I'm a title. Click here to edit me

Interview with John Van Slyke



What drew you to the character or script?

The opportunity to play someone so messed up on a very simple level.

The character of Philip seems determined to destroy every relationship he's been in, how do you go about making that character sympathetic to the audience?

I think many people can identify with his destructive nature. Whether we see it in ourselves or another, it's there. For me it was a matter of showing that comes from some sadness, something very deep but that's very difficult to play. So, when it comes down to it, Philip might not come off as all that sympathetic. And thats okay. As long as he's not boring.

Talk about some of your cast mates, you worked with many of them numerous times, what different qualities do they bring to the project?

Mary, Robert, and Michael are all quite fearless. They attack their roles. Stacie is a delight to be on screen with. She can make me look good. They all do for that matter. I show up and do my best to keep up.

You came back a year later to reshoot many of your scenes with a new female lead, explain the differences and your thoughts on the matter.

I know Mary so although its tough to have to do all of it over again, I knew that we could take the scenes emotionally further than first shot. I think everything goes further is more logical, is hopefully better. I mean if you're redoing something you ought to make an effort to do it better.

This is the sixth project you've done with this writer/director, how has this experience been compared to the other projects?

It was good to have a small crew with us. Ross could concentrate on one role and communicate his vision much clearer than needing to worry about everything else that needs doing.

There are a few love scenes with different actresses, each one taking place in different points of his life, could you talk about the character's frame of mind during these sequences?

You read actors saying all the time that love scenes are all rudimentary and technical. I know now from experience that thats true. I wanted to be polite, make sure I didnt cross boundaries, but at the same time make it sexy or at least appealing. My wife wanted it all to be over and then she wouldn't have to think about it. Although she was pretty excited I decided it'd be okay to show my bum. She doesn't mind anybody seeing that part of me.

Philips frame of mind is one of a man who doesnt know how to communicate his needs to others. Nor is he giving them their needs. That's why his relationships fall apart. It's actually pretty text book. I think the difference with Lily is that she's not all that taken with him. Or, at least, he doesn't see it.

What do you think will be the reaction to the film?

I'm never a very good judge at that sort of thing. I hope people will see it, enjoy it, talk about it and recommend it to others.


Go back to bio