If you could bottle the testosterone on show at Sunday’s (18) press conference, Red Bull would be quaking in its proverbial boots.
The Expendables 3 roster of hard man and one very hard woman read like a who’s-who of action stars from the last 30 years. And by the beard of Odin, they even arrived at The Carlton in decommissioned Russian armoured personnel carriers.
Project leader Sylvester Stallone sat beside Arnold Schwarzenegger, flanked by Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham and newbies Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Antonio Banderas and Wesley Snipes.
And that was just the top row. Sitting in front of them, like mortals at the feet of the action gods, were the next generation.
Randy Couture, Victor Ortiz, Glen Powell, Kellan Lutz, UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Kelsey Grammer (yes, he) populated the front row with Australian director Patrick Hughes.
“We’re children with arthritis,” quipped Stallone when asked about the movie’s physical toll on the body. “When parts of your body fall off it’s time to go.”
Stallone also intimated there would be more movies in the franchise, possibly focusing on the younger cast members. He also revealed the producers were aiming for a PG-13 rating, the first in the previously R-rated series.
Banderas gave props to backers Millennium Films for including him in the movie and pleasing the Spanish-language community no end.
Wide-eyed Gibson, bearded, buff and feral-looking, chomped maniacally on matter of unknown origin, while Ford watched on, bemused. Or amused. It was hard to tell.
But it was Stallone and Schwarzenegger who dominated proceedings. The distinctly unfriendly rivalry of their younger days has over the years dissolved into a warm friendship that informs their near legendary comic banter.
“Sly was one of my great inspirations even though we were very competitive,” said Schwarzenegger.
“Eventually I figured out that if I paid him enough to do a movie maybe he’d stop beating me up,” said Stallone. “He’s got big arms bit his brain is even bigger and he’s a good man.”
Lundgren looked on and smiled. Gibson stopped chomping momentarily. Ford watched on, bemused. Or amused. It was still hard to tell.