The action genre is getting a horror-comedy bite with Netflix's Day Shift. Produced by John Wick director Chad Stahelski, the film centers on Jamie Foxx's single father Bud as he moonlights as a pool cleaner while actually working as a vampire hunter in the San Fernando Valley.
Alongside Foxx, the cast for Day Shift includes Dave Franco, Karla Souza, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Scott Adkins, Steve Howey, Oliver Masucci, Peter Stormare and Snoop Dogg.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Related: Day Shift's Vampire Hunters Do The 1 Thing Blade Couldn't
Ahead of the film's premiere, Screen Rant spoke exclusively with star Steve Howey to discuss Day Shift, his joy of working with Jamie Foxx, his rigorous stunt training, his hopes for a spinoff, the True Lies series and more.
Warning: Some SPOILERS lie ahead for Day Shift.
Screen Rant: Day Shift has quite the awesome world built into it and quite the fun characters. What about it really drew you to want to be a part of the project?
Steve Howey: Well, they dropped Jamie Foxx's name. I'm a huge fan of Foxx., who isn't? He's a gangster and a gentleman. Then, the character that I play, Mike Nazarian, he said he was going to be doing a lot of action and I was like, "I've wanted to do that."
I've thought about doing action stuff, and this was a really cool opportunity. And J.J. is an awesome dude. His enthusiasm is very, very contagious, so it wasn't really hard to say, "Yeah, let's do this." We had Snoop, Dave Franco, who's hilarious in it, Natasha [Liu Bordizzo], everybody was so cool.
It's the perfect confluence of reasons to want to be a part of the project, I get it.
Steve Howey: I was lucky to even be considered.
When Jamie comes on board, I can imagine it'd be quite the honor to be considered after that.
Steve Howey: He's so cool, he's such a good actor and he's cool. He's cooler in real life. He's the closest thing that we have to the Rat Pack.
That's awesome. I know you don't have a whole lot of screen time specifically with him, but what it was like developing the rapport with him, Dave Franco and Scott Adkins for the scenes that you had together?
Steve Howey: It was very easy. Scott Adkins is an international martial arts superstar and he is very humble and gracious. Jamie Foxx, I knew him and his friends from back in the day from this NBA entertainment league that we used to play in, he was cool then [and is still] cool and great and gracious. When you have no ego, when you're like that big of a star and you're still down to earth, that makes everybody else chill and like calm and there's a synergy that is created and that translates into what the audience sees. If you're not having a good time, that s--t's going to be brutal. Sometimes it works, but when No. 1 is cool, it makes everything so much better. He was always great and always telling stories.
There was one time he was about to do a scene, the AD is like, "Here we go, three, two—". He's in the middle of telling these two crew members, who are around the corner out of the camera shot, this story and he's like, "And then they showed up, and when they showed up —" "Three —" He stopped, he went into scene, he did the scene, "Cut! Alright, reset" and he then goes back to the two crew members and he finished the story. It was the coolest thing I've ever seen.
It was the transition from the story that he was telling in real life into the scene that he shot, he went into Bud and then came out of it immediately and then finished the story. The dude's a gangster and a gentleman.
Not many can do that, that's pretty cool. You mentioned wanting to get into the action side of things and with J.J. Perry at the helm and John Wick's Chad Stahelski producing, you almost couldn't have chosen better to make your genre debut. How involved were you in the stunt coordination process and training?
Steve Howey: They put me through stunt training. That whole vampire nest house, that whole sequence was all choreographed from the second we walked in to the second we walked out, all of that was choreographed. So I show up and Scott Adkins is doing these jump, roundhouse, 360 kicks and I'm like, "I haven't even stretched yet, can we just chill?" Then his stunt double is doing spins and flips and all these stunt guys are running around.
Then we go through the choreography, we're doing the thing, I go in, I fight the one guy, I throw him, I got the gun, I take the knife out, I take the axe out, I do this thing. I'm drenched in sweat, I'm feeling like a ninja that's super fast and then we see a playback on one of the stunt guys' phones and I'm in slow motion, I am in mud moving, in my head, I'm feeling like I'm going so fast.
Just to learn the different [moves], like a movie punch versus a regular punch is completely different it's over exaggerated and it's the pullback and your body has to go past his face, here's the camera angle. It was awesome, it was like going to stunt school. I was just a f-----g pig in s--t, to be honest with you, I was a kid in a candy store having a great time. [Chuckles] I'm a relatively big dude, so I was like, I don't feel insecure, I was just like, "Let me just throw somebody," and they're like, "You'll get a chance." It was cool, man, and J.J. was down for ideas, I was like, "Can I do this?" And he's like, "Yeah, try it," so collaborative, everybody was collaborative.
I was definitely nervous about it, but more excitement than nerves. I was in good hands and I saw the movie and I really liked it. All the guys that I've been talking to are like, "Yeah, it's a f-----g great movie, and I'm like, "I know, it's rad, right?!" It's a great little escapism, it's a movie to be a movie. We're not trying to solve anything politically or socially, just get some popcorn, get some ice cream, put a blanket on, right? Netflix and Chill and have an evening. I am really excited for it, it's so cool that you said that you liked it, too.
Yeah, from the trailers, it was kind of like what you said, I thought, "This looks like a good popcorn entertainment movie." I sat back to get prepared for all this and I was like, "Yeah, that was fun. I want more of that. Give me more of that."
Steve Howey: It created a cool world that could potentially move on.
That was going to be my next question. I've talked to Jamie and Dave, and they said they've discussed possible ideas of how to continue it. Yours and Scott's characters seemed like a really interesting path to spin off. Did you two come up with your own personal backstories together, or did you work with J.J. or the writers come up with ideas of where your characters came from?
Steve Howey: Yeah, but there needs to be more in that, I would really like to show that this is like a family. So we would get real Armenian actors, not just two white dudes playing Armenians, we get a whole family that are this vampire teeth hustling family, right? Grandma's there making rice and baklava and you've got cousins and nieces and they're all in the hustle. They have the van, how do you not have a spin off? They have the Nazarian van, that exists.
That's what I'm saying, you've got the pieces there.
Steve Howey: Yeah, it's a cool world, man, it's a really cool world. Dave is now a vampire, Seth's a vampire now, though. Jamie Foxx is Jamie Foxx and then Snoop Dogg still alive at the end.
And possibly a vamp, we don't know.
Steve Howey: I think if you have Snoop Dogg and a cowboy hat with a Gatling gun, anything will be good.
I was laughing in glee when he popped up with that in the mall sequence.
Steve Howey: I also love the music that they put into it, too, it was so LA from like the '90s and late 80s. I grew up in LA, it was such a good vibe with old-school hip-hop.
Absolutely. I know that True Lies also just got picked up for a full series. How that's coming along and how are you feeling going into that now that it's being expanded?
Steve Howey: I'm very excited, I feel like Day Shift has been a great training for the stunts, right? To know what my body has to do and get into it, a little less muscle and more flexibility. I have to go out to Atlanta, it's shot in Atlanta, I'm gonna be out there for a few months, four months, five months, whatever it is. I'm just excited.
We're not going to do the Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis movie. It's a classic that stands alone. We're doing something else and we're doing our own thing, but that's based in that system. We got a great cast, Ginger Gonzaga plays the Jamie Lee Curtis character, Owen Miller plays the Tom Arnold character. And then our showrunner did — remember that show on USA?
Steve Howey: A really underrated show.
I've been rewatching it, actually, I love Matt Nix, he's a great writer.
Steve Howey: He really is and he's a cool dude. So I'm just knocking on wood, saying thank you to the angels and just going into it. But yeah, I just hope the suits have stretchy material, you can't throw a punch or throw anything or lift anything in a regular suit. It's gotta be stretchy.
Day Shift Synopsis
Jamie Foxx stars as a hard-working blue collar dad who just wants to provide a good life for his quick-witted daughter, but his mundane San Fernando Valley pool cleaning job is a front for his real source of income, hunting and killing vampires as part of an international Union of vampire hunters.
Check out our other interview with Day Shift stars Jamie Foxx & Dave Franco.
Day Shift is now streaming on Netflix.