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Whistler Film Festival Interview: THE LIFE & DEATH OF AN UNHAPPILY MARRIED MAN'S Tommy Beardmore

THE LIFE & DEATH...star Tommy Beardmore!
by Jason Whyte

"After a series of unfortunate and life-altering events, a disillusioned young man hits the road and heads for his Oklahoma hometown to figure out where it all went wrong. He finds liberation amidst the people and experiences along the way, which inspires an important choice he ultimately has to make." Actor Tommy Beardmore on THE LIFE & DEATH OF AN UNHAPPILY MARRIED MAN which screens at the 2015 Whistler Film Festival.

I am excited to have you as part of the 15th Anniversary at Whistler! What about the visit to Whistler excites you the most?

I'm so excited to experience Whistler for the first time! When we started our festival submissions, many factors came into deciding where to submit: reputation, character, exposure, location, and generally how the festival was run. Whistler had everything we looked for and we're so happy to represent LIFE & DEATH. I'm particularly eager to take part in the industry events, screenings of some exciting premiere, taking in the people and nightlife, and of course setting aside some time to ski! I couldn't resist staying another day.

Tell me a little bit more about your career, your start and previous work!

I began at 14 making short films and as the years went on, graduated to bigger projects. My six years in Chicago were so important. It was there I collaborated with some of the Midwest's finest artists in indie film. It was absolutely vital in my growth, knowledge, and overall experience. Now I'm based out of NYC and have worked in network TV shows, national commercials, documentaries, indie films, and new media/web content.

So how did you manage to make your way into this movie?

Well, it's originally from the mind of Josh Hope. He writes all of his movies and this one was particularly special. It's based on his own true story and I'll tell you one thing, that dude has had one hell of an interesting life. He and I met in Chicago a few years back and had worked together before. He approached me with a script and I just couldn't say no. It was exactly what I was looking for and I got a cast and crew dream team. From my perspective, I had a lot in common with Riley. His experiences, identity, and struggles had congruence with my own, so I was called to the honesty of the character right off the bat.

So what keeps you as an actor going while making a movie? What drives you? How much coffee?

The camaraderie is one of the most enjoyable experiences. There's something about the community you feel that makes for a memorable time, although with film production it's short lived. Whether it's one day or one month, these people are your family on set. And regarding a movie such as ours, with dramatic, light hearted, and powerful moments, we enjoy or suffer through it all together. Like that afternoon spent in the hottest, muggiest, most bug-infested forest in Illinois. You should have seen Sean, our sound guy. He had so many bug bites, he looked like he was filled with a million little BB's. For me, it's the people that keep me invested Also, coffee. Lots of coffee.

All projects are challenging in many ways, some more than others. For you, Tommy, what was the biggest challenge with making this movie, and the moment where you knew you had something special?

Money is always one of the biggest concerns in an indie film. Josh has an incredible ability to not only get a dollar, but stretch it to the max. He has a way of getting people with resources on board to help, whether that's donating their time, location, money, food, etc. I think it was on the second day after our second scene when I knew we had something special. Our crew clicked right away and the supporting cast came in to deliver something amazing. It's a feeling we all had.

I asked Josh about this as well, but I would love to know about your experiences working with the film's cinematographer, Seth Savoy, and your take on the visual design of the film.

Seth Savoy is one badass director of photography. I absolutely adore this man. He knows exactly what he wants and how to get it, but is flexible if another route presents itself. I can see the wheels turning in his head, but he never panics. He has a wonderful eye for the aesthetic balance of a shot and is quick to grab a beautiful moment when he sees it. He perfectly captures the Midwest. I'm excited for you to see it.

What are you looking forward to the most about showing your movie to audiences here in Whistler?

It's been a joy to present this movie to people all over the world. We screened in Romania, Australia, all over the US, and now we're making our Canadian debut. I'm eager to bring the story to a different group of people and to hear their take of the story and how they interpret the ending. It's always interesting to me how different groups of people respond.

Whistler is literally the end of our 25 city tour and we have been on this tour since June. We're wrapping up 2015 in the best way possible but have at least another 6 months on the festival circuit. Unfortunately, no official dates will be announced until the new year.

If you could show this movie in any cinema in the world, which one would you choose and why?

There's a movie theatre in my hometown where I spent a great deal of my youth. I always used to dream of my movies being played there. I have started to realize it's not that far-fetched.

What would you say or do to someone who was being disruptive at a screening you were attending?

I would probably get Sean Patrick Leonard, who plays the drug-centric Sammy, to take care of it.

As an actor, what is the one piece of advice you would give someone who wants to pursue the same line of work?

If this is the first and last thing you think about everyday, do it. Don't be afraid, trust your talent and your voice. Get up and get to work. Nothing is given to you. You have to earn it, create it, and do it. Watch a movie everyday. Write shitty screenplays, go to networking events, start small. Take workshops and classes, but don't forget that real experience comes from being on set. Respect your fellow filmmakers and help them. This isn't a competition; it's a way for us all to express ourselves and tell a story. If you want to be a professional filmmaker, treat it like a profession.

And finally what is your all time favorite movie? Or film festival movie?

All time favorite film festival movie? It changes every week. But you should check out Mt. Lawrence, a documentary by Chandler Wild and Wildlike by Frank Hall Green. Two road-adventure movies that we have played alongside all year on the festival circuit. Not only are they beautiful films, but they're done by some wonderful, good hearted people. Both have acquired distribution, so you'll be able to check them out anywhere.

Be sure to check out Tommy on the big screen in THE LIFE & DEATH OF AN UNHAPPILY MARRIED MAN, playing at #wff15 on Thursday, December 3rd, 1pm at Village 8 Cinemas.

You can follow Tommy on Twitter at @tommybeyond, and be sure to also read our interview with director Josh Hope in our interview series.

This is one of the many films playing at the 2015 Whistler Film Festival. For show information, tickets and for other general information on films and events, point your browser to the official website at whistlerfilmfestival.com!

[bigger]Be sure to follow instant happenings of Whistler Film Festival on my Twitter account @jasonwhyte, including mini-reviews of films, comments on festival action and even a photo or two. You can also follow the festival on my Instagram at jason.whyte!

Jason Whyte, efilmcritic.com

link directly to this feature at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/feature.php?feature=3876
originally posted: 12/02/15 20:08:46
last updated: 12/02/15 20:59:14
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