Your new movie If If
I Can't Have You - in a few words, what is it about?
stalker thriller comedy about a woman who has a penchant for being stalked
no matter what she does.
how did this project come together in the first place?
Taraszkiewicz interview - click here]
mentioned she wanted to do a stalker film where the guy was the main
baddie. I had been looking for a reason to do a Scream-inspired film for
years so I sorta married the two together.
were your sources of inspiration when writing If
Can't Have You?
and Fatal Attraction.
You've written If
Can't Have You together with Todd Calvin de Pew - so what can you
tell us about him, and what was your collaboration like?
is one of the most gifted actors Iíll ever have the pleasure of working
withÖ but heís also incredibly talented as a writer. It was so amazing
because weíd be able to start a scene and have the other one finish and
be happy with it. We work incredibly well together and are currently
working on our third feature film, Nightcap, together. Heís another one
thatís so much better than they give themselves credit for. Be on the
look-out for him in both his writing and acting endeavors.
talk about If I
Can't Have You's approach to both horror and humour!
Well, Scream was our benchmark. So
we wanted to do something that wasnít incredibly terrifying, but also
not incredibly comedic. Mandy Logsdon really helped with the comedy, once we saw
the big swings she was taking as Barb, it was really easy to fall in
line and give our characters similar undertones. I hope this answers the
question, itís always a difficult one for me.
was co-directing If I
Can't Have You with Peter Poulos [Peter
Poulos interview - click here] like?
dream. Knowing the shots Iíd envisioned in my head would come out
exactly how I imagined. Heís that good. And humble too. Heís really
You of course
also have to talk about working with the film's producer and star Tennille
Taraszkiewicz interview - click here]?
with Tennille is like working with 10 people all together. Because
everything that could go wrong sheís already thought about and has a
solution for it. When working with Tennille youíre really allowed to
just focus on the task at hand, because sheís already gotten everything
else covered. It really is lovely.
appear in front of the camera in If
Can't Have You - so what can you tell us about your character,
what did you draw upon to bring him to life, and have you written him with
yourself in mind from the get-go?
is the gay your parents warned you about. Heís narcissistic, absent-minded and very very loud. So I basically just drew on a lot of
reality TV and Madonna. I knew I was going to be playing him before we
started writing so I just kept writing in things that made me
uncomfortable, and when it came time to acting it, just hope I had done my
Do talk about the rest
of your cast, and why exactly these people?
is the most organized person Iíve ever met. She has this scheduling down
to a science. Peter is a genius behind the camera. Todd is a revelation as
an actor. Mandy was a diamond in the rough that really drove a lot of the
comedic tones of the film home. And Brandon Brefka is the best AD youíll
ever work with. How could I not want to do this film? I respect these guys
A few words
about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
like to keep it fun. I want to make sure people want to be there, because
hopefully they believe in the story we are telling. This set was no
exception. If you watch the BTS videos and see the photos you can tell the
set was very lively.
future projects you'd like to share?
Todd Calvin De Pew and I just
finished co-writing a feature film called Chasing the Ghost. Itís
about a drug-addicted anesthesiologist whoís about to enter rehab who
has a curse put on him that he has to stay high or his family and friends
die one by one. Itís another really fun project, and Iíll actually be
directing as well. We are also writing Nightcap about a group of
characters that get locked inside a bar because there is an active shooter
outside. So itís all of their fears and insecurities come out over the
course of one night.
What got you into
filmworld to begin with, and did you receive any formal training on the
remember my mom taking me to the movies at least once a week. Watching
those stars up on the big screen, I was certain they didnít have to take
baths and they didnít have bedtimes. I made it my goal to become just
like them haha. Even though Iím not quite there yet, I just liked the
idea of being larger than life and that has always stuck with me. I did
receive very formal training in the form of the University of Southern
California Film Program. Some of the best quality training I couldíve
ever hoped for.
Going through your filmography, one can't but
notice you seem equally comfortable on both sides of the camera - so which
side do you prefer, and why?
think Iíll always prefer acting. For some reason, I feel most
comfortable on that side of the camera. I donít know a whole lot
technically speaking, and I think I can communicate best with actors,
because I am one myself.
What can you tell us about
your filmwork before If
Can't Have You, in whatever position?
favorite short film I did before If
Can't Have You
was a short I
co-directed, wrote, and co-starred in called EntropyÖ or An Irresponsible
Retelling of the Iliad. I play a version of Patroclus and my writing
partner Todd Calvin De Pew plays a version of Achilles.
It was so much fun bringing those characters to life. Hereís a
https://thefilmchic.com/project/entropy/. Before Entropy, it was a lot of films based on true individuals, which is very
very challenging. Entropy really imbued me with the playfulness I needed
to bring If I
Can't Have You
you describe yourself as a director, and how as an actor?
think Iím incredibly empathetic as a director, yet I can tell when my
actor is holding back. For me, my job is figuring out how I can get them
to trust me enough to give me that extra 10% they donít even know they
are holding back. So for me itís gaining my actorís trust and also a
lot of listening. As a director I listen intently to my actors. As an
actor Iím always in 110%, so itís just figuring out ways to not go too
over-the-top with my performance. Because I tend to be over the top, I
just make sure Iím really listening to my scene partner.
filmmakers, whoever else who inspire you?
Craven, Colin Farrell, David Fincher, Nicole Kidman.
American Beauty, Drive My Car, The Lobster, The Hours.
... and of course, films you really deplore?
Honestly, after working on the
other side of the camera, Iíve really realized that every film has
something redeeming about it.
movie's website, social media, whatever else?
donít social media often, so Iím boring and just have a Facebook.
Iím just Matthew Santia on Facebook and hereís the link on Facebook to
our movie: https://www.facebook.com/If-I-Cant-Have-You-100358402610654
else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
youíve covered this quite nicely. Thank you.
for the interview!