Under the Radar

Why We Love Act of Valor's Scott Waugh

Discussing Scott Waught's next big project with him.

...and why you should by the DVD now that it's out.

There are a number of reasons Scott Waugh isn't a douche. An obvious one is the fact that he did this interview. We're not the typical reviewers.How many other Hollywood types would sit down with a couple badasses our size and bare his soul?  Not too damn many, that's the answer. Maybe none.

Michael Moore might, but only if we were laying on a plate covered in gravy.

We had the chance to pow-wow with Scott briefly at the MilBlog Conference in DC recently and walked away thoroughly impressed. He's polite, grounded and self-effacing without coming across as falsely modest or one of those guys who works at being self-deprecating as part of their strategy. Nothing we discussed seem high-handed or contrived. He even dressed normally and has great hair. (Never underestimate the force multiplication advantage of good hair; it's almost as important as a beard.)

Equally important, he's not a pussy, which is a fine counterpoint to his non-douche status. He's fit, has a good grip without being one of those guys handshake-squeeze dickheads that wants to prove he's spent more time jerking off or using those squeeze-grip things than you. This might seem unimportant, but as you are no doubt aware we have little use for the slovenly and out of shape - he remains in shape from his stuntman days, which is also a nice contrast to some of the pallid, soft-skinned big studio pansies we've met in the past.

Plus, it makes it far more likely he'd survive an encounter with Michael Moore if he somehow wound up covered in gravy.

Bottom line, we love the guy. No homo.

Anyway, many people are unaware of his background as a stuntman (unless they were smart enough to read our awesome review), or his previous creative experience with the military. He was involved in projects with three branches of the service, including a Marine Corps commercial, a SWCC video, videos on Marines.com and others.

"I worked with three branches, doing advertising stuff, videos...there's a different vibe to each of them."

That's how he was connected, by the way, to push forward with Act of Valor.

So, the obvious question for us was, "What's next?"

He laughed. "We will not do another military movie next. There are several reasons for that. Now, we are working on a high speed special operations type TNT move...call it a modern day authentic sort of A-Team [the movie and series, not an Operational Detachment Alpha] movie. No cheese, using real guys in a joint..you know, combined team."

Scott eventually cracked under the relentless pressure of our interview.

Then, suddenly he had. SQUIRREL! moment. "You know one thing that surprised me? The amount of studying the aviators have to do. They're always studying, to stay current, preparing for their mission. It surprised me, yeah."

Not wishing to spend too much time in praise or empathy for zipper-suited sun gods, we got him to refocus.

Asked about his next "feature film" (and we use the term wryly, since Act of Valor essentially redefined Indie filmmaking), he had no easy answer for us. It was obvious he had something on his mind, but looked like he was still chewing on it. That could mean a lot or nothing, but it was a relief (though not particularly surprising) to find out he wasn't cashing in on his success.

"We've been thrown a lot of screenplays by Hollywood, but they're anti-American so I refused. I'm. Proud American. I refuse to make something that shows the USA in a negative light. I acknowledge it's out there, I know it exists, but why focus on the douchebags?"

That's another reason we like Scott. He is unapologetic for making a strongly pro-American, pro-military movie. It is unabashedly patriotic, which is refreshing in a time when movies like Redacted (which was made by people who should have the decency to wash their mouth out with buckshot) won critical acclaim.

SQUIRREL! moment:  "These guys all have great stories. Some of them...You know the senior Chief is amazing...a warrior...he's like Dennis Hopper reinvented hard."

Back to the interview, where he did tell us about something he'd like to do in the future, but asked us not to mention it yet. We can say it will likely have its hare of action, if not at the same frenetic and ruthless pace of Act of Valor. Looking forward to it.

The DVD is coming out. We've seen it, and it's worth the ducats. There are cut scenes, interviews and optional Director's commentary. Plus it's a bad ass movie.

Oh, here's another reason Scott Waugh isn't a douche. He's a family man whose face lights up when he mentions his kids. It sounds trite, but it's true. This may be why he has such incredible respect for the families of our war fighters.

Jim Barber just reviewed the new DVD, so check that out. Nor would it hurt to go back and watch Ward's interview with Scott at the Conference. Also be advised that while portions of the theatrical release went to NSW related organizations, a portion of the DVD sales goes to Operation Homefront.

Last reason Scott Waugh isn't a douche: he asked if we'd do cameo in his next project. Is a pig's ass pork? Of course we'd do a cameo!

YUT!

Mad Duo Clear.

We did have to put the Habeas Thumpus on him at one point. We're not dolls. We're action figures. Don't worry, we left him whole and intact.

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