An interview with :


Clark Freeman

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Clark Freeman is an actor starring in Yellowbrickroad, Cortez and NCIS and most recently We Go On for which he was kind enough to take part in a short interview for my website.

You can check out my own review on We Go On by clicking here.

DGE: 
Hi Clark, many thanks for spending some time away from your busy schedule to talk to me. And to get things started I have to go way back to 2001 (or thereabouts) to when you appeared in a TV show called Family Law. Was that your first appearance in front of a camera in a professional capacity or are there any hidden gems out there that you made an appearance in - for us fans to discover?

Clark:  It’s my pleasure. Thanks for wanting to talk! Family Law. Wow, that was a long time ago. That was my first guest star on a TV show, yes, but not my first time in front of the camera. I actually got my start in the theatre, in Chicago, where I grew up.

I saw my older brother in a production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, and I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. So, I started acting around age 10.

My younger sister had a similar experience, and she got started even earlier! My first time in front of the camera, however, was a commercial for the video game Mortal Kombat 3. I was the only one in it. It was black and white, and it was me having a nightmare, and I’m pretty sure the only reason I got the job was because my eyelids are thin and you can see my eyes when I fake REM sleep.

Crazy thing about it was, they made a sequel to the commercial! And that is what basically forced me into the Screen Actor’s Guild.

Right after that I went to college at Middlebury College in Vermont, and Family Law was the first show I got cast in after graduating school and moving to LA.

By the way, I think both those commercials are up on YouTube somewhere. . .I think I’m 18 in them.

DGE:  Now I have to admit to becoming a fan of your work after watching the excellent movie that was/is Yellowbrickroad. We have chatted a couple of times on Twitter in the past about this movie and Ive been lucky to do an interview with Jesse Holland regarding the movie but how did you get involved in the project in the first place?

Clark:  Jesse and I went to Middlebury College together. Along with the other writer/director of YBR, Andy Mitton, and my sister, Cassidy. Actually, most of the cast of YBR are all Middlebury Theatre alumni.

Andy Mitton and I started a theatre and film company in LA called The Sight Unseen Theatre Group in 2004. We would produce multiple theatrical shows a year, short films, concerts, staged readings, art gallery showings... basically, any cool artistic endeavor that we could get our hands on.

Jesse became a part of that process, as well as Cassidy. Hell, that’s where we met Michael Laurino, who plays Teddy Barnes in YBR. He had done a ton of shows with Sight Unseen.

The theatre company grew into an artistic family, and I’d say YBR was our first journey into making a feature film - but we had been practicing for years before that.

So, yeah, that’s how I got to be involved. I was an executive producer on the project, with my sister, and we ended up playing the brother/sister cartography team in the film.

It was definitely hard, but so gratifying.   A passion project.

DGE:  You have also appeared in another movie written and directed by Jesse - called 'We Go On'. It seems you and Jesse (and Andy Mitton) all get on really well together so could we see you all working together again with future projects?

Clark:  Yeah, those two. I’ve been working with them in some capacity for probably 20 years. The first play I did with Andy was when we were still in college, so yeah, a long time ago.

We Go On was the last project that I worked with both of them together, but I am an executive producer on Andy’s new project called The Vermont House. Not much I can say about it right now, but we should all be able to see it this year, and I’m very excited to share it with the world!

There are some familiar faces in it from YBR.

DGE:  As for We Go On - that movie is incredible in every sense of the word. I dont know how many times I've now seen it and I guess my question (well two questions really) are - what was it like to be the leading man in the movie and how difficult was it to put in such an effort to make the character of Miles so endearing? I mean he's the kind of guy you kinda feel sorry for and you want him to find some form of closure in the movie.


Jay Dunn and Clark Freeman in We Go On


Clark:  First of all, thank you. Thank you for watching, and I’m so glad that the film resonated with you.

As an actor, and artists, I think that is one of our greatest goals and an incredible achievement.

Now, to answer your question (if I can) - it was crazy to be the leading man!

In theatre, and most projects I had done to that point, I was always part of an ensemble. A group where I was just one of the many parts.

To try and carry a movie is a daunting task and I was lucky enough to be doing it with people I trusted implicitly, and I had an incredible script that guided me the whole way. As for the effort it took to make Miles endearing, I guess the whole process was a delicious challenge.

I’m glad you thought he was endearing. Miles couldn’t be more different from me, actually. Here is a guy who is deathly afraid of almost everything, and can barely manage a smile on a good day! I’d like to think I’m fairly opposite from that.

I had to figure out what really drove Miles to go on his search.

Working with Andy and Jesse, we talked a lot about Mile’s armor - the things in his life that protect him from the outside world. Everything from the room he isolates himself in to do his editing, to the layering of clothes and shirts and jackets he wears, even to his beard!

A physical barrier on his face, in some way shielding him from the outside world. I had an amazing time finding Miles inside myself, and then hiding in his armor for the duration of the shoot.

What an amazing challenge as an actor.

DGE:  I have to ask, now we are talking about We Go On - but did the movie have you believing in life after death?

Clark:  It’s funny. I’ve always been fairly agnostic about that question. Probably leaning towards the “we go out like lights” end of the spectrum. After going on the journey as Miles, however, I think I have come out the other side a little changed. I don’t think I’d call it “life after death”, but I think there is too much energy inside each and every one of us to just vanish.

DGE:  Your sister Cassidy Freeman also stars alongside you in Yellowbrickroad but this isnt the only movie both of you have appeared working together as you both starred in a 2017 movie called Cortez. What is it like working alongside your sister? Oh and I also remember seeing her make a short appearance in We Go On ;-)

Clark:  Yeah, Cass and I enjoy working together a lot. The joke is that we are twins born years apart. I think it takes a special relationship to be able to work with anyone in your family. It’s a difficult line to tow between family and work stuff, but Cass and I have been able to do it for a long time now.

I hope that we continue to get to work together forever.

And Cortez! Yeah, Cortez is an amazingly beautiful movie that Cass produced and stars in too. I actually think it is coming to some theaters in LA and New Mexico soon. If possible you should try and catch it. My part is even smaller than Cass’ part in We Go On, but I was just lucky to be there for any of it!

DGE:  In We Go On you worked closely with Annette `O Toole. Now that must have been an amazing experience!


Annette 'O Toole and Clark Freeman in We Go On


Clark:  I can say, honestly, that you have no idea. She was such an amazing person to go on this journey with.

Full disclosure: Andy and Jesse wrote We Go On with me in mind. We shot this movie about a year and a half after I lost my real life mother. Obviously, I was still smack in the middle of my grieving process. What a gift I was given to be able to shoot a movie where an adult son gets to go on a road trip with his mother to see if there is life after death. And what an even bigger gift that it was with Annette.

She is the kindest and most gracious human being, let alone actor. I learned so much from her throughout the process, and I couldn’t have asked for a better movie mom.

 I hope I get to work with her again sooner rather than later.

DGE:  Would you say the horror genre interests you more than perhaps any other genre or do you have any other genres you love working in?

Clark:  It’s weird - I seem to act in films that are either horror or children’s movies! I have no idea what that says about me.

The horror genre interests me because I feel it is one of our last “frontier” genres. It’s a place where the fan base is voracious and willing to try something new.

If you are smart about your story telling, you can bend rules and reinvent things, and I think the fans will applaud you for it! Some will still want their slasher movies, or their body count films, but most of them are willing to go on a different journey with you.

I think that’s why I love working with Andy and Jesse in the horror genre, because I know it’s never going to be “JUST” horror.

There will always be something more - another layer.

That being said, I would love to do some Sci-Fi. I love good sci-fi.

DGE:  Looking at your CV and its pretty strong when it comes to TV shows. For example, what was it like being involved with the NCIS franchise? You have been in a few episodes such as NCIS Los Angeles, NCIS New Orleans and of course NCIS.

Clark:  Yeah, NCIS and I get along, it seems. I have auditioned for their shows more times than I care to share. I’m just lucky that they seem to like the work I do, and continually give me chances to play so many different characters.

As an actor, you’re not going to book every audition you go on, but if you go on that audition and do your work, you’re going to get to act that day!

I got to play a DEA agent, a conniving murderous dock worker, AND a total scumbag ex-Navy cadet. What other show allows you to be able to play three incredibly different characters? They just need to create another spin off so I can go for a fourth. . .

DGE:  Finally, and without wanting to sound too nosey, but what can your fans look forwards to seeing you in next? Can you mention any new upcoming projects or are you bound to secrecy?

Clark:  That is not nosey at all. My episode of NCIS just ran a couple of weeks ago, so I’m sure it’s still up on CBS.com, or somewhere. As for seeing me elsewhere, I’m hoping there will be another show soon that will have me.

Besides that, I am writing and developing a show with my sister, but that one IS in the “secrecy” part of the process.

Other than that, just keep an eye out for Andy Mitton’s The Vermont House later this year!

DGE:  Many thanks Clark for spending some time answering these questions and I look forwards to watching your career go from strength to strength.

Clark:  Thank you so much for taking the time to ask me all this stuff. It’s my absolute pleasure!


I just want to thanks Clark again for spending time on this interview.  Please do check out Yellowbrickroad, We Go On as well as his other parts in NCIS and Cortez.  As for The Vermont House, I will personally be checking that out as soon as it is released.





TRAILER

We Go On (2016)



Synopsis (IMDB) : Paralyzed by his fear of dying, Miles Grissom takes out an advert offering $30,000 dollars in reward money to the first person who can show him evidence of an angel, a demon, or prove that ghosts exist - anything to prove to him that we go on after our deaths.

Directed by : Jesse Holland, Andy Mitton

Written by : Jesse Holland, Andy Mitton

Cast :  Annette 'O Toole, Clark Freeman, John Glover, Giovanna Zacarías, Laura Heisler, Jay Dunn, Cassidy Freeman, Justin Carpenter

My Rating :




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