CULVER CITY, California — In an effort to take you into the middle of the action, MTV News has sent reporters to all corners of the globe — to the Middle East, Africa and the South Pole; to conventions, riots and war zones. But nothing in all our years of experience could prepare us for getting caught in the middle of a gunfight.
Thank goodness, then, that we had Chris Brown there to protect us.
"The intense scene today is a scene where the Russians break into our domain and try to destroy us — so there's a lot of gunfire, a lot of explosions, a lot of earplugs being put in," Brown laughed minutes before performing a highly choreographed gunfight in his new movie, "Bone Deep," a heist film co-starring , Michael Ealy, , and . "Me and all my guys who are the bank robbers are trying to survive without getting blown up in a hotel room."
Hard enough in fiction; harder still, it seemed, in reality — where timed squibs exploded furniture inches from Brown's face, where glass flew in all directions, where doors were festooned with signs that read "Warning: This Wall Is LOADED" and where the loud pop of guns created a cacophony of continuous blasts, a rat-a-tat-tat crescendo puncturing the air like the drum solo from "Wipe Out."
All in a day's work for Brown, the up-and-coming 19-year-old laughed, saying he hopes "Bone Deep" can live up to and even surpass the very best of recent crime films. But much more important to Brown are the relationships he gets to explore in the film as Jessie Attica, the flashy younger brother of Ealy's character, Jake.
"He likes to do things with a little more style than everybody else. A lot of the other guys in my crew are more conservative. I'm just like, 'Well, we getting money, we doing this, we should just have cars!' " Brown said. "I'm the flashy guy that gets the guys in a lot of trouble at the end of the day."
"From the first day, it's been interesting because the dynamic between [Chris] and I is pretty clear in terms of little brother/ big brother," Ealy added with a smile. "Chris has been very fun to work with — he brings a lot of enthusiasm and energy. Man, I don't remember having that much energy at his age."
On this day, he needed every last ounce of it. The particular scene of gunfighting we witnessed between the crew of Elba, Brown, Walker, Ealy, Christensen and the Russians, rehearsed several times over many days, comes towards the end of the film when "one of the dudes in the crew double-crosses us, sold us out," Walker explained, causing a giant battle between the celebratory group of thieves out for the tried-and-true "one last score" and a consortium of foreign baddies.
Watching the cast jump, leap and roll in the midst of all that commotion seemed to an outsider like mayhem and danger. But it's all actually, well, a whole lot of fun to be in the middle of, the actors all excitedly revealed.
"Let's go shoot some people," Walker yelled as he walked through a long corridor that separated a hotel room from the rest of the soundstage on the film's set. And later, "I like shoot-outs a lot, especially when technically it's on point with technical reloads and just real gunplay."
"Man, it's intricate," Ealy echoed. "It's kind of like a ballet. There's a lot of jumping over couches, hitting that hard floor and the walls, and there's all kinds of stuff flying out of walls, so you have to protect yourself. ... It's a tedious process, but fun."
For Brown, just one word will do to describe the experience: "Cool."
As cool, perhaps, as the other side of the pillow — the one that just exploded in Brown's face.
"Bone Deep" is set for release in early 2010.
Check out everything we've got on "Bone Deep."
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