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An Interview with Michael Matteo Rossi, Director of Chase

by Mike Haberfelner

May 2019

Films directed by Michael Matteo Rossi on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie Chase - in a few words, what is it about?


Chase is an action thriller about a hitman who is torn between his best friend and mentor and his girlfriend, who wants him out of the business and distanced from his friend.


What were your sources of inspiration when writing Chase?


I grew up on 80s and 90s action films but also smart crime thrillers like the ones directed by Scorcese and Tarantino so I think it was a blend of that mixed with character driven people who all had inner conflicts amongst themselves too.


Chase's title character isn't exactly the most, shall we say, "innocent" man - so to what extent could you identify with him, actually? Or with any of the other characters for that matter?


Well he's a killer, so I can't say I identify with him that much at all! But seriously, I think the aspect of him trying to balance his 'work' and also family is something that a lot of us struggle with too. Especially in this business where it can be unpredictable, the schedule, hours, etc, it's a lot of compromise when you take on any relationship, and there has to be understanding and trust.


Chase does feature its violent outbursts for sure - so what can you tell us about the bloody bits in your movie, and was there a line you refused to cross regarding on-screen violence?


I always like to push the limits when it comes to some violent content on screen, but I knew I didn't want to have any nudity in the film or any over the top sexual or violent scenes that served absolutely no purpose to the story and were just sensationalist in nature. I had to show that Chase is definitely a cold blooded hitman and killer, but sometimes less is more and I leave it up to the audience to see some of the violence that they know will take place.


What can you tell us about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?


I met and talked with most of the lead actors in the film before shooting in person just to give them a sense of how I saw the characters and already knew how talented they all were so it really flowed naturally. All of the actors got along with the other actors so it was really a positive set experience I felt, which made it much easier for me as a director too.


Do talk about Chase's key cast, and why exactly these people?


I had worked with a couple of the actors before like Damien Puckler who played Chase and Paul Duke who played Sergey, so I actually had them in mind while writing it too and knew they would be great for it, and a few of the other actors I had known before like Devanny Pinn [Devanny Pinn interview - click here], and had met Aries a few months before so I was familiar with all of their work and couldn't be happier with all of them, from Jessica Morris to Harry Hains and even the youngest actor I've ever worked with, Eli Michael Kaplan, who played Micah.


A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


The toughest scene to shoot was the climax scene because we only had 2 days to shoot it and there was a good amount of action and fighting that needed to be prepped, but honestly it was the best set experience of my career. I felt like we all got along really well and everybody believed in the project so much so we all went the extra yard to making it happen.


The $64-question of course, where can Chase be seen?


Chase will be on a lot of platforms including Amazon, iTunes, Redbox, Fandango, Vudu and more!


Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of Chase?


When the film did its festival premiere at the Hollywood Reel Film Festival we had a packed house there, and I felt the reception was fantastic. I had colleagues of mine who had seen my other work say that this was by far my best film and I feel that too. Based on a few of the reviews so far they have been positive so I'm just very happy and proud of that!


Any future projects you'd like to share?


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I'm in the process of hopefully shooting my next feature Shadows later this year that has that same action thriller type theme to it which I'm very excited about.


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


I post a lot about Chase so I'm on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram if you just look up my full name Michael Matteo Rossi, and I tag the Chase's social media on there all the time too!


Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


I'm excited for everybody to see the film and really feel they will enjoy it!


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD