The head of the cast of The Expendables 3’s security, Tomis Borissov, has been talking about challenges in security in protecting a large Hollywood ensemble. He’s the head of Security Group Alpha PLC and his team stayed with the cast for the duration of their stay. While there were some rumors of kidnap fears and even an ambush by wild boar, those turned out to be nonsense from Bulgarian media. Even so, this guy took his job seriously. He was interviewed by trud.bg this week. Check out the interview and further pics below. Interestingly the man says that Statham almost drowning is ‘not true’, but Stallone himself confirmed that it is.
Is it true, Mr. Borisov that you kept the Hollywood celebrities who starred in Bulgaria “Expendables 3”?
Yes. Our company has a contract with “Nu Boyana” for the personal protection of the actors from The Expendables in Bulgaria. We no longer have to keep it a secret since filming finished. We secured their 24-hour protection – among sets of Boyana Cinema Center, the other sets and beyond, in the Japanese hotel and elsewhere, where we stayed overnight. They started in August and next summer will see the action on screen … The longest stay was by Sylvester Stallone. In this film he co-produced and played the main protagonist. Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Randy Couture, and others came in 2-3 times a day for 10-12 days shooting and went.
What dangers did they encounter at home?
They are potential victims of kidnapping for ransom. There are fans who pursue them, they want to touch them at all costs, take autographs. Such love is a burden, more so becausethe fans are legion. Most are friendly, but some are selfish. There are ladies who want to necessarily get into the perimeter of the stars to make a career. There’s love in them to the point of madness. Some imagine that the man on screen is the one they want, but it prevents security … There are psychopaths. Someone might attack Schwarzenegger to come under the spotlight. Another could cause Bruce Willis to pit their strength with him. There have been similar cases. Fortunately, nothing like that happened here with Expendables. But do not think that the provision of safety was a simple task.
This is related to their safety. Not only journalists can be waiting at the airport. However Jet Li, and Antonio Banderas, and Jason Statham, and Harrison Ford were interviewed on arrival. Our guards controlled these events as required by the actor and his team.
The stars weren’t seen around much. After arriving they vanished.
They warned us that they’d insist on not going into their privacy, especially while relaxing. They are normal people like us – they eat, sleep and hurt as well. And they want to have private time in which no one is staring at them while eating or seeing what they look like with glasses and pajamas.
Hollywood stardom surely gives these people egos?
No. They are not contaminated by stardom and this is the secret of their longevity. They’re not arrogant. They’re normal people, except that they are very hardworking and disciplined. A strict diet, sleep and exercise. They get up very early – Sylvester at 5.30, when he goes to the hotel gym, even when empty. They do physical exercise – every day! Then work all day and go to bed on time. Deprived of many things – plenty of food, alcohol, a party till dawn of limitless acquaintances.
How did they look?
They require excellent physical shape. They are not getting any younger. They’re known from the golden era of the action from the 80s of last century. Stallone turned 67. But he and others are in excellent condition. Most deal with martial arts. Jason Statham and Dolph are professionals. Wesley Snipes studied karate since he was small. Arnold was seven times “Mister Universe” in bodybuilding, but he practiced martial arts too. Sly Stallone himself perform scenes with karate tricks. Randy Couture was a champion in MMA, he has come from the ring in film and never stopped practicing. And Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson, who starred in Lethal Weapon, went to the gym and swam in the morning, with some elements of martial arts.
Did they like Bulgarian food?
Sylvester and Arnold liked Bulgarian wines. Unlike Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford it is not the first time they have come here.
As Vice President of World Federation of Jiu-Jitsu I handed honorary sixth dan – red and white belt – to Sylvester, Arnold, Jason, Wesley Snipes, Dolph and Randy Couture. This is a master degree. They deserve it. Sylvester heartily thanked me. He and Arnold praised the guard’s vigilance and dedication, the appropriate distance that they kept. I returned the compliment as I told them that working with them was easier.
And Jet Li?
He came in for just 5 days. He seemed to me bemused, not very sociable. But Wesley, Dolph, Randy Couture and Statham were extremely communicative, charming, smiling. And Sylvester’s got a big heart, but he is very busy…
And were he and his colleagues having fun?
They did not have much time to relax. Rarely out of the hotel. Only Wesley Snipes several times visited discos. Arnold walked around in two malls. His guard was different, he kept him as an actor, but also as a former governor. Secret Service takes care of anyone held in an important post in the U.S. In the malls Arnie gave many autographs. His guard tried to protect him but not interfere. The subtle point is not pushing people around. Mel Gibson visited consider “Alexander Nevsky”church and he admired it. And he asked to see the Old Town, he was fascinated. I gave him a book about Bulgarian history in English.
A party was not thrown in the hotel, did they not drink?
There was no such thing. They can not afford to drink. How is Harrison Ford going to drink up to five then go to shooting and look good? These people are at the top and do not intend to go there.
Supposedly Jason Statham almost drowned?
Not true. Security for stunts in The Expendables 3 were cast iron. The risk scenes with divers had enclosures. And Statham would be difficult to drown because he is a professional swimmer.
1200 extras were engaged in Varna shipyard which woke up one day transformed into Somali hangout…
Well, yes. In Radomir we saw an armored train with machine guns and automatics on the roof. We took many pictures. Remarkable! But I sign a declaration not to publish anything from what viewers have yet to see.