Something bloody is happening over at SyFy, and no it’s not Sharknado 5! In the grindhouse tradition comes the over the top gory television show Blood Drive and it’s set to buzz through the fast lane on Wednesday, June 14th with a 13 episode run for Season 1. Blood Drive is over the top blood – soaked fun with amusing twists and turns, and the show is very addictive.
In an alternate reality of the near future it all begins in Los Angeles, where water is as scarce as oil, gas costs $60 per gallon, and restaurant grades are by human blood type. Looking for police protection, it will cost you a vein or a molar. The story leads us to the last good cop left in the city, Arthur Bailey (Alan Ritchson), as he comes across a twisted cross-country death race where the master of ceremonies is a vaudevillian nightmare and the drivers are homicidal deviants. Arthur’s only hope of survival is joining forces with a dangerous femme fatale who has the need for speed (Christina Ochoa). Oh, and forget gasoline, these cars run on human blood.
We recently had the opportunity to speak to Blood Drive star Alan Ritchson who portrays Arthur Bailey. Bailey has the wit of an LAPD officer but looks a hell of a lot like a Ken doll. Bailey is a good cop who cares about people, even though the city has fallen apart. As for Ritchson, he began his career playing Aquaman on the television series Smallville. Ritchson is known for his work as Gloss in the popular franchise The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Raphael in Michael Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and as the groomsman Kip in The Wedding Ringer with Kevin Hart.
Alan Ritchson is absolutely fantastic in this series and believes that Blood Drive “Is the greatest show ever!” and I would have to agree, it is pretty damn awesome!
Check out our interview below where we speak to Ritchson about Blood Drive and his future endeavors.
iHorror Interview With Alan Ritchson
Ryan T. Cusick: Hey Alan, how are you?
Alan Ritchson: Good, how are you, man?
RTC: I’m good. How did you become involved with Blood Drive?
AR: My first interaction with it was my manager sent me a script, and I opened up the e-mail and the first thing that I noticed it was a SyFy show so I called my manager to ask why he would send me this knowing I wasn’t looking to do something in that genre. I flew through the pages, and I was like, “Oh My God! This is like the greatest show of all time, I’m so into this. It’s so original, the characters jump off the page, the voice of the show is just so there, and I am all into very original creative fun content that just entertains people. I really wanted to do it, and I said, “Let’s go for it,” so we went through the process. I have seen how much freedom SyFy has given the show and how much effort that they have put into it. It is such a huge risk because everyone wants to be the show that is like “there is nothing like it on TV.” But there is nothing like this ever before on TV. So I think they [SyFy] have that badge and it is to their credit because they took a giant risk spending money on this show and still who knows who is going to watch this and how many are going to watch this. Even if it is just a season, I am so proud to be a part of it and to be part of a network that is willing to take such a chance in a world where nobody is taking chances anymore. Everybody is finding content that has all these mitigating risk factors where it is based on something before, and I’m embarrassed at my first instinct to push back just looking at the network, and now I am very proud to be a part of it. That is how I got introduced from it.
RTC: That is awesome, and I do agree that a lot of content now is based on something before and then a lot of networks will only green light a couple of episodes.
AR: Yeah, they committed, your right.
RTC: I think 13 right? 13 Episodes?
AR: Yeah, and each one gets better. All the scripts were written after I had read the first script. When I let them know that I was interested, they were kind of enough to send me the whole season, and I read the entire season. First of all, I have never been a part of any series even when it is well into its life where I had read the entire season up front and to kind of see what this world was, on the whole, I was like, “Holy shit this is epic! ” Every episode gets better and draws you in deeper and makes you care more about these characters in the world that therein and their journey, I was sold on just reading the scripts.
RTC: What really drew me in on your character, in particular, was the fact that all this stuff was happening, this guy could lose his life at any moment, but he still cares about the people that they are dumping into these cars.
AR: Yeah, I was drawn to the same thing. Anyone can read the headlines these days and feel like “Am I really the last decent person on Earth?” It is really easy to feel the way he must feel, everyone is sold out, it is all just relativism, “Whatever works for your man, whatever gets you through the day, ” and I think that is a tough world to exist in. For him to be willing to lose it all to try and make the world a better place, I feel like it is an important message, and one I’m proud to try my best to bring to life and even in this insane world, it really does to me a lot of ways parallel the world that we live in and my journey to try and make the world a better place. Yeah, so I was kind of drawn into the same thing.
RTC: I think that is something the world needs is a character like that.
AR: No doubt. It is also something that feels familiar I think a lot of the characters from the 80s. I think of all Harrison Ford’s characters, maybe he is not squeaky clean but it “belonged to the museum,” he had his ideals, and he would fight tooth and nail to do the right thing even if it seemed ridiculous to everyone else or would cost him. I think that it harkens back to those old 80s characters in a really great way and it feels familiar too.
RTC: Definitely, I think that you hit the nail right on the head with that one. When your character first found the race in the first episode I for sure thought that he was going to be a bad ass that has almost a superhero type strength, it was the exact opposite, and I was thinking “man I am digging this.”
AR: Yeah, I love that about him. I think that our real strength comes from our fallibility and weakness and that is the thing that we are most attracted to and the most afraid to reveal. And the fact that this dude gets his ass kicked almost every chance he gets for some creative purposes, it’s a lot of fun. A little painful to deal with at times, but a lot of fun to bring to life.
RTC: On the set did you do all of your own stunts?
AR: Just about, I would certainly try to. My goal was always to make my stunt guy the most bored dude on set. I definitely fought tooth and nail to do everything. I even got to do some really great dead man stop on cables. If I am running out of a building and I don’t see someone ten feet in front of me with a two by four, and they hit me in the face, one of the ways we pull that off is with a cable that is anchored to the ground. I run full speed, and that thing stops, and it is called a dead man stop. A lot of people don’t want to do it or can’t do it. They weren’t going to let me do it, and I was like, “How are you going to shoot this? You are going to shoot it from behind, and the whole world is going to watch this, and they are going to know that some stunt guy did it and that is why you can’t see my face, and everyone is going to feel cheated. They are not going to feel like we are doing our part to bring this story to life which should take a toll on the body.” We argued for like twenty minutes and finally [Laughs] I walked over out the cable on my back, and I did it. I said, “There I’m fine, see.” [Sarcastically]
RTC: [Laughs] Were there any funny moments on set? Or a set clown?
AR: [Laughs] You know it is such a dark show there was not a ton a lot of laughs out loud funny moments and to be honest with you, racing the clock so hard. We did the impossible. We were making a full hour of action filled gore and cleanups were necessary because the place was just massacred. We were doing things that we should never have been able to pull off, somehow with the amazing crew and production team we did, seven days I think we were doing episodes in unheard of. So there was such a sense of urgency.
RTC: So, what’s next for you? Are you going to continue with TV or do you have more movies coming out?
AR: I am exploring a couple of TV opportunities right now. I just got back from Bulgaria shooting a film called Ghosts of War its a pretty cool World War II thriller, that will be out in 2018 I am real excited about. But for the most part, my attention has been turned to activity behind the camera. If I had my way, I would spend the rest of my career as a writer & director. I am less interested in being in front of the camera. As much as I love it and I feel like it was one of the things I was meant to do, I really enjoy creating new content. I am working to develop my own shows and brands.
RTC: Hopefully you touch on some sci-fi and horror.
AR: Actually my thing is creating more “family friendly adventures.” I have three young boys so I think that inspires it. Also my childhood, I am a product of the 80s and 90s when there was nothing but endless summers and Goonies, E.T., and Sandlot – great sort of boyhood adventures that reflected my life. That tends to be the kind of stuff I create. I have a project right now called Treehouse TimeMachine.
RTC: That is awesome! You know most films like you mentioned Goonies and Sandlot sure do stand up to the test of time because they are very much available and seem to touch every generation. Well, thank you so much it was great speaking with you today.
AR: Thank you too, take care.