If you were walking down the street and passed by actor Robert Kovacs nobody would question if you did a double-take or two. Ruggedly handsome, the Hungarian-born actor and stuntman bears more than a strong resemblance to one of the greatest icons of action cinema, Charles Bronson.
Capitalizing on that resemblance, Mr. Kovacs is currently starring in the action-thriller DEATH KISS, currently available ON DEMAND from Uncork’d Entertainment.
Nicknamed “Bronzi” by his friends, Mr. Kovacs took time out from promoting his new film to chat with Media Mikes.
When did you come down with the acting bug, Robert?
I have always loved film. Since seeing the Westerns on the movie theatre screens as a boy. This caused me to work as a stunt man and live performer at Wild West shows all across Europe including Almeria, Spain where I was the Sheriff for many years. Performing in front of tourists at the same locations the epic films of Sergio Leone were filmed.
Did you go to acting school?
Yes, I attended acting school at the Maria Mezey Theatre School in Budapest.
What was your first project?
Aside from Live Performances I have also been featured in commercial print ads for many European Brands and featured in a series of commercials for one of Europe’s largest supermarket chains. They featured me as a Bronson-type character to promote sales in their Grilling Season promos. Much fun and very successful. But my first film was years ago, a Western called American Night.
Who was the first person to tell you looked like Charles Bronson?
My good friend Peter. We were very young men and worked together in horse breeding. He would always say “ You look like him.” “ You look like Bronson. “ So he begins calling me Bronzi. It kind of stuck.
And is this the first film where you’ve emulated him?
The first film where I portrayed a character similar to Bronson was From Hell To The Wild West also by Director Rene Perez. (NOTE: Mr. Perez is also the director of Death Kiss). The character was a stranger with no name hot on the trail of a serial killer. The stranger was a man of few words who let his pistols do the talking.
Is there anything you had to do to ‘perfect’ your look for the film?
I grew my hair in a more familiar style and trimmed my mustache just right. Rene had many suggestions and I listened closely and followed them. Much of what you see is naturally how I move but he greatly showed me how he perceived the character.
How different is Death Kiss to Death Wish?
I think they are very different films. Similar in tone with a tale of vengeance or retribution but a very different approach. The stranger is more mysterious in nature and less transparent. So his actions may be perceived as darker in intent. Also Death Kiss is a much smaller film so the emphasis on action and gun-play are more at the forefront.
Did you have to do any weapons training?
I train regularly with replica firearms. I do stunt work as well with most of it being firearms related stunts. I also perform often as a costumed reenactor of famous battles in Europe. This also requires the use of period replica powder firing rifles and cannons.
Do you do your own stunts?
I do. I work hard to keep my body in shape. I have been a stunt man in live shows. Everything from saloon brawls to falling off horses. Maybe even a building or two. I have trained as an acrobat and continue to lift weights daily as well as regular conditioning, Judo training and a few nights a week I do Thai Boxing.
How about a sequel?
If the fans would be so kind as wanting a sequel and Rene has something in mind I think the Stranger still has much work to do.