In the new action thriller “Bullet to the Head,” Jon Seda plays Sylvester Stallone’s punch-throwing partner – the kind of guy who inspires loyalty. And without giving away too much of the film, suffice it to say that Stallone’s character Jimmy Bobo – a New Orleans hit man – eventually embarks on the adventure of a lifetime trying to avenge his loyal sidekick.
“This is a throwback to the great action films of the late 70s and 80s.” says Seda of the film, based on the French graphic novel “Du plomb dans la tête.” As for his buddy-buddy relationship with Stallone, Seda is quick to remark that the action star is in “great shape – and there’s no way I’d want to get into a fight with him!”
The film – co-starring Sun Kang (“Fast Five”), Christian Slater and Spanish-Iranian newcomer Sarah Shahi – is directed by Walter Hill, with whom Seda had worked with on “Undisputed.” The 2002 film starring Wesley Snipes featured a storyline about boxing and from that moment on, explains Seda, “Walter and I really hit it off.”
“When he called asking me to be part of this movie, I agreed right away,” says Seda. “Amazing action and great co-stars – there was no reason not to. You don’t find people like him often in this business and I have a lot of respect for him.”
Boxing has been Seda’s passion since he was a kid growing up in New Jersey, where he had dreams of becoming a boxing champion. A chance movie audition however, quickly became a full-fledged career and while Seda has since racked up impressive movie credits, he says that the sport remains his first love.
“That’s the first thing Stallone and I did was talk about boxing,” recalls Seda, who is currently shopping around a script he wrote for a film based on one of his old boxing coaches. “We would talk about historic fights, fights that were coming up and analyze boxers. It was amazing, although it’s a good thing I don’t bet because I’d lose everything!”
That’s not to say that Stallone wasn’t on his side; on the contrary says Seda, the action star was egging him on to throw punches to an opponent during one particularly vicious fight scene.
“He was killing me,” laughs Seda, who admits he received his fair share of bruises on set.
While Seda has a reputation as one of Hollywood’s go-to tough guys (the Puerto Rican actor counts stints on “Chicago Fire,” “Hawaii Five-0” and “Burn Notice” among his most recent television stints), he readily admits to having a soft side.
“I mean, don’t mess with my family,” says Seda, who is happily married with daughters. “But I’m a real sap.”
He confesses to crying during “Les Misérables” (“I was the only guy crying and when I realized that, I quickly wiped away the tears!), and says he tries hard to maintain relationships with old friends, including “Selena” costar Jennifer Lopez.
“We used to talk a lot,” says Seda. “Things change, but I love her so much – she’s so cool. We had a great time on ‘Selena’ and now that she’s back to acting I’d love to work with her again.”
As for his own path, boxing dreams and all, Seda says he’s happy the way things have turned out.
“Who knows, maybe I would have been a boxing champ now if I had stayed in New Jersey,” says Seda. “Or maybe I would have been killed in a second fight. But to be in great films where I can incorporate my love of the sport and working on my new film …I’m very fortunate.”
“Earning a place in Hollywood was a challenge that I was willing to take. I’m not complaining!”