Daniel has been missing for seven years, and wife Tricia is finally ready to declare him dead ‘in absentia’ and move on with her life. With her younger sister Callie moving in to support her through the painful legal process, Tricia is haunted by disturbing visions of Daniel. Meanwhile Callie’s curiosity draws her to the dark, creepy tunnel near the house, a tunnel that she believes is connected to Daniel’s disappearance, as well as many others in the area.
The Evil Eye are delighted to have the opportunity to speak with Absentia Actor/Producer Morgan Peter Brown about the multi award winning film, future projects and the wonderful world of horror. Check out the interview here:-
First off, we’re huge fans of Absentia at The Evil Eye and very much enjoyed watching the movie.
Thank you so much!
It doesn’t surprise us to learn that the film earned many awards, including Best Supporting Actor for yourself as Daniel. How did this success feel?
Pretty surreal, to be honest. The beginnings of the project were so modest that, even though we felt great about the film ourselves, it’s always a little surprising when other people start validating those feelings. We’re constantly blown away by the reactions of people and couldn’t be happier with the overall response.
You spend your screen time in Absentia in a disturbed or catatonic state. What was that like to play?
Oh, it was hilarious! Not really. Daniel’s been through so much torment and punishment, it certainly took some effort to get myself to that place. But since we see so little of the actual “monster” in this film, it becomes even more important to feel its effects on the people that it’s taken.
Since I was on-set every day as a Producer, I would always have to take some time and step away before jumping into any Daniel scene. Luckily, most of those scenes required significant periods in the makeup chair, where I could sit and get into that darker frame of mind.
How did you and the film’s director/writer Mike Flanagan come together?
Courtney Bell and I have been friends for over a decade. She introduced me to Mike and we hit it off immediately. When I and my friend/producing partner Justin Gordon first formed our production company, it was shortly after that Mike came to me with the idea for what eventually became “Absentia.”
Can you tell us about Fallback Plan Productions?
Writer/Director Mike Flanagan and Katie Parker on set of Absentia
Justin Gordon and I met doing Shakespeare in 2008, I was living in L.A. at the time and having some small successes as an actor but was largely frustrated by the progress I’d made. Justin arrived in L.A. in mid-2009 and, shortly after, I came to him with the idea of seeking out and producing projects for us to work in. That was the beginning of FallBack Plan. During “Absentia” we latched on to Joe Wicker, who is now our other partner.
Now that “Absentia” has put us on the map, somewhat, we’re moving forward with several interesting features. Our focus is mainly towards genre films at the moment, but we’re not limiting our scope if we come across the right project we’d really like to make.
Scare Dares – a Fallback Plan production due for release in 2013 – reunites the Absentia team, including cast members and Mike Flanagan. How did this come about?
Absentia team at a table reading
“Absentia” was such a trial-by-fire that I think now there will always be a desire for this group to work together. “Scare Dares” was a project we’d spoken about a while back and our small successes allowed us to begin the conversation of making it a reality. We’re very excited about the story and the team we’re assembling and things are looking good for filming to occur in the first half of next year.
From what we’ve read, Scare Dares sounds amazing. We understand there is to be a mobile phone app tie-in. Can you tell us about this?
There’s not a whole lot I should tell you at the moment, just that we’re making great efforts to create a modern, cross-platform experience that the audiences should find new and fun. Is that vague enough for you? ;-)
It sounds very intriguing, thank you.
In Piggies – 2007’s comedy horror short – you play Leonard Silva, a homicidal maniac. Where or who did you look to for inspiration for this role?
“Piggies” was a small film that we had a lot of fun with. Leonard was a human embodiment of The Wolf from the fairy-tale “The Three Little Pigs.” So of course I had a lot of animal imagery to pull from, doing my best to make him a true predator.
It seems to be a running theme with me, the horror adaptations of fairy tales. Hadn’t really realized it until now!
That’s fantastic, horror and fairy tales compliment each other beautifully.
You’ve starred in a fair few horror movies. What draws you to the genre?
There’s something I love about horror and sci-fi and their ability to portray much deeper issues by looking at them with a skewed lens. Heavy-handed “message movies” can be difficult to sit through, but a horror film can create a much more entertaining experience that leaves the viewer with just as strong an impact.
As a performer, it’s certainly fun to give your imagination a real workout by attempting to portray the extreme circumstances that a lot of these films deal with. And, at the end of the day, keeping people on the edge of their seat, then making them jump out of it, is just too fun to resist.
We can imagine!
What is your favourite horror movie?
“Jaws” has been my favorite film for the longest time. All of the performances and technical aspects work so well, it’s really the complete movie in my opinion. Besides that, “The Exorcist,” Carpenter’s “Halloween,” Craven’s “Nightmare on Elm Street” as well as more recent ones like “The Descent” and “Session 9” are all on my list.
That sounds like a great list to us!
Finally, what are your future plans for Fallback Plan Productions and yourself?
“Scare Dares” is keeping us fairly busy at the moment, but we’ve got a couple other feature projects we’re developing that we’re very excited about. I’m very much a working actor though, I’ll be appearing in a new TV comedy here in the States in November called “The Wedding Band,” and next month I go to work on another horror film. I try to keep my calendar full ;-)
You sound like a busy man! Thank you for taking the time to speak to us, and we look forward to your upcoming projects.
'Scare Dares' will be hitting our screens in 2013, watch this space for more news
Interview by Lisa Richardson