In June of 2007, coworker and good friend of mine, one Mr. Tom Russell, approached me with an opportunity to act in he and his wife’s newest film. Aside from feigning interest in ex-girlfriend’s babbling stories and the occasional “too sick to go” routine, I haven’t been involved in anything close to acting since I played “Daddy Frog” in a third-grade musical (in which, I might add, I flubbed lines left and right)–nor have I wanted to. Even upon being informed of this, however, Tom still thought it a wise idea to cast me–and as the title character and romantic male lead, no less! I was quite sure the book fumes were finally getting the best of his senses, but he seemed insistent so I agreed to audition. For reasons beyond my understanding, he seemed rather pleased with my performance and awarded me the role.
The months of hot
living room studio lights and cranial impact (see the movie) that followed were quite an adventure, to say the least. Enjoyable, for sure, but challenging and, at times, uncomfortable too. Perhaps I simply wasn’t doing it right, but spending the day pretending to have intense feelings (positive and negative) for a young lady I hardly know took a lot out of me! I did my best to just feign facial expressions and such without the actual emotional element, but my heart seems to have a sort of Pavlovian relationship with the rest of me–come on, you try smacking a girl without feeling upset! Now that is not to say that I actually felt any such emotions toward any of my “co-stars”. Even with my penchant for falling in love with fictional characters (oh, Cho Chang, why won’t you respond to my owls?), I can confidently say that no such feelings (or their converses) were even fleetingly present here. I just frequently found myself feeling, well, odd upon the close of each shoot. There was a good deal of other weird (and far too grown-up for my liking) things going on that summer that were not related to the film, so the uncomfortableness may have been unrelated as well.
Anyhow, we finally “wrapped” (I’m so Hollywood!) over the Thanksgiving holiday (late November), and the Russell Duo got to work on final editing and such. I got to see the final product a few days ago, and I must say I am very pleased and impressed! They even managed to make my acting look half-decent, no-doubt though the extensive use of Movie Magic. All-in-all, a hearty “bravo” goes out to all who were involved!
In terms of plot, The Man Who Loved is fairly straight-forward; but also quite complex. It follows George and Sarah, a young married couple, as they deal with the latter’s growing emotional instability. Right, that sounds like a Lifetime Network snooze-fest, but believe me when I say it is anything but. In fact, if I may get folksy for a moment, I would say that there is less sap in The Man Who Loved than in a dried-up piece of driftwood. *cough* no really, I mean that–regardless of how I said it… What I mean is that this is really one of those rare stories that is equally suited for male and female audiences. There are bits that guys will like and bits that gals will like, but more importantly there are many scenes that apply equally to both and in the same way. Right–enough of the school newspaper movie review routine–just watch the trailer and stay tuned for updates on when, how, and where to see the whole thing. Oh, and let us know what you think!
Actually, my previous statement about a lack of acting experience wasn’t totally accurate. I had forgotten about the first Russell-Hildebrandt project, Tom’s Webcomic! Sit back and watch all one minute and twenty-eight seconds of its awesomeness below: