Matt Mercer – This guy will steal your full attention !

mercerMatt Mercer
1) So CONTRACTED is on Netflix, Happy ?
Happy doesn’t come close. I’m thrilled! Contracted has really been embraced at such an unexpected level, and I’m happy that it’s been so popular. We were #1 on Netflix for a few days, which is nuts.  Eric [England, the director] and I couldn’t be more thrilled. It makes me think about the first time we talked about it at a bar in Hollywood, just kind of going over what I could do as a producer and how we wanted to get the movie made, and my excitement at Eric’s idea, then meeting our fellow producers Raphael and JD.. just crazy thinking about how far it’s come since the germination of the idea.

2) What is like to be the scene stealer in AIRPLANE VS VOLCANO ? Ha! I appreciate that. The Kondelik Brothers (directors) gave me some freedom at the end of takes to try some stuff, but also they just wrote some great great lines for me that I could play with. I was definitely one of the lucky actors on that movie… I was given some gold by those guys, and had some of the “quippiest” stuff.  Plus I had great actors to play off of (Dean Cain, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Tamara Goodwin, etc).  It’s easy to act with scene partners like this cast.  Airplane vs Volcano was one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had.  I mean, how could it not be?


3) What can you say about MADISON COUNTY ?  Madison County was an adventure, and a movie I’m so proud to be a part of.  It also started a new chapter for me.  I knew Eric was going places as a director, and I love doing genre films, and so auditioning for that and getting the role was awesome. It was also just one of those experiences that you can’t replicate.  I mean, we all bonded on that one, and the circumstances we were shooting under were always challenging (bugs in our beds, changing weather, no cell signals, extremely remote locations… it ran the gammut).  Also, SPOILER ALERT… of all the on-screen deaths I’ve had, it’s still my favorite.

4) One Sentence Descriptions – 
Dean Cain just nails it every time, every take, and is one of the funniest guys I’ve gotten to work with.  We had a scene in Airplane vs Volcano in which, after a action sequence, we improvised a couple of lines at the end of each take in the scene, and I couldn’t keep it together because he had me laughing so hard. I hope it makes the DVD outtakes… even if a lot of it amounted to poop jokes. ha!
Lawrence Hilton Jacobs has the most gravitas of any actor I’ve been around.  I was nervous at first working with him (I mean, it’s Freddie ‘Boom Boom’ Washington, come on), but then he was super cool between takes and had the best stories.  He also knows EVERYTHING, because he’s done every job on a movie, so you can’t get anything past him, and he is a great advisor and mentor on set.  I hope I get to work with him again.
I could say 200 billion things about Eric England… so I’ll keep it simple. He has become one of my best pals and collaborators. We work well together, and I’ve learned so much from him.  He is a great storyteller. I can’t wait to do more with him, and am so grateful for the opportunities he’s given me.
Najarra Townsend is beautiful, talented, and a wonderful person… no doubt one of the most talented actors I’ve ever worked with. I think we’ve done five films together now.  She has a quality of all the great actors I admire, which is, she works hard to find the best way support the story of the movie being made through her performance, and puts herself completely into it, with no garbage ego, hangups, or bs.  She is the best, and will soon be a megastar.
Nick Principe – I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have a backwoods fight with than Nick Principe.  I ran into him recently at an event in LA, and all I was reminiscing about Madison County and how terrifying he was as Damien, but also how safe I felt doing the fights with Nick.  He’s super fun to work with, and a great guy.
5) Opinions of ‘Mockbusters’
For starters, I just love the term Mockbuster.  I love that beyond the titles (that clearly rip off their bigger studio counterparts), the movies are totally different (usually) story-wise.  The Asylum is derided for making Mockbusters, and sure, some of them are more than questionable in quality, BUT, some aren’t, and they are a litmus test for their directors. They give new directors a chance to show what they can do with a small budget and limited resources.  It’s an opportunity for them, and that’s really great.  I’ve met some of my favorite people to work with on Mockbusters.
6) BEST of ‘MERC’ On/Off set ? When I’ve had coffee. And, sleep.  A good night’s rest is critical.
7) WORST of ‘MERC’ On/Off set ? When I’ve had no coffee.
8) Better to be in front of camera or behind ?  Honestly, I like doing both at the same time.  I like the immediacy of acting, but if I’m just acting in a film, I tend to get in my head during the waiting around. If I’m also directing/producing in addition to acting, and keeping busy behind the camera, I don’t have time to over-think the performance during the downtime between the scenes.
9) You wrote ‘Valentine Surprise’ for film festivals,Will you write again ? I hope so! I love to write, and writing Valentine Surprise with JD Lifshitz was fun.  It’s also the first time I’ve storyboarded anything, and I will ALWAYS do that now. On the feature film I just directed, we were on a timeline, and I shot-listed it, but didn’t storyboard anything. Valentine Surprise was a completely different style and vibe, so I storyboarded the heck out of it, and I’ll always do that now. It really works for me, even if it’s just crappy stick figures.  The more pre-visualization on a film, the better.
10)Leave us with those words that are borrowed from you and are quoted forever ?  I just asked my sister Sara (who I’m sitting here with) what this would be, because I have no idea, and she said you don’t have a repeat quote because you’re so consistently strange and random at any given moment. I’ll take that. Haha!

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