When talking about modern day Renaissance men, Kevin Grevioux’s name absolutely has to be thrown into the mix. The gentle giant has a bevy of different credits to his name including writer, producer, actor, comic book creator, and he even opened the comic label DarkStorm Studios back in 2003. While his name might not be on the tip of your tongue, you’ll remember Grevioux most famously for his role as Raze in the Underworld franchise – which he also scripted. Then you’ll hear his voice and go, “Ohhhhh, that’s Kevin Grevioux!” – as you should.
Kevin’s latest project is I, Frankenstein, where he wears numerous hats – but it all started from a comic series that re-imagined Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as some demon-hunting protector more man than beast. Loosing his typical mute nature and slow physical attributes, Adam (as he’s named) becomes engrossed in a violent war between angelic gargoyles and hellish demons that threatens the very fabric of humanity. Audiences can expect plenty of action sequences, heavy doses of CGI, and surprisingly inviting 3D technology that actually doesn’t make you want to gauge your eyes out – which alone is an accomplishment.
While Mr. Grevioux was attending the New York City press day for I, Frankenstein, yours truly had the chance to sit down with the multi-talented artist and discuss his new action thriller. After crushing my hand with his Herculean handshake, we talked about the beginnings of I, Frankenstein, what his career has entailed so far, and what crossover Kevin tried to bring to the I, Frankenstein world – only to have it turned down immediately.
WGTC: I want people to understand just how intimidating a man you are – how many of me can you bench? Keep in mind, I’m a good 160-170 right about now.
Kevin Grevioux: Hmm…let me see. Back in the day? I could bench three of you. [Laughs] That was back in the day, not now. Now I’d get a hernia.
WGTC: That is extremely fair. Kudos sir. Now playing off of your tremendously bulky size, I have another random question to address – have you ever thought of lobbying for the part of Marvel’s Luke Cage? When I see you, I immediately think of the character…
Kevin Grevioux: Nah, not really. Luke Cage was fascinating when I was a kid. He was the first black character I became aware of as a fan of Marvel comics, but I didn’t like his background necessarily. He had the same background a lot of black characters had, which was from the ghetto, some type of criminal background – and that wasn’t me. [Laughs]
WGTC: Are you ever approached for roles based on your voice alone? You have this real gravely, iconic, deep voice…
Kevin Grevioux: Yeah, I would say so, but that comes with the territory. Basically, as a actor, they look at you based on the image you exude, or the thoughts you provoke in somebody. They go based on that. You have a big balk black guy with a heavy voice, and they go, “oh he’s the heaviness, he’s the villain, he’s the henchman” – and I don’t mind. It’s fun! Beats digging a ditch, right? [Laughs]
WGTC: Can you tell us a fun fact about you someone might not expect? For example, I was talking to Danny Trejo, and he expressed his love for animals. What’s your fun, unexpected fact?
Kevin Grevioux: Before it became fashionable, I was a big comic book collector. I have 10-15,000 issues. Avengers #1, Hulk #2, Fantastic Four #4. I’ve been a fan of comic books since I was 12. I’m also a model builder. I like some of the old television show vehicles, like I have a model of the Jupiter 2. [Laughs] The Seaview? The Flying Sub? I like those, and I collect action figures too.
WGTC: Ok, getting to I, Frankenstein, what inspired you to create this story? You just said you’re a big comic book fan – did you draw any inspiration for your latest story?
Kevin Grevioux: The simple answer is, I wanted to see Frankenstein as an action hero – it was that simple. After Underworld, doing what I did with that, I thought my next screenplay, having to do with monsters at least, was going to deal with the Frankenstein character – and figuring out a good direction for that. I remember I pitched the idea to Lakeshore back in 2007, but they didn’t understand it. I had forgotten a promise I made to myself, which was, after Underworld I didn’t create an IP [Intellectual Property]. I said I would never again go out with a naked screenplay, I would always accompany it with an underlying IP or visuals so people could better understand the world.
When I came back to them, they had found out through the grapevine that I’d written a script, and I was going to take it around to everyone in town, but had only managed to take it to a few people before Lakeshore got a hold of it. They were like, “We read I, Frankenstein and we love it.” I also had visuals with it so they could understand the world, and they snapped it up before the other people did – so that’s why I made it with them.
WGTC: So you do a little bit of everything, from comics, to acting, to writing, to producing – but which job is the most fun?
Kevin Grevioux: I would say comic books, because when you do your own comic books they’re devoid of endemic politics. You’re working with paper – the sky is the limit because you aren’t working with budget constraints. With movies there are egos involved, people not understanding certain things, producers don’t understand everything. There’s the movie you have in your head, conceptually, and then there’s the movie you write, the movie you sell – the movie you have to adjust. You have someone else coming in, because filmmaking is a collaborative process, and you have a different image on film than what you had in your head originally. Even though in film the accolades are fun, comic books are more pure to me. It’s because of that I like them the most.