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Chad Michael Collins Dishes On His Training Regimen For Sniper: Assassin's End - Exclusive

In 1993, a new action franchise was born in the form of Sniper, starring Tom Berenger and Billy Zane. Released in theaters and debuting in the number-two spot, the film went on to gross nearly $19 million domestically. It was a modest success, but with so much potential for a sequel, more stories were inevitable. 

Over the last 27 years, seven direct-to-video Sniper sequels have been released. Ever since 2011's Sniper: Reloaded, Chad Michael Collins has been front and center as Brandon Beckett, the son of Thomas Beckett, played by Berenger in the original. The eighth film in the series, the Kaare Andrews-directed Sniper: Assassin's End, came out on June 16. This time around, Brandon is accused of a crime he didn't commit, and he'll need the help of his dear ol' dad to get him out of a nefarious plot involving a deadly assassin on his tail. 

In Assassin's End alone, Collins is shot at, beat up, and really taken through the wringer. And he looks awesome doing it. In an exclusive interview with Looper, Collins spoke at length about what his training regimen was like to prepare for such an intense role. 

Chad Michael Collins wanted to do justice to real soldiers

Since this was Collins' fifth outing as Brandon Beckett, he was already well-acquainted with the training that would be required of him for the role. He always tries to stay in good shape, but since he's portraying a soldier in the Sniper franchise, he always wants to go the extra mile and do justice to the real-life heroes. 

As Collins tells Looper, "I'm playing a soldier, and as an actor, you want to demonstrate that as much as you can. We're not the real deal. We're not these real-life heroes, but it's my responsibility to come and shape and represent them in their best form. That includes getting a lot of extra workouts in with pull-ups and push-ups, and stuff that they would have to do while they're on deployment."

That was really Collins' guiding force throughout filming Sniper: Assassin's End. He took a great deal of responsibility in ensuring everything — from the way he looked to the way he handled the guns — was accurate. 

The brave men and women in the U.S. military train hard, and Collins wanted to do justice to these real-life heroes. As he put it, "We're representing these soldiers, these service men and women, these heroes. I want to look the part. I want to demonstrate that as much as I can. So I always try to get [in] tip-top [shape] for every single one of these movies to hopefully demonstrate that."

Chad Michael Collins got by with a little help from his friends

Of course, after you train so extensively for a film, you actually have to shoot all of the action sequences — and there are some doozies in Assassin's End. From a shootout involving vehicles as shields to hand-to-hand combat in the forest, Collins truly ran the gamut of intensity. Luckily, this isn't his first Sniper rodeo, and he's learned how look after himself through all of the action set pieces.

"I feel like I've learned how to take care of my body better so I can get out ahead of the bumps and the bruises and pulled muscles and the back spasms more than I used to in my more reckless youth," he says.

Collins gave a shoutout to Brett Chan, the stunt coordinator for Sniper: Assassin's End, who really made sure he was safe and the action looked solid. Both Chan and Collins did their jobs exceptionally well, and as Collins says, "I think the movie speaks for itself in the way that the action really mixes it up with the end-to-end stuff and the close fighting, which I really love that dance." He adds, "I didn't come out too worse for wear on this one, unless it's some mat burns from working in the dojo, rehearsing a lot, but they are all filled up by now."

See their hard work for yourself by checking out Sniper: Assassin's End, which is available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and digital now.