The Chico Movie Examiner recently conducted an over-the-phone interview with actor Kevin Sorbo about his new film, “Storm Rider,” which releases to DVD on Oct. 22. Sorbo is best known for his work on the hit television shows, “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” and “Andromeda.”
In “Storm Rider,” Sorbo plays Sam Fielding, the uncle of Dani Fielding (Danielle Chuchran). Dani’s father (C. Thomas Howell) is put in jail, and she has to give up everything, including her one true love – riding horses. One day, Sam gives Dani an orphaned colt – which is a breed she is not used to training. She names it Stormy, and it is through her new horse that she understands what it means to have a family.
Sorbo discusses the film; his days playing Hercules; and the other projects he has in store. Check out the full interview below.
David Wangberg: Do you train horses in real life, or do you work with them outside of your film and TV roles?
Kevin Sorbo: No, you know, I’ve got a few westerns and stuff like that. I’ve certainly become more comfortable around them throughout the years, and I’ve got three more westerns that we’re looking to raise money for right now – hopefully shoot, at least, one of them next year. I’m certainly no expert at it, but I do enjoy them.
DW: What was your interest in taking on this role in “Storm Rider?”
KS: I was a big fan of the script. My manager sent a script; I fell in love with it; and, yeah, that’s pretty much how I do it. I probably get about four or five scripts a week, and I’ll probably read the first 20 pages. If the first 20 pages hold my interest, I’m in. If not, then I say, “Pass.” I really loved the script, and I really wanted the chance to work with Kristy Swanson again; we did a movie a few years back called “What If…” and she’s a good friend – she’s wonderful. And I had a wonderful surprise with [Danielle] Chuchran, the star of “Storm Rider.” She’s amazing; the camera absolutely loves her; she’s beautiful; she’s athletic; she rides those horses; she does all her own stunts in the movie, and she’s tough as nails. We had such good chemistry together. We’re actually working on [another] one right now; it’s a sci-fi movie called “Survivors.” So, we’re doing two movies in one year here.
DW: OK. And I didn’t get the chance to watch the movie. I knew you and Kristy were in it, but I forgot the other person’s name.
KS: Yeah, [Danielle] Chuchran. She’s been around a while. She’s very young; she’s only 20, and she’s going to be, trust me, this is going to be a name to reckon with down the road. She’s well on her way to hitting big stardom; she’s a great actress.
DW: A lot of people know you from “Hercules” and “Andromeda.” Recently, I’ve seen you taking on a lot of family-oriented films. Are these not just because you’re interested, but also so your kids can watch your movies?
KS: Yeah, I think that was a big part of it, you know. [laughs] I’ve kind of mixed it up; I’ve got a variety of things coming out. I’ve got a movie called “Julia X” where I played a serial killer, and I’ve got another movie coming out called “The Prodigal Son,” where I play a pastor. So, I’ve kind of mixed it up with doing everything on both sides of that fence and everything in between. And I’m kind of ready for another TV series. I’ve got one we’ve been pitching around, and I have two more meetings this week on it, so we’ll see what happens.
DW: I know you met your wife on the set of “Hercules,” and she’s acted in a couple of movies with you since the series ended. Are you planning on having your kids going into acting as well?
KS: I don’t push them, because they’ve all been growing up on sets. I shot about five seasons of “Hercules” with two of my boys being born during that time, and since then, I’ve shot about 40 movies. We home schooled them, and they were on the set a lot. So they’re comfortable, and they love doing it. All three of them have expressed interest, which doesn’t surprise me. [laughs] I certainly wouldn’t push them that way, because there are a lot of things that are bad about this business. My oldest one – he’s got a part in one of my movies that we’re shooting next spring in Nashville, and he’s going to have about seven or eight lines, so he’s very excited.
DW: I saw that you just got on the Wizard World Comic Con tour. Does that include the expansion cities they just added like Sacramento?
KS: I hope so. I don’t get invited to all of them, but they invite me to a couple of them. And I probably get invited to five or six [conventions] every month. There are so many different ones besides Wizard that do these events. I’m doing one in Australia next year – actually three cities there in the spring. I only have time to do so much. I enjoy them; they’re fun; I get to meet the fans; I look at it as a great way to promote upcoming projects as well. I mean, you look at San Diego Comic Con, and it’s become huge. You get James Cameron, Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson, and guys like that to go down there to promote their movies. It’s become quite big. These are the ultimate bloggers; these are the super nerds [laughs] that have a lot of control helping making a show or movie a hit. Hollywood is taking notice of that. I enjoy it. I enjoy the travel and bouncing around, and the fans are just great. I just did one recently in Salt Lake City, and the turnout there was ridiculous – about 75,000 people; I signed eight hours of autographs straight through. It was a lot of fun.
DW: I saw they were coming out with two new Hercules films, but neither of them is going to have you in it.
KS: I know, man! [laughs]
DW: [laughs] Well, first off…
KS: I’ve been to about 100 different countries around the world, and I get stopped every day. Especially now with Netflix here in the states, house television, and encore cable, I get stopped by a whole new generation of kids under 18 years of age every day at the mall, the grocery store, or whatever. We got a hold of these guys and said, “Guys. Put me in there. Put a beard on me or something. Make me a little cameo.” I mean, why not do it? I mean, it’s going to put some more seats in the theaters, but they turned me down flat. I guess I wasn’t a big enough name for these guys. [laughs] It’s a little frustrating.
DW: [laughs] Well, is there a possibility that we could get you, Sam Raimi, and Lucy Lawless and do a Hercules/Xena movie?
KS: It would be fun to do that; I gotta be honest with you. “Hercules” ran from 1993-2000; “Xena” was a third-season spin-off show that was on from 1995-2001. Both did so well around the world. To me, I thought by two years after those shows were done that they would come forward and make a feature out of it. I mean, why not? And they didn’t, which is weird to me. Both shows were huge, but they didn’t want to do it. So, what are you going to do?
DW: Yeah, and they’re both on Netflix Instant right now. My girlfriend’s been marathoning both of them, so they’re still getting some business; they’re still being watched.
KS: I know. I see the semi-quarterly reports on “Hercules,” and it’s kicking butt around the world. So, to me, it’s like “Why wouldn’t [they do it]?” I mean, I think, now, we’re both a little too old to play the parts, but we’ll see what happens. [laughs]
DW: Well, it could be them later on, and they have kids, and those kids become the warriors or something like that.
KS: I could be in a rocking chair going, “Remember when I fought the hydra?” [laughs]
DW: [laughs] Is there anything else you would like to mention about “Storm Rider,” “Hercules,” or anything else?
KS: People can go to kevinsorbo.net to check out upcoming projects; I got a lot of stuff happening there. There’s a fanbook page; there’s a merchandising page and all kinds of stuff on there. People can keep up and see what’s going on.
This concludes the interview, but the Chico Movie Examiner would like to thank Kevin Sorbo for taking the time to talk about “Storm Rider” and “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.”