In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, veteran Puerto Rican actor Kirk Acevedo joins the franchise as Carver, a mechanic trying to outrun deadly apes in a postapocalyptic San Francisco. We caught up with the actor to talk about the role, the originals and if his young daughter will ever see the movie!
Tell us about your role as Carver?
Carver is basically a mechanic, whether that was his profession prior to the apocalypse or not I don’t know, but he is the colony resident mechanic. And he pretty much doesn’t want to do anything. He’s probably, basically, the ‘bad guy.’ He’s proactive in his decisions, he’s not necessarily like Hamlet.
Where did you shoot?
We shot for a month in Vancuver and then for three months in New Orleans. People who were playing the apes were wearing these grey Weta suits. Wetas is the digital special effects company that created all the great stuff, [including these] suits. So they would be walking around [in these intense suits] and it was brutal for them in New Orleans, because it was like 94 degrees, 100% humidity and they were like in this lycra-polyester suit. It was brutal.
Was there a division between the actors playing the apes and the human actors?
Well, it wasn’t on a conscious level, maybe on a subconscious level. Pretty much the apes would only work with the other apes. There were a lot of scenes where they had, the apes on the screen. It was only natural for them to hang out with themselves.
Did you do any special training? Weird research?
No, no, no. No research. No special skills to play an asshole.
Were you a fan of the original?
Yes, I was a huge fan.
Would you react the same way as Carver if Planet of the Apes really happened in true life?
I would do something different. Everybody always think about that. Like, what if zombies take over? What if the apes? First of all, I would go to like a prison because you can’t break into a prison. You know what I mean? You get a couple of guns or barricade yourself in a supermarket. Stuff where you would have food, water, weapons. I would do something vastly different than Carver. And it would be hard for me to listen to other people. That would be difficult for me. ‘You are making decisions on my life and I have to listen to you and I don’t know who you are?’ No, that’s not going to happen. That’s just not the case in my post-apocalyptic world. That’s why I could never join the military because it would be impossible to have somebody yelling at me.
You’ve fought off zombies and now apes? Is there a trend going on with your acting career?
It’s crazy. It’s good stuff to be happening. I love it. They tend to be edgy projects and I tend to be on the edgier side. It’s the gloves that fit. [But] even though in Planet of the Apes, some of my lines are funny.
What can fans expect from this sequel?
This one takes place 10 years after the previous one [2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes]. It’s all about survival. The human survivors stumble upon a colony of the apes and problems ensue. The movie is super edgy and the special effects are going to be amazing. It's definitely scary.
Did this role change the way you look at apes?
If apes were to take over the world, they are like five times stronger than human beings, but they are super maternal and paternal. I’m not scared of apes but I wouldn’t want to hang out with them.
You have a young daughter. What does she think about your roles? Is she old enough to see you in this movie?
Nawh, some of the stuff that I do is edgier. She can’t watch anything on Oz! She’s nine, so if she did see some of my roles should would have a nervous breakdown.