I recently got the opportunity to talk to Angela Featherstone about her role in ‘Beneath The Dark’. Here, Angela talks about what it was like working with the cast and crew on-set and how she got into acting in the first place…
Hey Angie. Thanks for taking the time out to talk to me. ‘Beneath The Dark’ will be having it’s DVD premiere in the UK on July 4th.
It’s my pleasure Matt. Thanks for asking. I had no idea but I’m happy to hear about ‘Beneath The Dark’s release – I really hope the UK enjoys it.
What is the general premise behind the movie?
My understanding of this film is that through the use of very strong characters and some Americana landscapes the director /writer has told a story that brings into question the old idea that we are responsible for our actions and that every choice we make affects others lives.
How would you say this film differs from other thrillers released this year?
The truth is I haven’t seen any other thrillers – I did just see a trailer for my pal Rod Lurie’s film ‘Straw Dogs’ – the Peckinpah remake – and it looks great! But as I said, I don’t usually go see thrillers. I don’t like to be scared and I hate suspense. I prefer long meandering tales and character driven stories.
Tell us a bit about the character you play in the movie…
Well that’s a whole different ball of wax – she was great. The writer wrote her specifically for me. It was also the second time in my career when I really had a long time to prepare. I knew months in advance and had a lot of time to think about the character, which was amazing emotionally but also physically, as I hadn’t been to the gym in some time and as you will see in the film – I have a scantily clad moment – or as they say on the internet – “a blue panties lap dance”. Her name is Sandy – she is pretty torn up. I could really relate to her and her having so many dreams, however unrealistic they were. During the course of the film, it becomes clear to her that none of them are going to happen. You know that line between denial and optimism – she is just about five minutes past that. I think all of us can relate to that.
The film stars Josh Stewart, Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Chris Browning – what was it like working with them on set?
Well, it was great to work with Josh Stewart. I really love actors of his sort – or what I perceive to be his sort. I love actors that are actors – he is definitely one. My pal Tim Guinee is one. Casey Affleck, and my friend Kevin Corrigan are both actors – to me Josh is the Pacino of our generation. It’s exciting for a broad like me to see a young talent so focused on his craft and the work at hand. I get inspired by it and by nature I’m an athlete so I always get better when I surround myself with determined people. Jamie Lynn was as sweet as she was on-screen – and I can’t imagine the film without her. There were hot dark nights in the middle of nowhere and a very dark script – it took all of her light and exec producer Amanda Micallef’s focus to keep us on the track and not get too down. Chris Browning was great and came to work everyday ready and focused – as our stuff was so intense it’s hard to comment. His character and my character are very intense together and I have a hard time separating the two at work. Overall, we all had an amazing time. Nobody fought. There was no drama except on camera and we all did our jobs and left. It was such a tough location that there was really no room for drama. I also liked working with Sandy Martin too – she’s a great example of a strong character actress. It’s hard not to like actors – they are all so different and all mad in some way.
Let’s talk a bit about you Angie. What made you want to get into acting in the first place?
I have no idea. Since I was a kid I knew I was going to do it. I never watched films nor TV growing up, it wasn’t allowed. I did somehow see “Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf” and I remember that it was my mother’s favorite film. And that as far as I know was the only film I saw as a child – (this is very telling by the way). When I was 16, I borrowed three books from the library – all 3 were biographies: Tullulah Bankhead, Gary Cooper and Marlon Brando. I related so much to Marlon as our childhood’s had similarities and we were both born April 3rd. I took this as a sign and was convinced this was my destiny. I was friends with Harry Dean Stanton when I was younger and during one trip from Tokyo to New York City (I was a model at that point) I stopped in to visit him and others. He took me to a party and as we entered the party literally stopped. I left that party with the biggest stack of business cards and as we drove away I knew that it wasn’t about IF it was going to happen but only ‘when’ and that I had better be ready. So…I went back to Canada for a while. I had never finished high school and despite being thought of as intelligent, I had a pretty severe inferiority complex. I had not been able to finish high school due to a pretty bad home life and a stint in jail so I got what’s called a GED which is a high school equivalency degree and I enrolled in college. I went for a year and studied literature and theatre. After a few years I made my way to New York City and began acting. I was almost 30 by this time.
What advice would you give to actors wanting to get into the industry?
Well, my only comment on this is just be sure that it’s really what you are supposed to be doing – acting is no joke. It’s hard and the business of it is hard. But if it really is your destiny then never ever give up.
What does an Angela Featherstone day usually consist of?
Well lately I have been really busy curating a photography exhibit so I have been getting up at 6am and answering emails. I’ve also been attending a lot of auditions for acting jobs and I’ve just got back from a trip to Canada for my Grandmother’s 100th birthday – so my life is full at the moment. I usually end my day with a good dinner and lately, on my laptop -:)
What’s coming up for you in 2011?
As I’ve said I’m curating a photography exhibit at the Robert Berman gallery – www.robertbermangallery.com. It’s called ‘F*** Pretty’. I have been keeping busy with TV guest spot roles too – I’ve just been on a CBS show called ‘The Mentalist’ with my old pal Simon Baker – we did a pilot together years ago so it was nice to work with him again. Thank you so much for you support and interest, it means the world and I really hope you guys enjoy ‘Beneath the Dark’ as much as I enjoyed making it!!!
Thanks for the interview!