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An Interview with Ricardo Freitas, Star of The Great Charade

by Mike Haberfelner

September 2019

Films starring Ricardo Freitas on (re)Search my Trash


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Your new movie The Great Charade - in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us about your character in it?


Without giving away too much, itís a dark journey into excess, obsession with self and also with others and the extremes it could lead to. I play Ryan Sterling, one half of Hollywoods most high profile couple along with his wife Amara Giovanni.


Being an actor yourself, how close to home did the plot of The Great Charade actually hit?


Ego is a big thing in this industry so itís something I always keep in check, humility is key, I play dress up for a living nothing more. Being in an industry where you can literally go from an unknown to being a household name, with people youíve never met knowing who you are, playing this role definitely made me consider the ramifications of that reality and what that can do to a person's ego and self perception, it can become a tightrope for sure if a person doesnít have the mental preparation for it. The plot is an viewpoint into where neither fans nor the Ďstarsí having that mental stability.


What did you draw upon to bring your character to life, and how much Ricardo Freitas can we find in Ryan Sterling?


I spent months listening to nothing but Ric Flair wrestling promos and Kanye West tunes in preparation for this role. I believe that every character comes from somewhere that already exist in an actor, youíre not becoming someone else, youíre just playing with the volume dials of your personality to get in tune with the character needs.


Most of the running time of the film you're tied to a chair - so in what way has this influenced your performance?


Oh definitely, being strapped to the chair made me absolutely have to be in the scene, there was never any doubt to the dangers Ryan faced. Also I couldnít express myself with my hands, no gestures, no pointing, which just made focus on my face, my eyes expressing everything I needed to. I hope that comes through in the film.


How did you get involved with the project in the first place?


I had the privilege of working with directors Rodeo and Dan Strange [Rodeo and Daniel Strange interview - click here] on some commercials and we hit it off personally and creatively straight away. I would have jumped at the chance to work with them on anything, when they sent the script for The Great Charade I knew I had to be part of it, I was honoured that they even considered me and they offered me the role. all I wanted was to do an amazing job for them to do their story justice.


What can you tell us about your directors Rodeo and Daniel Strange [Rodeo and Daniel Strange interview - click here], and what was your collaboration like?


I absolutely love those two, they are an absolute joy to work with, they welcome input from everyone involved in the project, the story, the characters it all feels like a huge collaboration. The film was a massive team effort, and itís because of the atmosphere and environment that Rodeo and Dan created for us that made us all work so hard, and also have so much fun, I honestly donít think Iíve ever laughed so much on set.


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


We were shooting through the night so we would begin a shoot around 4pm and then wrap in the early hours of the morning. With this tough schedule I never heard anyone complain, we became such a tight unit almost instantly, we worked hard but would always be joking and playing around between scenes... and sometimes during them too.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


I am currently training in preparation for another feature named HellKat, in which Iíll be playing an MMA fighter called Freddy ĎFishí Bones so keep an eye out for that.


From what I read, you got into acting via pro-wrestling - now what can you tell us about your wrestling career, and how did you then actually come to the realisation you wanted to be an actor? And did you receive any formal training on the subject?


Wow, you did some research there, that was some time ago, I was indeed a professional wrestler, it was short lived career, but the experience was invaluable. I moved to the States and trained at Ohio Valley Wrestling in Louisville, KY. After moving back to the Uk and wrestling Wales I realised the wrestling life just wasnít for me, the road life and the bumps are tough and I have nothing but respect for all the boys who do it to this day, itís a sport I respect and still love and follow. Acting had always been my first passion, I had been in plays for most of my youth and then in my teens it just fell out of my life. After wrestling I knew I was heading into acting for sure, I just hit the ground running doing every workshop I could, I trained in the Meisner technique for 3 years, did student films, short films, music videos, just gained all the experience I could, doors began to open up and well, here we are.


What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to The Great Charade?


I've worked mainly on screen my whole career, film was always my passion, Iíve had a few short films I was in do well and win awards at film festivals around the world, and Iíve had a few blink and youíll miss me parts on big projects in film and TV.


How would you describe yourself as an actor, and some of your techniques to bring your characters to life?


My technique is a hybrid of everything Iíve picked up that works for me, Iím a big believer in what Bruce Lee said ďAbsorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own.Ē The way I work sometimes different with characters, one constant is music, I love using a soundtrack I create for a character to tap into the mindset needed.


Actors (and indeed actresses) who inspire you?


How many pages do you have? Haha! Iíll just name off a few that just always amaze me even when Iíve already seen the performance: Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, John Cazale  - heís one people forget about, but you watch him in the Godafther Part 1 and 2 or Dog Day Sfternoon and see a man be completely vulnerable in a performance, it's just so real, he was amazing. A few more, James Dean, Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, Emma Thompson, Philp Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Pheonix... Iím gonna stop there or Iíll keep you here all day. 


Your favourite movies?


Oh god thatís just opening up a can of worms, umm... Godfather Part 2, Life of Brian, Rocky, Raging Bull, The Master, Pulp Fiction, Rain Man... again Iím gonna stop myself, but those are just a few in my head at the moment.


... and of course, films you really deplore?


I mean there are plenty of films I didnít enjoy, but art is subjective, they just werenít for me, someone out there loves those films so who am I to tell them itís not good, itís just not something I do.


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


I just wanna mention my fellow cast members in The Great Charade, Francesca Louise White [Francesca Louise White interview - click here], Candice Palladino [Candice Palladino interview - click here] and Marcus Davis-Orrom [Marcus Davis-Orrom interview - click here]. These are three of the most talented people I have ever worked with, such unselfish and giving performers and some of my favourite human beings ever. If anything watch The Great Charade just to see their amazing work.


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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Robots and rats,
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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On the same day
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A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD