I had the opportunity to watch What Josiah Saw and it definitely went down an unexpected path on several different levels. The movie is quite dark and your character is quite restless. What drew you to playing Eli?
I tend to relate to such characters or gravitate towards [them]. It’s fun to play the misunderstood guy, the anti-hero. This has always attracted me to roles. I love the journey he’s on. Where it starts at the start of that day, this epic day, and where it ends at the end, that was a fun arc. [Director] Vincent [Grashaw] came to me with a role and I loved it. Overall, it was such a solid story and screenplay that [it] attracted me to the project no less than the role of Eli.
You’ve been open about your struggle with addiction. What was it like to play someone who is on such a destructive path and were there any doubts about it?
No – no reservations on the subject. There was a lot of things Eli went through in the script that I certainly couldn’t understand. As for certain character traits and the struggles he went through, it was easy to succumb to this material, but without reservation. I love to explore the dark elements of characters and people. Actually it was fun for me.
In such a dark film, how did you manage to keep the light on set?
Vincent is fun to work with. Film crews, when you’re doing dark material, naturally look for frivolity. Some of the funniest shoots I’ve ever had were really dark. People would probably walk by and think it’s a perversion how everyone is having such a good time and laughing.
However, it was a very fast shot. It wasn’t a big budget. They had limited resources. We definitely worked long days, which is hard. But it’s interesting how sometimes the darker the material, the more comedy. [happening] on the set.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction problems, help is available. visit Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA National Help Desk at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).