Frank Grillo on His New Film Lights Out

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He’s got the looks that could trick you into thinking he’s Patrick Dempsey’s brother. And on top of that, as we learned from our recent interview, Frank Grillo trains in fighting seven days a week. No days off! It’s no surprise, then, that Grillo has stayed busy with action films aplenty in Hollywood, and that includes a new feature film hitting theaters and on demand this week.




Lights Out features Mekhi Phifer and other household names, centering on a sort of underground fight-club society in present-day Los Angeles. We just caught up with Grillo to learn more about it, plus what he’s lined up next and which superstar actor-writer-director he’d like to work with.


Grillo Can Do This ‘Falling off a Log’

Lights Out

Lights Out (2024)

2.5/5

Release Date
February 16, 2024

Director
Christian Sesma

Runtime
1hr 30min

Writers
Chad Law , Garry Charles

Read Our Review


In Lights Out, Grillo plays “Duffy,” a homeless veteran who gets taken under the wing of an ex-con, who sees in the skilled fist-fighter that is Duffy an opportunity to win some dough. “It was a character that I could do kind of falling off a log,” Grillo told MovieWeb. “So I knew I didn’t have to put that much into the character. There’s a lot I could draw from, but I could use my knowledge and what I know about making it as good and authentic as I could. And I was around people who are equally, if not more, capable than me: Dermot, Mekhi, Scott Atkins, and all these people. So that was this movie’s journey. It was a good shoe that needed some repair. But you could see that after the repair, you had a shoe that had some mileage on it if that makes any sense.”

The action star that is Grillo has been starring in movies like Lights Out for years at this point. We were curious if Grillo hoped to continue in this vain or branch out to other genres down the line. Says Grillo:


“I train every day, seven days a week, with professional fighters, and it’s in my DNA, it’s what I do. It’s why I do these movies. I never planned on doing this. I swear to you, after the movie
Warrior,
somehow people saw me as this guy. And by then I did
The Purge: Anarchy
and movies like that, genre movies, which I wasn’t particularly leaning towards. But it goes to show you this kind of this vacuum in Hollywood of dudes that can kind of handle a certain type of thing. And somehow I found myself in the mix of those guys. And it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve taken some shots, both creatively and critically, but at the end of the day, I’m getting to make movies, and that’s kind of all that matters.”

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Grillo on Sly Stallone and the DCU

Take a moment to check out Grillo’s filmography, and the list seems endless. There is no shortage of acclaimed movie stars across the vast number of projects he’s starred in. “I’ve worked with the big guys. I’ve worked with Statham, I’ve worked with Butler, I’ve worked with Liam Neeson. I’ve worked with a lot of those guys, guys I really respect,” Grillo told us.

“I’d love to do something with Sly [Stallone]. Sly’s a friend of mine, and he’s had such a great resurgence in his career, and he’s just so iconic. I always ask him… I’d love to do something with him. I really would.”


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In looking ahead, Grillo was excited to share some confirmed projects that are also due to hit the masses in the near future, including a project in the coveted superhero realm:

“I got one coming out about werewolves. Steven C. Miller, who directed it, has done above and beyond what he’s done in the past. He’s taken his time. They put a lot of money into the post. It’s practical werewolves. It’s a bunch of big guys, seven-footers. It’s basically The Purge meets werewolves because it’s a night of when there’s a supermoon, and there’s this kind of disease, and problems ensue. But I’m really excited for it because it’s been done beautifully… And
Creature Commandos
, and then after creature Commandos, I can’t talk about it, I’m
coming for the DCU
. So I’m excited about that.”


In seeing a movie like Lights Out at this point in time, one can’t help but think of another fighting-esque film that has been abuzz in Hollywood: The Iron Claw, from the acclaimed brand A24. “I just read three movies that are getting made with the top talent and every aspect of moviemaking — all A24, and they all could win awards. I mean, it’s amazing what they’re doing,” said Grillo. “I heard Efron is amazing in the movie, which I love to hear. And Jeremy Allen White is having a moment and is great in The Bear. I mean, it’s a great cast. It’s a great story. Those are the kinds of things that I would love to kind of segue back into.” But for now, from Quiver Distribution, Lights Out hits theaters, on demand, and digital Friday. You can rent or buy it on platforms like Prime Video, Google Play, YouTube, and through Vudu below:

Watch Lights Out


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