In this interview with Close-up Culture, Zach Avery tells us about his recent role in Orson Oblowitz’s thriller-horror, Trespassers. The Los Angeles-based actor also talks about the importance of acting to his life and his experience working with Ralph Fiennes on The White Crow.
Q: ‘Trespassers’ is out now on VOD. The trailer looks absolutely terrifying!What stood out to you about this home invasion thriller-horror and the role of Joseph?
A: This film is really unique within the home invasion genre in that it focuses on the relationships between two couples and delivers a human drama wrapped up in this crazy home invasion thriller. It allows the audience to genuinely care about and get to know the characters before taking them on a gruesome, scary ride – which was one of the main reasons that I was drawn to the script and character from the beginning.
I think Orson delivered such a fun film that keeps people on the edge of their seat all the way till the end!
Q: You star alongside Angela Trimbur, Janel Parrish and Jonathan Howard. Did the tension and intensity of the film bring you closer as a cast?
A: It was such a treat to work with this whole cast. A lot of the shoot were night shoots so working in such a tense environment over the course of many nights really forms a bond between castmates. By the end, we were and still are very close friends because we truly went through such a wild experience with each other.
Q: If not for an injury, you might be playing in the NFL right now. How important was finding acting and performing to overcoming that disappointment?
A: It was crucially important to allow the passion that I have always had for performing to become front and center once sports were not an option. I needed to focus my energy on something and without the physicality and mental workouts that sports were providing; it was great to focus this energy on acting.
Q: What does acting offer you that sport might not have?
A: Acting allows you to peel back the layers of someone else’s life and live in those shoes for a period of time. This level of creativity and emotional freedom is extremely hard to find in anything outside of acting.
Q: Would you like to star in a sports film one day? If so, is there a particular athlete – past or present – you’d be keen to play?
A: I would love to star in a sports film. I really enjoy physical acting, stunts and everything so a sports film would be right up my alley. I would be open to play almost any iconic athlete – from Rocky Marciano in a boxing film to Derek Jeter in a baseball film (one day).
Q: It has also been announced that you’ll star alongside Olivia Munn, Bruce Dern and Frank Grillo in Michele Civetta’s drama ‘Gateway’. Can you reveal anything about that role yet?
A: I play a character named Mike who has been released early from prison and returns to his wife (Olivia) and daughter. He desperately wants to get his life together and be the man that he should be but it turns out that life has another idea and this becomes much easier said than done.
I had such an incredible experience on this film and cannot wait for people to see it!
Q: How do you approach your preparation for a role like Mike in ‘Gateway’?
A: For this role, I did a lot of research on drug related gangs, prison culture and St. Louis (where the film was set). I actually spent a whole day in a prison so that I could bring a reality to what Mike’s life has been like for the past four years. I really felt like I knew his world by the time cameras started to roll.
Q: You’ve been on sets with the likes of Ralph Fiennes, Kate Beckinsale, Bruce Dern and Brad Pitt. What has been your most memorable experience in the industry so far?
A: I think flying to Belgrade, Serbia and shooting The White Crow with Ralph Fiennes was such a wild experience. I respect him so much as a actor and director that flying across the world to work with him was such a surreal experience.
Q: Are there any other upcoming projects or ambitions you’d like to share with us?
A: I am currently in Spain shooting a really intense political thriller called American Carnage, which is being directed by Diego Hallivis. I can’t say too much about it but it will certainly garner attention given our current political climate.
Title photo by Bobby Quillard