INSIDE FILM: Bowler’s strike

By Michelle Pearson

Versatile Australian actor Grant Bowler is striking both the Australian and American film and television market head on.

Renowned for performances in Blue Heelers and The Mole Down Under, and Ugly Betty and Lost in the US, Bowler has just finished shooting three films back to back –186 Dollars To Freedom (also known as The City of Gardens), Atlas Shrugged and The Killer Elite.

Don’t be fooled however – the 1991 NIDA graduate hasn’t been handed his international career on a silver platter but instead has worked hard to break into the realm of Hollywood.

With the illustrious Hollywood being so cut-throat, Bowler spent five long years attempting to break into the industry.

When asked what inspired Bowler to persevere within the American industry and not chuck in the towel, he told INSIDEFILM: “I’m pig headed. It’s as simple as that”.

“I thought to myself you’ve gone so far down the hole that surely it has to turn around soon and then I’d go further down the hole,” Bowler says from a Los Angeles hotel room.

“There’s something to be said for being ignorant – you either give it a shot or you don’t.”

The key to international success appeared to be perseverance and consistency, with Bowler auditioning for so many roles that his exposure witnessed casting agent’s getting behind him and supporting his acting potential.

Bowler initially commenced acting due to his drive to find a job that he ironically could “never get right”.

“I’ve always been the type of person who would work really hard at a job and then when I got the hang of it, I would ‘coast’.

“I am always up for a challenge and I get bored when it’s obtainable. I wanted to do something that I can’t complete.”

Bowler’s sheer motivation to arrive where he is today has forced him to take part in both tedious and trivial auditions.

For instance, one audition pulled 15 people at a time into a small room with two chairs.

The casting directors told one person to sit on the chair and wear a goldilocks wig (playing the character of goldilocks) and the other to wear a green wig and red nose (playing the clown).

Goldilocks and the clown were asked to improvise a scene together. Luckily for Bowler he was the clown – although goldilocks may have made for a very unique, entertaining performance.

These moments of utter embarrassment have been far outweighed by Bowler’s recent successes, with his now well-established international career rewarding him with diverse character roles – from True Blood’s Cooter,186 Dollars To Freedom’ delusional Jesus Christ and the male lead in Atlas Shrugged, Henry Rearden.

186 Dollars To Freedom, directed by Camilo Vila and shot in Peru, has loads of festival buzz surrounding the film for next year’s Toronto, Cannes and Sundance Film Festivals.

As one of Bowler’s most challenging roles yet, he plays a schizophrenic prisoner who genuinely believes he is Jesus Christ.

Out of all the characters that Bowler could have received, Jesus Christ tops the lot – inevitably having very, very big shoes to fill.

“It was frightening – you’re playing Jesus!” he says.

“I felt I was up for it and said ‘yes’ immediately, and then I thought, what have I done?

“I loved it though. I was given the opportunity to look into the internal [nature] of the character; I wanted to create another reality for this character on top of the true reality.”

Bowler is attracted to these roles in particular due to the inside nature not being pre-defined, aiming up at these roles because of his passion to autonomously research and define the internal life of the character.

His character research doesn’t conclude after reading the script however, with Bowler using particular tactics to formulate the character’s being.

Strategies included reading the New Testament numerous times in order to determine which ‘Jesus’ Bowler would portray.

“I wanted to be specific. Jesus went through phases – he was ‘The Lamb of God,’ ‘The Fisher of Men’, ‘The Carpenter.’ These were different eras in Christ’s life so it was necessary to pick one specifically. I built him up from there.”

Through Bowler’s collaboration with Vila and writer Monty Fisher, all but one line of dialogue was changed.

“It’s always an absolute treat working on a film that allows me to take part in the collaboration process,” the passionate Bowler says.

“The film was based on real life events of the writer. The dialogue was brilliant and the character amazing but it didn’t necessarily give him a function, so we workshopped it and talked about how we could bring this guy in to play a role.”

From Jesus Christ to werewolf, Captain Gault to businessman, Bowler is a man of many talents.

Atlas Shrugged, a film adaptation of… READ MORE

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186 Dollars To Freedom's actress, Anahi, is on the cover of Latin American magazine, CARAS

Anahi de Cardenas who plays Maritza in 186 Dollars To Freedom, is on the cover of a Latin American magazine, CARAS.

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Grant Bowler Interview in OK Magazine with Exclusive Photo from186 Dollars To Freedom

Grant Bowler recently did an interview with Australia’s OK Magazine where he talks about his role as a werewolf on the HBO series True Blood and mentioned his role as “Jesus Christ” in186 Dollars To Freedom. Check out the exclusive photo from the film.

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Alex Meraz talks ‘186 Dollars To Freedom’ in new interview in Norway

Alex Meraz

The text part of the interview is not in English (you can use an online translator), however the video is in English… Click Here

*Thanks to TheMerazEffect for letting us know about this news!

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COVENTRYTELEGRAPH.NET (THE GEEK FILES) – Oscar-winning editor Richard Halsey joins186 Dollars To Freedom

By David Bentley on Jul 29, 10 10:50 AM

RICHARD HALSEY, who won an Academy Award for his editing on Sylvester Stallone’s 1976 classic Rocky, has begun work on action-drama186 Dollars To Freedom.

Among the film’s cast are two werewolves: Alex Meraz from the Twilight films and Grant Bowler from True Blood. Meraz is pictured above (on right) alongside lead actor John Robinson (Lords of Dogtown, Seraphim Falls, Transformers, Elephant).

Produced by Four Fish Films/Dragon Tree Media, the film is now entering into post-production. It tells the story of… READ MORE

*posted about the Coventry Telegraph article. “HOLY SH*T! Oscar-winning editor Richard Halsey joins @186 Dollars To Freedom the film I just finished in Peru!!!”


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EW.COM : ‘True Blood’: Grant Bowler reflects on his ‘love scene’ with Stephen Moyer, the brilliance of Don Swayze, and the size of Joe Manganiello…

Image Credit: HBO

As for what else we have to look forward to: Bowler has recently wrapped186 Dollars To Freedom, an indie Peru-set prison story in which he co-stars as a character that the trades described as “a schizophrenic named Jesus Christ who is stuck in solitary confinement.” How does one prepare for that? “Well, I had to look at delusional disorders and schizophrenia. I actually decided to go with delusional rather than schizophrenic. And then you find out what that is, how that walks and talks and operates. Talk to psychologists and psychiatrists and read some material. And then kinda figure out what type of person would choose Jesus, go backwards from there, and then figure out which Jesus you want to be. He’s a bit like Elvis, he went through phases. I went with sort of God-Jesus,” he says. “… READ MORE


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TWILIGHTMOMS.COM – Eclipse Premiere Interview with Alex Meraz w/ mention of his role in186 Dollars To Freedom

Alex talks about actually having a shirt on, an upcoming project and Kara goes into “MOM” mode…

*also mentioned on : [ Twilight Moms ] [ The Meraz Effect ]

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ACESHOWBIZ.COM : Alex Meraz: One Fan Vomited When Seeing Me

© Zak Hussein/WENN

The 25-year-old actor admits fans often get over-excited when they meet their idols and one encounter left him spattered with vomit. He says, “The worst experience I had with a fan was when one vomited.”

The Nicaragua of “186 Dollars To Freedom” … READ MORE

*mentioned on: [ Female First ]

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TWILIGHTEXAMINER : Alex Meraz at ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’ premiere

Alex Meraz talks ‘Eclipse’ at the red carpet premiere for the film in Los Angeles, California.

Interview by: [ Twilight Examiner ] *also mentioned by [ The Meraz Effect ]

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NEW ZEALAND HERALD: Interview w/ Grant Bowler: Lycan the transformation

Outrageous Fortune star Grant Bowler’s Stateside career continues to truck along nicely. After roles in Lost and Ugly Betty, Bowler joined the cast of True Blood for its third season, alongside another acting export, Anna Paquin.

He also has three movies on the way – when TimeOut finds him he’s somewhere between Peru, where’s he’s been filming prison movie 186 Dollars To Freedomand Melbourne, where he’s headed to start on The Killer Elite, a military thriller starring Robert De Niro, Clive Owen and Jason Statham, among others.

So, from Wolf West to a wolfman named Coot. You’ve lost the beard – what else has changed?
Well, I’m still acting for a living [but] I guess I live mainly in the States these days – that would be a change. And now I… READ MORE

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HOLLYWOODREPORTER.COM : ‘True Blood’ actor lands another film role – Busy Grant Bowler joins ‘Atlas Shrugged’

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez

“True Blood” actor Grant Bowler has snagged his third feature role in as many weeks.

Bowler will portray steel magnate Henry Reardon in the Paul Johansson-helmed “Atlas Shrugged,” based on Ayn Rand’s literary classic. He previously picked up parts in the action feature “The Killer Elite” and indie drama “186 Dollars To Freedom.”

In “Atlas,” Reardon is a demanding industrialist who becomes conflictedwhen sparks fly.

Repped by Don Buchwald & Associates, Sue Barnett in Australia and Untitled Entertainment, Bowler has had regular roles on ABC’s “Ugly Betty” and “Lost.” He also plays biker-turned-werewolf Cooter on HBO’s “True Blood.”

The Hollywood Reporter


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EONLINE.COM : The Skinny on Twilight Star’s Dramatic Weight Loss

Kimberley French/Summit Entertainment

He didn’t exactly pull a 50 Centin the weight loss department, but Twilight wolf Alex Meraz did drop some major poundage recently for a movie role.

Meraz tells me heshed his muscular physique for his part as a local prisoner in 186 Dollars To Freedom, a gritty drama based on the real-life story of an American surfer who was sent to a Peruvian prison after being wrongfully accused of drug trafficking.

How much weight did Meraz lose and how did he do it? … READ MORE

*also mentioned on [ uk.Eonline ] [ Comcast ] [ The Meraz Effect ] [ Right Celebrity ]



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‘186 Dollars To Freedom’ website is officially up!

Alex Meraz announces: “‘186 Dollars To Freedom’ website is officially up! This is the film that I shot in Peru

* THEALEXMERAZ on Twitter : | Official Site:

*also mentioned by [ PULPMOVIES.COM ] [ TEAM-TWILIGHT.COM ] [ TRUE-BLOOD.NET ] [ Twilight Moms ]

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Announcement of186 Dollars To Freedom & Film Photos Released

28DAYSLATERANALYSIS.COM : Camilo Vila’s186 Dollars To Freedom to Shoot in Los Angeles

Alicia Frankl, Dragon Tree Media, and Monty Fisher Four Fish Films are the production companies and personnel behind186 Dollars To Freedom a prison drama that puts “a young American surfer” in a Peruvian jail on bogus drug charges (Studio Matrix). Primary production for this feature has wrapped in Peru with further filming to take place in Los Angeles. Starring are John Robinson (Transformers), Alex Meraz (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse), Johnny Lewis (The Runaways), and Michael DeLorenzo (Nice Guys). An official website has launched for the film recently and those with an interest in a true story involving ’80s intrigue and prison corruption can become a fan at the link below.

A partial synopsis for 186 Dollars To FreedomREAD MORE

+ COVENTRYTELEGRAPH.COM (The Geek Files) : Twilight and True Blood stars among cast of 186 Dollars To Freedom –



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TWILIGHTERSANONYMOUS.COM – MTV Movie Awards 2010 Red Carpet Interview: Alex Meraz Says ‘Eclipse’ is Hairier and Scarier

In the interview Alex talks about his new movie 186 Dollars To Freedom and barely making it back in time for the awards. Alex also talks about losing weight after Eclipse and now having to gain back all of the muscle he lost by working out and eating lots of protein for Breaking Dawn and of course, the scene he’s most looking forward to seeing in Eclipse… READ MORE

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