If "The Expendables" brought the pantheon of action-movie heroes together for one balls-to-the-wall R-rated epic, then the amounts of badassery that "The Expendables 2" promises to bring to the table is even further off the charts.
Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger are upping their game from cameos to full-fledged co-stars this time around, with Chuck Norris roundhouse kicking his way into the fray as well. And then there's Jean-Claude Van Damme, who won't be just another mercenary following Sylvester Stallone's lead, either. Quite the opposite, in fact: The Muscles from Brussels is going to be the movie's villain.
"I play Mr. Vilain," the actor told MTV News during a recent interview. "And I kill one of [the Expendables]."
Which Expendable will meet his maker at Vilain's hands? Van Damme wouldn't spill the beans. But he did explain why he wanted to go the villainous route for "Expendables 2" rather than join Stallone's rag-tag group of good-guy mercenaries.
"They asked me if I wanted to be an Expendable guy, and they said it's going to be a big franchise. But I don't want to be in 'Expendables 20,' " he said. "I want to play a villain to make a good impression. When you play a villain, you get more from Stallone. He gives you more screen time, and then we'll see what happens. I think him and I did a good job together."
It's not just his dynamic with Stallone that Van Damme enjoyed, either. The Belgian actor got to work with a healthy portion of the action icons on the "Expendables" cast, folks he already knew from various encounters over the course of his storied career.
"You have all those guys: Chuck Norris, Arnold, Bruce Willis, and there's lots of testosterone," he said of the vibe on set. "In 'Expendables,' you have all of those guys with their trailers and bodyguards. I knew them all. I knew Chuck when I came [to Hollywood] years ago, Arnold with 'Last Action Hero.' Bruce Willis, I met him once on Sunset [Boulevard] while driving and racing together. Since I'd met all of them ... I was the guy going there in a very friendly way. It was cool. For me, it was cool."
Of course, even with all of those stars in the mix, it's Van Damme versus Stallone that fans will want to look out for. With Stallone set as the series' protagonist and Van Damme in the mix as the main baddie, it's bound to get explosive when these two titans finally clash on the big screen.
"It's like [George] Foreman versus Muhammad Ali," he grinned.
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