Blowback’s Cam Gigandet on the challenges of playing a hero

Bank heists never seem to turn out as planned as something inevitably goes wrong. In the case of the new action thriller, Blowbackgreed trumps all as the crew betrays the man who planned the robbery. The aforementioned mastermind is Nick, played by Cam Gigandet, the brains of the operation who is shot and left for dead by his own crew after a successful heist. Nick survives the double-cross and seeks out those who betrayed him including Jack, the enforcer of the group played by former UFC Champion Randy Couture.

Directed by Tibor Takács, Blowback chronicles Nick’s journey for vengeance as he looks to eliminate out each member of the crew, one by one, with all roads leading towards a collision with Jack. In conversation with , Gigandet explained the motives for his character in Blowbackhis relationship with Couture, the challenges of playing the good guy, and how he views his time on Twilight and The O.C.

Cam Gigandet sitting on a bench next to someone in a scene from Blowback.

Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

: What about this role made you want to play it?

Cam Gigandet: Well, I mean it was actually my first job post-COVID situation, and after spending a year and a half with my kids, this project came about. I saw it was obviously about the relationship between the father and his daughter, and how far he’ll go to save his daughter’s life. And at that moment, I could completely relate to doing literally anything to protect your kids. So yeah, that was kind of what sold me from there from the get-go.

How do you view your character, Nick, as a person? I’m not sure if he’s a good guy. He’s done bad things, but he’s trying to do right. Is he more of an anti-hero?

He tried to do things right and then, you know, life happens, and you have to do whatever it takes. I think that was what we had to focus on. Not him being that guy or going to be that guy. It was how much he loved his daughter and what he was willing to do. That’s what he knows, and that’s what will work for him. So he has plans that maybe I wouldn’t do, but he loves his daughter that much and has a certain skill set.

So robbing banks isn’t in your future?

Not in my future… I don’t know. It depends. We’ll see how things go. [laughing]

At the beginning of your career, you were frequently cast as the villain. Now, you’re playing more good guys and anti-heroes. Do you enjoy playing one more than the other? Which is more challenging to play?

Good guys are more challenging. Even anti-heroes seem to be more challenging, at least for me. They have to abide by a certain set of rules, and they have to live by a certain code. There are things and principles, whereas, in bad guys, it’s way more fun. They just have a lot more freedom. It’s even easier to justify their certain actions, and part of me maybe lives vicariously through them. I’m like, “My god. I would be so good as a bad guy. If I could only be that guy.” It’s more therapeutic playing bad guys. But the challenge is definitely being a good guy and keeping it fresh and new and interesting.

Three bank robbers hold a worker up a at gunpoint in a scene from Blowback.

It definitely seems more fun to play the villain.

That’s right. Lately, it’s a nice balance of the two. You know, you can’t shy away from playing bad guys. It’s too much fun.

Speaking about the onset of your career, you’ve worked on a lot of famous franchises and television shows like Twilight and The O.C. Looking back, how do you view that time in your life? I’m sure people still recognize you for those roles.

Yeah, for sure. I mean it feels like a lifetime ago, but I had a really good time in all of those movies. I had a really good time, and it taught me a lot. Then, I obviously had three kids, which kind of changes your perspective on things and your priorities. And so that kind of shifted. To be honest, it’s been a rollercoaster ride, personally and career-wise. Being away from kids, do I stay away from kids, do I keep working, etc. There’s no guidebook for any of this. Once that pop-culture type of stuff settled down, then it was just like, “I want to enjoy what I do, and I want to be able to support my family.” It wasn’t so much about the Hollywood star-type lifestyle. It was about having a family who’s happy. Keeping the family happy was the only thing that matters.

In Blowback, you shared some scenes with former UFC champion Randy Couture, who has such a huge presence. What was it like working alongside Randy?

Well, it was funny. One of my first jobs, I did Never Back Down a while ago. I remember watching his [Randy] fights and in preparation, they would send me videos of all of his old highlight reels. Fast forward however many years later, to be able to meet him, I remember from far away. I think he was getting out of his car. I was like, “Oh. There’s a scary guy. What is he thinking? What is he thinking? His eyes are scary.” But he was a sweetheart. Absolute sweetheart, and a pleasure to work with. I had a blast with him. We didn’t have as much as I would have wanted. I could have gone toe-to-toe with him.

I feel like that first time firing a gun at Randy would make me a little timid.

I was definitely a little intimidated. [Laughing] But we should’ve just tossed the guns and just gotten to it. It would have been at least something I could have told my kids as I’m sitting in the hospital. Yeah, we had a good time together.

What about the action thriller is so appealing to you as an actor?

I mean it’s just kind of a perk of the job. I have always loved being active. Action sequences are fun for me, and I enjoy them. And so if they [movies] have that, unless they insist on having stunt people, I just feel like it’s an experience that I want to be able to have in my life. It’s not even so much about the end result. It’s more about being able to do something and accomplish something. It’s very black and white. Like, “Oh, I can do this. I did this, and it was a blast.”

Cam Gigandet sitting in a car in a scene from Blowback.

Are you open to more genres?

Funny you should ask. I just finished a movie called Violent Nightwhich is comedy-action. It’s a Christmas movie with David Harbour playing Santa Claus. It’s very action-packed. It’s Die Hard meets Santa Claus, basically. My role was a funny role. That should be coming out Christmastime, fingers crossed. Comedy and bad guys, it almost feels like you’re not even acting. You’re just having as much fun as you possibly can. And this one was definitely a fun one.

I could see that set being a good time.

Right? Yeah, just playing around. You can’t beat that kind of stuff.

Blowback is available in theaters, on digitaland on demand.

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