British born Latino actor Jacob Scipio (upcoming Without Remorse) portrays the main villain in Columbia Pictures’ new action thriller Bad Boys for Life, opposite Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.
In the film, Smith and Lawrence’s characters Mike and Marcus, certainly have their work cut out for them. Their prey – and vice versa – is a beautiful criminal overlord from Mike’s past, Isabel, along with her strong-willed and lethal son.
While Isabel was imprisoned, she gave birth to Armando – now a fully-grown assassin (Scipio). Upon her release, she works with Armando to make sure there’s no escape for those who wronged her, turning Armando into a spiteful weapon.
“Armando is a warrior who’s trained his entire life in martial arts and high-tech weaponry,” says producer Chad Oman. “He’s physically fit and essentially fearless. So, in every confrontation with Mike and Marcus, the two guys are overmatched. It’s going to take every bit of their resourcefulness, wisdom, and physical prowess to deal with him.”
“But Armando also has a code,” adds Scipio. “And that code is closely tied to his mother’s. They’re incredibly close. He was raised in prison – it was just the two of them in a cell until he was six years old. So, their bond is incredibly powerful. Then he was torn away from her and taken into the care of the cartel. So, Armando has been bred and raised on hate. His mom loves him, there’s no doubt about that, but it’s a tainted love.”
Ultimately, Armando and Mike go mano-a-mano in a fight to the…well…that goes in unexpected directions. “They really get into it,” says Scipio, in a grand understatement. “It was a huge thrill for me to share scenes with Will, who’s an icon.”
According to producer Doug Belgrad, Scipio was a perfect match for the character. “Jacob’s physicality, athleticism and acting chops helped him bring a combination of intensity, depth and empathy to his scenes. Armando is a stone-cold killer, but you want to know what’s going on in his soul.”
In Philippine cinemas January 22, Bad Boys for Life will be distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.