Published on July 4th, 2017 | by Biz Books
The Biz Interview: James Clayton
The new supernaturally-charged action/horror film, Residue, plays at The Rio in Vancouver on Sunday, July 9th, featuring an engaging mix of emerging and established homegrown talent. At the forefront is star and co-producer, James Clayton, who has also been seen in recent TV efforts like The 100 and Timeless.
We asked James Clayton to take us inside the dangerous world of Residue and tell us more about his career.
Can you start by telling us a little bit about you and Residue?
Residue is a supernatural action horror written and directed by Rusty Nixon and will be released on VOD and iTunes July 18 in North America. The film is produced by Blaine Anderson & myself through our company Motorcycle Boy Productions. It’s being distributed by IndustryWorks Studios and Xlrator Media.
I play a private investigator named Luke Harding who accidentally reads a demonic book that unleashes an evil force in his apartment. It boasts incredible ensemble cast which includes Leo Award nominated Taylor Hickson (Deadpool), Gemini Award nominated Matt Frewer (Timeless, Orphan Black), Alika Autran (Altered Carbon), Elysia Rotaru (Arrow), Costas Mandylor (Saw series), Blaine Anderson (Scary Movie 4), and William B. Davis (The X-Files).
What can audiences expect from the film?
Fun. I had the privilege to watch the film at the Academy Award-sponsored Sunscreen International Film Festival in St. Petersburg, Florida back in April of this year. The film is a thrill ride. The audience loved it and the biggest question we received afterwards was, “When is the sequel?” The film creates a very lush world and although it delivers a satisfying conclusion, it leaves the door open for an entire universe of discovery.
In terms of tone, it very much has elements of H.P Lovecraft, The X-Files, and a dash of Evil Dead.
“Never stop. Be yourself. Enjoy the process.
Enjoy the people. Create your own work.”
What kind of preparation did you do for this role?
For all my roles I do intensive preparation on the psychology and physicality of the character.
The previous film I did, Candiland with Gary Busey, I lost 55 lbs from my normal weight of 185 lbs. I’m just about 5’11 and I was 130 lbs during filming so it was a real challenge. We went into Residue next and I had to build myself up into a muscular but out of his prime detective. So I worked out quite a bit, ate a lot of burgers, and bulked up to 190 lbs. The physicality of a role really informs the psychology and I love the challenge. I also write an entire backstory for my character.
What was the most challenging part of making this movie and how did you handle it?
You know, there wasn’t anything exceptionally challenging about making Residue. Everything always came together, we had an amazing crew & cast, and post production was seamless. From pre-production to delivery it was only 12 months. It really flew by.
How would you describe the current state of the film and television industry in Vancouver?
Busy! I think it’s great how many productions are in town and it’s inspiring that the local indie filmmaker scene is expanding every day. There are some great filmmakers in this city and the international market will become very aware of our indie scene as time goes on.
You’ve done a lot of acting in both the film and television worlds. What do you enjoy about participating in each one?
I really enjoy the collaboration. You have to like people to be in the film industry because that’s what it’s built on. Great people. And I love meeting new people everyday and sharing stories. When crew and cast are in sync, that’s when magic happens.
What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned in your career?
Never stop. Be yourself. Enjoy the process. Enjoy the people. Create your own work.
What film and television-related books and authors have been influential to your professional journey so far?
For the craft of acting: Lori Triolo who studied at The Neighbourhood Playhouse taught me how to act. She resides in LA. She should write a book because there is no one better. But I have read great books about the craft by Susan Batson, Larry Moss, Ivana Chubbuck, Stella Adler, Sanford Meisner, and Uta Hagen. Those are all essential reads. Linda Darlow, who also appears in Residue, is an awesome teacher and local to Vancouver. I encourage young actors to read her book Auditioncraft for some amazing practical advice.
What other projects are you working on?
I’m currently in preparation for an action thriller called High Caliber. The film is written by Niall Cassin and Rusty Nixon and will be directed by Rusty Nixon as well. Blaine Anderson and myself are producing it through Motorcycle Boy Productions and it will be distributed by IndustryWorks Studios. Think Die Hard meets Lethal Weapon. We begin filming late September of 2017.
Where can we find out more about you?
Thanks to James Clayton for speaking with us!
You can see Residue at The Rio on Sunday, July 9th, 2017 at 3:45PM. The filmmakers will be in attendance. For tickets, please visit riotheatretickets.ca.
After that, watch for it on VOD and iTunes on July 18th.