We are our greatest stories and storytellers… We are the characters that harness emotion, horror, walls and the ability to empower others. We hold ourselves back… break the chains and take the leap into the darkness. Words like that reflect the current dark drama on SHUDDER.COM entitled WE GO ON directed by Andy Mitton and Jesse Holland. This film offers insight into a character named Miles who has reached a point in very fragile life and decides to search for proof that something more exists in the beyond, to give purpose in his life. Miles is embodied by the talented actor Clark Freeman who through the journey of being a performer, professional, father, husband and kick ass human offers depth and substance to Miles. Clark spent some time with Jay Kay to discuss the film, finding insight into the look of Miles, the cast that brought this story together, epiphanies and more for this conversation for FROM DUSK TILL CON.
Andy and Jesse worked so hard on that script and the process of getting that movie made. They were always open to notes and ideas, while still keeping the original integrity and seed of their idea alive. It was so cool to see something materialize really solely from love and belief. That is the incredible talent and skill that Andy and Jesse have as a duo: even with their unique perspectives, they divvy up the artistic vision of the project in such a way that one of them is “on point” for a scene while the other runs “back up” for them. Yet, they are so connected and on the same page about the story they want to tell, that the finished product ends up being singularly cohesive, instead of two disparate movies, or just a bunch of different scenes. As an actor, you feel doubly supported. Like having 2 head coaches. One with you on the set, and the other at the monitor, so no matter what, they were going to get what they needed. I’m glad WE GO ON came along when it did though. . .
JK: The character of Miles is a very intense and complex one with so much damage done from multiple points of his life including relationships, family, the world outside and self-inflicted to put it simply. When you were offered this role, and started working through it, what were your initial thoughts in embodying him? Where did you draw influence to help craft Miles in the different stages of his development during the narrative? What was your unique fingerprint on it?
CF: Wow, hell of a question. Let me see if I can do it justice.
When I was offered the role, I was excited to tackle it for personal reasons, but Andy and Jesse led very much with the idea that Miles was VERY different from Clark. I could not agree more. Here was a man who had been dealing with his many phobias for so long that he had built a fortress of walls around him. From his clothes, to his beard, to his physicality, everything! Even his house. I don’t think I am spoiling anything here, but next time you see the movie, check out Miles’ apartment. Look at the shelves. (Hats off to Yong Ok Lee and her whole art department). Miles has supplies lined up so that if the “worst” happened, whatever that might be, he could hole up for a long, long time. If this guy could fold into himself to stay safe, he would.
Thankfully, that is not me in real life. To attack Miles’ character, we worked on the idea of stillness and I wanted to work on stiffness. I tend to be a more fluid, happy-go- lucky guy in real life, and I wanted to clamp way down for Miles. Imagine being afraid all of the time. You would be so tight you’d get stress headaches. . .which I started to after a couple of weeks. I remember Andy telling me that Miles might not smile, and if he did we should use it sparingly. Imagine going through your life where smiling was a very rare occurrence?! That sounds absolutely awful to me. But it works for Miles. When this movie starts, Miles is approaching the end of his rope. He NEEDS to find some other way to live. He cannot continue this existence anymore. His body and mind can’t take it.
That was the jumping off point for the character. The rest was discovered in what little rehearsals we had, and what we learned on the day, in the scene. As far as unique fingerprint, I just tried to figure out what kind of shell Miles would put on, then I would let myself go on his journey and let myself shine through Miles’ walls.
What a force of nature that woman is. I believe she flew in from Mexico for a couple of days to shoot all her scenes. She was so emotionally available for all of our difficult scenes, all the while asking exactly what the English meant. We were kind of translating on the fly because English is her second language. I couldn’t imagine giving a performance like she did in a foreign language. Unbelievable talent, and quite the gregarious personality to boot. She fit right in. I miss everyone dearly.
JK: WE GO ON was finished in 2015. What are your thoughts now about the overall experience as the leading man for this feature film a couple years later? Where did this also take you as a person after you finished this film?
CF: 2015! Insane. My thoughts are that it feels like yesterday, and it also feels like a lifetime ago. The best lesson I learned as “leading man” for a film (it feels so weird to say that) is that you set the tone for the entire production. If there were days that I came in and was tired, or in a bad mood, that energy would start to spread through the entire crew. Not on purpose, but just subconsciously. I had to make sure to keep my energy up and give my 110% all the time. Many of the people working on the film I had known for years and are like family to me. I made sure that everyone else who came and gave their time, effort and artistry to the film was treated like family as well. A film set is family. No matter what you’re doing. We are all there to serve the story and collaborate. I just happened to be there everyday. . .
Any big artistic undertaking changes you as a person. I was lucky enough to work on WE GO ON because it gave me a sense of peace. It gave me a confidence to move forward not only as an actor, but as a person in my life with a new and deeper confidence. I will always be immensely grateful to have had this experience and it is just gravy that audiences across the world are reacting so positively to our movie.
JK: What's next for you and where can we find out more?
CF: For me? Well, after shooting WE GO ON, I guest starred on my sister’s new show, LONGMIRE, as well as NCIS: NEW ORLEANS. I am also executive producing Andy’s next film, THE VERMONT HOUSE, which is in post-production now. Besides that, I can talk briefly about a TV show that my sister and I are developing about siblings and art smuggling. . .but that’s about all I can say about that. There is also another movie I am trying to help get off the ground about a historical figure that existed during WW2. A man who was gifted in the occult and was a close confidant of Hitler. He was also an undercover Jew, and used his psychic powers and mental control of Hitler to try and bring down the Third Reich from the inside. You know, a comedy! Just kidding. It’s called either ADOLF’S SECRET or THE HANGED MAN.
As for finding out more about WE GO ON, we have a twitter account (@WeGoOn) and a Facebook page as well. I think that’s where most of the updates happen. AND, thanks to AMCs Shudder network, we are available to stream right now! Our DVD and BluRay release is set for April 4th as well.
Thanks so much for asking me these questions, Jay. It was a real pleasure to revisit the movie and talk with you. All my best.
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