Your new movie Valley
of the Sasquatch - in a few words, what is it about, and what can
you tell us about your character in it?
I think it's about family. Obviously it's about a terrifying
monster… but also family. I think that Michael is trying desperately to
connect with his father in some way. And Roger as well is trying to
connect to Michael. The problem is they really don't have enough in
common to meet anywhere in the middle. In a way, their shared endeavor to
not be murdered by Bigfoot is what gives them that common ground to move
forward in their relationship.
What did you
draw upon to bring your character to life, and how much of Miles
Joris-Peyrafitte can we find in Michael?
I think there is a
lot of me in Michael. Firstly, I'd probably react similarly to the
situation. That is to say, I'd run and cry a lot. But also I think that
that feeling of being truly alone is one that most people can relate to. I
for sure could. Although I have not suffered the kind of loss Michael had,
there were certainly instances in my life where felt like no one
How did you get
involved with the project in the first place, and to what extent could you
relate to Valley
of the Sasquatch's horror theme?
I first heard
about the project from Elias [Elias
interview - click here], the director of Gut. He told me about this
movie out of Seattle that was looking for its lead. He also really talked
everyone involved up in a good way. So from there I just went on
tape and a couple weeks later I heard back that I had gotten the part.
Obviously I was stoked. At first I really responded to the arc of the
character. I thought it was really powerful how Michael has to overcome
his inherent fear to deal with the situation. I think that the horror
genre in particular is interesting for character development because it
highlights their weakness.
What can you
tell us about your director John Portanova [John
Portanova interview - click here], and what was your
collaboration with him like?
John is an encyclopedia of
genre films. He's seen everything, read everything, listened to all the
soundtracks. He brings all that to the table when you work with him. It's
funny though, we didn't talk too much about the actual Sasquatch or
anything like that, mostly we discussed the characters. I think that's
something really unique about John's style. Although the story takes place
in this insane scary world, what's most important is the emotional truth
of what's going on with the characters.
Do talk about the shoot as such, and
the on-set atmosphere!
The on set atmosphere was amazing.
Everyone was really excited to be working on the film. Which is always a
Any future projects you'd like to
I'm really excited to be in development right now for my feature length
directorial debut As a Friend with Votiv. Which wouldn't have
been possible if I hadn't done Valley
of the Sasquatch because I wouldn't have met Brent or
Sean (my producers). That's really occupying most of my time right now.
Also, I'm really excited about Elias' new film A. that The
October People are developing right now. I'm really excited to be a part
of that. The script is amazing and Elias is one of those guys, like John,
who just knows everything about his genre and brings a certain
intelligence to his films that's really refreshing.
What got you into acting in the first place, and
did you receive any formal training on the subject?
I got into acting because when I was 7 my brother was already in film
school. Obviously I looked up to him immensely and decided to make my own
films with my best friend Madison. The trouble was, no one wanted to be in
them so we would act in each others films.
After that I studied it in boarding school and a little more at Bard
can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Valley
of the Sasquatch?
Mostly my prior film work has
been in other horror or genre films. As well as a substantial amount of
short films and whatnot.
Over the years, you
have also done quite a bit of stagework, right? So what can you tell us
about Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, the stage actor, and how does performing on
stage compare to acting in a movie?
Stage acting is just a
different group of muscles. It's a different way of channeling the
character. The work beforehand is ultimately the same, but that way you
put that character into your body changes. I really like doing theater
because it's an experience that forces you to create something outside of
yourself. You project, if you will. Film is more internal. I like
doing both. It helps me stay a balanced person. I think.
Besides being an
actor, you're also (or at least have been) a director, writer and musician
- so what can you tell us about those aspects of your career, and how do
they complement one another? And any other talents of yours you'd like to
As I mentioned before the directing thing is kind of what I am focusing
on right now. I have been given this unbelievable opportunity to make a
very personal film that I also wrote. I think I'm really lucky to have
been able to do both acting and directing. They obviously inform each
other to a severe degree. And I hope the more I do one the better I become
at the other.
I also play in rock band called Skinnybones. We are about to record our
third album. So that takes up some time too!
How would you describe yourself as an actor, and
some of your techniques to bring your characters to life?
a hard question. For me it's really scene by scene. Sometimes something
comes effortlessly. Other times I need to take a walk or something to get
into the right mindset. I'm not method or anything. My
"techniques" are pretty boring. I make a lot of playlists I
guess. Stuff that either the character might listen to, or stuff I think
resembles a similar tone I'm trying to hit in the performance. But really
I just try and listen to the other actor.
(and indeed actresses) who inspire you?
I actually rarely
feel inspired by "actors". Much more I'll feel inspired by a
character or a moment or something. I remember on set D'Angelo Midili (who played
Will) was carrying this book about Brando under his arm and like studying
it really closely. I wish I could do that. That's probably why he's so
I really like French new wave films. That's kind of what I grew up on.
So like Breathless, Masculine Feminine, all that stuff.
I also got lucky enough to study film with one of my favorite
filmmakers, Kelly Reichardt. Her movie Wendy and Lucy was pretty seminal
Then of course there are the classics, but I'm sure you can guess
Also I love Paris, Texas by Wim Wenders. Jeremy (cinematographer) and I
talked a lot about that one on set.
... and of course, films you really deplore?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results?
The links below
will take you
I tend to forget films I don't like so I'm not really sure. But also,
making movies (even bad ones) is super goddamn hard so I'd hate to
belittle anyones work just because I don't like it.
website, Facebook, whatever else?
Anything else you are
dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
for the interview!