When people think of action movie stars, one of the last names that comes to mind is Adrien Brody, Academy Award-winner for “The Pianistand hip-hop enthusiast. After this summer though, that perception or lack of confidence may change. On July 9 Brody will appear in “Predators,” the new chapter in the “Predator” franchise, as Royce the leader of a band of humans who find themselves on the Predators’ home planet.

Brody has had an incredibly diverse career as an actor and has worked with such filmmakers as Roman Polanski, M. Night Shyamalan, Wes Anderson and Peter Jackson. Clearly, Brody can hold his own with heavyweight directors and has appeared in a wide range of films, both big blockbusters and small art house pictures, but can he pull off the role of action hero?

To prepare for the film, Brody has said that he did extensive training both physically and mentally. He gained about 25 pounds for the role and studied military training tactics and weaponry. Brody stars alongside Laurence Fishburne who took on serious martial arts training to play Morpheus in the “Matrixtrilogy and who will hopefully have some guidance for Brody as he attempts to carry not just an entire film but a large budget, sci-fi tent pole movie that will attempt to achieve better box office returns than most films that have come out this season.

Anyone who has followed Brody’s career can see that he is an actor who takes his roles seriously. In 1999, before he won his Oscar or was known by more than a few Hollywood execs, Brody starred as the villain opposite Maura Tierney in ”Oxygen” where he played a sadistic serial killer who toys with a detective solely for his own amusement. In that movie, Brody’s character, Harry, almost feels like a precursor to Heath Ledger’s Joker because of his love for mayhem and chaos and refusal to live by society’s rules.

Brody has also portrayed very dark, disturbed characters in films like “The Jacket” where he played a Gulf War veteran who is sent to an insane asylum against his will. Brody received praise from critics for his strong performance despite an overall lackluster film.

Brody is an old-school style actor whose unconventional good looks and confident style make the 37-year-old actor appear more mature and experienced than he actually is. This may work to his advantage in “Predators” as director Nimrod Antal chose old-fashioned special effects instead of CGI for the movie which could have easily led to 3D retrofitting like so many other movies that have come out in 2010. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger before him, the explosions Brody has to act around will be real and will hopefully heighten the experience for viewers who are mostly tired of 3D and overblown effects.