"Read Between The Lines: I Will Take Your Head Off Your Shoulders"
KD: You've done a lot of stunt work, and you train in Mixed Martial Arts. Were you a stuntman that fell into acting, or an actor that can do stunts?
CA: Definitely an actor. I mean, I've done my own stunts, and the more physical the better regarding fight scenes. If I come away a little banged up, that's fine. I want it to look real, and if it doesn't someone hasn't done his job. I'm an actor first -- an actor who is capable of doing his own stunts. I just did an episode of Without A Trace, and there was a fight scene in that as well, between another solider and myself, and it was great. I went right to my Muay Thai training: put the guy in the clinch, take him down, and that was so at home for me. When it comes to stunts, I'd just like to be able to learn to do it right. My dad was great and skilled marksman; I grew up doing this stuff with my dad. I grew up and went into acting, but my best friends are all trained fighters and Navy SEALs.
KD: There is a toughness that you have to bring to Sergei. You in person are so warm, but Sergei -- there was a scene at the end of Season 2 when Pablo [Schreiber]'s character, Nick, goes in to the police and is telling them who everyone is within the Greek's organization...
CA: I know that scene. "He just carried it like that."
KD: Right -- Nick's saying he suspects that Sergei is the muscle of the organization, just because "he just carried it like that." And so much of Sergei's character is non-verbal, and based on you reacting. How do you convey that?
CA: I don't know. I'm not really sure. It could be reaction, but I think I set the pace in the beginning in the first episode of the second season when Ziggy says, "Russian, right?" and I say, "Not Russian, Ukraine," and they say, "Oh, it's all the same," and they're messing with me, and I look him in the eyes and didn't blink and nodded my head a little. I wanted to make it so that people watching knew: it was going to come to a point later where everyone was going to learn a lesson. That set the precedent right there. And later, when I was beating the engineer -- everyone on the set knew I did MMA. The looks I gave people as Sergei, and later [doing] that scene with the engineer, it got into people's heads. Mostly what [the cast] knew of me was from my acting on set, but in the back of their heads, they also knew I had experience with fighting.