In 1942, a large UFO was spotted over Los Angeles. The people of the city were horrified. Battle: Los Angeles, in theaters March 11, is inspired by those unexplained UFO sightings from nearly 70 years ago. Directed by South Africa native Jonathan Liebesman, the film is packed with enough action and suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat.
In one of his biggest film roles to date, actor Cory Hardrict plays Corporal Jason Lockett. The cast also includes Michelle Rodriguez, Ne-Yo, and Tisha Campbell-Martin. The young actor has clearly put himself on a winning road with films like He's Just Not That Into You, Gran Torino, and now Battle: Los Angeles. Hardrict might just be the next Will Smith.
In this interview, the actor talks the new film, his musical recommendations to visiting aliens, and life with his wife, star of BET’s own The Game, Tia Mowry.
What got you involved in Battle: Los Angeles?
I received the script and it depicted an amazing story. The story was like Independence Day, War of the Worlds, and District 9, all combined.
You play Corporal Jason Lockett. Was it challenging for you to embody the character?
It’s crazy because my character and I have similar backgrounds. My mother is deceased in real life, and my brother was killed a few years ago. My character also dealt with the loss of a mother, and his brother was killed in the military. I took all of those hardships and experiences that took place in my life and used it to make the character work. Playing Corporal Jason was real like no other role I’ve ever played.
Given the similarities between you and your character, were there any scenes that were difficult?
Yes. There’s one scene, between Aaron Eckhart’s character and me, where he and my character have an intense dialogue involving my brother. It’s a heartfelt and touchy moment in the film.
End-of-the-world films have almost turned into their own genre. What about Battle: Los Angeles stands out from the other films we've seen like this?
It’s a war movie telling a story of marines that have the obstacle of fighting an invasion that takes place around the world. But their mission is to focus on Los Angeles. Real aspects of war are in the film, combined with aliens, which makes the film very unique. Also, the film is based on a true [incident, known as] the Battle of Los Angeles, where in 1942 an unidentified aircraft hovered over Los Angeles.
R&B star Ne-Yo is in the film. How are his acting chops?
Ne-Yo is really good. He prepared and trained with everybody. He wanted to be respected and viewed as a real actor. He does an amazing job in the film. He’s also professional.
What three albums would you recommend to our alien visitors?
[Laughs] Kanye West. I think aliens would vibe to Rihanna. I would throw Illmatic from Nas on the list.
And what three films would you recommend to our alien visitors?
Battle: Los Angeles, Aliens, and Juice.
How’s Tia’s pregnancy coming along?
It’s coming along really good. She’s going to all of her classes and everything is looking great. She has a red-velvet cupcake craving that I make sure I satisfy.
What have been the most rewarding and challenging aspects of married life?
Being around someone you love that you want to be around is rewarding. Being around a woman that you just can’t imagine living without is also rewarding. You have to work at having a great marriage so that you can eliminate challenges. We have a bond and are willing to work at keeping it strong. We are also supportive of each other.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve encountered in Hollywood?
How some people think they are bigger than what they really are. People that say they know this producer or that director and [you] come to find out it’s all talk and a bunch of hype. Keep it simple and work hard, and if you’re worthy people will find you. I believe hard work is what will make you rise to the top.
Why should our BET audience see Battle: Los Angeles?
It’s a movie that when you leave the movie theater, you’ll want to return and see the movie again. Get out there and support me along with the other brothers, Ne-Yo, Adetokumboh M'Cormack, and Neil Brown Jr. It’s a groundbreaking film. It’s amazing.
Battle: Los Angeles is in theaters this Friday, March 11th.
Image: Valerie Goodloe/PictureGroup