difficult when you are shooting a moment like that and you have to have the levity and the weight of what your character has been through up until that point or else it doesn’t fit,” he said.

The craziest scene Michelle had to shoot was the last action sequence of the film in which she called it “pretty freaking gnarly.” She said the scene involved unloading 20 magazine of bullets in one night and shooting the scene from different perspectives.

According to Michelle, the most difficult scene to shoot for her was the bus sequence because it involved twenty people in a bust with no air conditioning and the Louisiana weather, which was humid and 110 degrees.

“A bunch of smoke going up your nose that you blow out at the end of the day and it’s all black,” Rodriguez said. “There was lots of running and I got knee issues because I have no ACL on this knee so it kept popping out of place.”

Battle: Los Angeles is in theaters now.


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