Von Rothfelder Makes Acting Debut with Daniel Zirilli’s 2013 Blunt Force

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Adam Von Rothfelder is preparing for his breakthrough acting debut in the 2013 military action thriller Blunt Force, co-written and directed by Daniel Zirilli. Other cast members include UFC legend Dan Henderson and Saye Yabandeh (with additional cast to be announced). Filming begins December 5th, in the gulf coast of Mississippi, where casting director, Matthew Morgan’s last film “As I Lay Dying” was shot.

Von Rothfelder, the model and mixed martial artist, caught Zirilli’s attention immediately. Von Rotherfelder stated, “When I met Daniel, I was just open and honest, and we began talking. Since I do have a lower voice, nineteen tattoos, and fighting background, I think it became obvious that I looked the part Daniel was searching for. He said it was a long shot, but within our first 40-minute conversation it became a reality. To have him believe in me as the lead in Blunt Force was awesome—it couldn’t have been more serendipitous. I looked him straight in the eye and told him I would not let him down if he gave me the role.”

The soon-to-be action hero star always believed that this was what he was supposed to do. Zirilli began pushing for Von Rothfelder to play the lead character, Russell Warrington. "When I met Adam Von Rothfelder, I knew instantly that he has the potential to be a huge action star, and the fact that he has a mixed martial arts background makes that transition easier, as well as natural acting chops and the look.” Zirilli has helped transition other real-life fighters and UFC stars into movie action figures in previous films he directed such as “Circle of Pain” with MMA stars Frank Mir, Heath Herring, and Roger Huerta, and “Locked Down” with Rashad Evans, Cheick Kongo, and Forrest Griffin, with roles alongside actors such Vinnie Jones and Dean Cain (TV’s Superman).

Blunt Force follows the downward spiral of fallen war-hero Russell Warrington (Von Rothfelder), who is released stateside after losing his wife and daughter in a house fire. After being arrested for a street fight, he is drugged and involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital that has a dark, twisted secret. Warrington uses his former military training to defend himself when he is forced to fight for his survival against other psychiatric patients in a padded cell, The Aquarium. The hospital’s corrupt Chief of Psychiatry, Aliza Naples (Saye Yabandeh), profits from her black market website. With the help of a sympathetic orderly and his former military buddy (Dan Henderson) Warrington devises a way to escape, expose the corruption, and free other innocent patients.

Jude S. Walko, Dan Campbell, and Daniel Zirilli are producing Blunt Force. Executive producers are Kevin Wright, Saye Yabandeh, Steven Kaplan, Brad Marks, and Jack Fayard. The film is based from a screenplay written by Michael Stephen McGuire and Daniel Zirilli, with story contributions by D. Glase Lomond. Zirilli founded Popart Film Factory. To date, he has directed and produced over 250 music videos with artists ranging from The Rolling Stones to Three 6 Mafia and Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Zirilli has also written and directed 17 feature length films.

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Gillian Hush
gillian.hush@marquette.edu
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