We’ve all heard about actors being committed to their roles in films, but rarely do we hear about an actor being so devoted to a character that as a young boy he actually fought in a gang to protect his right to dress up as a member of the A-Team. At a recent press conference for the movie Sharlto Copley, one of the co-stars of the A-Team who plays Murdock, told a story about when he was a young boy in Johannesburg, South Africa how he quite literally challenged another A-Team “gang” to a “war” for the right to dress up and pretend they were The A-Team. Now that’s dedication!

At the time Copley always wanted to be Hannibal, but was more then happy to accept the role as Murdoch in the re-imaging of his favorite film when director Joe Carnahan offered him the role.

Find out what he told us about the A-Team gang and the director surprise below…

Question: Sharlto, growing up in South Africa, did you know about the series?

Sharlto Copley: Yes, and I should just say, I am a massive A-Team fan. And Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and I were the two really massive fans of the show. I had an A-Team gang in school when I was 11 years old. Another group, another gang started trying to compete with us to also be the A-Team in my class and so we said “look, there can only be one,” so I challenged them. We basically agreed to have a war. We went down on the field and had a little fight. The stakes were, if you lose, you are no longer the A-Team, you play some other group.

Joe Carnahan: I love how casually Sharlto talks about gangs in Johannesburg in South Africa. (Laughs) How old were you?

Copley: Eleven.

Carnahan: Remembering wonderful childhood memories.

Copley: (Laughs) So we went down to the field and we had a war and we won. We became the only A-team. I had everything. I had the action figures, the dossier that you got, those trading cards. We took everything!

So this must be a childhood dream come true?

Copley: I never conceived at that point that I would be in a movie based on the A-Team. Basically, from that stage on, I was very influenced by Dwight Schultz doing the voices and doing that stuff so I made little videos that I would put myself in a little set and I liked to have sketches or little action pieces where we would try and be like the A-Team. It had a huge impact on me.

Copley’s obsession paid off. He’s absolutely amazing in the film (check out our review)! See him on screen June 10th in THE A-TEAM!

Did you ever fight for your right to A-TEAM!?