IN Michael Boccalini and Che Grant’s new comedy Love Possibly, Steve Hodgetts plays a socially awkward, rom-com lover who believes he has found his ‘happy ending’ with a Moldavian mail-order bride (played by Anna Danshina).
Following Love Possibly’s European premiere in front of a sold-out audience at Raindance Film Festival, Close-up Culture’s James Prestridge caught up with Steve to learn more about his role in the film.
Q: Alex struggles with social anxiety and a relatively hopeless pursuit of love. What was it like stepping into his shoes for this role?
A: I really enjoyed playing Alex. Despite his painful social skills, he’s a loveable individual who wouldn’t hurt a fly and I did my best to keep him as endearing as possible. As an actor it’s always more interesting to play the underdog (especially when it comes to love) and I think we can all relate to Alex in some way.
Q: Did you model Alex on anyone?
A: ALEX is a blend of many different people I’ve met; I tried to remember certain mannerisms or characteristics that are indicative of an extremely nervy individual and attached them to Alex. I think I also tapped into my own anxieties as much as I could and amplified them by a thousand. I think there’s a little bit of Alex in everyone really.
Q: The film has awkward and dark comedy, and I believe there was some room for improvisation in the film. Was that something you relished?
A: DEFINITELY. I love awkward/cringe comedy – maybe it’s because I’m British but there’s something really fascinating about it. To be able to play around with it in terms of improv made it something very enjoyable. Extending awkward silences for as long as they could go, dropping inappropriate lines here and there. Michael and Che gave us a lot of freedom.
Q: Do you have a fun stories from your time playing Alex?
A: I had to go speed-dating in character as Alex with real women. I’ll leave the rest up to the imagination. It’s not something I would recommend!
Q: What was it like working with Anna?
A: ANNA is incredibly talented and makes me look like a terrible actor in comparison! She has a certain intensity which gives the film a real edge. I learnt a lot from her during filming – she’s very professional.
Q: Alex is obsessed with romantic comedies. Do you share his taste? What type of films excite you?
A: I was never a huge fan of rom-coms before Love Possibly but the directors made me watch an awful lot of them before filming and I eventually got a taste for them. I’d never seen some of the classics and now I know why people love them so much (When Harry Met Sally is excellent).
In terms of films that excite me, This is Spinal Tap is still my favourite film of all time.
Q: You are credited as a writer on the film. How much were you involved in that part of the process?
A: THE film was heavily improvised. There was a story and a handful of scripted scenes which meant I had freedom when we were shooting. I also became very close to the directors on set and we would talk about scenes together before we shot them to see what extra jokes we could squeeze out of it or what exactly we wanted the characters to be feeling at that point.
I did writing work with them in post-production too for any new scenes or pick-ups.
Q: Can you tell us about your experience working with Che Grant and Michael Boccalini?
A: THEY work really well together and I think it’s tough to direct so seamlessly when there are two of you. Che focused a lot on the drama and Michael the comedy which was a perfect pairing. They were very patient and knew exactly what they wanted.
My plan is to hold onto their coat-tails and make them cast me in all their future work…they will go far!
Q: Finally, why should audiences be excited from this film?
A: IT has heart! It’ll make you laugh and cry (we hope). But it has a real freshness to it and everyone can live out their worst dating/romantic nightmares vicariously through Alex – not everyone’s cup of tea but at least you can sit back and laugh!