Rodrick Covington: On Becoming an Action Figure with Mask of the Ninja’s Exciting Warrior. By Brian Kirst
Currently (and exquisitely) playing a variety of roles until May in Steppenwolf Chicago’s ghostly and mystical ‘The Brother Sister Plays’, actor Rodrick Covington is truly bringing some passion and power to the boards! Of course, as Covington was passed on the mantle of ‘Tarzan’ from “The Mask of the Ninja” co-star Casper Van Dien; this should come as no surprise. Having also provided vocal stylizing for a busload of bloody video game adaptations, Covington recently took some time out from confronting the ghosts of the past to answer some brass knuckle questions for this exclusive Horror Society piece.
Brian: Rodrick, who were your first performing influences – a mad sibling with violence in eyes who forced you to get creative – Vanessa Redgrave getting bloody entwined in Isadora Duncan’s scarves – Harrison Ford melting down some Peter Lorre looking dude’s face in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”?
Rodrick: My first performing influence was actually my older brother Roco! When I was about 13yrs old my brother did this play one summer and after the production came home and told me about it. He told me that I should start acting because the opening night party was amazing!!! He told me that they had Pizza, Hot-dogs, Chips, Ice Cream, Cake and Soda! I was so excited that the next time an audition came around, I begged my mom to take me to audition. Well, my play was on a much different budget. However, needless to say, I fell in love with theatre! But, as a kid, I love Wesley Snipes and Richard Roundtree!
Brian: Cake makes the actor, man! _ What helps you get most into the gothic-mystical world of your current project, “The Brother Sister Plays” – the dialogue, the rhythms of your fellow cast mates, the lights, the sound – all of the above?
Rodrick: In the play IN THE RED AND BROWN WATER my character Shango is patterned after my brother Steve and my father! I have 8 brothers and my brother Steve was the rebel of us all. He was always in and out of trouble. He would come home so many nights having to ice his knuckles from fighting. He even went to the army but got discharged because of fighting. His temper was a raging thunder, much like Shango! But he always had women! He had women that were sooo in love with him! Unfortunately, his last girlfriend killed him. It was a sad tragic incident. Shango and Oya in the play IN THE RED AND BROWN WATER are very much like my deceased brother and girlfriend.
Brian: Wow. – What was your most memorable moment (or moments) being on “The Mask of the Ninja” set? (Being passed the Tarzan mantle by Casper Van Dien? – learning some swift and cool “Kill Bill” moves?)
Rodrick: The most memorable moment on the set of MASK OF THE NINJA was actually getting the chance to shoot a real gun! They asked me had I ever shot a gun! I just looked at them like, “Are you kidding me?” They took that as “Of course you have” and actually apologized! I’m actually terrified of the things…hehe…But, it was thrilling and so much fun to shoot and get shot at! I felt like a kid playing cops and robbers but this time, I was the cop! :)
Brian: It’s best to be on the right side of the law when wielding a weapon, I guess! – So, your current character, Shango, or the ‘Black Tarzan’ – who would do best in a military lockdown, zombie-ass situation?
Rodrick: In a military lock-down zombie ass kicking situation I think I would have to choose The Black Tarzan!!! Hehe… Shango is ruthless and trained but my Black Tarzan is Vicious and Savage!!!
Brian: Rain forest destroyers – watch yer asses, BT is in the house!! – You’ve provided voices for many a gut slashing video game – any memories that stand out about working on those projects for you?
Rodrick: The most thrilling video game work I’ve been a part of was the body and action for the Rockstar game THE WARRIORS!!! Tony Scott is actually working on the re-make of that film.
Brian: Cool! Lastly, any words of advice (IE: If you do a made-for-TV karate action flick make sure it’s with a macho Starship Trooper) or future projects that you’d like to tell us about? And thanks – this has been better than dreaming about freaky pools of water any night of the week!
Rodrick: I would love to be a part of the re-make of the movie The Warriors by Tony Scott! That’s going to be incredible! I look forward to being an action figure hero someday! :) Hehe…