On August 19th, Lionsgate will release the action-packed thriller Bullet Proof in a limited release in theaters and on Digital and VOD. On September 27th, the film will be released on Blu-Ray and DVD.
After stealing millions in cash from sadistic mob boss Temple’s drug-dealing hideout, a thief finds a stowaway in his getaway car: Temple’s pregnant wife, Mia. Desperate to reclaim his cash, and his unborn son, Temple sends out a squad of hit men and bounty hunters to bring in Mia and the thief.
The film stars James C. Clayton, Vinnie Jones and in her first lead role Lina Lecompte. Lina, who was born in Bogotá, Colombia, moved to Vancouver, Canada at the age of 10 and would eventually begin her training in television and film acting. Many of you may recognize her from her recent role as Guadalupe ‘Lupe’ Cortez in the television series Motherland: Fort Salem.
We had the chance to sit down with Lina to talk about her film Bullet Proof. What it was like stepping on set for the first time as a lead in a film, why she enjoyed playing her character Mia and what it was like working with the legendary Vinnie Jones.
Pop Culture Principle – When you first received the script for Bullet Proof, what made you decide to sign on to the project?
Lina Lecompte – Well, I immediately fell in love with the script. I remember, I wasn’t able to read my emails until late at night and I decided I would read half of the script that night and read the rest the next day and then I’ll make up my mind, but I literally couldn’t stop reading the script. I think I stayed up until two in the morning because I needed to know what happened. The script was so action packed and each scene really had me on my toes!
Pop Culture Principle – Can you tell us about your character Mia and how she fits in the Bullet Proof universe?
Lina Lecompte – So, Mia is very strong, independent, and driven. She is smart, quick on her feet and very straight forward. She will just say it like it is. When I first read the script, I immediately loved her, and it was so incredible that I got to play her.
She’s spent the last few years of her life as Temple’s wife, who is played by Vinnie Jones, but the relationship has definitely deteriorated into an abusive one and I think the pregnancy serves as a huge wake-up call to her and a catalyst to get away from Temple. She’s aware what might happen, but the risk is worth it to her. Despite everything that she’s been through, I think Mia has a lot of fight left in her and she’s not giving up easy.
Pop Culture Principle – Were you supplied with any backstory for your character writers, or did you come up with a backstory for her?
Lina Lecompte – I actually sat down with James C. Clayton when I first booked the part, and we talked extensively about what her backstory would have been like and why she ended up with Temple. Mia is not super innocent. Temple has power and money and I think that is a little bit enticing especially her coming from Columbia into the States and he can offer her protection. I think there was a little bit of that involved and we sorted out what would have made her end up where she is.
Pop Culture Principle – In the trailer, your character is first introduced to us in a very unique way. What can you tell us about filming the scene where we are first introduced to Mia?
Lina Lecompte – That was by far one of my favorite scenes to shoot. We extensively rehearsed that scene quite a bit. It was the perfect introduction, and it was so fitting that she would shoot the gun right away as she was meeting him.
When we were shooting that scene, it was actually right at the beginning of the filming, so I didn’t know James quite that well yet, which was perfect for the scene. The chemistry just worked so well when we were shooting it and it was just an incredible way to be introduced that way and I am so grateful for it. It was so much fun! You really get a sense of who she is in that scene!
Pop Culture Principle – The film also stars and is directed by James C. Clayton. Can you talk a bit about working with him as a director and working with him as an actor as many of your scenes are with him?
Lina Lecompte – He has the most amazing and positive attitude which really sets the tone on the set and makes working with him a really fantastic experience. It was really obvious to me from the beginning that he had a very clear vision for what he wanted the film to be like and that clarity definitely translated to the way he directed. I think him being an actor really translates into the way he directs as well. He knows what an actor would understand, and it does translate really well.
Honestly, I don’t know how he directed, acted, and produced the film. At the end of the day, I was exhausted, and I was only acting in the film and he somehow managed to do all three. He would show up the next day with the most amazing positive attitude and I couldn’t believe it. He’s amazing and I felt very supported and understood and we really got along great, so it made the shoot really fun.
Pop Culture Principle – The legendary Vinnie Jones also stars in this film. What was it like working with him on set?
Lina Lecompte – Working with him was an incredibly interesting experience. This was my first lead role in a feature film and obviously Vinnie Jones has had so much experience in this industry, so I got to learn a lot from watching him work. He brought so much intensity to Temple’s character. I showed up to work and he made it so easy working with him.
He just brought that intensity that I needed as another actor opposite him. He not only brought that intensity to the character, but he also brought this vulnerability to the character which I thought was really interesting to see from him. The last day he was on set with us, he said, “It’s been emotional”, which you might recognize from the film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. He said it and it was just so iconic!
Pop Culture Principle – The role of Mia is a very physical role. Did you do any specific training getting ready for the role?
Lina Lecompte – The first thing I knew I had to look into was the physicality of being pregnant. I watched a ridiculous number of videos about pregnancies and symptoms and what it would be like to run as a pregnant woman. I wanted to know how the physicality would change and how would I run. This sounds silly, but as soon as I put on that pregnancy belly, it was like I didn’t even need to do any of the work because the weight of that thing simulated it so perfectly for me, that it almost became instinctually for me, and the physicality was so clear for me. I mean, in between takes I would be holding onto the belly like a pregnant woman would or holding up the weight to help my lower back! So, putting the pregnancy belly on definitely helped with the physicality.
As far as the guns go, I really didn’t want to do a lot of research about guns and shooting because Mia is not good with guns. She does not know her way around aiming or shooting or anything gun related. I mean, she knows the bare basics, so I figured it would actually be counter productive for me to look into that.
Pop Culture Principle – This movie does a great job of combining drama, action, and a little bit of comedy. Would you agree?
Lina Lecompte – There were some great comedic moments in the film. I absolutely think the film does and as I said earlier, James had such a clear vision of what he wanted the film to be, and he wanted those comedic beats in the film. Overall, we just want it to be a fun film for people to watch and I’m happy those comedic beats came along because we had a lot of fun shooting them.
Pop Culture Principle – Can you think of one way you are like your character Mia and one big difference between you and Mia?
Lina Lecompte – Wow, that’s an interesting question. I feel like I am really different from Mia. She is way more badass than I am. She is so driven and intense and has this amazing tenacity. I guess in some ways that’s kind of similar to how I am. I feel like when I want something, I will work really hard for it in the way that she would, so I think in that sense we are really alike.
As for as difference, as I said, she is really more bad ass than me. She’s a crazy driver! I know this is the weirdest thing to mention, but I am a very cautious driver, so when I got to shoot all those scenes with her driving erratically and doing all these crazy things, she’s impulsive, but quick on her feet!
Lina Lecompte – I was terrified and so nervous. I was so scared that these people had taken a chance on me and somehow, I would ruin the film or not be the Mia that they wanted. I really fell in love with this character and really wanted to do her and the story justice. So, I was nervous, but the people we were working with were so kind, supportive, and welcoming. They were so amazing at teaching me things that I might not know. I have been on a set before and I’ve done smaller roles, but nothing to this degree. Once I got there, I put in the work and to be honest, it comes down to the people you work with and they put me at ease, so I was able to have fun, enjoy the process and learn to grow.
Pop Culture Principle – What would be your hope for viewers after they finished watching the movie?
Lina Lecompte – Honestly, I feel like they are going to enjoy the movie. It’s incredibly action packed, it’s high octane and so entertaining to watch. I hope that they connect with the characters, have a blast, and come along for the ride with the rest of us. I hope that they walk out of the theater having had a great time watching Bullet Proof.
A huge thank you to Lina Lecompte for taking the time to talk with us! Bullet Proof will hit theaters in a limited release and Digital and VOD on August 19th!
**Main photo courtesy of Jenna Berman Photography**
**All Bullet Proof photos courtesy of Lionsgate**