Star Power: Prepare to Fight

Grant Bowler, the star of Syfy’s Defiance, kicks ass on screen and in real life.

Grant Bowler

M&F: Your character in Defiance, Joshua Nolan, constantly battles aliens. How do you prepare?

GB: I train for it a bit like you’d train for a fight. I get ready and get conditioned. Not for any specific aesthetic. I am not interested in size that I can’t use because I have to carry it for 15 hours a day.

You boxed for 20 years. Does that help with the fight scenes?

I know what it’s like to get punched in the face, so I find it easy to sell the punches. The hardest thing about stunt fighting is you have to throw horrible punches. It always takes me at least a week to get into the habit again of throwing really bad punches. My character is a street fighter.

Does Defiance transcend sci-fi?

I think so. When you hit sci-fi sweetly, the science fiction is complete but incidental. My favorite science fiction is epitomized in Blade Runner. You could have set that in the OId West or in current-day New York and it works the same.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your career?

Ninety-nine percent of anything is persistence. You’re going to have failure, and you’re going to have rejection. If you walk out your front door people are going to criticize you and then they’re going to reject you. Make failure your friend. I had more than 100 auditions go the wrong way, but what I decided was that if I want what 99% of people in this world want, then I have no right to complain until I’ve worked harder than 99% of people. That is a fact.

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